Apple announces iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, NFC Apple Pay, Apple Watch

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After much anticipation, Apple has announced their newest phones, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, along with the Apple Watch.

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Size

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iPhone 5S – 4 inches
iPhone 6 – 4.7 inches – 1334 x 750, 326ppi (over 1 million pixels)
iPhone 6 Plus – 5.5 inches – 1920 x 1080, 401ppi (over 2 million pixels)

Both phones will come with a full Retina HD display.

The new phones will also be thinner than any before with 6.9mm for iPhone 6 and 7.1mm for iPhone 6 Plus. iPhone 5S was 7.6mm.

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Image: James Martin

The new iPhones will be available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB.

iPhone 6 Plus will be able to be viewed in landscape mode – a first for Apple’s smartphone.

Speed

Along with the new iPhone, Apple also unveiled their new A8 chip, which is a second generation 64 bit chip with two billion transistors, with a 25% faster CPU and 50% faster graphics. The new chip is also 50% more energy efficient than the previous A7 chip.

Battery

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus has a just-as-good or better battery life than the iPhone 5S.

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Image: James Martin

Wi-Fi Calling

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Image: James Martin

Updating to Wi-Fi 802.11ac, three times faster than the previous generation, Apple is also introducing Wi-Fi Calling. If you don’t have a good cellular signal but are on Wi-Fi, you’ll be able to make a regular call over Wi-Fi. Once you leave the area, it’ll transfer over seamlessly to the cellular network.

Camera

It doesn’t look like there’s been much of a change from the iPhone 5S camera. iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will have an 8MP iSight camera and True Tone flash – the only update will be a new sensor, which can focus almost twice as fast as iPhone 5S.

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Image: James Martin

Panorama pictures can now take up to 43 megapixels, and stitching will be even better thanks to the new gyroscope.

While iPhone 6 has digital image stabilization, iPhone 6 Plus will come with optical image stabilization.

Shooting video has gotten an upgrade, though. You’ll now be able to capture 1080p HD at 60 fps, 240-fps slo-mo and time-lapse video – which sounds like a Hyperlapse killer.

Getting the new iPhone in Canada

Pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus begin on Friday, September 12. You’ll be able to order the phones through Apple.ca or, likely, your wireless carrier. The phones go on sale on Friday, September 19 at 8 a.m. at Apple Retail Stores – but be prepared for lineups, as always.

Non-contract / unlocked prices in Canadian dollars are:

iPhone 6

  • 16GB: $749
  • 64GB: $859
  • 128GB: $969

iPhone 6 Plus

  • 16GB: $859
  • 64GB: $969
  • 128GB: $1,079

Apple Pay

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Finally, something many have been asking for a long, long time. Apple has introduced their NFC (near field communication) feature – Apple Pay. NFC has become the standard for contactless payments.

There is a new chip in iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices called Secure Element that can see all your credit cards on Passbook. And you can pay with just the touch of your phone, using the TouchID (Apple’s fingerprint scanner introduced in iPhone 5S) to authenticate.

For those worried about security, rather than your credit/debit card numbers being sent to the retailer, it’s a new one-time number that is sent – so there is no worry about any kind of data breaches or theft – at least not yet. And with Find My iPhone, if your phone is ever stolen, you can cancel all transactions immediately. Also, Apple will never know what you bought, where you bought it or how much you paid for it. The retailer and cashier will also never see your name, card number or security code.

We’re not sure about Canada yet, but it seems that if a retailer accepts tap-to-pay methods now (like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, etc.), you would be able to use Apple Pay there.

Apple Watch

Another “finally” moment. Apple has unveiled Apple Watch, not iWatch as some coined it.

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Apple Watch will work seamlessly with iCloud and is a comprehensive health and fitness device.

The Watch has a “Digital Crown” on the top right, which you can use to scroll without blocking the screen. Pinch to zoom was something that “just doesn’t work” as Apple CEO Tim Cook said, but the Watch does have touch components to it. Pressing the crown takes you back to the home screen.

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You’ll be able to get a variety of different bands and straps for the Watch to suit your style.

AND the Watch comes in different sizes, or collections: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition.

The Sport’s case is 60% stronger but incredible light and durable whereas the Edition is made from 18 karat gold.

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Apple has created “Digital Touch,” which is the second button on the Watch – tapping it brings up a list of your closest friends. You can call or message them, or send them a tap.

You’ll also be able to use the Watch for apps. You can retweet on Twitter, tap to check into your flight, tap to unlock your hotel door, tap to control your lights – the possibilities seem endless.

Cook also mentioned that you can control your Apple TV with the Watch, which we can only assume means there will be some Apple TV updates in the future!

Apple Watch works with the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus but also with iPhone 5, 5C and 5S.

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How to charge it? Using the new inductive charging, you connect the magnet that aligns perfectly to the back of the watch.

Cook mentioned that it’s easy to charge at night, which might imply that you need to charge it every night. The device’s battery life wasn’t mentioned.

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The Apple Watch will start at US $349 and be available early 2015.

Apple Pay will also work with Apple Watch, so iPhone 5, 5C and 5S users won’t need to upgrade their phones in order to use the NFC features, they’ll just need to buy the Watch.

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U2 for free

As with most Apple announcements/conferences, there was a musical act to conclude – and today’s was U2. After playing, U2 and Tim Cook announced that U2’s new album Sons of Innocence will be available for free to all iTunes subscribers, which makes music history as the largest album release of all time.

The album will be available until mid-October, so if you’re not an Apple customer, become one before then and you can get it for free.

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Farhan Mohamed Editor-in-Chief & Partner at Vancity Buzz. Vancouverite and Canucks fan since birth. Always looking for a way to better our community, both locally and globally. Have a story to tell? farhan@vancitybuzz.com.
@farhanmohamed

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