5 things you need to know about Apple’s iPhone event
WATCH: Globalnews.ca’s tech reporter breaks down Tuesday’s Apple announcement.
TORONTO – Apple unveiled a slew of new products in Cupertino, California Tuesday, including two new versions of its flagship smartphone and its first foray into wearable tech.
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and the Apple Watch during a nearly two-hour long special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts, the same venue where Apple founder Steve Jobs unveiled the game-changing Mac computer 25 years ago.
WATCH: Apple CEO Tim Cook announced not one, but two new iPhone models – both of which have larger screens.
Though the new iPhone lineup was touted as the “biggest advancement in the history of the iPhone,” the majority of the excitement surrounding the event was focused on the long-rumoured Apple Watch.
LISTEN: Apple unveils its next generation products
Here is a look at what the technology giant has in store for its users:
Wearable tech fans finally got a glimpse of perhaps the longest-rumoured Apple product ever – the Apple Watch.
“It’s the most personal product we’ve ever made,” said Cook of the company’s first smartwatch.
The device works as a companion to the iPhone to send messages, check notifications, interact with other Apple Watch users and use Apple Maps.
Apple’s product designers repurposed the traditional watch dial to be a “Digital Crown” that allows users to scroll, zoom and navigate the screen. The watch can also sense when the user is raising their wrist to automatically illuminate the screen.
WATCH: Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the company’s first foray into wearable tech – Apple Watch.
Apple Watch will be available in three different collections – Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition – and will come in two different sizes, 42 mm and 38 mm for those with smaller wrists. There is even an 18-karat rose or yellow gold version.
Apple Watch will also feature its own messaging system that will allow users to send each other “touches” in the form of a vibration, drawings and even share each other’s heartbeat, which is read directly from the user’s wrist.
Apple has not yet announced an official release date for the watch, but said it will go on sale in “early 2015,” starting at US$349.
iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
Cook began the event by unveiling what he called the “biggest advancement in the history of iPhone,” the much-anticipated iPhone 6. The phone is available in two sizes: the iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch screen and the larger version, the iPhone 6 Plus, with a 5.5-inch screen.
The iPhone 6 also features new Retina HD display screens. The models are the thinnest ever in the iPhone series at 6.9 mm and 7.1 mm.
The devices will also have longer battery lives – the 6 will get up to 50 hours of audio playback, while the 6 Plus will get up to 80.
Both phones have upgraded 8MP iSight Cameras with 1.5 micron pixels. The iPhone 6 camera will include a new feature dubbed “Focus Pixels” that allow the camera to focus twice as fast.
WATCH: Apple’s Phil Schiller provides a look at some of the new and exciting features of the iPhone 6.
For Canadian consumers, the iPhone 6 will start at $759 for the 16GB model and $859 for the 64GB model without a contract. For the first time, Apple will not offer a 32GB iPhone; however, a new 128GB model will be available for $969 outright.
The iPhone 6 Plus will run you $859 for the 16GB model, $969 for the 64GB model and $1079 for the 128GB model. Both phones will be available in space grey, silver and gold.
The new phones will go on sale in Canada Sept. 19.
Apple also unveiled its new mobile payment process called Apple Pay. The new system will be built into every iPhone 6 and 6 Plus using Near Field Communication (NFC). Security for the new payment system features Touch ID and a new chip called ‘secure element.’
Users can store their credit card numbers in Apple’s Passbook App; however, the company was quick to note that card numbers are encrypted and card numbers are never stored on the device. Apple was also careful in explaining that Apple never stores, or has access to payment information – the transaction information stays between the user, the merchant and the bank.
WATCH: Apple Pay is a new mobile payment platform built into every iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
If the phone is lost or stolen, users are able to protect themselves by using the “Find My iPhone” app to suspend all mobile payments.
Apple has already teamed up with a number of U.S. retailers, including Macy’s, Walgreens, Whole Foods and the Disney Store, to introduce Apple Pay. Online retailers including Uber and the MLB have also signed on.
However, its unclear when Canadians will get to use Apple Pay. The company has not yet done any work on the system outside of the U.S.
Where there’s a new iPhone, there’s a new operating system. Apple users already got a sneak peek at the latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
iOS 8 is the first major software change since Apple released the totally redesigned iOS 7. The new software will sport interactive notifications, so you can respond to a message without having to leave another app. It will have new gestures, such as double tapping to see a list of frequent contacts.
iOS 8 will also feature new additions that have long been associated with the Android platform. For example, the new “quick type” feature promises predictive typing suggestions. Some pointed out that Android has also supported similar notification features before Apple.
One small feature that many users seemed to be excited about was the option to remove yourself from group messages.
The new operating system will be available for download Sept. 17.
Live stream difficulties
Apple’s event wasn’t without it’s missteps, however.
The live stream of the keynote, which was available only on certain Apple platforms, experienced a number of technical blunders throughout the two-hour event. In fact, many viewers missed the majority of the iPhone segment because the stream would only show a special event slate listing technical information.
Apple fans and tech reporters took to Twitter to complain about the troubles.
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