After months of rumours and speculation, Apple has finally revealed its newest iPhone. Here’s all you need to know about the release being billed as “the biggest advancements in iPhone history”.
Firstly, there’s not one, but two. Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are bigger than their predecessors, with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch retina HD displays respectively. This makes the iPhone 6 some 38 per cent bigger than the iPhone 5s, and iPhone 6 Plus a whopping 88 per cent larger. They’re the thinnest models ever and have a “unibody” enclosure designed to make the phones completely smooth on all sides (so no seam between the case and screen).
They are faster, too, with an A8 chip that’s 25 per cent faster than the 5S. Apple’s also promising better battery life – in the iPhone 6 Plus, an extra six days of standby battery compared with the 5S.
Anyone who relies on their phone for photos will be delighted to hear it has better cameras – for images, FaceTime and video. This has been the major weak spot of the iPhones compared with competitors such as the Samsung Galaxy. Apple says it will have more accurate colours at wider viewing angles and faster autofocus (better for photographing quick-moving toddlers!). iPhone 6 Plus will also have better technology for shooting in low light. And videos will have faster frame rates, and you’ll be able to film in time lapse and slow motion.
Another major development is Apple Pay – a wireless wallet to make payments by simply tapping the device on to a reader in shops (no need to frantically dig around for your purse when shopping with the kids!). It will also let users make one-touch purchases within apps. Payment and shipping information is stored securely inside a new chip in the iPhones. The catch? It’s only available in the US at the moment, and no word on when it will reach Australia.
A new Health app will help users keep better track of their fitness. Both iPhone models continuously gather motion data – even when the device is asleep – from its accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and a new barometer. The data appears in the Health app “so you can see how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed, or how far you’ve walked or run”. It’s expected developers will take advantage of this new technology to create better health and fitness apps.
It features Family Sharing, which allows up to six people to share downloaded music, movies, TV shows, books and iTunes purchases, as well as photo albums and calendars. It also allows parents to better control their children’s use of devices, for example by approving all purchases or downloads. It integrates with an app that provides real-time information on family members’ locations.
Apple promises “ultrafast” wireless and quicker browsing, downloading and streaming. The iPhones will also have wi-fi calling and fingerprint ID. Both models run iOS 8 – out on September 17 – which Apple says is “more intuitive” and has new messages and photos features, a QuickType keyboard and new iCloud drive. Expect better “console-class” 3D games to be released for the device, thanks to the new A8 processor.
It will be released in Australia on September 19, with pre-orders beginning September 12.
And the all-important price details? For the first time, it will be released in a bigger 128GB model, which will set you back $1129 for iPhone 6 or $1249 for iPhone 6 Plus. The 16GB model will cost $869 or $999 for iPhone and iPhone Plus respectively. The 64GB iPhone 6 is $999, while its iPhone 6 Plus counterpart has a recommended retail price of $1129. Prices for older iPhone models will reduce.
It’s made from anodised aluminium and comes in gold, silver or grey. Apple will also sell leather cases in black, soft pink, olive brown, red and midnight blue for $59.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook, who launched the new iPhone in California overnight, thinks customers “are going to love it”. “We are making it much better in every way,” he says.