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Apple Conference 9/9/14- Apple Watch, Apple Pay™, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Yesterday, Apple held their annual conference in California to showcase their latest products. The products revealed included an anticipated Apple Watch, Apple Pay™, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Apple has cited these new products as their “biggest advancements in iPhone history” and that they are “packed with innovative new technologies.” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO has said “the iPhone is the most loved smartphone in the world with the highest customer satisfaction in the industry and we are making it much better in every way. Only Apple can combine the best hardware, software and services at this unprecedented level and we think customers are going to love it.”

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Apple’s new iPhones come in two different sizes- 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch Retina HD display and its body is “anodized aluminum that conforms seamlessly with the shaped glass of the display, resulting in a completely smooth and continuous surface”.  This will be available in their gold, silver or space grey colours. The larger screen size will provide an increase in 38% viewing area than its predecessor, the iPhone 5.

Apple iPhone 6

It will feature Apples A8 chip with a “second generation 64-bit desktop-class architecture for blazing fast performance and power efficiency; advanced iSight® and FaceTime® HD cameras; ultrafast wireless technologies; and Apple Pay™ “. This A8 chip will allow users to “bring console-class 3D games to iPhone”.

On top of that, the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will also feature a M8 motion processor that can be used to gather motion data using “the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and the new barometer, which senses air pressure to provide relative elevation.” Apple has said this new feature can be used to “continuously measure your motion data, even when the device is asleep, saving battery life for fitness apps that use the sensors all day”.

Although Apple didn’t specify precise times, it was noted that the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will feature an increase in battery life allowing the user to do more on their iPhone before it needs to be charged.

Users can pre-order the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus from 12th September 2014 with the devices going on sale 19th September 2014.

Apple Pay™

Apple has also announced it will be launching Apple Pay™ a new payment method that allows its users of its new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to pay for “physical goods and services in stores or apps with just the touch of a finger”.

It works by the user registering a credit or debit card against the device which (in turn), will generate the user with a unique Device Account Number. This number will be encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on the iPhone 6 or Apple Watch. Apple has commented that “each transaction is authorised with a one-time unique number using your Device Account Number and instead of using the security code from the back of your card, Apple Pay creates a dynamic security code to securely validate each transaction”.

To active the payment method in practice, users would need to place their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus against a contactless card reader whilst holding the Touch ID button to identify and authenticate the user. This means all “payment information is kept private, encrypted and stored securely in the Secure Element, a chip inside the new iPhones”.

Apple Pay™ will be introduced to the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as part of an iOS 8 update in October 2014. Unfortunately, this will only be available to US customers in the interim.

Apple Watch

One of the biggest announcements of Apples conference was their greatly anticipated Apple Watch- Apple’s “most personal device ever”.

Although the Apple Watch isn’t the first smart watch available on the market, many believe “the potential to ignite the wearable tech sector”. Tim Coulling, senior analyst at research firm Canalys commented that he was “sure that for many people, waiting to see what Apple did was a first step before going out and buy a wearable technology product, whether or not it’s an Apple one they get.”

Apple iWatch side view

Apple cites the Apple Watch as a way to “enable you to communicate in new ways right from your wrist by sending and receiving messages, answering calls to your iPhone 6, and with Digital Touch, sending something as personal as your own heartbeat”. The Apple Watch will also introduce a host of “comprehensive health and fitness apps that can help people lead healthier lives”.

The Apple Watch will be available in three distinct collections—Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition and will be available in two different sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm.

The physical look and feel of the Apple Watch will be made from custom alloys of polished or space black stainless steel, space grey or silver anodized aluminium and 18-carat rose or yellow gold. The straps will be available in a range of designs such as:

  • A high-performance elastomer sport band
  • Milanese loop in a flexible magnetic stainless steel mesh
  • Leather loop in soft, quilted leather that conceals magnets for quick fastening and adjustment
  • Leather modern buckle, which closes with a solid metal clasp
  • Leather classic buckle
  • Stainless steel link bracelet

To keep the device secure, it will come with a “unique charging system that combines Apple’s MagSafe® technology with inductive charging for a quick connection that snaps into place”.

Apple iWatch strap design

The device runs on an iOS-based user interface created “specifically for a smaller device”. It features the “Digital Crown, an innovative way to scroll, zoom and navigate fluidly, without obstructing the display”. This Digital Crown will act as the Home button and as a convenient way to access Siri®. The Retina® display on Apple Watch features Force Touch, “a technology that senses the difference between a tap and a press, providing a new way to quickly and easily access controls within apps”.

As a final feature, the Apple Watch will also introduce the Taptic Engine and a built-in speaker to “discreetly enable an entirely new vocabulary of alerts and notifications you can both hear and feel”. To make all of these features operate, Apple have had to design its own S1 SiP (System in Package) to “miniaturise an entire computer architecture onto a single chip” featuring Wi-Fi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 4.0 allowing the user to pair with their iPhone.

The Apple Watch will be available in early 2015 and will be compatible with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus running the latest version of iOS 8.

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