Today’s Apple Event: New iPhones, Smart Watch, Mobile Payments & More
Tuesday morning in California, Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled several new upcoming products, including the latest iPhone, a brand-new smart watch, a way to make payments using your phone (or watch), the latest update to the company’s operating system, and more.
The biggest news, of course, is the new version of the iPhone—and there are two of them. There’s the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Both phones are significantly larger than their predecessors, with the 6 sporting a 4.7-inch screen and the 6 Plus a 5.5-inch screen. The phones will also be marginally thinner than the iPhone 5S and 5C, which were introduced last September.
Additional improvements to the iPhone include a faster processor, larger memory capabilities (you can get a 128-GB version), a better camera (both front-facing and standard), and curved corners. That last bit may not sound like much, but it’ll help prevent that obvious iPhone outline from your jeans pockets, so there’s that.
To give you an idea of how big it would look in your hand, here’s Tim Cook holding a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus (along with the Apple Watch, which we’ll get into below):
The iPhone 6 will be available for $199 (16 GB), $299 (64 GB) or $399 (128 GB). The 6 Plus will be $299, $399 or $499 for the same memory sizes. (All prices are based on agreeing to a two-year contract.) They will be available September 19.
The major new product introduced today is the Apple Watch, a so-called smart watch that can integrate with your iPhone (only the 5, 5C, 5S, 6 and 6 Plus). It seems particularly focused on fitness, with various apps designed to make your workouts easier to track, from following your heart rate to counting the number of steps you take, plus much more.
The Apple Watch will start at $349 and be available early next year. It will come in three different models, including one made with 18-karat gold.
Apple is also aiming to change the way people pay for things. It debuted Apple Pay, a way to use your iPhone or Apple Watch instead of cash or a credit card. You simply flash your device’s screen over a scanner, and the payment will be made remotely using credit or debit card information stored on your Apple account. Apple will use an app called SecureElement to encrypt your information, hopefully satisfying those who were alarmed at the recent breach of iCloud that led to the release of hundreds of private photos, many of nude celebrities.
Also announced today was the latest update to Apple’s operating system, iOS 8. It will be available for download on September 17.
Last but not least, all iTunes users will receive a free digital copy of a brand-new U2 album called ‘Songs of Innocence.’ All you have to do is open iTunes on your iPad, iPhone or computer, search for the album under Artists or Albums, and tap the Cloud icon to download it.
Here are some additional images from today’s presentation: