iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s size comparison image

iPhone 6, iOS 8 & Apple Watch. What’s new? Features and benefits.

Wow!  Apple had an incredible day announcing the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iOS 8, Apple Watch, free music from U2, Apple Pay and so much more.  These new products individually are amazing but to introduce them all at one time is a spectacular feat for any technology company.   Apple has stepped up the game significantly as it looks at disrupting markets with the Apple Pay option for online and traditional retailers, the wearable device market by introducing “a watch” that is beyond anything in its category, and the music industry by offering the new Songs of Innocence album from U2, free to all 500,000 million iTunes customers.  

Here are highlights of  Apple’s new product lineup.  You don’t want to miss this.

iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s size comparison imageiPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus

Two new iPhone models are hitting the market Sept 19, 2014.  The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus boast larger screens, higher resolution, faster processors, longer batter life, better cameras and so much more.  The new iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch (diagonal) display and the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch (diagonal) display as compared to the iPhone 5s with a 4.o-inch display.  With the new phones you a get significantly more screen real-estate along with a thinner body and a longer battery life.

There are many new enhancements including the ability to do slo-mo video at 240 fps, continuous autofocus video, improved still camera and a new A8 chip with 64 bit architecture and a new M8 motion coprocessor.  There are many new software features with key ones outlined below.

Prices on the new iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6 are:

  • iPhone 6 Plus:  16GB = $299,  64GB = $399,  128GB = $499
  • iPhone 6:  16GB = $199,  64GB = $299,  128GB = $399

Apple Pay

Apple Pay is changing the payment system for brick & mortar, as well as, online stores.  Take a picture of your credit and debits cards to store them in your Passbook.  A security token is created for each transaction and your actual credit card number is not stored on your device.  If your phone is stolen you do not need get a new credit card as the number is not saved on your iPhone.  Every transaction is private and secure.  Apple does not track your purchases or even know where you shop.  You simply have a secure transaction that is initiated through your phone or Apple Watch.  American Express, Master Card, Visa and Citibank are all working with Apple Pay.

Apple is working with merchants that total over 220,000 locations that will use Apple Pay.  A few of them include: Subway, Macy’s, Walgreens, Target and Disney.  Even McDonald’s will be using Apple Pay in its drive through lanes.  At checkout you just scan your iPhone 6 or Apple Watch and the transaction is complete.

An iPhone 6 or 6 Plus are required as it uses Touch ID for secure payment processing for this entirely new payment system.

Online retailers such as Groupon, Panera, Uber, and OpenTable are also rapidly adopting Apple Pay for quick tap purchases.  You no longer need to create customer accounts for each retailer or have retailers store your credit card number for future purchases.

 

Apple Watch imageApple Watch 

This device is stunning and has just redefined the wearable technology market.  There is not a device that compares in style, form, and functionality.  If I were fitbit, or just about any other wearable device, I think I would be nervous about my long term prospects of survival.  The Apple “watch” has built in sensors on the back the monitor your heart rate and other health functions.   There are many apps designed specifically for the watch including doodling, Apple TV control, viewers for camera, walkie talkie, maps, etc.   Its new “tactic” engine notifies you of messages and activity levels through a vibration.  If following directions, it will “tap” to notify you if you are headed in the wrong direction.

The watch comes with the ability to monitor daily fitness activity such as walking, elevations change, distance and total body movement.  A separate exercise app manages workouts for the light, medium or advanced athletic goals.  These goal setting options measure how far and how fast and can show you a history of goals.

Other features include custom app designs include notifications and the ability to respond to text messages, twitter and Facebook.  You can also send very personal communication to friends and family like a voice message, a drawing of a flower or your actual heart rate.  It redefines what people expect from a watch.  The watch is rechargeable and uses inductive charging, with a perfect fitting magnet on the back.

There are three lines of style and wide array of matching bands for the Apple watches:  Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition that has an 18-Karat gold case.  The Apple Watch requires the use of iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C or iPhone 5.  As a result, over 200 million users can use Apple Watch when it hits the market in early 2015.   Apple Watch prices start at $349.

 

Free Music for iTunes Customers!

Apple Changed the way people listen to music a decade ago.  Apple has done it again with their collaboration with the award winning band U2.  U2’s just released album, Songs of Influence, is available exclusively on iTunes  and as a free as a gift!  It will go on sale with other retailers in mid October.  Check it out, quick!

iOS 8

iOS 8 iCloud Drive imagesWhile there are hundreds of new features in iOS 8, it looks and feels very familiar.  Many of the features are intuitive and are integrated into existing apps or features such as mail, texting, notifications and calendar.  There are also a host of completely new apps and features that are designed to save time, enhance multitasking or create a central hubs of information.

iCloud Drive

This is a much needed feature and provides you visual access to you data and content stored on iCloud without having to go to a web browser to log in.  The new iCloud Drive looks more like the new Google Drive app (I introduced about a month ago) or Dropbox where you can store documents, spreadsheets, pictures.  You can access and edit file from any device seamlessly.

New Health App

iOS 8 Health App ImagesThis new app is a hub for all types of health and fitness information including diet, sleep, medication, exercise and more.  The Health app doesn’t collect the data itself but integrates with a wide range third party apps that each monitor a different aspect of your health.  The data from the various apps is reported back the the Health app providing you  a single location for your health data.  You can also connect 3rd party wearable devices like pedometers, Nike+ or Fitbit devices or Apple’s wearable devices.

Family Sharing.  Share purchased Apps, Music and books with the family.

Up to 6 family members can share purchased apps, music and books.  Define your family members and you can sync purchases, calendars and photo streams.  Kids can even send requests to their parents for app download approvals.

Quick Type

This is similar to Android’s predictive text.  It will show you words that you are likely to use for responding to incoming texts or when you are typing.  It predicts what words will go next and allows you to tap to select them.  Like Siri and autocorrect, Quick Type becomes smarter the more you use it.

iOS 8 Family Sharing Image3rd Party Keyboard Installation

You can install keyboards created by other software developers.  For example, Swype allows you to spell by swiping your fingers across letters rather than by lifting therefore, you can type faster.

Enhanced Spotlight Search

I use Spotlight Search all of the time.  To use spotlight, from the Home page, swipe down.  Here you can search for installed apps, the web, Contacts, Messages, Events or Search Web or Wikipedia.  With iOS 8 Spotlight is even smarter.  You can actually search for broader topics such as “an action movie on Saturday night” and it will show you nearby theaters, movie time and ratings.  This is something you would typically do in Safari or via a third party app but it is much faster to do this in Spotlight Search.

Siri Upgrades

You can request help from Siri without pressing and holding down the Home button.  To get her attention, just say “Hey, Siri!”.  Siri also displays the text that you are speaking and she has become fluent in 22 languages!

New Texting Features

With iOS 8 you can respond to a text or iMessage without going to the Messages app or leaving the application in which you are currently using.  In previous versions when you would swipe to go to reply to a text message, taking you back to the Messages app.  Now  you can swipe down on a text message banner and directly reply by texting or by voice note without leaving the app you are currently using.

iOS 8 Interactive notification imagesEnhanced Notification Center

In addition to being able to reply to texting notifications banners, you can instantly respond to Facebook and Twitter notifications as well without leaving the app you are currently using.  If you are in Mail, Calendar or playing your favorite game, you can immediately respond to the text, Facebook or Tweet notification banners without leaving the app.

Enhanced Photos App

The features of Photos app, iPhoto and other photo apps are all beginning to morph into a more powerful and full featured Photos app.  Directly with Photos app you can now adjust lighting, saturation with sliding scales that display what they will look like before you save the changes.  If you select “like” for a photo it will make that photo appear on all of your devices, including Apple Watch.

Receive and Place Voice Calls from you desktop, laptop, iPhone or iPad.  

iOS 8 Photos App ImagesWith iOS 8 you can make and receive calls on your Mac or iPad as long as the device is on the same Wi-Fi network and you have T-Mobile as the carrier.  If you phone is in another room and you have your iPad or Mac nearby, you can answer your call on that iOS 8 device.  The incoming call shows the name, number and picture (if avail) of the caller.  You can choose to answer the call, ignore, or respond with a quick message. To make a call from your iPad or Mac just tap or click a phone number in Contacts, Calendar, or Safari.  It works with your existing iPhone number, so there’s nothing to set up.

Apple HomeKit

Home automation for iOS 8 allows you to easily manage home automation accessories such as locks, lights, cameras, doors, thermostats, plugs, switches, and more from one app.  Manufactures are building their home automation devices to include support for the new iOS 8 functionality so you can remotely control your home using your iPad or iPhone while you are away.  With Siri, you can even control your home with voice commands.

 

Apple is getting unbelievable reviews on these product announcements.  They are once again defining industries and changing the way the world uses computers, phones, watches and how we pay for products.

As the products hit the market stay tuned here for tips, tricks and training on the iPhone products!  Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss anything!

 


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2 Comments

  1. Great job. I love your work.

    • Thank you, Gene! This is fun stuff!