Apple launch preview: iPhone 6, iOS 8, iWatch

Apple launch preview: iPhone 6, iOS 8, iWatch

Well, today’s the today - finally! Tonight, at 6pm, Apple will hold a major launch event at the Flint Center in Cupertino, and while the Californians have said absolutely nothing specific (other than “Wish we could say more”; yeah right), it’s largely accepted that we’ll meet the next iPhone.

Here, I’m pulling together everything we’ve garnered about the iPhone 6 to date. And what’s all this about an “iWatch”?

Apple launch preview: iPhone 6, iOS 8, iWatchApple iPhone 6: display size

Obviously there’s far more to it, but as far as Joe and Joan Average are concerned, the iPhone 6 is essentially a larger version of the iPhone; that’s the six-word upshot.

More specifically, the iPhone 6 will come – we’re told – with a choice of a 4.7in or 5.5in display. That’s quite a stretch; the largest iPhones to date (5/5c/5s) have measured 4in diagonally.

It’s presumed that the smaller model will be called the iPhone 6. The big fella, meanwhile, might go by “iPhone 6L” or perhaps “iPhone Air”, the latter bringing the phone in line with Apple’s iPad and MacBook offerings.

Apple iPhone 6: sapphire crystal display

We’ve covered the iPhone 6 display size, but what about the material? The obvious choice a year ago would’ve been Corning’s Gorilla Glass, but over the past few months we’ve been warned to brace for sapphire crystal, as found on the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID fingerprint scanner and rear camera lens.

The theory is that a sapphire crystal display would offer more durability, though it’s not clear just how durable it’d be. Huawei reckons sapphire crystal is the "most ‘scratch-resistant’ material", though naysayers reckon it’s nothing more than a marketing gimmick – and an expensive one at that.

Some have suggested the sapphire crystal display might be exclusive to the iPhone 6L/Air, and even then it could be unique to the highest storage variant, while others suggest it’s simply not happening at all.

Apple launch preview: iPhone 6, iOS 8, iWatchApple iPhone 6: specs

When it comes to the iPhone, Apple has never really been one to play the spec game, so it comes as little surprise to learn that the Californians might stick with a dual-core processor and 8MP rear camera. Of course, both would be enhanced over the iPhone 5s equivalents.

As for iPhone 6 storage, Apple is tipped to stretch to 128GB for the first time in the phone’s history, though again that might be restricted to the larger model. There’s mention here and there, too, that the 16GB option might disappear altogether, though that'd immediately raise the asking price.

And finally, iPhone 6 resolution is most credibly touted at 828 x 1472, which – applied to display sizes of 4.7in and 5.5in as detailed above – would yield PPI ratings (pixels per inch) of just over 300 – generally accepted as the threshold for “Retina”.

Apple iPhone 6: NFC

It’s rumoured every year, and I guess this year it’s more credible than ever. I speak of NFC (Near Field Communication), which immediately brings to mind iPhone-based contactless payments.

NFC adoption in the west has been incredibly slow despite numerous offerings from Apple’s rivals, but the Californians could give the technology a serious boost if – or when – it touches down.

One recent rumour suggested Apple had teamed with Visa, MasterCard and American Express for a service called, er, something along the lines of iWallet, iPhone Wallet or Apple Wallet.

Name aside, Apple already has your payment details on file thanks to iTunes, while the Touch ID fingerprint scanner would come in handy for user authentication.

Apple launch preview: iPhone 6, iOS 8, iWatchApple iPhone 6: design and colours

The iPhone 6 is bigger, yes, and also thinner, but the other notable design factor is the curved edges, a million miles away from the unapologetically flat iPhone 5s. Indeed, the iPhone 6 arguably recalls the first-generation iPhone more than anything else.

Leaked SIM trays suggest Apple will play it safe with iPhone 6 colours, specifically the same gold, grey and silver options as last year's iPhone 5s.

Apple iPhone 6: price

This time last year, the industry was obsessed with the notion of a cheaper iPhone (the iPhone 5c was only marginally cheaper than the iPhone 5s in the end); this year we’re expecting the opposite: iPhone 6 price could punch a hole straight through your wallet thanks to the size and possible presence of a sapphire crystal display. One thing’s for sure: the iPhone 6 won’t be cheap.

Apple iPhone 6: iOS 8

iOS 8 was already detailed back at WWDC (the annual Worldwide Developers Conference) back in June. Top iOS 8 features include interactive notifications, favourite contacts, and the QuickType keyboard.

The other major iOS 8 feature is of course HealthKit, which brings me to…

Apple launch preview: iPhone 6, iOS 8, iWatchApple iPhone 6: best friends with the iWatch?

Despite remaining entirely unofficial, the Apple iWatch is easily the most talked-about wearable to date, and will inevitably give the smartwatch market a massive boost when it finally becomes a reality.

Many believe the Apple iWatch launch will go down tonight as a “one more thing”, though the on-sale date might be as far away as 2015.

Release date aside, the Apple iWatch is tipped to come chock full of sensors and health-related features (Nike is rumoured to be on board, incidentally), all of which ties in seamlessly with your HealthKit-rockin’ iPhone 6.

We'll be watching the iPhone 6/iWatch launch later tonight with a keen eye so you don't have to. Abundant words to follow shortly after dinner.

Read more about: iOS

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 1 comment

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 9, 2014 at 11:30

I just realise ... they still haven't fixed all the Finder, iTunes and iPhoto bugs on two Macbooks I use now and again. Both went screwy under Mavericks. So: will they go and launch NEW hardware and iOS 8 before they take care of their Mac OS?

Anyhoo: the beauty of living in Ireland: whatever they launch today, it won't be available until after the Galapagos islands and ISIS received it... So, no need for us here to get too excited.

Also: I found the iPhone 5S combined with fr*ggin' iOS 7.1.1 rather underwhelming. Or: cr*p. Well, 'cr*p' may be too strong. But I felt it was like a public beta product. Let people pay for our R&D so one day we can launch a device with TouchID and 64bit processing that actually works well.
Or: unusable. So: none of my money for Apple until I see what's going on over the next 6 months.
Weirdly, I reckon the 5c is the best they delivered in 2 years, but they messed up pricing and marketing (hyping)...

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