I’ve been watching the Verge live blog of the Apple event, and the new iPhones do look like nice devices. Big surprise. They are larger. As all the leaks indicated, the iPhone 6 comes in a 4.7″ (starting at $199 on contract) and a 5.5″ variety ($299 on contract). For those of you who still want a smaller phone, the 5S and 5C aren’t going away. Last year’s phones are now the budget versions at $99 and free, respectively.
So are the new phones revolutionary? I’d say not. They are nice, yes. I think many people will appreciate the larger size. I liked how they maintained the 16:9 aspect ratio so that apps will just resize to display on the larger phones. That’s a nice touch and makes it easier for app developers.
They have new chips (64 bit), and the graphics features look nice, but since I’m not a big gamer, those aren’t a selling point for me. The new phones do have improved features for health apps, like the ability to measure vertical distance traveled, using a barometer. That is cool!
If you are a camera buff, you’ll appreciate the updated camera features. It looks like selfies will be even easier to take.
Apple Pay looks like an interesting feature, and I’ll be following it to see how it works, but since it only works on the 6 and 6+, I suspect it’ll be a while before it completely changes how we pay for things.
They also announced the release date for iOS 8, which will be September 17. Be prepared for many delays as everyone tries to download at once.
But of course, what we really wanted to learn about was the Apple Watch (note them moving away from the “i” branding in the watch and payment systems).
It looks like a very cool device. It seems to use a combination of taps, presses and using the “crown” to scroll. It will read your heartbeat and use the GPS from your iPhone to track movement. It’s aware of other nearby watches and can send little pictures to other users. Yes, that’s adorable. Wireless charging is a nice feature as well. There are multiple watch straps. From what I’m seeing, it’s a watch that interacts with your phone rather than being a bulky thing on your wrist which also interacts with your phone, oh, and tells time. This is typical of Apple where they are known for taking an existing type of device (like a phone) and changing how we use it. The Apple Watch looks to be a similar evolution.
The Apple Watch comes in multiple sizes and designs, making them more like a watch and less like a wearable.
So, my impressions? The iPhone was a bit of a yawn, honestly. Apple Pay has the potential to be interesting, once it becomes more widespread. The Apple Watch looks like it has the potential to become the next generation of watch, assuming people are interested in wearing them. I gave up my watch several years ago, when I realized my phone could function as a time keeper and so much more. We’ll have to see if this device is compelling enough to make people switch back.
So what about you? Anything from the event stand out? Do you want an Apple Watch? Are you excited about the new iPhones?