Everything you need to know about the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch
At its latest product launch, Apple also released new details about Apple Pay and iOS 8
After months of feverish speculation, Apple has debuted not only the iPhone 6 (4.7 inches) and the iPhone 6 Plus (5.5 inches), but the much-rumored Apple Watch. While those were the most notable announcements from Apple's product launch today, the company also lifted the curtain on a bunch of other goodies.
Here's a closer look at everything Apple showed off — and how they're all connected.
Everyone knew that Apple had a wearable device coming, but details were scant. And we still don't know everything about the Apple Watch — including the length of its battery life and the specifics of its wireless technologies — since it won't be shipped out to consumers until early 2015.
Here's what we do know.
Apple Watch will come in two screen sizes, each with lots of different customization options. There will be at least six different straps for sale, curated into three different collections: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition.
The Watch's main feature is the digital crown. It's a manual knob on the side of the watch that will allow precise control over an interface that is much smaller than that of a smartphone. The digital crown is the home button; it can scroll through lists; and it can be used to zoom in and out.
The Watch also includes a flexible display coated in the incredibly tough sapphire material. This helps keep the device safe and allows it to detect between a tap and a forceful touch, which will accomplish different tasks.
As far as using the Watch to communicate, there are some unique features built in, including a so-called Digital Tap that will let people interact in subtle ways. Without words or even text, friends will be able to share lists and other information through simple taps. Users will also be able to customize emojis on the fly, re-working smiles and winks to convey a very specific emotion.
Starting at $349, the Watch won't be cheap. But it's also packing some of the most advanced features around.
Along with a bigger screen, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus boast several new features. One that could end up being a big deal is the near field communication (NFC) chip for wireless payments — more on that below.
Consumers will definitely notice the bigger screen first. The 4.7-inch iPhone has a resolution of 1334x750, while the 5.5-inch version has a 1920x1080 resolution. The boost in the number of pixels will keep images crisp on the larger devices.
The phones include the latest A8 CPU processor, which will deliver 20 percent faster overall performance and 50 percent better graphics performance than last year's iPhone 5S. The gaming demos that Apple showed off looked to rival that of Xbox Live games.
The new phones will come in the same colors as the iPhone 5S: space gray, white, and gold. The iPhone 6 starts at $199 for 16GB of storage; it goes to $299 for 64GB of storage, and $399 for 128GB. The iPhone 6 Plus mirrors that storage/price configuration, but starts at $100 more.
Pre-orders will start this Friday, Sept. 12, with both versions of the phone available for purchase on Sept. 19.
An important new feature for both the iPhone and the Apple Watch is the ability to pay for items using ApplePay. Apple has partnered with several different financial companies, including American Express, JPMorgan Chase, and Citibank, to enable mobile payments directly from those devices. Furthermore, ApplePay will also be available online.
ApplePay will initially be available in a variety of stores, including McDonald's, Disney, and Staples. Plus, it will also work online for purchases from Target, Major League Baseball, and more.
Apple's ultimate aim is to fully replace the wallet and physical credit cards. The promise is convenience and an increase in security. All payment information will remain private, and neither Apple nor the merchants will have access to any of your data or purchase history.
Credit card information can be stored in Passbook, but the cards supposedly won't be vulnerable to theft. If a phone is lost or stolen, however, users will be able to disable payments via Apple's Find My iPhone website.
Apple's demo showed a user putting the phone near a check-out scanner, and using the TouchID sensor to confirm payment. Apple Watch will have this functionality as well.
The new operating system, iOS 8, was largely revealed at Apple's developer conference earlier this summer. It closely resembles iOS 7 in appearance and functionality, but does introduce a few notable features, including a better relationship with Apple's desktop operating system OS X.
We also found out that iOS 8 will be released to all users on Sept. 17.
The Health app, one of the gems of iOS 8, will integrate neatly with Apple Watch. It will be able to detect your elevation, and whether you're cycling, running, or walking up stairs. Both versions of the iPhone 6 also include a barometer sensor to measure elevation.
Apple Watch will also include the new apps Fitness and Workout to help users stay healthy. They will remind people to stand up regularly, and keep track of strenuous workouts, for example. All of this will be collected and displayed by the Health app on iOS 8.