Long rumored and eagerly awaited, the Apple Watch is now a reality. It’s certainly not the first smartwatch on the block, but could it be the best? The features look impressive, but we’ll still need to get one on our wrist and write a full review. In the meantime, there’s always the specs to look at. How does the Apple Watch fare against some of the other wearables on the market? Just take a look below to see where it stands against notable smartwatches like the Pebble Steel, Moto 360 and the Samsung Gear Live.
|Apple Watch||Pebble Steel||Moto 360||Samsung Gear Live|
|Display||Retina display with sapphire screen||1.26 inch Memory LCD e-paper, 144×168 pixels||1.5 inch LCD, 320×290 pixels||1.63-inch sAMOLED, 320×320 pixels|
|Processor/RAM||Apple S1||STM32F205RE Cortex M3; 128KB RAM||TI OMAP 3; 512MB||1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400; 512MB RAM|
|Water resistance||NA||5 ATM||Yes, IP67-certified||Yes, IP67-certified|
|Dimensions||38mm and 42mm options available||46 x 34 x 10.5mm, 56g||46 x 46 x 11.5mm, 60g||37.9 x 56.4 x 8.9mm, 59g|
|Storage||NA||NA||4GB internal storage||4GB internal storage|
|Operating System||iOS||Pebble OS||Android Wear||Android Wear|
|Standout features||Siri, accelerometer, heart rate monitor, Apple Pay||Accelerometer||Google Now, pedometer, heart rate monitor||Google Now, pedometer, heart rate monitor|
In order to properly appreciate the brand-spanking-new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, you first have to examine its lineage. 2007’s OG iPhone introduced iOS to the masses, and 2013 saw the release of two separate models for the first time. Today, the long-rumored successors to those 5s and 5c handsets was unveiled, and with them comes new aesthetic tools that continue Apple’s lineage of design prowess. Let’s take a gander back at the full line, and examine the finer points that made each one unique.
One iPhone model. Two sizes. Aside from a suite of feature and software improvements, the iPhone 6 is also getting upgraded in screen size — the smaller version at 4.7-inches, with the Plus option at 5.5-inches. The more petite iteration is what I’ll focus on here, though you’ll be able to take a look at the larger size here. Aside from the difference in diagonal screen size, there’s very little to tell these two versions apart until you start looking deeper; the Plus comes with a bigger battery, better display, one-handed mode and an extra stabilization feature on the camera, but everything else is essentially identical. Take a look at the photos and video below, and I’ll be adding my thoughts as I go.
Naturally, there’s going to be some hesitation by those who’ve been used to the 3.5-inch or 4.0-inch size of all previous generations of the iPhone, but the 4.7-inch model is still reasonable enough that most users should easily get used to the new size. At 6.9mm, it’s thinner than the 5s (7.6mm), and its curved sides bring a sleek look that should still be plenty comfortable for most traditional iPhone fans.
Following today’s media event, Apple has seeded the golden master (GM) version of iOS 8 to developers. The golden master represents the final version of iOS 8 that will be released to the public on September 17, two days ahead of the launch of the iPhone 6.
The update is available through Apple’s over-the-air updating mechanism on iOS devices and it can also be downloaded via the iOS Developer Center. Apple has also seeded a golden master version of the new Apple TV software and Xcode 6.
Prior to the launch of the golden master, Apple seeded five iOS 8 betas to developers, with the fifth beta released on August 4.
iOS 8 introduces a range of new features, including improved integration with OS X through Continuity, a Health app, Family Sharing features, interactive notifications, a new QuickType Keyboard and improvements to several apps like Safari, Mail, and Messages, with all of the features being refined over the course of the beta testing period.
Apple today announced its long-rumored wearable device, the Apple Watch, which actually uses the Apple Symbol () followed by “Watch” in its name. Apple’s Watch is designed to be both fashionable and functional, available in an array of different color and materials with six different types of watch straps that are easily interchangeable. Prices for the device, which will be available in early 2015, start at $349.
There are six different Watch face colors and materials: Stainless Steel, Silver Aluminum, 18-Karat Yellow Gold, Space Black Stainless Steel, Space Gray Aluminum, and 18-Karat Rose Gold.
There’s the Apple Watch collection, which has stainless steel or space black stainless steel cases combined with a range of metal and leather bands, the Watch Sport collection, which includes anodized aluminum cases in silver or space gray with colorful, durable bands, and the Apple Watch Edition, which includes 18-karat gold cases in yellow or rose with “exquisitely crafted” bands and closures.
All of Apple’s Watches can be customized with an array of different digital watch faces to suit different tastes. Each of the watches is available in two separate screen sizes for different sized wrists: 38mm and 42mm, and the watches have a flexible, durable sapphire display.
Apple’s Watch uses unique input methods, taking advantage of the traditional watch dial or crown, which Apple refers to as a “digital crown” on the device. This scroll-type wheel allows users to zoom and scroll through various user interface elements.
The device also takes advantage of new pressure-sensing technology and is able to determine the difference between a tap and a press, allowing for a new range of contextually specific controls. A second physical button next to the digital crown lets users tap to bring up a list of contacts and then communicate with friends by sending quick drawings, messages, and animated emoji. It’s also possible to send a heart beat, drawn from the watch’s sensors.
Inside the device, there’s a new Taptic Engine that allows users to hear and feel the design of the user interface. A new custom designed chip, the S1 processor, integrates many subsystems into one singular module. The back of the watch is constructed from zirconia with four sapphire lenses that can detect pulse rate. There is also a gyroscope and accelerometer, which helps the Apple Watch provide a comprehensive picture of daily activity.
The back of the device is also the home of Apple’s charging solution, which uses a MagSafe with inductive charging. The user will not have to worry about exposed contacts or aligning the charger properly. Apple has declined to comment on battery life at this point.
Apple’s Watch will support third-party apps, with support for both extended notifications from the iPhone and apps that run directly on the device. The Watch does rely heavily on the iPhone and does not function as a standalone device as it is designed to work with Apple’s new Continuity features, letting users shift tasks from one device to another with ease.
The Watch does include support for NFC, and it will function with Apple’s new payment initiative, Apple Pay, which lets users make secure payments from the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 plus, and Apple Watch.
Apple’s iWatch will be available starting at $349, with users able to purchase the device in early 2015.
Following today’s announcements of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch, Apple has removed the iPod classic from its online store. The last iPod classic was introduced in September 2009, and while a number of rumors have pointed to a discontinuation of the product, Apple still chose to sell it in silver and black color options at $249 for a number of years.
Earlier this year, CEO Tim Cook was quoted as saying that the iPod was a “declining business.” In May, Apple removed the sidebar link to the iPod classic in several of its online refurbished stores, leaving only the iPod nano and iPod touch.
The iPod was Apple’s “halo” product for years, introducing many consumers to Apple’s line of products. Since their peak in 2008 however, iPod sales have declined sharply as the iPhone and iPad have captured more of the market.
Intel, a leader in chip-making and powering technology, and Fossil, a leader in fashion accessories, are partnering up for future smartwatches and wearable technology. While they plan to build all kinds of wearable technology, Android Wear devices are a certainty since they both are listed as partners on Android Wear’s official website. This partnership is… Read more »
Ah yes: another year, another new iPhone with another new chip at its heart. This year, there are two iPhones — a 4.7-incher and a 5.5-inch model — and they’re both powered by what Apple’s calling a “next-generation” A8 chip. But what can it do for you? Apple’s saying it brings a 25 percent speed boost over the iPhone 5S’ A7 chip, with a 13 percent size decrease (assuredly helping to keep the duo of iPhone 6 phones so svelte). As much as we like performance, we also like our phones to last longer than five hours — what does the A8 offer in energy conservation? A 50 percent increase over last year, apparently.
What that actually means in terms of real-life performance is another question — we’ll have to find out when we get our hands on review units in the coming weeks. For now, Apple’s offered the following stats: 14 hours of 3G talk time for the 6, and 24 for the Plus; 10 days standby for the 6, 16 for the Plus. 11 hours of video for the 6, 14 for the Plus. That’s straight from our liveblog as Apple announces new products today in Cupertino, California.
Apple’s also boasting of the A8’s graphics prowess, enabling better looking gaming in particular. Epic Games, EA, and a variety of others are apparently (still) on board to create games for Apple’s devices.
In addition to the A8 inside the new iPhones, an M8 coprocessor handles the usual gamut of sensory readings, and adds a new one: a barometer for elevation. We expect to hear much more about the M8 as Apple speaks to HealthKit and — maybe — it’s new smartwatch/health wearable.
New iPhones mean new software to go with it. So, with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus going on sale soon, that means iOS 8 is on the way as well. Apple just confirmed the next-gen operating system will arrive next week, on September 17th, as a free download. In particular, you’ll be able to download it for every iPhone from the 4s on, every iPad starting with the iPad 2, and the fifth-generation iPod touch.
Included in the update is Apple Pay, a new feature that allows iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users to make payments via NFC. Otherwise, not much has changed since we last saw iOS 8, back at WWDC in June. Key features still include interactive notifications, an improved mail app, Spotlight search, support for third-party keyboards, Apple’s new HealthKit application, audio messages and improved integration with other Apple devices, like Macs. We’ll have a review up at some point but of course, you can also just download it for yourself.
We’re at Apple’s big iPhone 6 shindig, and as you might expect, Apple’s new 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch handsets have rendered its previous handsets a little more… moot. But hey, that means it’s discount time! Apple has lowered the starting price of the 8GB iPhone 5s flagship to $99 on contract, while the 5c runs a cool “zero.” Both devices will also ship with iOS 8 starting September 17th.