A Slice of Apple – What’s New

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or on a detox from everything online, you may have heard recently about the Apple news that was released on September 9th.  Although there was a lot of hype (and video and flag-waving), the essence of the Apple announcements boiled down to 4 things:

  1. Apple is releasing 2 new phones (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus).
  2. Apple is releasing a new operating system (iOS 8).
  3. Apple is introducing its own payment system called Apple Pay.
  4. Apple will be introducing its first “wearable,” the Apple Watch, some time next year.

Apple iPhones 6 and 6 Plus

iphone_6_and_iphone_6_plusYou can look all over the Internet and find people speculating about which iPhone release is the best.  Some sites even have templates you can download to see how the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus differ, and which might fit best for you size-wise.

The quick facts?

The iPhone 6 will have a 4.7 inch screen, and the 16 GB will start at $199.  Available in stores September 19th…and probably about a month from now if you “pre-order” online via Apple.com or your preferred carrier.

The iPhone 6 Plus will have a 5.5 inch screen, and the 16 GB will start at $299.

Prices go up from there, depending on the size – 16GB, 64GB or 128GB.  Nobody is offering an unlocked version currently, except T-Mobile, who (it’s been told) actually requires you to unlock via T-Mobile after purchase.

A few reviews you might like to read while you’re making your decision are ones from the New York Times, CNet.com, and re/code.

Apple iOS 8

ios8_appleConfirmed for widespread release on September 17th, yes, your Apple operating system is going to change yet again. But don’t worry, since early adopters and developers are claiming it’s the best Apple operating system ever.  Why?

First, a lot of the complaints you had about the initial Apple “core” apps have been fixed, with lots of new features to learn that will (ostensibly) make your user experience better.

Second, you may notice a big difference when trying to type on the keyboard – you finally get all the cool stuff that Android users have been bragging about for years. My favorite, Swype, is being allowed to integrate with iOS 8, as is SwiftKey. You don’t know typing until you’ve tried typing with these adaptive keyboards!

Third, there’s this cool thing called Continuity that’s included with iOS 8.  (iOS 8 is echoed in  your Mac updates with something called OSX Yosemite – update when prompted!)  Continuity means you can start typing something on an app on your iPhone…and continue that task when you’re on your Mac or iPad.  There used to be 3rd party apps like DeskConnect that had similar features, but now everything will be built into the Apple system.

Apple Pay

Apple_PayThe new Apple phones (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6) will include hardware that no iPhone before it had – an NFC chip.  (NFC stands for Near Field Communication.)

Among other uses, the NFC chip will enable something called Apple Pay.  Apple Pay is basically a way of paying without needing a physical credit card, check or even cash.  Apple Pay taps into your actual credit card (you input it via camera), but during online or in-store payment, transmits one-time-only-created credit card information – so if someone hacks into the store’s system later on,  they don’t receive your actual information.

Apple Pay is supposed to activate in October 2014 some time.

The Apple Watch


(Source: http://www.wired.com/2014/09/apple-watch-accessories/)

2014 is the year of three things: big data, smart homes and wearables.  The term “wearables” refers to those pieces of technology that track, record and/or give us some kind of information.  If you currently use a Fitbit or an Up or any other kind of form of fitness tracker?  You have a wearable.

Apple can’t be left behind, so their last announcement on September 9th was the Apple Watch.

Meant to be a sleek wearable, the Apple Watch has the Internet abuzz, partially because it doesn’t get officially released until “early next year.”  From the announcement, we know that you can use the watch for a number of things – from fitness to astronomy, email to phone calls, you’ll basically be wearing Dick Tracy technology on your wrist.  Not only is the watch face pressure-sensitive…pressing the crown is also a way to activate and access different features.  Useful for real estate agents?  Unknown until we get our hands on one!

So…are you investing in any of this upcoming Apple technology?  If so, what are you most excited about?

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