So unless you’ve been living under a rock the past 12 hours, you know that Apple hosted one of the events today in which they unveiled new tablets, smartphones, and more. So in case you missed anything, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about today’s announcements in this one post. To keep things clear, this post is spilt up into a few pages by category. If you want to skip ahead to a specific topic, hit one of the buttons below.
iPhone 6S & iPhone 6S Plus
One of the most anticipated releases from today’s event was the next generation of iPhone. We all expected a minor “S” release, and that’s exactly what we got. The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus bring minor improvements over their predecessors with a few small changes. One of the more notable changes on the exterior is the addition of a new color finish, Rose Gold (which is basically Pink). The phone is also built using a stronger aluminum alloy which Apple says they’ve created just for these devices. The glass up front has also been strengthened with the same Ion-X technology found on the Apple Watch Sport.
One of the most notable new features on these new iPhones is “3D Touch” which is essentially Force Touch from the Apple Watch. 3D Touch allows users to interact with their iPhone in a brand new way by allowing users to “peek” into certain options. For example if you have an email that is unread in your inbox, you can touch and apply a bit of pressure to view the message’s contents without losing your place in the mail app. On the home screen you can do the same action to reveal extra functionality on apps. For example you can apply pressure on the camera app to jump directly into taking a selfie (because yes we live in that kind of world now) or if you press on Instagram, you can jump directly into notifications. “Pop” is another use of 3D touch and it allows users to pull up photos or videos without having them take up the entire display or making you lose your place on the previous screen.
Powering the iPhone 6S & iPhone 6S Plus is the new Apple A9 chip which is a 64-bit processor. Apple hasn’t shared details on exactly what’s improved in this processor, but they claim that it is 70% faster at CPU tasks and 90% faster at GPU tasks when compared to the A8 chip found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
One change that many of us were glad to see was the updated iSight camera on the back of this device. Apple has finally upgraded the rear shooter from 8MP to 12MP. Apple addressed the reason why they have held off upgrading their cameras in the past few years, stating that they wanted to avoid adding digital noise to images just to add extra megapixels. With this new camera sensor Apple claims they’ve been able to avoid doing this. One of the huge benefits of this upgrade is that the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus are now the first iPhones to have the ability to shoot 4K video.
For all you selfie lovers the new iPhones also have the ability to brighten the display past normal parameters (3x normal 100% brightness) in order to act as a flash for selfies. This is a feature that could definitely prove useful for nighttime shots.
Other new features of the new iPhones include animated wallpapers (although this is likely part of everyone’s iOS 9 upgrade), “live photos” which takes 1.5 seconds of video before and after pictures, and an improved Touch ID sensor. Apple also claims that the iPhone 6S will be faster on LTE (23 bands now supported) and twice as fast on WiFi.
Pricing on the iPhone 6S starts at $199 on a two-year contract for the base 16GB model. You can upgrade to 64GB of storage or 128GB of storage for $100 per tier. The iPhone 6S Plus starts at $299 on a two-year contract for the base model with the same upgraded storage pricing model. Installment plan pricing is $27 per month for the iPhone 6S. A new pricing option is available for $32 a month which allows you to trade in your iPhone every year for the next model. Pre-orders for the iPhone 6S kick off September 12th with sales beginning September 25th.
On a side note to this, Apple has adjusted pricing on previous iPhone models. The iPhone 5S now occupies the free on contract spot with the iPhone 6 starting at $99 on contract. All of these models will be available only in silver and space grey.
Apple didn’t mention much in terms of new iOS 9 details today, but they did reveal that the OS will launch to the public on September 16th. If you device is running the latest version of iOS right now it will be compatible with iOS 9 upon release. Keep in mind however that features like split-screen multi-tasking and 3D touch are limited to certain devices only.