The iPhone 5 has finally been announced. We have been waiting for months for the device, and Apple confirmed it on Wednesday at their event at Yerba Buena Convention Center in San Francisco. If you have missed the whole event, here is a quick recap of what is new, and why the iPhone 5 may make your pockets a bit empty at the end of the day.
Official Name: iPhone 5
Build and Interface
Of course, this is the largest design refresh since the iPhone 4, released a few years back. In terms of the color, it is still available in black and white. However, the color seems to have a matte finish, especially noticeable with the black iPhone 5. This is due to the aluminum finish, which is a great break from an all-glass iPhone. The screen still is all glass with the Retina display.
The iPhone 5 is the thinnest iPhone released yet. To be more exact, the iPhone 5 is 18% thinner than the iPhone 4S and 20% lighter than the 4S. This equals out to about 7.6 mm. The thinnest is the result of the touch sensors appearing directly on the screen, instead of something separate. The newer A6 chip makes it 2x faster than the A5 chip found in the iPhone 4S.
The charging port also makes a change. As we know, it’s smaller than the 4S (as much as 80% smaller than the 4S). The charging port, now called the “Lightning”, means that you’ll probably want to look into an adapter. Let’s just say that will set you back $29, a bit expensive for just an adapter. However, unless you need an adapter right away, we advise waiting and finding a cheaper alternative either online or through an outside source.
Finally, we have the issue of the larger screen. As we saw with the Retina display debut back with the iPhone 4, developers were scrambling to adjust their apps, thinking it would make their obsolete apps “blurry”. That turned out not to be the case. The same with the larger screen. Apple has mentioned that apps will adjust by adding a black border, however developers will have the opportunity to make an update to make their screens adjust fully.
LTE is now on the iPhone 5. The service will be on AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. Of course, since LTE is a service available everywhere, your service will automatically switch to the fastest service available if LTE isn’t. Also, with more support of different networks, your trip outside of your home country becomes a bit easier than ever.
Audio and Camera Improvements
There were a couple of improvements with the audio and camera quality of the iPhone 5. First off, the new iPhone 5 comes with three microphones, one for the front, another for the back and bottom. This ensures that during both calls and video recording, your other caller or video viewer will get the best in audio quality.
In terms of camera quality, the iPhone 5 still has the same enhancements we are familiar with from iOS 5. Internally, the camera has an improved lens, allowing it to handle low-light situations a bit better. In terms of video quality, the iPhone 5’s quality is 1080p HD. The front facing camera is 720p and there is even panorama mode included. The megapixel count is still the same 8 megapixels, but that has served us well so far, so no need to fix anything that isn’t broken!
The iPhone 5 will be available for pre-orders on September 14th, shipping on the 21st of September, starting at $199.
iPod Gets a New Look
iPod Nano: More User Friendly
The iPod Nano is unrecognizable compared to the Nano of old. The new and improved Nano now sports a large 2.5 inch display, comes with a home button and is touch enabled. If you ask me, the device looks a bit like the Lumia 900 cell phone, especially with the colored border around the Nano’s screen.
The top has a power button and the left side has a volume rocker. The bottom is where you’ll find the headphone jack and Lightning charger – yes, it even made its way to the iPod. The screen is large enough to show six apps on the home screen (Music, Videos, Photos, Podcasts, Fitness by Nike+, and Radio).
The Nano has a 16GB capacity and will cost you $149.
iPod Touch: Thinner, Faster, and Colorful
The iPod Touch is now, yes you guessed it, thinner than the last one. The new and improved iPod Touch is now 6.1 mm thin to be exact. One big improvement with the iPod Touch also includes the changes in color. In addition to black and white, the iPhone is also available in blue, red and yellow.
With all colors, the backing is aluminum. The screen is a 4-inch Retina display. All of these changes, including the introduction of Siri for iPod Touch, the same 5-megapixel camera as the iPhone 4S, and the same A5 chip – many are voicing the increasing similarities we are seeing with the iPhone and the iPod Touch.
The iPod Touch is expected to be released in late October. The new iPod Touch will be available only in 32GB and 64GB, starting at $299.
Earpods: Better Fitted Headphones
The improvements have even extended to the headphones. After “years” of research in seeing the average ear sizes of users, Apple has engineered their design to better fit our ears. The new headphones, known as Earpods, are much rounder than the other headphones. The volume rocker, also rounded, is larger and better to handle. Plus, due to the fitted headphones preventing slippage, we also hope the quality improves as well in terms of their lifespan. They are infamous for dying quickly. You can purchase your own Earpods today from the Apple Store and the Apple Online Store for $29.00.
Before moving on to a bit more on iTunes, let’s go over the Shuffle update. The iPod Shuffle now has a feature known as VoiceOver. Meant to make the experience without a screen easier, VoiceOver gives you info on the song you’re listening to, info on playlists, and even your battery’s status – in the same voice as Siri. Shuffle costs $49 for 2GB.
Refreshed iTunes Experience
Finally, we will talk about the improved iTunes experience shown off at Wednesday’s event. In October, iTunes will release a newly improved interface design, making the experience simpler and easier to navigate. You have a better way of seeing other songs available for purchase in an album you have, right in the album art, making it easier to purchase the song.
When you minimize iTunes when a song is playing, you can see what’s playing next and even choose a different song through search. iCloud is also more available around iTunes, improved iTunes recommendations, and even a way to go back to and purchase songs you clicked to preview in the iTunes store. Artists pages are now more interactive, with the ability to view photos they’ve uploaded and even to see upcoming concert and tour dates.
Lastly, if you are watching a movie on your Mac, you can finish it on your iOS device through iCloud.
We’ve covered a lot! Let us know in the comments what you liked from the conference today and anything you want us to go more in-depth on.