(NEWS CENTER) - There is quite a bit that came out of the Apple event today. Apple announced more than just the iPhone 5, but starting there, what can users expect from the new device?
For starters it's a bigger phone. Something Apple has been criticized for. It has a 19:6, 4-inch retina screen. It's also taller, thinner, and lighter -- but not wider. They've also incorporated LTE, which many people might recognize as 4G LTE. It's basically an upgrade to your cell service --meaning it's faster for the data you use when not on WiFi. Many cell phones offer 4G LTE service and the 4S was 4G ready, but this one is designed specifically for it. Apple claims that in some situations, LTE can be faster than home wifi... I think that is a big stretch, but that's what Apple is saying.
What have they done to make it thinner?
They've combined certain pieces of technology. Where two chips were needed for some things, only one is there now -- this helps the phone move faster. They have upgraded the speed of phone. What they've also done is change the way we connect the phone to your computer. Anyone who has an iPod of ANY kind is familiar with these kinds of cables, well they've gotten rid of them and created what they call "lightning" cables. This came from their making the phone thinner, the connector needed to be thinner. This went from a 32-pin connection to an 8 pin connection.
What should people do with their old connectors?
Apple has made an adaptor if you still need these connectors.
Have they upgraded the camera?
They have it's a bigger camera and they've added three microphones to the device. I've always complained that the microphone was never next to the camera and now it is.
There is also an upgrade to the system the phone runs on?
Apple calls this their "iOS" it's the operating system for the phone. Currently most iPhones are running on iOS 5, and today they showed off iOS 6, which Apple says will have 200 new features. It now has a Facebook interagration, like the previous version had with Twitter. Google however has gotten the boot. Gone are the Google-owned maps and YouTube. The new "Map app" is a major redesign and is a lot like a modern GPS service, created by Apple. At the moment there are no walking directions or what some in bigger cities have used, subway directions, but the rumor is that will be coming soon. They offer an option called "flyover' and turn by turn directions too. So it will now talk to you again like a GPS, and the flyover part is very cool you can really see where things are if you're tragically lost.
What if you want those Google products?
You can still download them in the App Store, but they will no longer be there by default. The new YouTube app came out yesterday and it has been given a long overdue redesign.
Can you get the operating system without having to buy an iPhone 5?
Yes, if you have a iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, or iPad you can upgrade the the new iOS6 for free. That release is due out next Wednesday Sept 19th. The iPhone 5 can be pre-ordered this Friday.
What else came out of today's event?
Apple announced a redesign of iTunes, the iPod Touch, and the iPod Nano -- which will have a more iPhone look and feel. More of a touch screen use. The iPod touch, which is the iPhone without the phone, is thinner like the new iPhone and has a wrist strap that comes with it, kind of like the Nintendo Wii remotes.
One big thing they were rather excited about was redesigning the earbuds. They call them "ear pods" now. The idea is that they shape better to your ear. Apple says they are more "geometric" to the ear and are more comfortable.
They can be bought now, but do ship for free with the new devices, but they are $29.00 to buy.
What about some of their other services like Siri and iCloud?
Siri has been given an upgrade. Apple has been criticized for Siri not performing the way it was promised. They haven't really admitted defeat, but they say they have improved how she functions. Then there is iCloud, which has been out since iOS 5. Now you can use iCloud tabs. So if your browsing something on your phone can now be moved over to your computer or iPad.
Let's talk pricing what does it look like?
The iPhone 4 will now be free with a cell phone contract
The 4S will be $99
The iPhone 5 will start at $199 for a 16 gig and then go up from there.
You can pre-order the 5 on Friday or buy it in person next friday.