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Introducing the Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and the Apple Watch

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Apple iPhone 6 and Apple Watch

Apple wasted no time at its September 9th event, by introducing two iPhone models, as well as finally unveiling the long-awaited Apple smartwatch. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus provide two different screen sizes, iOS 8, and improved hardware components. The Apple Watch finally comes to fruition after years of "iWatch" rumors. Read on for more details.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

The main difference between the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus is the screen size. The iPhone 6 has a 4.7" Retina HD display with 1334 x 750 native resolution, which comes out to 326 pixels per inch (ppi). The iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5" Retina HD display with 1920 x 1080 native resolution, producing 401 ppi. While the higher resolutions will ensure sharper text, you also have an option called Display Zoom, which lets you see more of your apps if needed. In addition to the Retina HD displays, the iPhone 6 features a full sRGB standard, higher contrast, improved brightness, and better white balance. The Retina HD displays have dual-domain pixels to enable color accuracy from corner to corner to accommodate wider viewing angles. Also, the iPhone 6 has an improved polarizer so you can get a better view while wearing sunglasses. With added features like Reachability, you can interact with the larger screen in different ways, too. Simply double touch the Home button and the entire screen shifts down closer to your thumb.

Apple also thought about how you use your iPhone every day and redesigned the buttons to make it even easier to use. Elongated volume buttons are integrated into the thinner profile, outlined to make them effortless to find by touch. And the Sleep/Wake button has a new home on the side of the device to put it comfortably within reach. The result is an experience that’s even more intuitive.

Made of anodized aluminum, glass, and stainless steel, the iPhone 6 measures 6.9mm thin while its big brother, the iPhone 6 Plus, is just 0.2mm thicker at 7.1mm. The cover glass curves down around the sides to meet the anodized aluminum enclosure in a remarkable, simplified design. There are no distinct edges or gaps, just a smooth, seamless bond of metal and glass that feels like one continuous surface.

Both the iPhone 6 models feature hardware improvements. With the 2nd-generation 64-bit A8 chip and the M8 coprocessor, the iPhone 6 is faster and more power efficient than its predecessors. When you’re in motion, the M8 motion coprocessor continuously measures data from the accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, and a barometer. This offloads work from the A8 chip for improved power efficiency. And now those sensors do even more, measuring your steps, distance, and elevation changes. To get better graphics performance out of the A8 chip and iOS 8, Apple created Metal, a technology that lets developers create highly immersive console-style games on iPhone 6. Metal is optimized to allow the CPU and GPU to work together to deliver detailed graphics and complex visual effects.

While some people might be disappointed to see that Apple decided to stick with an 8-megapixel rear iSight camera, its large 1.5-micron pixels and ƒ/2.2 aperture does offer improvements. There's a new sensor called Focus Pixels, which is an Apple-designed image signal processor. Focus Pixels provides more information about your image, giving you faster autofocus that you can see in the preview. Improved face detection and exposure control also enable you to take better photos. Panorama mode now lets you take higher-resolution panoramic photos at up to 43MP. And dynamic auto exposure adjusts as you shoot to capture landscape shots in high clarity. The iSight camera can also record in 1080p HD video at 60 frames per second (fps). It also supports slow-mo at 240 fps, although you'll have to bump the resolution down to 720p.

With a larger aperture and improved sensor technology, the front-facing FaceTime HD camera now captures 81 percent more light. It also has improved face detection. And its new burst mode takes 10 photos per second, so you can take all the selfies you want.

With faster LTE—up to 150 Mbps—iPhone 6 users can experience faster download and upload speeds for browsing the Web, streaming music, making video calls, and more. iPhone 6 also supports Voice over LTE (VoLTE), which are wideband high-quality calls that make your conversations sound crisp and clear. And with simultaneous voice and LTE data, you can keep browsing while you’re talking. iPhone 6 also supports up to 20 LTE bands. In addition to LTE upgrades, the iPhone 6 also gets a bump up to 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Touch ID makes a return as the iPhone 6 home button. Aside from being used as a secure way to unlock your screen, it is heavily integrated into Apple Pay. Using the iPhone 6, Apple Pay supports one touch to pay with Touch ID. Now paying in stores happens in one natural motion without the need to open an app or even wake your display, thanks to the Near Field Communication (NFC) antenna in the iPhone 6. To pay, just hold your iPhone 6 near the contactless reader with your finger on Touch ID. You don’t even have to look at the screen to know your payment information was successfully sent. A subtle vibration and beep lets you know. On the iPhone 6, you can also use Apple Pay to pay with a single touch in apps. Checking out is as easy as selecting “Apple Pay” and placing your finger on the Touch ID sensor. You'll have to set up Apple Pay through Passbook, which can now store your credit and debit cards.

The iPhone 6 will come with iOS 8 preinstalled. iOS 8 provides improvements as well as new features, such as using Siri to control the devices in your home or using your health and fitness apps to communicate with your doctors. Find out more about all the new features and functions that make iOS 8 the world’s most advanced mobile operating system on Apple's official website.

The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus will be available in 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB storage capacities as well as in Gold, Silver, and Space Gray, on September 19th. iOS 8 will be made available earlier, on September 17th.

Apple Watch

After years of speculation, Apple has finally released its version of a smartwatch. While Apple opted not to go with the rumored "iWatch" moniker, they did decide to keep it simple. Most Apple Watch models are available in two case sizes, one with a 38mm height or one with a 42mm height.

Pinching to zoom, as you do on the iPhone 6, is impractical. But rotating the Digital Crown allows you to zoom and scroll nimbly and precisely, without obstructing your view. You can also push it like a button to return to the Home screen, making it an integral part of the Apple Watch experience. The Apple Watch also features a Retina display with high pixel density and high contrast for sharper images and text. In addition to recognizing touch, Apple Watch senses force, adding a new dimension to the user interface. Force Touch uses tiny electrodes around the flexible Retina display to distinguish between a light tap and a deep press, and trigger instant access to a range of contextually specific controls—such as an action menu in Messages, or a mode that allows you to select different watch faces.

Taptic Engine is a linear actuator inside Apple Watch that produces haptic feedback. Whenever you receive an alert or notification, or perform a function like turning the Digital Crown or pressing down on the display, you feel a tactile sensation that’s recognizably different for each kind of interaction. Combined with subtle audio cues from the specially engineered speaker driver, the Taptic Engine creates a discreet, sophisticated, and nuanced experience by engaging more of your senses. It also enables unique ways for you to communicate with other Apple Watch wearers.

The Digital Touch features also provide unique features, such as Sketch, where you can draw something quickly and send it to another Apple Watch user. Walkie-Talkie uses the built-in speaker and microphone to trade sound bites with friends. Tap sends a silent, gentle tap to loved ones. You can also assign customized taps for different people. When you press two fingers on the screen, the built-in heart rate sensor records and sends your heartbeat.

Working with iPhone 6 (iPhone 5 is also compatible), Apple Watch continually checks against the definitive global time standard with the same precision found in GPS satellites. If you move from one time zone to another, Apple Watch automatically adjusts. When Daylight Saving Time begins, Apple Watch simply changes to the new time. So you never have to set it yourself. You will be able to see and respond to messages, calls, and notifications. Press the button under the Digital Crown to access Friends, a place where you’ll see thumbnails of those you like to stay in touch with most. Tap one to send a message, make a call, or reach out to your inner circle. Messages, Phone, and Mail apps are supported on the Apple Watch.

Passbook on Apple Watch not only keeps your tickets, boarding passes, and loyalty cards together in one instantly accessible place, it also lets you use your credit and debit cards securely. It’s secure because your card numbers are never shared with merchants or transmitted with payment. Instead, Apple Watch creates a Device Account Number for each card. When you make a purchase, this number is used to process your payment, along with a transaction-specific dynamic security code. To pay with Apple Watch, just double-click the button under the Digital Crown and hold your wrist up to the contactless reader. You’ll hear and feel a confirmation from Apple Watch once your payment information is sent.

The Apple Watch unites the capabilities of an all-day fitness tracker and a highly advanced sports watch in one device you can wear all the time. It can track a wider variety of activities because it’s able to collect more types of data. It uses an accelerometer to measure your total body movement. It has a custom sensor that can measure intensity by tracking your heart rate. And it uses the GPS and Wi‑Fi in your iPhone 6 to track how far you’ve moved. The Activity app on Apple Watch provides a simple and powerful graphic of your daily activity, with three rings telling you everything you need to know. The Move ring shows how many calories you’ve burned. The Exercise ring shows how many minutes of brisk activity you’ve done. And the Stand ring shows how often you’ve stood up to take a break from sitting. The goal? Sit less, move more, and get some exercise by completing each ring every day. Also, Apple combines its MagSafe technology with inductive charging to allow for easy charging of the Apple Watch.

There will be three different Apple Watch models. The Apple Watch is available in stainless steel or Space-Black stainless steel cases with a sapphire crystal screen and a range of stylish bands. The Apple Watch Sport is in anodized-aluminum cases in Silver or Space Gray with a strengthened Ion-X glass screen and a range of colorful, durable bands. The Apple Watch Edition features 18-karat gold cases in Yellow or Rose with a sapphire crystal screen and a range of crafted bands and closures. All Apple Watch models are expected to be released in early 2015.

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