Hey, it's September! Which can only mean one thing: new iPhones.
Two new iPhones, to be exact!
First up, Apple is saying farewell to the iPhone 5. Goodbye, old friend.
And saying hello to the iPhone 5S
The main differences: It's faster, has a better, slow-motion-ready camera, a fingerprint scanner, and also comes in gold.
The fingerprint scanner is called Touch ID
So now the bottom of your phone will look like this
- It's built right into the home button. And it also allows you to unlock your phone, simply by touching the button. It's the first time Apple's changed up its central button design, and it's the biggest physical change from last year's iPhone 5.
- It can handle multiple fingerprints and you'll be able to authenticate iTunes purchases through the sensor.
It's much faster.
- According to Apple, it's the first 64-bit smartphone ever made. Apple cites a 40x CPU performance increase, with graphics about 56x faster. It also has a new motion co-processor chip, the M7, which uses an accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope to monitor your movement. Basically, now apps will know if you're walking, stationary, driving or doing anything else, for that matter.
- But we have no idea yet just how fast it is. Apple's "twice as fast" claim is suspect, given it's based off of a synthetic benchmark. The true test will be just how fast the new iPhone feels to typical user (opening apps, playing games, etc.)
The camera improvements sound major
- Apple introduced its "five-element Apple-designed lens" with an F2.2 aperture. There's a new "True Tone" flash, which won't distort colors nearly as much and a burst mode that will let you shoot 10 frames per second.
- There's also Slo-Mo which goes up to 120FPS! Expect this to be quite popular.
It has a new battery...but you'll still have to charge it every night.
- The new battery has 10 hours of 3G talk time, 10 hours of LTE browsing and up to 250 hours of standby. Effectively the same deal as before, but with minor positive tweaks.
Here's what the gold option looks like
The cost: 16GB will run you $199. 32GB is $299, and the 64GB is $399.
There's also the brand new iPhone 5C
The major difference here? It's the new "cheap" option (like the 4S used to be). And colors!
- Inside, it's basically an iPhone 5. Except, instead of an aluminum back, the iPhone 5C has a thicker, plastic casing that comes in Green, white, blue, pink, and yellow.
- Like the iPhone 5 it has a 4-inch Retina display, it's made from a single piece of polycarbonate and there's a steel frame that will double as an antenna.
- It's cheaper. $99 for 16GB, $199 for 32GB (with a two-year contract, of course )It doesn't have any of the bells and whistles of the 5S, but it's Apple's attempt to seize the sizable mid-tier smartphone market.
You can also dress it up with a whole bunch of cases
Seriously...so many cases.
I mean, loo— wait, woops...
And then there's iOS 7
It's the most drastic OS change for Apple since the iPhone came out in 2007.
The home screen, for the most part, looks the same. Just with a flatter, more colorful design scheme.
However, inside, Apple has revamped nearly every app. And soon you can expect app makers to update their apps to the new style, too. It'll feel pretty different
It will be available for iPhone 4 and later, the iPad 2, iPad mini, and iPod touch 5th generation.
So what's new?
- The control and notifications centers are all new, allowing you to access your calendar as well as search from anywhere on the home screen. A quick swipe up from any point on your screen will allow you to access most of the options that used to be excessively available in the "Settings" icon.
- There's AirDrop, which allows you to share directly to people in your immediate area over P2P Wi-Fi.
- Updates to Siri will allow for searching tweets. Siri now has Wikipedia, inline web search, as well as photo search.
iOS 7 has introduced a new, "multitasking view," which will allow you to shuffle quickly between apps and close them with a quick swipe.
iTunes Radio is new, too.
- It's essentially Apple's snazzy-looking version of Pandora. And you'll have to pay if you want to opt out of ads.
It'll be available free for all to download on September 18th.
So, that's about it. There's a good bit new here hardware-wise and, in terms of software, millions of users will come face-to-face with a drastically changed operating system, come September 18th.
Now that you know what's coming, there's really just one question left:
Charlie Warzel is a senior writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Warzel reports on and writes about the intersection of tech and culture.
Contact Charlie Warzel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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