Apple today held a media event at their Cupertino campus in California to introduce a number of brand new devices and software, including the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 5C and the new iOS 7 operating system for mobile devices. Here is a run-down of all of the pertinent points from the event, which also included developments in iWork and iTunes Radio.
iOS 7 Showcase
Apple SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi came on stage to showcase iOS 7, the new operating system that contains a huge number of new features including new lock screen and notification center developments, enhancements for new Apple devices, as well as an entirely new user interface. Federighi announced that iOS 7 would be launching on September 18 and will be compatible with most iOS devices including the iPhone 4 and later, the iPad 2 and later, the first generation iPad mini and the iPod touch. The new software will be free of charge and will also ship with all new Apple devices. Apple has plugged in a new version of Safari and has made several improvements to Siri. There is a new multitasking view for the OS as well as three new ringtones. The software also contains a new Photos app, with better organization of images, as well as new filters for the Camera app. iOS 7 also ships with iTunes Radio, the new Apple music streaming service.
iWork, iMovie and iPhoto Are Free
Apple announced that all iWork apps will now be made free for all users purchasing new iOS devices, being introduced when iOS 7 starts up for the first time on a device as great new apps to download (we’re assuming that users who previously paid for iWork apps won’t be getting a refund). iMovie and iPhoto will also be free of charge to those who purchase new devices, but there are no major new features being announced that are separate from the iWork for iCloud software announced at the last Apple event.
Apple Introduces The iPhone 5C
Apple introduced the iPhone 5C, a new low cost iPhone device available in red, white, yellow, blue and green. The 5C has a polycarbonate shell encasing a steel reinforced interior which integrates the antenna for the device. The iPhone 5C has a 4 inch Retina Display, an A6 processor (as included in the iPhone 5), and an eight megapixel camera, and a new front facing camera. In addition, the device has a greater number of bands for LTE reception tha the iPhone 5 as well as Bluetooth 4.0 and dual band Wi-Fi. The iPhone 5C also has a slightly larger battery capacity than the iPhone 5. The new iPhone 5C will retail for $99 for a 16GB model with a two year contract ($199 for the 32GB model). Cases will also be available starting at $29. The device will be in stores from September 20, but can be pre-ordered from Friday September 13.
The iPhone 5S Is Launched
Apple introduced the iPhone 5S, a new and extremely powerful iPhone available in three colors; Space Grey, gold and silver. The new device incorporates a 64 bit A7 processor which supports the new 64 bit iOS 7 operating system. The iPhone 5S processor and graphics processor are significantly faster than the iPhone 5 and predecessors. The new device also has a new camera with a double LED ‘true-tone’ flash and intelligent tone and balance mapping. The flash enables automatic color balancing for any low-light situation. The camera can also shoot a 10 frame-per-second burst of pictures and offers auto-image stabilization and continuous shooting as long as the shutter button is pressed. The video offered on the new 5S is 720p at 120fps slow motion.
The biggest new feature for the 5S is Touch ID which is a sensor hidden under the Home button which is made of sapphire crystal. You can use the Home button to unlock your phone with fingerprint authentication, which also enables iTunes and App Store purchases with the same authentication method. The new sensor can read fingerprints in any orientation and is completely secure i.e. not being made available to any other apps and is never synced to iCloud.
The iPhone 5S is available for $199 with a two year contract (16GB model) and $299 for 32GB or $399 for 64GB. The device will be in stores in the US, UK, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore and Australia from September 20, but is not available for pre-order.