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Finally, the rumours are confirmed: two new larger iPhones and a smart timepiece known simply as the Apple Watch are on the way. The Cuptertino-based company made the announcement at a special event held on Tuesday in what is arguably one of the more exciting Apple events of recent years.

Also announced was a brand new method of wireless payment and the release date for Apple’s upcoming iOS 8 software update. We’ll have full reviews and giveaways of all the new goodies as soon as we get our hands on them, but for now here’s what we know.

Two New iPhones

September’s event is traditionally used to unveil a new iPhone, and this year’s announcement marks the biggest shake-up for the iPhone’s design since the original was introduced in 2007. Two new iPhones were announced sporting two differently sized screens: the 4.7 inch iPhone 6 and 5.5 inch iPhone 6 Plus.

The new “ion-strengthened” screens pack brand new resolutions of 1334 x 750 and 1920 x 1080 pixels respectively, marking the first true high definition iPhone with the arrival of the Retina HD screen. The panels, which promise even wider viewing angles than past models How Does The Apple Retina Display Work? [MakeUseOf Explains] How Does The Apple Retina Display Work? [MakeUseOf Explains] These days, people are crazy about the Apple Retina Display. Supposedly, it does wonders! A completely non-pixelated screen? Who would have ever thought?! However, many questions loom the supposedly revolutionary technological advancement. Is it really... Read More , seamlessly “melt” into the new rounded, thin-profile iPhone chassis — each only 6.9 and 7.1 mm thick respectively.

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That larger iPhone comes with a few unique features, like the ability to put the home screen into landscape mode for the first time, extra keys on the keyboard (a dedicated Cut, Copy and Paste) and a new feature called Reachability. Double tap the home button on an iPhone 6 Plus and the screen gets squished down to the lower half of the phone, allowing you to easily reach elements at the top of the screen without overstretching your thumb.

The new chassis marks the other big difference: the most radical redesign the iPhone has seen since its inception. Rounded anodized aluminium, a slightly-protruding camera module, much larger volume buttons and a new sleep/wake button on the side of the device have been designed to ensure everything is within reach when you need it, despite the increased size.

Under the hood, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have received new internals in the form of an A8 chip and M8 motion co-processor, providing desktop-class 64-bit processing power. The chip promises to be 25 percent faster and 50 percent more efficient than the A7, with a quoted 14 hours talk time on 3G for the iPhone 6 and a whopping 24 hours on 3G for the iPhone 6 Plus — more than double what Apple quoted for the iPhone 5S (10 hours).

Last of all, a handful of other useful features, like a barometer for measuring air pressure (expect more from fitness apps), camera enhancements including improved focus and optical image stabilisation for the iPhone 6 Plus camera, and faster LTE and WiFi performance also make an appearance alongside iOS 8.

Want To Buy A New iPhone?

Apple will charge $199 for the iPhone 6 and $299 for the iPhone 6 Plus, both of which are available for pre-order on Friday September 12th and will ship on September 19th.

The Apple Watch

After months of speculation, it is revealed that the iWatch is actually just called the Apple Watch, and it’s Apple’s first major new product since the introduction of the iPad in 2010.

Apple will offer two sizes (38mm and 42mm) in three styles of wearable: Watch, which comes in a plain stainless steel or “space black” case with a sapphire crystal face and a range of casual bands; Watch Sport, which features lighter anodized aluminium casing, strengthened glass, and colourful bands designed with durability in mind; and Watch Edition, a business-focused 18-karat gold casing in yellow or rose with a range of premium bands.

Despite these personal differences, each Apple Watch has the same features. The design sports a digital crown, designed as a multifunctional input device for scrolling, zooming, and selecting (with a click) without covering the screen. Naturally, the screen itself supports multi-touch input, and it can tell the difference between a light and hard tap.

Apple Watch runs Watch OS, a new purpose-built operating system that’s been designed around simple gestures. The software supports customisable watch faces, the ability to connect to your iPhone and receive push notifications, and a communication button that reveals a list of favourite people for quickly striking up a conversation. A feature known loosely as “digital touch” allows Watch users to send each other scribbles, encouraging a method of communicating without words.

The Apple Watch is also a personal fitness monitoring device, keeping an eye on your activity over the day using the custom heart rate sensor coupled with the accelerometer, GPS, and WiFi in your iPhone to build and record a complete picture of your physical activity. Naturally, you can use this technology to set and track goals, and it’s exciting to see what other developers will do with the technology.

To make charging a bit easier, Apple has employed its MagSafe technology (from the MacBook charger) that uses quick-release magnets to charge the iWatch. Slightly worrying is the lack of an official figure regarding battery life, which was not mentioned in the official announcement and hasn’t yet made an appearance on Apple’s website.

Finally, it’s worth noting that you do need an iPhone 5 or newer to use the Apple Watch. As it requires syncing with an iPhone to function, it will not operate as a standalone device.

Want To Buy An Apple Watch?

If you want the Apple Watch, then you’re going to have to wait till “early 2015” and pay $349 at least. Apple didn’t announce how much the watch bands would cost, so expect to pay more if you want something fancy.

Apple Pay

The last big announcement from the event involves a brand new payment system included with all new iPhones called Apple Pay. The technology uses a near-field communications (NFC) What Is NFC & Should You Buy a Phone That Has It? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is NFC & Should You Buy a Phone That Has It? [MakeUseOf Explains] If you’re in the market for a new phone in 2013, you’re probably going to hear about something called NFC, and how it’s apparently changing the world. Don’t be fooled by the sales talk though.... Read More chip to communicate with point of sale payment terminals, requiring a simple confirmation of your fingerprint to pay for items without even having to unlock your iPhone.

While wireless “tap and go” payment systems like MasterCard’s PayPass and Visa’s PayWave are common in the UK, Australia, and elsewhere, the US’s payment systems are fairly outdated — and that’s where the new announcement is bound to have the most impact.

It’s not really known whether the technology will “just work” with existing payment terminals; after all, Apple has only announced support for Apple Pay in the US so far. However, as the rest of the world may be better positioned to adopt the technology, there’s a chance non-US residents won’t have to wait as long as usual for the feature to roll out internationally.

Those of you reaching for your tinfoil hats will be relieved to hear the usual security and privacy spiel from such an announcement involving sensitive financial data. Merchants cannot see card numbers, Apple cannot tell what you are buying, and if you lose your phone, you can simply suspend the service using Find My iPhone How To Use Find My iPhone To Get Your Stolen iPhone Back How To Use Find My iPhone To Get Your Stolen iPhone Back Long story short: my wife had her iPhone stolen when she misplaced it at work the other day. I was able to log into her iCloud account and eventually get the device back. Read More .

iOS 8 Release Date

Last but not least, we finally have an official release date for iOS 8 on September 17th, two days before the new iPhones are available. In case you hadn’t heard, Apple’s planning a big update to the software that powers your iPhone and iPad. Check out the full list of upcoming changes to iOS 8 here What's New In iOS 8? What's New In iOS 8? After last year's big iOS 7 redesign, you'd expect a muted iOS 8 announcement at this year's Worldwide Developer Conference – but you'd be wrong. Read More .

Unfortunately there was no mention of the upcoming OS X 10.10 “Yosemite” update for Mac What's New In OS X 10.10 "Yosemite"? What's New In OS X 10.10 "Yosemite"? OS X is evolving both in terms of looks and features, and just like last year's Mavericks update, Yosemite will be another free download. Read More .

Apple Is Doomed, iPhone 7 Has Wings

Now that we’ve got the iPhone 6 announcement out of the way, let’s waste no time speculating what the iPhone 7 will look like. I for one can’t wait for months of poorly rendered mockups, technology unfeasible hardware leaks, and the usual articles about how “doomed” Apple is because it is supposedly losing its touch.

But on a serious note: What did you think of Apple’s announcement? Will you be buying any of their new toys?

  1. Mishal Alexander
    September 13, 2014 at 5:04 am

    @TimB- I gotta agree with you on this. Innovations come from everywhere.
    And hey, I don't belong to the 'same boring people's community. I read a lot about gadgets, their makers, buy cool gadgets, etc just for the kick in it. Plus I gotta tell you that I have a list of gadgets which I aspire to get but I'm afraid, iPhone 6 is not one of them. And, damn, that's all I wanted to say! Rest is just an improvised exaggeration!
    (Hope you could forgive that; no offense intended, honestly)

    • Tim B
      September 15, 2014 at 1:09 am

      Hey Mishal, I also didn't mean to cause offense. Your comment was also nothing like the trolling rubbish I read over on other sites but I think I probably took that frustration out here instead. Apologies.

      Certainly didn't mean to cause offense. Also what a boring world it would be if we all bought/liked the same things. :)

  2. Mishal Alexander
    September 12, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    @Tim B: Man, in 1990s the concept of wireless payments were THOUGHT to be cool; nowadays, its common thing. You got the idea wrong.
    I know its hard for an apple sympathizer to admit that apple has no new innovative products under their belt. But if you could think otherwise for a while, you would realize that they are modifying the existing technology in their own terms and selling the same wine in different bottles. Think about it: Apart from a better camera, better glass panel, new design, etc, what has been made NEW by apple in the past, in terms of new technology.

    • Tim B
      September 12, 2014 at 10:50 pm

      No, you misunderstand. I literally don't care what Apple announces. I hope it's cool, because as part of my job I get to review it, but at the same time it makes no difference to me whether they announce 10 iPhones or a toaster.

      What I get bored of are the same boring comments from the same boring people who have no interest in buying the technology who frequent articles like this and comment sections just to try and provoke an argument.

  3. dragonmouth
    September 12, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    "There is no benefit or “useful discussion” in making the same derogatory comments year after year."
    There is no benefit or useful discussion in making the same "Apple is GREAT, Apple is GREAT" comments year after year, either. To have a "useful discussion" differing points of view are required, otherwise all you wind up with is a manufacturer-sponsored testimonial thread.

    Maybe Fruitco and MUO should start penalizing posters for negative posts?

    • Tim B
      September 12, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      Who said Apple was great? The company makes a sparse few announcements a year, we generally cover them as a good percentage of our regular readership own iPhones, iPads and use OS X. In case you hadn't realised we also cover most other announcements from Microsoft, Sony, Samsung and the like.

      I'm just bored of the same old shit about Apple being doomed, evil, overpriced from clowns in comment sections who just want a flame war, to be honest.

    • Chinmay S
      September 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      @dragonmouth

      iPhone 6 is receiving a lot of positive reviews. People are just loving it.

      It doesn't matter whether you like it or not but the "whole world" is looking at Apple and its best phone ever.

  4. Mishal Alexander
    September 12, 2014 at 2:10 am

    Apple's product announcements used to be legendary, when Steve Jobs was in power.
    Now, all what they are doing is telling the same joke, over and over again.
    There are no major features or 'ahead-of-its-time' technology used in iPhone 6; nexus 4 is far better than this!
    According to me, iPhone 6 didn't live up to its expectations as I was hoping for more cool features, which obviously means something better than wireless payments(looks like Tim Cook is still living in the 1990s when it was thought to be cool), extra screen(everyone I know, knew it!!), new glass panel, etc.
    Apple engineers should invest in inventing something cool, that people can show off and take pride in carrying, just like Mr. Jobs had thought.

    • Tim B
      September 12, 2014 at 2:39 am

      Comments sections used to be legendary when Steve Jobs was in power.
      Now all they are doing is saying the same "Apple is doomed" crap over and over again.
      There is no benefit or "useful discussion" in making the same derogatory comments year after year. You're better than this!
      According to people who won't be buying the device, the iPhone 6 doesn't live up to its expectations and in a parallel universe, wireless payments were commonplace in the 1990s!
      Apple engineers should keep working on marrying hardware and software seamlessly, because no product is ever "finished" and there are always improvements to be made, just like Mr. Jobs had thought.

  5. KT
    September 11, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    The Onion did a hilarious review on the iwatch, here's some quotes:

    13-megapixel camera enables users to take crystal-clear pictures of wrist

    Allows wearers to start and stop the flow of time

    Discreet, but not so discreet that anyone would mistake it for a regular watch

    Comes in a variety of colors and styles to express your personal submission to the planet’s dominant tech company

    Adjustable ticking volume

    All the convenience of a traditional watch that needs to be charged every 12 hours

    Built-in thinkpiece regarding the increased connectivity yet simultaneous isolation of the millennial generation

    Small size and intricate circuitry able to drive twice as many Chinese workers to suicide as iPhone

    Makes it easier for muggers to see whether or not you’re carrying an expensive electronic device

    Another screen to throw into your current rotation of things you look at

    • Tim B
      September 12, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      These are great!

      The mugger point is a very valid point, though I'd have thought anyone with an expensive watch would have enough in their pockets to tempt most thieves...

  6. Chinmay S
    September 11, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    iPhone 6 looks beautiful. It's an amazing masterpiece created by Apple.

    • Blah!
      September 11, 2014 at 8:25 pm

      Beautiful, indeed. But I wonder if it is not too big. When iPhone 5 was launched, I thought "what the hell...", and now Apple comes with a bigger one.

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