The good news: the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus has just been announced. The bad news: your current iPhone is now out of date, and if you want to be part of the in-crowd, you need to sell a kidney to raise the funds for the latest model.
So what is Apple offering to make you rush to the doctor’s office right away for a quote? Let’s take a look at the latest announcements and see whether or not it is worth upgrading.
A photo used to be just a still image of a person, event, whatever. Everything in the picture was frozen in time, and unable to be altered. But that all changed when Apple got their hands on it.
With previous models of iPhones, you snapped a picture and that was that. With the iPhone 6s, a new feature called “Live Photos” means that when you click the shutter to take the photo, the phone now also includes what happened a few seconds before, and a few seconds after, your shutter press. This in effect creates a “Live Photo” which moves when you touch the screen with your finger.
Is it video? No. Is it a GIF? No again. Apple insists it is still a photo. If you want to send the Live Photo to someone, they need to have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch running iOS 9 or a Mac running El Capitan. If the recipient has anything less than iOS 9 or El Capitan, they will only see a regular still .JPEG file.
Advantages to this are numerous. The main one being when you photograph someone — say a child — and they have their eyes closed, or they are staring to the right when they should be looking straight ahead… you know, the usual stuff. Now you can get a couple of seconds before and after the shot to see them in a much better light.
A Better Camera & Video
There were rumours leading up to the announcement that the next iPhone would have a beast of a camera, and those rumours were (as they usually are) on the mark. Those that like to use their iPhones for snapping away will be happy with the upgrades in the camera and video department.
The iPhone 6s now has a 12 megapixel camera and can shoot 4K video, which is four times higher than HD video (“paging Steven Spielberg…”). The front-facing Facetime camera now captures far less grainy 5 megapixel images — which means better selfies, at last. Apple has set up a photo gallery to show off exactly what’s possible with the iPhone 6s camera. Check it out.
Apple also claims that with the new iMovie, you can edit two movie streams at the same time, and have effects such as a picture inside another picture, as well as split-screens. At this stage, I am already salivating, and getting ready to auction off everything I own to buy the new model.
3D Touch is another way of saying “push your finger right through your screen”. The technology essentially allows you to differentiate between screen presses based on the pressure you apply.
Using the camera as an example again, if you press hard on the camera icon, you can take a selfie or a video. Hard pressing on Facebook lets you change your status. You can preview new email in Mail with a feature called Peek and Pop — hard pressing on Mail lets you “peek” at your messages but if you want to open one, keep hard-pressing and it will “pop” open.
You can peek and pop with Safari too. If you receive a link in your email, you can “peek” at the website without opening Safari fully. If you want the page open fully, hard-press more and Safari will open with the page.
Stronger Than Ever Before
iPhone owners who are in the habit of dropping their phones and smashing the display will be pleased to learn that the iPhone 6S is now stronger than ever before. In fact, this is a point that Apple seems to want to stress over and over.
The metal used in the construction of the iPhone 6s is called 7000 Series aluminium, which seemingly is the same strength of metal used by the aerospace industry. Apple’s attempts to make the iPhone hardier also extended to the glass display as well.
Of course, images will still surface on release day of people who dropped their phones on their way home from the Apple store…
Under the Hood Improvements
As is par for the course with every new iPhone release, Apple has put a brand new A9 processor into the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, including a new M9 motion co-processor. The new chip offers 70 percent faster CPU performance and 90 percent faster GPU performance over the previous A8 found in the iPhone 6.
The M9 co-processor keeps track of movement, taking the strain off the GPS chip and ensuring higher accuracy and lower power consumption when using location services. Apple has also improved the efficiency of the A9, which means the same operations now take up less power than they did on previous iPhones.
Also expected is an increase in the number of LTE bands now compatible with the iPhone, taking the number to 23 — more than any other smartphone, at the time of writing.
A New Color!
Finally, who could miss the new lick of paint. All of the old colors are still there – gold, silver, and space grey. But now we have a new color — “rose gold” — otherwise known as “pink”.
So Should I Upgrade?
This is the million dollar question isn’t it? I guess it all comes down to the following :
- How long ago did you get your last model? If you have an iPhone 6 or 5s your device probably has plenty of life left in it yet.
- Are you a big enough photographer and movie director that you must take full advantage of the new cameras?
- The iPhone 6S supports more LTE bands, so you can get faster internet and use your phone in more places than ever before. Is that important to you?
- Apple has introduced an Apple Upgrade program, where you purchase the 6S at a starting price of $32.41 per month, for 2 years, and in return, you get a new iPhone each year, and 2 years of AppleCare+. This covers hardware repairs, software support, and 2 instances of accidental damage. Would this entice you to upgrade?
- Will your spouse allow you to have it?
Pre-orders start at 12.01am PDT on Saturday 12th September, starting at . You only have a couple of days to think about it. Will you be upgrading? If so, which feature has swayed you?