Apple September 2014 event recap

Apple released the long-awaited iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Pay, the Apple Watch and the exclusive iTunes relase of U2’s latest album Songs of Innocence Tuesday at an press event at Cupertino, CA’s Flint Center.

iPhone

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Apple announced both the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, which feature Retina HD displays and is packed with “innovative technologies in an all-new dramatically thin and seamless design.” The new iPhones feature a precision unibody emclosure of anodized aluminum that conforms “seamlessly with the shaped glass of the display,” resulting in a “completely smooth and continuous surface.”

Both phones also feature Apple’s latest A8 chip with second generation 64-bit desktop-class architecture for “blazing fast performance and power efficiency;” iSIght and FaceTime HD cameras; 802.11ac WiFi with speeds up to 433 Mbps, Bluetooth 4.0 and LTE with download speeds of up to 150Mbps, and Apple Pay, which we’ll get to in a second. Both models include iOS 8, the latest version of Apple’s iOS operating system.

The new iPhones also support “high-quality” voice calls over LTE (VoLTE) as well as WiFi calling. With support for up to 20 LTE wireless bands — more than “any other smartphone in the world” — the new models make it “easier” to experience high-speed networks around the world.

With second generation 64-bit desktop-class architecture, the A8 chip offers “higher sustained performance with great battery life. With Metal, a new graphics technology in iOS 8, developers can take performance of the A8 chip even further to bring “console-class 3D games” to iPhone. The A8 chip also includes a new, “powerful” Apple-designed image signal processor that enables “advanced” camera and video features.

Both models include the M8 motion coprocessor that gathers motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and the new barometer, which senses air pressure to provide relative elevation. The M8 motion coprocessor can continuously measure your motion data, even when the device is asleep, saving battery life for fitness apps that use the sensors all day. With iOS 8, motion data from M8 apears in the Health app so you can see how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed, or how far you’ve walked or run. Developers can use CoreMotion APIs that take advantage of M8 and HealthKit to create apps that help you take better care of your health and fitness.

The iSight camera gets “even better” with a new sensor featuring Focus Pixels for faster autofocus, making it easier to “quickly capture” any moment. iPhone 6 Plus users will also benefit from optical image stabilization technology that compensates for hand shakiness in low light and works with iOS 8 to reduce subject motion. High-definition video on iPhone improves with faster frame rates up to 60fps for 1080p video and 240fps for slo-mo, as well as continuous autofocus, cinematic video stabilization and time-lapse video. The FaceTime HD camera now captures over 80 percent more light with a new sensor, larger f/2.2 aperture and “advanced” new features including burst mode and HDR video.

Tim Cook, Apple CEO:

“iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are the biggest advancements in iPhone history. The iPhone is the most loved smartphone in the world with the most loved sxmartphone in the world with the highest customer satisfaction in the industry and we are making it much better in every way. Only Apple can combine the best hardware, software and services at this unprecedented level and we think customers are going to love it.”

The Retina HD displays offer “advanced” technologies including higher contrast for deeper blacks and dual-domain pixels for more accurate colors at wider viewing angles.

iPhone 6

The smaller of the company’s two smartphones, iPhone 6, features a 4.7-inch 1334×750 Retina HD Display (providing 38 percent more viewing area than the iPhone 5S) and is decisely slimmer and curvier than its predecessor, iPhone 5s, at 6.9mm.

iPhone 6 comes in gold, silver or space gray and will be available in the US for the following prices with a two-year contract.:

  • 16GB: $199
  • 64GB: $299
  • 128GB: $399

iPhone 6 Plus

The iPhone 6 Plus features the company’s biggest smartphone display so far, a 5.5-inch 1920×1080 Retina HD panel that provides 88 percent more viewing area and nearly three times the pixels of iPhone 5s.

iPhone 6 Plus comes in gold, silver or space gray, and will be available in the US for the following prices with a two-year contract:

  • 16GB: $299
  • 64GB: $399
  • 128GB: $499

Both models will be available here in the US from Apple online and in stores, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, additional carriers and select Apple Authorized Resellers in the following countries beginning next Friday, September 19, with pre-orders beginning this Friday, September 12:

  • United States
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Puerto Rico
  • Singapore
  • United Kingdom

Apple-designed leather cases will be available in black, pink, brown, blue and red for the following prices:

  • iPhone 6: $45
  • iPhone 6 Plus: $49

Silicone cases will be available in black, blue, pink, green, white and red for the following prices:

  • iPhone 6: $35
  • iPhone 6 Plus: $39

iPhone 5s

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The iPhone 5s will be available in the US for the following prices:

  • 16GB: $99
  • 32GB: $149

iPhone 5c

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An 8GB iPhone 5c will be available for free.

iOS 8

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iOS 8 will be available as a free software update starting next Wednesday, September 17.

iCloud

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Apple’s new iCloud pricing is as follows:

  • 5GB: free
  • 20GB: $0.99/month
  • 200GB: $3.99/month
  • 500GB: $9.99/month
  • 1TB: $19.99/month

Apple Pay

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Apple Pay is a “new category of service” that will “transform” mobile payments with an “easy, secure and private” way to pay. Apple Pay works with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus through a “groundbreaking” NFC antenna design, a dedicated chip called the Secure Element, and the security and convenience of Touch ID. Apple Pay is “easy” to set up, so hundreds of millions of users can “simply” add their credit or debit card on file from their iTunes Store account. Apple Pay will also work with the Apple Watch (more on that in a moment), extending Apple Pay to the over 200 million iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s users worldwide.

Apple Pay supports credit and debit cards from American Express, MasterCard and Visa, issued by banks like the following:

  • Bank of America
  • Capital One Bank
  • Chase
  • Citi
  • Wells Fargo

These represent 83 percent of credit card purchase volume in the US. In addition to Apple’s 258 US stores, the following retailers will support Apple Pay:

  • Bloomingdale’s
  • Disney Store
  • Walt Disney World Resort
  • Duane Reade
  • Macy’s
  • McDonald’s
  • Sephora
  • Staples
  • Subway
  • Walgreens
  • Whole Foods Market

Apple Pay is also able to make purchases through apps in the App Store.

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice presdent of Internet Software and Services:

“Security and privacy is at the core of Apple Pay. When you’re using Apple Pay in a store, restaurant or other merchant, cashiers will no longer see your name, credit card number or security code, helping to reduce the potential for fraud. Apple doesn’t collect your purchase history, so we don’t know what you bought, where you bought it or how much you paid for it. And if your iPhone is lost or stolen, you cna use Find my iPhone to quickly suspend payments from that device.”

When you add a credit or debit card with Apple Pay, the actual card number is not stored on the device or on Apple’s servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on your iPhone or Apple Watch. Each transaction is authorized with a one-time unique number using your Device Account Number and instead of using the security code from the back of your card, Apple Pay creates a “dynamic” security code to “securely” validate each transaction.

Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase chairman and CEO:

“JPMorgan Chase has been pleased to collaborate on Apple Pay to create a better, faster and safer payments system, which puts the customer first, creating an exceptional customer experience for consumers and merchants. Everyone wins.”

Brian Moynihan, Bank of America CEO:

“We’re providing our customers with tools to make their financial lives better, including our 30 million digital banking customers. For them, better means simple and convenient. Apple Pay is another exciting move in that direction.”

Ken Chenault, American Express CEO:

“Apple Pay is the kind of innovative thinking that brings the worlds of online and offline commerce closer together. We’re excited to work with Apple to offer Card Members and merchants a simple and secure way to make purchases in stores and on apps.”

Online shopping in apps with iPhone is also as “simple as the touch of a finger.” Users can pay for physical goods and services including apparel, electronics, health and beauty products, tickets and more with Touch ID. Checkout can happen with a single touch, so there’s no need to manually fill out lengthy account forms or repeatedly type in shipping and billing information, and card details are kept private and are not shared with the online merchant. For example, quickly order grill accessories for a backyard BBQ from the Target app, request a ride with Uber without having to create an account or avoid the lunch rush by using Rapid Pickup and paying ahead in the Panera Bread app. Make your selection and when ready to buy, use Apple Pay to complete the transaction.

Starting in October, with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Pay will be availalbe in the US as a free update to iOS 8. Apple Pay will work in stores with the aforementioned iPhones and Apple Watch.

Apple Watch

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For the first time since Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs left the company, Apple used the all-but-trademarked “One more thing…” to announce the Apple Watch, its “most personal device ever.”

The device features “revolutionary” new technologies and a “pioneering” user interface with a beautiful design that honors the rich tradition of precsision watchmaking. Apple Watch introduces a “specially designed and engineered” Digital Crown that provides an “innovative” way to scrol, zoom and navigate. The Digital Crown is Apple’s “most revolutionary” navigation tool since the iPod’s Click Wheel and iPhone’s Multi Touch. Apple Watch will enable users to communicate in new ways right from your wrist by sending and receiving messages, answering calls to your iPhone, and with Digital Touch, sending something as personal as your own heartbeat. Apple Watch also introduces “comprehensive” health and fitness apps that can help people lead healthier lives. Apple Watch is availalbe in three distinct collections — Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition.

Cook:

“Apple introduced the world to several category-defining products, the Mac, iPod, iPhone and iPad. And once again Apple is poised to captivate the world with a revolutionary product that can enrich people’s lives. It’s the most personal product we’ve ever made.”

Jony Ive, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design:

“With Apple Watch, we’ve developed multiple technologies and an entirely new user interface specially for a device that’s designed to be worn. It blurs the boundary between physical object and user interface. We’ve created an entire range of products that enable unparalleled personalization.”

Apple Watch introduces a “revolutionary” design and iOS-based user interface created specially for a smaller device. Apple Watch features the Digital Crown, an “innovatigvge” way to scroll, zoom and navigate fluidly, without obstructing the display. The Digital Crown also serves as the Home button and a convenient way to access Siri. The Retina display on Apple Watch features Force Touch, a technology that senses the difference between a tap and a press, providing a new way to quickly and easily access controls within apps. Apple Watch introduces the Taptic Engine and a built-in speaker that together discreetly enable an entirely new vocabulary of alerts and notifications you can both hear and feel. Apple custom-designed its own S1 System in Package (SiP) to “miniaturize an entire computer architecture” onto a single chip. Apple Watch also features 802.11 b/g WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 to pair “seamlessly” with your iPhone.

Apple Watch comes in three distinct collections — Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition — available in 38mm and 42mm. The “beautifully designed and durable” enclosures are crafted from custom alloys of polished or space black stainless steel, space gray or silver anodized aluminum and 18-karat rose or yellow gold. Apple also created an entire range of watch straps, detailed below:

  • Sport Band: “high-performance” elastomer
  • Milanese Loop: “flexible” magnetic stainless steel mesh
  • Leather Loop: “soft, quilted” leather that conceals magnets for quick fastening and adjusting
  • Modern Buckle: leather strap with a “solid” metal clasp
  • Classic Buckle: leather strap
  • Link Bracelt: stainless steel

Apple Watch comes with a unique charging system that combines the MagSafe technology used in the company’s MacBooks with inductive charging for a “quick” connection that snaps into place.

Apple Watch is an “extremely accurate” timepiece that’s also customizable for personal expression. It comes with 11 watch faces ranging from traditional analog faces to new faces like the following:

  • Timelapse: “dynamic” face
  • Astronomy: “interactive, real-time” 3D model of the earth, sun, moon and other planets
  • Solar: “contemporary” sundial face

Apple Watch can be personalized in appearance and capability with additional information such as upcoming events, moonphases or your activity level, enabling “millions” of possible configuration.

Taking advantage of its location on your wrist, Apple Watch provides “timely information that can be viewed at a glance.” Smart Replies and dictation let you respond quickly to messages, and with Handoff, you can start a message on your Apple Watch and continue where you left off on your iPhone. Swipe up from the watch face for Glances that quickly show you information you care about, such as your current location, stocks or your next meeting. Pressing the side button brings up Friends, a view of your favorite people, so you can contact them “quickly and easily.” Digital Touch allows you to send a sketch, a gentle tap, an audio message through Walkie Talkie or even your own heartbeat. Apple Watch lets you interact quickly and conveniently with the world around you, so you can pay for coffee using Apple Pay, board a plane with a Passbook boarding pass, control your Apple TV or get directions.

Apple Watch includes a “groundbreaking” Activity app designed to help motivate you to be more active throughout the day, and an all-new Workout app designed to provide the metrics you need during dedicated workout sessions. Apple Watch uses the accelerometer, a built-in heart rate sensor, GPS  and WiFi from your iPhone to provide a “comprehensive” picture of your daily activity. The Activity app measures three separate aspects of movement: calories burned, brisk activity and how often you stand up during the day. The Workout app provides goal setting and pacing during popular session-based workouts, such as running and cycling. The companion Fitness app on iPhone collects your activity data so you can see your activity history in greater detail. Apple Watch uses this history to suggest personal, realistic goals, reward fitness milestones and keep you motivated.

Apple Watch will be available in three collections:

  • Apple Watch: with a polished or space black stainless steel case and a choice of straps
  • Apple Watch Sport: with a space gray or silver anodized aluminum case and Sport Band
  • Apple Watch Edition: with an 18-karat rose or yellow gold case and a choise of straps exclusive to this collection

Apple Watch Straps include the Sport Band in black, blue, green, pink and white; the Classic Buckle in black and midnight blue; the Leather Loop in bright blue, light brown and stone; the Modern Buckle in midnight blue, brown, soft pink, rose gray and bright red; the Milanese Loop in stainless steel and the Link Bracelet in brushed stainless steel and polished space black. Apple Watch will be available in early 2015, starting at $349. Apple Watch is compatible with iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus running the latest version of iOS 8.

U2/iTunes partnership

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Apple, Universal Music Group and legendary rock band U2 announced the release of the band’s latest album Songs of Innocence, which Apple is gifting to all of its iTunes Store customers worldwide, making it the “largest album release ever” with over half a billion copies distributed. The album features 11 new songs from the band and charts their earliest influences from 70s rock and punk rock to early 80s electronica and soul. The album is free for iTunes Store account holders in 119 countries and is available exclusively on iTunes for the next five weeks.

Bono, U2 lead singer:

“From the very beginning U2 have always wanted our music to reach as many people as possible, the clue is in our name I suppose — so today is kind of mind-blowing to us. The most personal album we’ve written could be shared with half a billion people… by hitting send. If only songwriting was that easy. It’s exciting and humbling to think that people who don’t know U2 or listen to rock music for that matter might check us out. Working with Apple is always a blast. They only want to do things that haven’t been done before — that’s a thrill to be part of.”

Cue:

“U2 has been an important part of Apple’s history in music and we’re thrilled to make Songs of Innocence the largest album release ever. We get to share our love of music today by gifting this new album to over half a billion iTunes customers around the world.”

Songs of Innocence features 11 new songs from the band and is their most personal work to date, charting their earliest influences from 70s rock and punk rock to early 80s electronica and soul and giving insight into how and why the band came together nad the relationships in and around them, their family and friendships.

Apple is gifting Songs of Innocence to current iTunes Store account holders as well as customers who sign up for an account within the next five weeks will get the album as a gift. Songs of Innocence is also available to stream via iTunes Radio and will be available on Beats Music.

Source: Apple

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