Apple’s much anticipated iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and the iWatch have been unveiled at a star-studded event.
The products met with a mixed reaction. Some people have accused the tech giant of a lack of innovation with the iPhone 6, but there was more of a positive buzz around the Apple Watch and Apple Pay, the firm’s mobile payment system, although Google did launch a similar system in 2011.
The devices were revealed in Cupertino at De Anza College’s Flint Centre for the Performing Arts. The announcements led to Apple’s shares rising by 4.5 per cent immediately, although they then dropped in the following hours by up to 2.2 per cent. Fans of Apple, however, say there is no need for the company to be concerned about this. Whatever the critics say, there are many people who believe that there is no better phone on the market — something that can only be enhanced by the offer of bigger screens.
Like the Amazon Fire phone and the HTC One, the iPhone 6 boasts a 4.7 inch screen, while the Plus follows the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Galaxy Note Edge with a 5.5 inch offering. As with other Android devices on the market since 2012, the new Apple devices also feature near-field communication (NFC) chips, allowing for swipe-payments and other keyboard apps, including third-party keyboards, cross-app communications and widgets, through iOS 8. The iPhone 6 is available to buy now from Apple itself.
Meanwhile, the revealing of the Apple Watch by Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, marked the end of a two-year wait for people keen to see the iWatch adorning their wrists. Yet fans still have to wait a little longer, as it will not be available to buy until the start of 2015. It will cost from $349 (around £215) and boasts interchangeable straps and faces offering the opportunity for customisation.
Users will be able to dictate messages to their iPhone using the watch, which can understand questions contained in messages and will offer a selection of pre-set answers.
The watch’s user interface differs completely from that offered by the iPhone and has a ‘digital crown’ which can be turned to zoom out and in on a map and to scroll through a list. It will also return users to their home screen if pressed, and they can customise various areas on the face to be used with force touches, swipes and taps.
It has a Glances feature, likened to Google Now, which allows users to access their chosen information by swiping up the screen, and it can be used to control music on the iPhone. It has a ‘taptic engine’ to respond to small notification vibrations felt on the wrist. As there is no keyboard, all messages must be dictated or sent through emoji. The rectangular Apple Watch also has Siri built in.
In terms of style, its metal design boasts tactile curved edges and a sapphire crystal screen. It received a standing ovation at the launch event and has been hailed as being more elegant and luxurious than other offerings on the smart-watch market right now.
Apple says it is the most ‘personal’ watch ever created. And with a choice of straps, finishes and sizes, this certainly seems to be the case. The only downside for some is that it is not a standalone device because it has to be used with an iPhone. The makers promise it will work ‘seamlessly’ with either the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus or the 5C and 5S.