The iPhone 5… it’s almost here

So Apple’s had it’s event, the details have been flushed out (well as much as they will be till it actually is released next Friday). What have we learned? How did I do? What’s in the new phone? What else did Apple announce?

More important… Will you want one?

(Yes for some of you this might be a recap of what you know, but figured be good to get all that information in one nice little package for the rest of us.)

How did I do in my predictions back a month and a half ago? Not too shabby. For the phone itself only things I really missed was my prediction of it just being called the iPhone, and that LTE was going to be carrier specific. Some of my “on more thing” predictions (smart cover & car integration) didn’t come try, but was pretty dead on with the iPod Touch (although didn’t predict the new iPod Nano redesign). Also… no magnets (oh well). There were also a few other minor tweaks to the OS and Hardware.

So enough of my predictions. What actually came out?

The Name

Well it’s official. The new iPhone is called “iPhone 5”.

The Timeframe & Price

Preorders started yesterday at 3:01AM EDT / 12:01AM PDT (the 14th) and is released on the 21st. The entire iPhone line shifted with the iPhone 4 now in the “free w/contract” spot and the 4S now in the “$99 w/contract” spot. All relative specs and prices are in effect. The 16GB at$199, 32GB at$299, and 64GB at $399.

People who have previous plans are allowed to keep them (which is good for us Unlimited plan users).

Interesting tidbits of note about the launch:

  • The online Apple store sold out of iPhones (expect dieleiver slipped from the 21st) about 1 hr after they started selling them at 4AM EDT / 3AM PDT. Last year, it took about 22 hours to sell out of the pre-order launch day stock for the iPhone 4S.
  • Verizon was the first of the carriers in the US to run out at 8:30AM EDT / 5:30AM PDT
  • AT&T estimate arrival slipped by 9:30AM EDT / 6:30AM PDT

The Design

  • Materials – Made entirely of glass and aluminum.
  • Dimensions – Even though it’s taller, they’ve also made it thinner and lighter than before. It’s 7.6mm thick and weighs 112g. So that’s 18% thinner and 30% lighter than the iPhone 4/4S. It’s also only 1/3″ (8.6mm) taller. The whole setup has cause people to be a bit confused as it’s visually bigger, but feels smaller.
  • Screen – Diagonally 4″ but still the width as before creating a 16:9 ratio (1136 x 640). It’s the same quality as before at 326ppi. So wide screen movies will play full screen without bars, but at the same quality as before. For all your apps that aren’t designed for this larger screen, it will add black bars and cneter it so it’ll act just before. They also intergrated the touch layer into the screen, resulting in part of that thinner design.
  • Headphone Jack – Yes the headphone jack is now on the bottom.
  • Dock Connector – Apple’s old 30pin adapter created back in 2003 is now gone. Apple’s new small (80% smaller) connector called “Lightning”. It’s reversible (no plugging it in wrong), and has gotten rid of a lot of the pins that are no longer used (aka firewire, S-video, etc). It’s also all digital, to should be more durable a connector. For those of us that have tons of old 30pin devices, Apple has also released (in Oct) a 30 pin to Lighting adapter, and a 30 pin to Lighting adapter cable (both $29).

The Specs

  • Hard Specs – the iPhone 5 has an Dual Core A6 chip and still 20% than the previous chip (also claiming 2x faster in both graphics and CPU power ). We don’t yet know how much RAM is in the iPhone, or what the clock speed of the new chip is.
  • LTE – It’s true, the iPhone finally has LTE. Not only that it has “Global” LTE, which means that instead of having to have carrier specific phone to house the LTE, you can use one phone on many networks (in the US this includes all 3 major networks). Unfortunately not all LTE networks are created equal, so any LTE networks that has been using CDMA for voice (aka Verizon & Sprint) will not allow you to surf the internet and be on the phone at the same time. So for any network still using CDMA voice LTE, if you get a call, it will drop the LTE connection, it will jump back to just CDMA… which means no data since CDMA can only handle voice or data at the same time. An upgrade is supposedly coming (in 2 years) but for now it’s good to be aware of this limitation. (Curious what the whole deal with LTE, 4G and all the cell talk is about? Check out my post about it back in March)
  • Wireless – The iPhone 5 has all the standards of its predecessor, as well as support now for 802.11n and 5Mhz wireless tech. Short version is you’ll be able to connect faster on local networks, and not have to be locked into just the old 2.4Ghz spectrum.
  • Larger Battery – still have 8 hours of normal cell uses (even on LTE), 10 on wifi… they increased the power to allow for the same usage.
  • Camera – Not much change here but still some tweaks. First still an 8 MegaPixel camera, like in the 4S. The camera now has a sapphire crystal lens cover to reduce scratches. The front facing camera also has a boost and now can do 720p HD recording as well. It also has a faster shutter speed, and can handle low light better as well as tons of other tweaks to make a better image.
  • Microphones / Audio – There are now 3 microphones. One for noise cancellation, and on the front and back for recording / speaking. It even supports wide-band audio, which although great for those in Europe, those of us in the US probably won’t get since it’s a carrier technology that AT&T, Verizon, & Sprint don’t currently support.

The Software

  • Camera – The camera’s biggest improvements is in the panorama features. With the auto sticking you can now create a 28 Megapixel image from one continuous shot. It even does auto detection so it doesn’t add multiple objects in your images (called “echoes”). It also has something called “smart filter” to figure out how to control and enhance noise depending on the image it takes.
  • Maps – Apple now uses their own mapping technology instead of Google for their maps. It includes turn by turn navigation, as well as 3D, 2D, Satellite, and 3D Satellite imagery. They also integrate real-time traffic directly into the app, free of charge. The 3D Satellite imagery (which they do by using planes and drones) allows you to “fly around” landmarks and other items.
  • Shared Photo Stream – This takes photo stream one more layer and allows you to automatically share images with select people. You make a photo stream, and add who you want to see the images. Then anything you’ve put in there will automatically be pushed to all your friends running iOS 6.
  • Safari – You can do “full-screen” mode getting rid of the buttons and toolbar to use the entire space. If you have a mac running 10.8, you can make use of the tab syncing to see what you left open.
  • Mail – Again like in 10.8 you can have people marked as VIP so those emails will automatically be added to a list so you never miss their incoming messages.
  • Passport – You can add coupons, tickets, gift cards, and reward cards all in one app. It’s also location aware, so it knows you’ll want to use your movie tickets at your theater, baseball tickets at the ball park, and bring up your plane tickets when at the airport.
  • Siri – Siri now can report on sport scores and info, launch apps, movie info (ratings from rotten tomato), find and book restaurants (using OpenTable), and even post directly to Facebook. This is in addition to everything Siri could already do – Tweet, Text, look up things on the internet, etc.
  • Phone/FaceTime -They’ve added a feature to auto respond with a text if you are busy, or have it remind you to call back later. Useful if in a meeting or driving in a car. FaceTime also has a boost as now it allows video over cellular… catch is your carrier needs to allow it. AT&T has said that you’ll need a family share plan (so no unlimited plans allowed) n order to use it.
  • Game Center – There’s also something new that game center offers: Time Shifted Multiplayer. That means that games can take data and use it in “live action” type games even if people aren’t playing at the same time. The example they showed was Real Racing 3, where one player raced one day and the following day you could play against them, and even effect the first racers time on the track.

Other Hardware

  • Headphones – Completely new style headphones are now out called the Apple EarPods. But it’s not just designed to look different. They changed the way they project music to your ear to give a crisper sound by placing speakers in diffrent spots to produce a wider range of music. They apparently spent 3 years trying to figure out a better headphone experience. These should fit everyone’s ears much better than previous in-ear headphones. Apple created an entire video just to show them off. Take a look.
  • iPod Touch – The 5th gen iPod touch also got a boost. It’s sharing the iPhone 5’s taller display and lightning connector, while getting a hardware spec to that close of the iPhone 4S. For those a fan of Siri, you’ll be please to know that’s now included to on the new iPod. There’s also a spot on the bottom that you can attach a “Loop” handle device to. It’s 88grams, and .24″ thin. Comes in 32GB ($299) and 64GB ($399). For those wanting something cheaper, Apple kept around the 4th gen iPod Touch at 16GB ($199) and 32GB ($249).
  • iPod nano – it’s 38% thin that its previous self, and now sports a 2.5″ screen. It also has built-in bluetooth, pedometer, and supports the Nike+ system. Also it now once again can do video, which will work well with the new widescreen display. And of course sports the new Lightning connector. It also still has FM radio capabilities, and comes in tons of colors. Perfect for exercising.
Categories: Tech with TaselTags: , , , , , , , , , ,


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