The next big thing, and a few more surprises
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
Apple fans were excited on September 9 when Apple announced new versions of some of its products, possible new products, and other surprises. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the announcement was the biggest Apple has ever done. It’s fitting that it took place in the Flint Center, a few minutes away from Apple headquarters, and the same building in which former Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced Macintosh to the world for the first time 30 years ago.
Cook wasted no time, and following a brief video he announced the next version of the iPhone: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Both new versions of the smartphone boast larger screens (4.7 inch for the 6, and a 5.5 inch for the Plus), a new Retina HD Display, faster processors, Touch ID, a barometer, and improved cameras that include a time-lapse video feature. The Plus contains more features, such as the larger screen and a camera with optical image stabilization.
Both versions will include the next version of iOS. iOS 8 will have a lot of new features, including calling between Apple devices and a new virtual wallet service called Apple Pay which allows you to put your debit and credit cards on an iPhone and pay with your phone. iOS 8 will also have customizable widgets, something that Android users have been enjoying for years.
Apple fans had been expecting an announcement about iPhone and iOS, but, as Steve Jobs always said, there was “one more thing,” and Cook wasn’t done. He proudly told the crowds about Apple’s new watch, the Apple Watch, the biggest new innovation for the company since Steve Jobs announced the iPad in 2010.
The Apple Watch is like an iPod Nano and a watch at the same time. It has everything that you can expect in an iPhone and an iPad, as well as an attention to style you won’t find in the already-existing smart watch from Samsung. It can be used to check the time, use apps (like the new Apple Pay), track exercise, and send people messages. Cook said in a press release about the device that “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.”
The Apple Watch will be released in early 2015 in three versions including a regular version, a lighter Apple Watch Sport, and a swanky gold version. Developers are already in the process of making Watch-specific apps, which will be usable on the custom version of iOS 8 that the phone will run.
Finally, the presentation ended with the band U2, performing a song from their unannounced new album Songs of Innocence. In what could be seen as a controversial move, the band asked Cook if they could put the album in iTunes immediately—the album was then sent to 500-million users via iCloud, completely for free.
This huge announcement, chock full of surprises, could cause Apple to be successful in ways that they haven’t since the iPad was announced. And there’s more to come: in the next few months, we will find out what the next version of the iPad could look like.