Apple took the stage an hour ago to pull back the curtain on their latest creations – iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.
The iPhone 5S is the James Bond phone. It comes in 3 sophisticated colors: silver, gold, and space gray. It has “ultrafast LTE wireless”, the spiffy new iSight camera and a “Touch ID” fingerprint identity sensor for unlocking the phone. (More on that in a bit.)
“The iPhone 5S is a huge leap forward in mobile computing performance. It starts with a brand new system on a chip called the A7. A7 is 64-bit, the world’s first and only such CPU in a smartphone.”
Sleek, fast, secretive – yes, James Bond wants this phone.
The iPhone 5C is the fun phone: it comes in bright neon green, blue, yellow, pink, and white with wallpaper that matches the case color. It also includes the “ultrafast LTE wireless” and the spiffy new iSight camera.
Both phones feature a new design “that feels great in your hand” and there’s an option to upgrade to a leather case.
Both phones will also come with the new iOS7. This includes several amazing apps: iPhoto, iMovie and the whole iWork package (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) for free. That’s huge for anyone using the iPhone for business – except of course for those of us who already paid for these apps ages ago. . .
Apple promises a more convenient search option: “pull down from anywhere and type what you’re looking for and find it, just like that”
Higher quality voices for Siri and a new collection of ringtones and text tones.
Sometimes it seems that the iPhone’s ability to take a good picture is more important than its ability to make a phone call. So Apple spent more time upgrading the camera – which means I’ll still have lousy cell reception in my house, but super photos for eBay.
“Let me give you an example of some of the things our new camera app does for you. Before you even take a picture, it’s setting light balance, and exposure. For the first time, it’s creating a dynamic local tone map around the image. For the first time, it’s doing autofucs matrix metering with 15 focus zones. When you do take a picture, it automatically finds the sharpest of multiple pictures”
Apple has also installed a multi-color flash that senses the color of whatever you’re shooting then chooses the flash color that will result in the best photo.
Apple brags that while most phones add more pixels for better pictures, they know that the real secret is bigger pixels. I’ll take their word for it.
I think I heard that the video side includes slow-mo, but I can’t find anything in print to back that up.
While not necessarily the most useful feature, the new Touch ID system is the most interesting.
Instead of using a password lock on your phone, the iPhone 5S scans your fingerprint when you touch the home button. No typing. No memorizing. Just touch and you’re in. I like that. . . but it seems like there are a lot of ways this could go wrong.
The system does allow for multiple fingerprints – if you have an admin who needs to your use your phone, or a spouse who insists.
Even more amazing, you can use your fingerprint to buy things from iTunes and the App Store. No more passwords and usernames. Now you can own whatever you desire in seconds!
In addition to all of this goodness, Apple says they’ve upped the battery life. It’s not a huge increase but at least its not a decrease.
When and How Much
Pre-ordering for the iPhone 5C starts on Friday the 13th. No pre-order for the 5S.
Both phones will hit stores on Sept. 20th and both will be available in dozens of countries on opening day.
5C: $99 for a 16 GB model, and $199 for a 32 GB version, each with a two-year wireless contract.
5S: 16GB at $199. 32GB at $299 and 64GB at $399 on-contract.
What do you think? Ready to stand in line for one or not so much?