APPLE: Phones! Watch! U2! Etc!
After weeks of speculation and rumours and unboxing videos and all that, Apple have finally revealed a bunch of stuff. The key bit of that stuff being the iPhone 6 and the larger iPhone 6 Plus at their launch event in Cupertino, California.
The new handsets have bigger screens, general upgrading of internal bits and bobs, along with a new look and feel.
The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch, 1334 x 750 Retina HD screen capable of displaying more than 1 million pixels, while the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch, 1920 x 1080 Retina HD panel that displays over 2 million pixels, 185% more than the iPhone 5S. They're slimmer than previously, and measure 6.9mm and 7.1mm respectively.
Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are powered by Apple's A8 chip, which has 2 billion transistors, making it up to 25% faster than the iPhone 5S, with twice as much graphical prowess.
There's also new M8 motion processor built in, for fitness tracking, as well as a barometer to measure altitude through air pressure - because we've been desperate for that.
The larger phone will provide 24 hours of 3G talking time and the smaller only offers 14 hours. Oh and there's only 80 and 50 hours of audio playback on them respectively. They also support Wi-Fi speeds of up to three times faster than before. Fancy that.
DON'T PANIC THERE'S STILL A CAMERA.
It's an 8 megapixel thing offering digital image stabilisation along with now an optical image stabilisation. They can record HD video at 1080 and 60 frames per second. It also features New Focus Pixels for phase-detection and autofocus, like an SLR. A FaceTime HD camera is on the front, with an all-new sensor and a larger f/2.2 aperture that allows in 81% more light than its predecessor on the iPhone 5S.
As previously rumoured, an NFC payments affair is launching alongside the new iPhones, allowing users to make contactless payments, but only the Yanks are getting that for now. Not to mention that contactless payments are nothing new and loads of phones already have it.
The iPhone 6 will be available in gold, silver and space grey, with prices starting at £539 for a 16GB model, running up to £699 for 128GB. Apple's iPhone 6 Plus comes in the same colours, costing £619 for the 16GB model, £699 for 64GB and £789 for 128GB. They'll both be available to pre-order on September 12th, and will be released in the US and eight other countries on September 19th.
And then. THEN. Apple announced the launch of their first wearable - the Apple Watch.
The key feature of the watch is a 'digital crown' on side of it. This allows the user to scroll through and browse the features on it. The phone can detect when you're either touching it or pressing it, and these subtleties open up extra layers and settings within the watch.
Menus are made up of things called 'Glances' that are taken from first and third party applications. Swiping left and right will go through each Glance.
It already looks like people's stubby fingers aren't going to be able to work the digital crown. And digital crown sounds stupid. You are able to control music from your watch on your iPhone, and even access music stored locally with a glance.
There's also something what Apple are calling the 'Taptic engine', which is a small vibrator in the watch as well as a waterproof speaker, giving you alerts without bothering the others. Phones that vibrate? That.
You can view these bits just by raising your wrist, and if for example, someone sends you a message, the watch will then work out, by reading the text, the simplest and quickest way of replying, so you don't need to type in anything. WHICH IS SLIGHTLY CREEPY.
There are also customisable animated emojis! Great for those who have completely given up on language.
Siri's in the watch now too, so it will literally be a bit Star Trek, and anyone seen talking into their wrist for the forseeable will be mugged.
There's an in-built heartbeat reader than you can send it to your mates in an instant! You'll be able to tweet from your watch, get directions back to your BMW i3.
Then there are the fitness apps, heart monitors and move ring, exercise ring and stand ring which all calculate how much time you've spent doing, um, moving, exercising and standing.
Apple hasn't confirmed an exact release date for the device, but has set 'early 2015' for sale. They have, however, confirmed $349 as the starting price for the US.
And to top it all off, bloody U2 turned up at the end of the do and performed a new number. And then shoved a brand new album - 'Songs of Innocence' - onto iTunes for free.
The long player, their first for five years, has had no thought whatsoever put into the artwork! How thoughtful! The altruistic four piece were long rumoured to be doing something with Apple, and sadly, they did!
That bleedin' Bono said: "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."
So anyway: TWO new phones, a watch, contact less payment, a U2 album whether you want it or not and, oh yeah, iOS 8 will be with you on September 17 too.
There you go.