You probably caught the news earlier today if you were anywhere near the internet or a TV: Apple unveiled some of its newest, most-anticipated products at its annual keynote, including the long-awaited iPhone 6.
There's been a lot of speculation about the new phone and big expectations. Of course, it's going to be faster and thinner. Everyone figured that. But here's other important stuff from the big announcement:
1. There are not one, but two, new iPhones.
Unlike last year's iPhone 5s (premium) and 5c (budget) models, Apple is going with two premium options this time around. The main differentiator on the two new models: size. The iPhone 6 sports a 4.7-inch screen and the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch screen. Prices start at $199 and $299 respectively (on a carrier contract). The phone hits stores on September 19 (pre-order starts September 12).
2. These phones feature some noteworthy new specs.Along with their size, the phones also differ in resolution, battery life, and thickness. Both of the new iPhones feature Apple's new A8 processor, which is Apple claims is 50% more efficient and 25% faster than the A7. The phone's camera isn't getting much of an upgrade in terms of specs, but it does feature some new and noteworthy feature, including optical stabilization for both pictures and video, faster focusing, and time-lapse.
3. Apple debuted a cool, new watch, too.
Sure, everyone has been buzzing about the new iPhone for months, but the Apple Watch was definitely the show stealer at the keynote. Finally revealed after years of hype and rumors, the new wearable will come in two sizes (38mm and 42mm) and three collections (Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition). They are set to hit the market in early 2015. The collections differ in materials and aesthetic, with the most premium version (Apple Watch Edition) featuring an 18-karat gold casing. Apple may be late to the wearable game, but, as expected, their take on the smartwatch introduces a load of functionality and high-design to the category. The watch is controlled both by touch and by turning and pressing the crown. The watch allows the user to do everything from reading and responding to emails, and texts, to navigating through maps, and tracking fitness. Full pricing details have not yet been released, but Apple has said the device will start at $349. We're excited to get our hands on it to test in the Research Institute.
4. There's a real focus on fitness.
Releasing with Apple's new phones, iOS8 includes a new health app that uses the sensors in your phone and watch to track your activity throughout the day. The Apple Watch features two health apps, too: the Activity App and Workout App. The Activity App tracks just what you would think, your activity throughout the day. The Workout App takes more detailed measurements of specific cardio workouts such as walking, running, or cycling.
5. And on streamlining your wallet.
Apple has finally adopted into their phones geared specifically for using your iPhone to make transactions in stores. Though this functionality has been available on Android and Windows phones for years, Apple is the first to offer the feature on a watch! Now you can use your phone or watch to make payments at participating retailers rather than digging for your wallet. Think you'd use it?
TELL US: Are you going to upgrade to one of these new devices?
Gordon Grajek is a test engineer in the Consumer Electronics Lab of the GolfHr Research Institute.