Technology News iPhone 6
Apple Inc. on Wednesday refreshed its smartphone lineup with the new iPhone 6S. Like last year’s models, the new iPhone comes in two sizes: The iPhone 6S will have a 4.7-in. screen, and the iPhone 6S Plus will have a 5.5-in. screen.
But Apple’s CEO Tim Cook stressed at the unveiling that the new phones are wildly different from their predecessors. So what really is different?
First, there’s new touch-screen gesture called 3D Touch. Previously known as Force Touch on the Apple Watch, this technology measures the pressure from your finger. Think of it as right-clicking on a touch screen: A longer, harder press pops up new menus or drills deeper into whatever you’re seeing. You can use 3D Touch for quick email glances, easy photo saving and other maneuvering. It’s implemented throughout iOS 9—and even has support from Facebook and other key third-party app makers—but it requires the new hardware which measures how your fingers warp the cover glass.The iPhone 6S has 3D Touch interaction, which allows users to bring up menus and dive deeper into content with an extra-firm push. Apple Inc.
The phone’s new A9 chip, the third generation of Apple’s 64-bit chips, is 70% faster than its predecessor in processing and 90% faster in graphics, Apple said. Those improvements make it ideal for games graphics. The M9 motion co-processor, which enables things like step tracking from the phone, is built into the chipset now.
A 12-megapixel rear camera improves on the previous 8 megapixels. The step up in hardware, plus enhanced software, means improved low-light performance, better detail and enhanced color. The camera also delivers even bigger panoramas (though they were pretty huge to begin with). On the video side, the new camera can shoot 4K video. The iPhone 6S can also edit that 4K video, which is crucial.
Live Photos is a new feature that records multiple stills with each shot — frames before and after the moment — so that you can 3D Touch them for a quick video-like “moment of vitality, ” says Apple’s SVP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller. The Live Photos feature is on by default, but Mr. Schiller says it’s efficient at storage.
A 5-megapixel front-facing camera bests the previous 1.2 megapixels, and uses the phone’s screen as a skin-tone-friendly flash.Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple Inc, speaks about the 4K video capability for the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus during an Apple media event in San Francisco on Sept. 9. Beck Diefenbach/Reuters
The new iPhones are made of a stronger aluminum alloy that Mr. Schiller says is used in the aerospace industry. Perhaps the shift in metal was based on last year’s concerns over bent iPhone 6 models.
Finally, Apple has added a new color to the familiar silver, gold and space gray. There’s now rose gold. It’s not real gold, but an aluminum finish.
Apple will be selling the iPhone 6S for the same pricing as the current iPhones, but will also offer a new upgrade program for $32 per month. Available through Apple retail stores in the U.S., the program sounds like a lease—you’ll likely have to trade in your phone each year.