Rumors telegraphed much of what Apple announced on September 9, but the new hardware and software opens up many functionalities developers can take advantage of.
Apple’s tagline for this year’s pair of iPhones is “Bigger than bigger,” because their size is the first thing you notice. The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch screen and the iPhone 6 Plus screen is 5.5 inches. That’s huge compared to the iPhone 5’s 4-inch screen, and positively giant compared to the 3.5-incher on every previous generation.
Click to enlarge. The picture, not your current phone. That doesn't work.
At least the aspect ratio is (almost) the same, so apps designed for the iPhone 5 scale up with no trouble. The iPhone 6 Plus is even full high definition, with a 1920 x 1080 Retina HD display.
Most everything else is an improvement, not a new feature: faster and more power efficient processor, higher quality and slower motion camera, that kind of thing. There is a new barometric sensor, which uses atmospheric pressure to determine altitude, and an NFC chip – which comes into play later.
Apple fans have been predicting an iWatch for years, so the Apple Watch came as welcome news. As much as the technology, the design and variety of the models is impressive. It becomes available in early 2015.
There are two sizes: 42mm and 38mm high. The standard Watch collection comes in stainless steel, and space black stainless steel; the Sport collection in silver aluminum, and space gray aluminum; and the Edition collection in 18-karat yellow gold and 18-karat rose gold. Bands include a metal link bracelet, leather loop, Milanese loop, sport band, and two types of buckle.
Dozens of faces are configurable and customizable, with options like analog and digital styles, appointment reminders, photos, and motion graphics. The dial on the side acts as a zoom and scroll control.
Of course the Apple Watch requires an iPhone for communication. It’s compatible with models back to the iPhone 5, and will support rich notifications from just about any app using the WatchKit SDK.
Apple Watch also has its own NFC chip, which means it works with…
…the other big thing Apple announced. Apple Pay is an encrypted, contactless payment solution. Users can store credit and debit cards along with tickets, coupons, and other cards in the Passbook app. Transactions use one-time tokens, so financial data is never exposed.
Apple Pay can be used not only with contactless readers in checkout lines, but also within apps. Starbucks, Target, Uber, and others have already integrated the technology. The fingerprint reader on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus verifies the user’s identity.
Got a great idea for an Apple Watch app, or extending a current app to the wrist? Want to enable mobile payments through Apple Pay? Give us a call at 603.881.9200 or email us!
Zco Corporation is a custom software company with headquarters in Nashua, New Hampshire, USA specializing in mobile app development, enterprise software, and 3D animation.
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