Anticipation was palpable! Rumors were flying! Nerds everywhere were in a frenzy!
Yesterday, at their headquarters in Cupertino, Apple gave everyone what they were waiting for: Announcements about new phones and its new operating system, iOS7. If you didn’t hang on every word of the keynote, or follow the live blogs, I’ve got your back. Here’s what you need to know, including whether or not you should upgrade.
iPhone 5S is coming!
• Comes in 3 colors: Silver (white), Gold (stunning) and Space Gray (um, looks black to me, but okay)
• Will ship with new iOS7
• 8MP camera is 15% larger, and has a faster lens, and cool features like slo-mo video editing, auto image stabilization and “photo burst” which will take a bunch of pictures at once and then choose the sharpest one (read: helps you be a better photographer)
• The much-talked-about fingerprint identity sensor. Instead of unlocking your phone with an easily-hacked passcode, you can touch your finger to the phone’s sensor instead. You can use the fingerprint ID to buy things from iTunes without a password too, and register multiple fingerprints on one device. None of the fingerprint data ever leaves your device, or gets shared with the cloud or other apps.
• Cases: Pretty leather phone cases will be $39
• How much? 16GB start at $199*; 32GB at $299*; 64GB at $399. You’ll need a 2-year contract with your provider to get those prices.
• When? No pre-orders; available in stores September 20th in the US and Canada
iPhone 5C is coming!
• A “beautiful, unapologetically plastic” phone made from one piece of poly-carbonate with a highly finished surface
• Will ship with iOS7
• Comes in a bright array of colors: Green, blue, yellow, pink and white
• Will ship with color-coordinated wallpaper, which, in iOS7’s new transparent look, will give lots of your interactions a colorful background
• Has many of the same features as the current iPhone 5, without the pricetag: Big 4” display, same 8MP rear-facing camera, plus a new FaceTimeHD camera and a slightly bigger battery
• Cases: Cool hole-punched cases that color-coordinate and let your phone’s color show through, and they’re $29 each
• How Much? Cheaper— 16GB starts at $99; 23GB for $199. You’ll need a 2-year contract with your provider to get those prices
• When? Pre-orders begin September 13; available in stores on September 20th in the US and Canada
iOS7 is coming!
• You can give your current phone a system upgrade if you have and iPhone 4/4S/5, iPad 2/3, iPad mini, and iPod touch 5th generation.
• New features like Notification Center, automatic app updates, multitasking and the new iTunes streaming radio service make life easier and more fun
• The whole system has a new look, which is clutter-free, brightly-colored, and focuses on minimalist design (no more leather bindings or fake yellow notebook pages).
• Here come animations! Tap an app and it feels like you’re jumping inside it… click the home screen and the app contracts back. It’s beautiful.
• How much? Free
• When? September 17th
Should you upgrade?
If you have an eye on the 5C, i say GO FOR IT. If you haven’t been able to get into an iPhone because of price, now’s your chance. It’s cute, and has some impressive features for the money.
If you’re thinking about the 5C, here’s who I think might enjoy an upgrade:
The paranoid: Fingerprint ID makes it theft-proof (a thief won’t know he can’t get in til he has it, mind you, but at least your data is safe)
The super-passionate iPhone photographer: You’ll love the improved camera
The speed-hungry: It has a faster processor but it’s not game-changingly so
The fashionista: It comes in gold. Now that’s classy
Will I be upgrading?
Um, yes. But I count myself among the tech forward and incurably obsessed. Also, see below…
Do you already have a current iPhone?
If you’re already using a 5 or 4S, and if you are eligible for an upgrade with your provider, you might actually be able to sell your old iPhone, get a new phone, and pocket some money to boot. For instance, at Gazelle.com, I’ve locked in a sale price for my 16GB iPhone 5 at $315, and my upgrade at AT&T for a $16GB iPhone 5S would be $199. Other places to trade-in/cash-in on your old iDevice include: Verizon, Wal-Mart, uSell and BestBuy.
Will YOU be upgrading? Let me know in the comments!