07 Sep A New Generation of Apples: iPhone 6s / 7, Apple Watch 2, & the Next Apple TV.
The internet is buzzing with excitement this week and everyone is weighing in, providing speculation about Apple’s newest line of products to be unveiled Wednesday, September 9th. Per usual, the keynote will be available to stream on your Apple devices tomorrow morning (depending on your location). With so many varying rumors floating around, it’s hard to focus on just one of the supposed releases, so we thought we’d give you a brief overview of each. Here are a few of the things the experts say we may be able to expect!
iPhone 6s / iPhone 7
First off, what’s up with the name debate? This seems like a silly assumption, and I believe that bloggers are only including the “7” to maximize search-ability of their articles. The new phone has a 99.9% repeating chance of being called the 6s, unless Apple decides to bail on their long established naming conventions for no apparent reason. That being said, let’s take a glance at some of the predictions.
New Physical Design:
This is something I would say is highly unlikely. Apple has a long track record of introducing large overhauls on non “s” models. We saw a huge shift in aesthetics from the 3G to the 4, but the 4s looked nearly identical. The 5 included a much taller screen and thinner frame but the 5s barely changed (less the fingerprint sensor). Last year’s iPhone 6 was hardly recognizable with it’s increased size and curvy edges. So it stands to reason that this year we may see some minor adjustments, but can expect a very similar looking product.
Force Touch utilizes advanced touchscreen technology capable of differentiating between a light tap and a longer harder touch. Based on the amount of pressure applied and length of the press, the device will perform different actions. The Apple Watch utilizes this, a light tap on an email opens it up to be read, while more sustained pressure takes the user directly to the reply screen.
On the iPhone 6s, says 9to5Mac, “Force Touch will let you skip long lists of menus.”
“A user can look up a point of interest in the Maps application, and then Force Touch on the destination to immediately begin turn-by-turn directions, the website says. “Currently, if a user wants to start navigating to a destination, she must search for the point of interest, click the navigation logo on the map view, then click another button to actually start navigating. In this case, the Force Touch gesture will skip two steps.”
4K Video Camera:
It’s hard to say what they are going to do with this one, as Apple has a long history of implementing very subtle upgrades to the camera, bumping it a couple of mega pixels, increasing low light sensitivity, or adding a new crystal lens cover. Many users believe that this will be the year they include some massive sensor upgrades and 4k video capture.
Shortly following last years iPhone launch, John Gruber, a blogger with Daring Fireball told consumers to prepare themselves for the “biggest camera jump” ever on the next model (6s). He claims to have heard that the new phone would have two lenses, which, in tandem, would bring iPhone 6S image quality up to that of a full-sized digital SLR camera. Personally I’d be happy if the app just launched a little faster, so I don’t miss those fleeting precious moments waiting for my camera to load.
Better Battery Life
Tech news site cnBeta says the battery capacity of the standard-sized iPhone 6S will be reduced from 1810 milliampere hours to 1715 mAh, and the large-screened model will drop from 2910 to 2750 mAh. That’s a power drop of 5.3 percent for the iPhone 6S, and 5.5 percent for the 6S Plus. I understand users’ concerns with this, and have heard some complain about needing to charge their iPhone 6 halfway through the day, but personally have never had an issue.
In comparison to my iPhone 5, the 6 is capable of lasting days when used moderately (meaning messaging, the occasional call, e-mail, browsing news, and listening to music). You can’t expect to get 24 hours of battery life when you’re gaming and streaming HD video content non-stop. Apple tends to follow a “10 hours of HD video” rule, and I’ve generally found this to be accurate in my many years of testing / using their products.
A new Apple TV
Apple hasn’t released an updated version of it’s home media streaming device since I bought one for my parents back in January of 2013 (and even that was a minor refresh). I’ve been using one myself since the original release in 2007 and absolutely love it. But, it’s time for an upgrade… and here it comes!
Like clockwork, each year we are given the opportunity to upgrade to an overhaul of the mobile operating system, IOS. I’m told that we can expect big things this year from the ATV version. Supposedly there is going to be a completely new look to the interface, including the menus, screen savers, and even the on screen controls. I would like to see a picture in picture function that allows us to browse menus without content interruption.
Quite possibly, the most impressive feature rumored in the ATV IOS 9 update is the inclusion of an app store! Finally, users may be able to add and remove applications, download games, and customize the overall functionality of their device!
Focusing on Gaming
This is a big one! I’ve always enjoyed the idea of using my iPhone as a controller to play games on my Apple TV. I say idea, because although this is possible, and is awesome in theory, the reality is rather disappointing. Because there is no app store, the game must be streamed via airplay to the television over WIFI. This produces a result that is choppy and nearly intolerable for most high frame-rate applications.
In 2014 Amazon has released their own set top box (Fire TV) that not only allows you to game, but includes an app store and provides a package that comes with a physical controller. Apple has a long way to go if they want to beat the competition, but i’m hopeful they can pull it off.
Motion Sensing Controller
Some analysts believe that the new remote will include an internal gyroscope similar to that of a Nintendo Wii controller. Although I see how this could be useful for simple games, i’m not sure how beneficial this feature would be overall. We will just have to wait and find out what they have in store for us.
Voice search is all the rage these days, and the ATV isn’t going to be left behind. It’s rumored that Siri will be fully integrated in to the next ATV model allowing you to vocally request content via the press of a button on your remote, or through active listening.
Apple Watch 2?
The Apple Watch 2 could be announced alongside the iPhone 6s, but could also be held off until 2016. It’s near impossible to find any concrete evidence or even credible predictions concerning this product line. Personally I have very little experience with the current model, because as a practical tech enthusiast on a budget, I have a tendency to skip first gen product releases and wait for them to work out most of the kinks. Here are some cool concept photos i’ve come across. Hopefully they help get you as excited as I am to try out the upcoming iteration!