On Tuesday 9th September 2014 at 6pm, a group of us gathered around a screen in the Createful studio to catch the feed of the Apple Live event being held at the Fleet Center in Cupertino, California

Apple event audience

After many hiccups with the Apple Live feed including constantly rewinding and crashing, and hearing it being dubbed over with a Chinese translation, we were able to finally catch some of it, led by Tim Cook.

Tim Cook on stage

iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus

Because of the feed hiccups, we sadly missed most of the feed talking about the new iPhone 6 models, but were able to glean the main details…

  • Both iPhone 6 phones will run iOS 8;
  • They will be powered by the A8 chip, which has 25% faster processing power and 50% faster graphics than the iPhone 5s;
  • There will be a new landscape mode for the home screen, emails, messages etc;
  • Both phones are larger and flatter than the iPhone 5 models;
  • Compared to the 112g weight of the iPhone 5s, the iPhone 6 weighs in at 129g, and the iPhone Plus weighs 172g;
  • Longer battery life;
  • The A8 next generation motion coprocessor chip will measure motion data including elevation to accurately record move data (especially useful for fitness apps).

Larger screen dimensions

  • The iPhone 6 will have a 4.7″ display;
  • The iPhone 6 Plus will have a 5.5″ display.

I’m not sure about the much larger size of both iPhone models as I would want something that I can actually carry around comfortably. No doubt I will end up owning an iPhone 6 when my current contract expires, but surely you would go for a tablet instead of a phone the size of the iPhone Plus? I don’t know about everybody else, but I personally wouldn’t want to hold that up to my head.

iPhone size comparison

Slimmer side dimension

  • The iPhone 6 will have a depth of 6.9mm;
  • The iPhone 6 Plus will have a depth of 7.1mm.

iPhone width comparison

Camera

The front and back cameras have been upgraded from the ones on the iPhone 5s, but not considerably…

  • The megapixel values of both cameras remain the same; 8 megapixels (back) and 1.2 megapixels (front);
  • The back 8 megapixel ‘iSight’ camera will have a ‘Focus Pixels’ sensor (phase detection autofocus) and 2x faster focus;
  • ‘True Tone’ flash;
  • Advanced face, blink and smile detection;
  • Improved five-element lens;
  • iPhone 6 will have digital image stabilisation and iPhone 6 Plus will have optical image stabilisation.

Taking photographs is probably the one thing I use my iPhone for the most so it’s quite disappointing to learn that the megapixel count hasn’t gone up at all, but it will be interesting to see how these improvements affect the quality of photographs taken.

I’ve never been able to take decent inside/night time shots with an iPhone because the flash has never been up to scratch, so hopefully there’ll be some improvements there that make taking photographs in those conditions feasible.

iPhone 6 camera lens dissection

Apple Pay

Apple Pay will be a way to pay retailers with your iPhone instantly and not have to carry all your debit and credit cards around…

  • You will be able to add a card to Passbook from your iTunes account or take a photograph of your card and use it with your iPhone 6 (after being OK’d with your bank);
  • You will be able to use your phone to pay for goods at contactless points in shops and online;
  • It’s supposed to be very secure“Cashiers don’t see your name, your card number, or your security code”;
  • In the US, customers will be able to use Apple Pay straight away at Disney World and Disney Stores, Groupon, Starbucks, Uber and Panera among others.

I predict the UK will be a little slower to respond to this payment method but we shall see!

One more thing…

Of course, the ‘one more thing’ is always the most anticipated thing.

One more thing...

Apple Watch

As largely predicted, it is a wearable device which will work together with the iPhone and act as a health and fitness tracker.

It will be available early 2015 and will retail at $349.

It will be able to hold apps just like the iPhone, which can be navigated by swiping the screen and zoomed in/out by rotating the ‘digital crown’ on the side of the device. You will be able to return to the home screen by pressing the crown.

Apple Watch

On the reverse side of the watch face are infrared and visible-light LEDs and photosensors which can measure pulse rate.

Charging will also be carried out from the reverse side with a unique charging adaptor.

Apple Watch back

Communication

You will be able to communicate with your contacts using taps and simple sketch gestures instead of written text, which actually appeals to me as sometimes I’m just too lazy to type out a message… I know I’m not alone here.

Simple communication can also be achieved with customisable emojis and ‘QuickBoard’, which will give you a choice of responses to send back to your contacts when they ask you a question without you having to manually type them. You can even send them your heart beat, but I think that’s a little creepy.

Apple Watch sketch gestures

Customisation

The Apple Watch will be highly customisable in two different sizes and with cases and bands falling into three main ‘collections’.

Apple Watch variations

  • Apple Watch – Will have a stainless steel case, sapphire crystal display and a range of bands;
  • Apple Watch Sport – Will have an anodised aluminium case, strengthened Ion-X glass and durable bands;
  • Apple Watch Edition – Will have an 18-karat gold case, sapphire crystal display and range of bands.

The watch face will also be customisable as you can see from this image, so it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get two that look exactly the same.

Apple Watch customisations

Fitness integration

The major draw for me is the fitness tracking capability of the Apple Watch. This concept isn’t new on the market but it’ll be interesting to see what Apple brings to the table.

Apple Watch Sport

There will be two main fitness apps; an activity monitor to measure general activity throughout the day, and a workout app.

Apple Watch fitness app logos

The Watch’s accelerometer will measure body movement, and the sensor on the back of the watch will measure your heart rate. GPS and Wi-Fi from your iPhone is used to keep track of where you have been and the distance you have travelled.

Apple Watch activity screen

As the watch can’t use GPS without the iPhone, this will mean that if you want to go out for a run, for example, you’ll have to wear the watch and carry the phone, which is too much unnecessary bulk to be carrying when you are exercising. This alone would be the reason why I wouldn’t run out and buy one straight away.

WatchKit

Developers will be able to create and extend their existing apps to Apple Watch using WatchKit.

WatchKit logo

Then U2 came on and suddenly everyone felt the need to leave…

What did you think of the launch? Will you be ordering an iPhone 6 straight away, and if so, what size? How about the Apple Watch; do you think it will catch on and would you use it? Let us know in the comments!