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iPhone 5 Released Today: New Features Breakdown [PHOTOS]

Apple CEO Tim Cook / Justin Sullivan - Getty Images

An excited techno-dweeb crowd got it’s first real glimpse of the iPhone 5 today at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. According to the PCMag Live blog by Sascha Segan, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage right on time with the words; “We’ve got some really cool stuff to show you.”

Cook began with a page right from the Steve Jobs playbook, by laying out a quick retail store update; featuring the Barcelona Apple store, which is now one of the largest in the world, and adding that Sweden will be next on the openings, which will make 380 stores in 13 countries.

He continued with updates on the new Macbook Air, a boast about the New iPad selling 17 million units just last quarter alone and other iPad sales info.

Cook then brought Phil Schiller on stage with a huge image of the iPhone behind him. As the new device rose dramatically to sound and lighting effects on a pedestal from below the stage.

Construction

Schiller announced that “it’s taller, made entirely of glass and aluminum. Designed and built to an exacting standard unlike anything we have made before.” The iPhone 5 is now the world’s thinnest smartphone at 7.6mm, 18% thinner than iPhone 4S. It’s their lightest as well, coming in at 112g, it’s 20% lighter than iPhone 4S. It’s the same old two colors, though, black and white.

Improved Display

The 4-inch retina display is the same 326ppi, but now is 1136 by 640, which is the same width but taller, allowing for an additional 5th row of icons.  Shiller said it’s the most accurate display in the industry with 44% more color saturation than iPhone 4S. It has a 30% thinner display than the previous model. They accomplished this by removing a layer, in turn making it sharper, with less glare in sunlight.

Faster

It features a dynamic antenna and a max downlink of up to 100mbps . There’s now a single baseband chip for voice and data and a single radio chip, dubbed the A6, which is 2x faster at CPU and graphics compared to A5. Which is all good news for gamers. It will also support LTE 4g as LTE can be faster than the average WiFi network at home.

Camera

One of the biggest changes is there is now a sapphire crystal lens cover.  It sports an 8 megapixel sensor,  5 element lens, and a fast f 2.4 aperture. In addition there’s a new dynamic low light mode. ISP senses low light and can combine multiple pixels together to give you 2 f stops more performance and a more advanced alignment of lenses for focusing. 40% faster photo capture,  Another big development is the shared photo streams. You can take your photos and automatically share them with friends and family where they can like them and comment on them. For even more versatility, they’ve introduced a 28MP Panorama mode. Just tap and say I want to take a panorama photo, hold phone vertical, then sweep your scene. The software tells you what pace to sweep it at. Behind the scenes in real time it’s taking slices of photos, finding the edges, stitching them together, aligning them and is removing echo artifacts. While the camera is amazing for taking pictures, it’s also better for video, with 1080p HD video, better stabilization, face detection for up to 10 faces, and it takes photos while recording video. The camera on front has been updated as well. The Facetime camera is now a 720p backside illuminated with face detection, and you can opt for Facetime over cellular networks as well.

Audio

Now not two but three microphones built into iPhone 5. Bottom, front and back. There’s beam forming for voice recog in apps like Siri.  They’ve improved the speaker as well, it’s now a five magnet transducer with a noise cancelling earpiece. There’s also new tech called ‘wideband audio’ for amazing sound performance. Wideband audio fills up more of the frequency spectrum and makes your voice sound even more natural.

New Connector

Called Lightning, it’s now 80% smaller. It’s all digital, 8 signal design, with an adaptive interface, improved durability, reversible and easier to use. What about existing gadgets? There is a 30 pin to Lightning adapter, which of course will be made only by Apple.  Works just like you’d expect. So many things we used to do over the wire we now do wirelessly. Bluetooth speakers. WiFi AirPlay and iTunes syncing. With iCloud, you can download content wirelessly.

iOS6

There’s a new Maps app. Built from the ground up to use vectors, it will now show you 100m points of interest including restaurants with Yelp reviews and lots of photos. There’s built in free turn by turn directions, just by tapping on car icon, you’ll get the quick route. Tap to get an overview. Zoom out. See the whole route, and it all works in landscape. Great satellite imagery. To switch to satellite, just tap on button of 3D building, takes you into fly mode, allows you to fly around the scene with your fingers. There’s also a notification center that lets you post to Twitter or Facebook from anywhere.

Safari

Looks great on big 4-inch display. Arrows on bottom right. Now takes you to full screen mode, page takes entire large display. iCloud Tabs shows the windows you’ve opened back on your Mac, can take your iPhone to that Web page on the go

Email

Added a feature called VIPs to Mail. All of your VIP’s messages in the Inbox are collected in one place. You can tap on items, flag them, dynamically add them to flagged mailbox.

Passbook

The best way to collect all of your passes in one place. Movie ticket, airline boarding pass, coupon from Target, store card from Starbucks. Ticket for concert, ticket for baseball game. Passbook integrates with the lock screen so when you get to the airport, your boarding pass automatically appears on the lock screen, slide across, and it brings up your boarding pass for the plane.

Shared photo streams.

Shared photo streams is easiest way to share photos with your friends. Your friends can receive push notifications with their photos on their phones. You can comment on photos and friends can comment on yours.

SIRI

SIRI has taken up sports as a past-time now.  You can ask about major league standings and real-time scores. You can also now launch apps by talking to your phone. “Launch Yahoo Fantasy Football.” Siri has also learned a lot more about movies. She can recommend a “good” movie, based on Rotten Tomatoes reviews. Siri also knows a lot more about restaurants. “Find a sushi restaurant for four at 8:00.” Integrated with OpenTable. Tap one, tap make reservation which takes one directly to the open table app to finalize my reservation. They’ve also integrated Facebook directly into Siri. Now you can post Facebook statuses from Siri by voice. They’ve also integrated Facebook into many of the apps throughout the OS. You’ll find other enhancements to the phone app. Now you can send an SMS or iMessage back when someone’s calling you and you can’t answer.

The iPhone 5 will be available for pre-order from Apple this Friday, September 14, and ships on September 21. Pricing is $199 for 16 GB, $299 for 32 GB, and $399 for 64 GB (all on contract).


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