Tuesday evening, 6pm (GMT), saw the highly anticipated annual apple conference in California. Rumours of the new releases and pending launches have been circulating for a few months now with talk of bigger screens, slimmer handsets and wearable tech leading the build up hear say and they weren’t wrong. On the night Apple unveiled the two new iPhone models, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus as well as the new addition to their product line the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch is Apples first dip into the wearable tech market, billing it as a ‘health and fitness device’. Apple Watch can track movement, activity and heart-rate and can export and share data with other apps when paired with an iPhone or iPad. However, Apple’s first smartwatch is much more than just a personal trainer on your wrist, it can perform many of the same functions and can run many of the same apps as Apple’s other devices including Twitter, Facebook and Emails.
Main navigation is done by using the ‘Digital Crown’ a scrolling toggle on the side of the watch but don’t worry if you like to feel like Tom Cruise in the Minority Report whilst you text your Granny, swiping is still possible as Apple have implemented the now standard touchscreen interface that recognises the difference between a touch and a tap the same as their other devices.
We’re still yet to be convinced about the need for the Apple Watch, it only runs ‘almost’ as many functions as an iPhone, has a smaller user interface to work with and isn’t really built for browsing. It is already being considered by some as a bit of a money making gimic, especially when you consider it only works to its full potential when it’s paired with an Apple iPhone 5 or later.
From what we have seen on the internet though the response has been mixed and the general consensus is split fairly 50/50. However, if one thing is for sure, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will be Apple’s biggest sellers in the device market this year.
As for how it effects you as a business, there is very little impact for website owners, the intention is not for the apple watch to become your main device or even something that can browse the internet. The idea is it’s a companion device to your phone, offering quick glimpses into notifications and information, so don’t worry you won’t have to roll out your watch compatible site just yet.
The iPhone 6 comes in two separate sizes. The standard iPhone 6 has a 4.7 inch screen, making it over half an inch bigger the the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 6 Plus is 1.5 inches bigger with a screen size of 5.5 inches. Bigger screens means a larger user interface and the new 1080p resolution could potentially mean mobile site templates will begin to be fazed out in the not too distant future.
What would that mean for creative agencies and its customers? Currently, for a successful overall user experience, websites need to have a mobile template that will show a simplified, better constrained version of the website built exclusively for smaller devices, which means you need to design a desktop template and a mobile template. More templates adds to the amount of design and implementation work and of course the cost.
The iPhone 6 Plus’ new 1080p resolution and larger interface could mean that in a few years time mobile specific templates could start to be fazed out of web design meaning websites are cheaper to build and as a consequence cheaper to buy.
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus also include Apples new Apple Pay function. Apple Pay is effectively a virtual wallet (unfortunately the money isn’t virtual) that you use to pay for transactions using NFC (Near Field Communication) on your phone instead of your credit cards, much the same as fast card payments. It also allows for one touch checkout on websites, no more entering all your billing and shipping information, just hold the fingerprint scanner and done, purchase made. We are looking to offer this functionality to our clients with e-commerce sites soon.
The new iPhones will also have an upgraded camera, increased wifi speed, finger print recognition technology and of course the much anticipated iOS8 which will likely make even the iPhone 5’s feel like a completely new phone.