The latest smartphones from Apple, the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, were released under the slogan: “The only that’s changed is everything.” That’s quite a statement, even from Apple – so is it justified or is it just marketing hype? In this post we take a closer look at these phones, focusing on some of the important new features and upgrades.
By far the most important feature in the new iPhones is 3D Touch, the smartphone version of the Force Touch feature previously found on the Apple Watch and MacBook. Simply pressing your finger on the display yields the same results as before, however truly remarkable things happen if you press harder than normal, and sustain that action for a bit longer.
When it comes to emails, for example, holding your finger over the screen allows you to read the email without having to flick right, as you would previously have done. And after you take your finger off the display, the message simply returns to your email list, without you having to tap at the top of the screen to close it.
But wait, there’s more! If, instead of moving your finger back, you press the screen even harder, you, in a sense, lock the screen you’ve been looking at. So if you’re interested in one message in particular, you press it a bit harder to open it, then press even more to “lock” it on the screen – no need to swipe at all!
This, of course, works for other apps too! In the message app, for instance, you can press the hyperlink in a message to have the web page that was linked to it open in Safari. Then, if you stop pressing the screen, it disappears. And just as pressing harder in an email first opens the message, and then locks the message into place, so does pressing harder in this case lock that particular web page on the screen.
And this doesn’t only work for websites, either. If a message has a date or a time, pressing harder on it will open up the calendar. If, on the other hand, it is a recognized flight number, you’ll open an app which displays the details of that flight.
What 3D Touch basically does is it reduces the amount of swiping and gives you more control of your iPhone experience by simply pressing. This might seem a bit strange at first, but it’s actually a lot more efficient, so it’s definitely a welcome change. It’s these subtle changes and innovations which make Apple a leader in its field, and the Cupertino company has once again delivered.
In addition to 3D Touch, the new iPhone also comes with plenty of hardware changes, as well as some software tweaks. First of all, the devices now come in rose gold, in addition to the silver, gold, and space grey colors previously available.
The case is made from an aluminum alloy called 7000 series aluminum, which according to Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller is a material used in the aerospace industry. In terms of display size, the 6S comes with a 4.7-inch screen, while the 6S Plus is 5.5-inches.
The back and front cameras have been upgraded from 8 and 1.2 MP to 12 and 5 MP respectively, and the photos taken with them look better and sharper than ever. The smartphones can also shoot 4K video, though they don’t actually have screens capable of playing video of that resolution, so to take advantage of this capability you’ll have to use another device.
Other improvements include the A9 processor, which is supposedly 70% faster and has 90% faster graphics, and significantly faster fingerprint recognition thanks to a new Touch-ID sensor.
Another interesting feature involving photos is the fact that whenever you take one, the device actually takes 3 seconds of video, 1.5 seconds before and 1.5 seconds after. This gives your photos a little bit of “context,” which you can see as you browse through them in the Photos app.
Pricing for the latest Apple smartphones starts at $549 for the 6S model and $649 for the 6S Plus (in the USA). Pre-orders began on September 12, while the actual release date has been set for September 25.