iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have the largest iPhone displays to date.

Apple responded to consumers’ cries for bigger and better Tuesday with the announcement of two new iPhones boasting the largest screens in the 7-year history of the product. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sport 4.7- and 5.5-inch displays, respectively. The iPhone 6 has 38% larger screen than the older 4-inch iPhone 5S, while the iPhone 6 Plus dwarfs its predecessor with a whopping 88% more viewing area.

Thanks to the iPhone’s two new large screens, a variety of new features are available for the iPhone. Features such as Reachability and a landscape (horizontal) homescreen view are available on the both new iPhones. Reachability makes one-handed operation possible with the new iPhones by sliding the entire top half of the display down with a simple double-click of the Home button. Improved landscape views mean apps will have more room to get creative with space and functionality.

Powering these supersized displays is Apple’s 64-bit A8 processor, which the company describes as “desktop-class” along with a more powerful battery. Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will ship September 19.


Apple entered the wearable device market with the Apple Watch

The smartwatch is nothing new, but Apple has decided to get into the game, we could finally start to see mass adoption of a product category that so far has remained a niche item. 92% of adults have their smartphones in reach all 24 hours of the day (Morgan Stanley), so it makes sense for Apple to release a product that is always visible on the users’ wrists, rather than in a pocket.

Apple claims that there is an Apple Watch for everyone’s style by offering the standard Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Sport, and the Apple Watch Edition, each with two different sizes, 3 color options and a variety of interchangeable bands. The Apple Watch will run a custom-designed operating system with familiar apps such as Messages, Weather, Apple Maps, and many more. The Apple Watch requires an iPhone to operate, which syncs with the Watch via Bluetooth.

Some other features of the Apple Watch include sapphire crystal glass, wireless charging, a heartbeat sensor, familiar gestures from iPhones and iPads, and Siri capabilities thanks to a microphone and speaker. The Apple Watch can have a huge impact for those who need quick information at a glance, such as travelers, busy parents, or anyone who needs to remain connected on-the-go. The Apple Watch is set to ship in early 2015 at a starting price of $349.


Apple Pay might replace your wallet

Probably the most groundbreaking announcement from yesterday’s event has gotten lost in the shuffle of cool new devices. Along with new phones and watches, Apple announced its own method of mobile payment—Apple Pay. Thousands of American retailers are already set to accept Apple Pay, which marks another milestone in the shift to a world of cash-free transactions. Apple Pay will utilize Near Field Communication (NFC) which was a new, and long-awaited, feature announced for the Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

One hint at the future of Apple Pay comes in the form of unlocking a door. During the event, Apple VP Kevin Lynch demonstrated how Apple Pay can be used as a hotel room access key. The days of not forgetting or losing your keycard are in the past. This could suggests that Apple Pay will go beyond credit cards and include many different types of keycard replacement.

Apple isn’t exactly a rookie in the realm of mobile payments, as their retail stores along with select Macy’s stores have already experimented with Apple’s iBeacon technology. The effect on the retail industry is obvious, but Apple Pay will most likely heavily impact other industries as well. The travel and tourism industry should especially take note—Apple Pay will make it easier than ever for travelers to make transactions on the go.


Apple has shown again that apps are the future of mobile technology

The release of the new Apple Watch is further proof that apps are the future of mobile. When users search for directions, check the weather, or carry out other basic tasks on a small screen attached to their wrists, maximizing available real estate is essential for the user experience. Responsive web design has its place, but a native mobile app is absolutely essential for getting information to repeat users.

One of the main benefits of the Apple Watch is its ability to display push notifications and alerts, something mobile websites do not provide. In fact, Apple’s watch does not even run a browser. The Apple Watch is positioned to be the front-line device users check throughout the day for updates and information, and Apple is making it clear that organizations need to develop apps if they hope to engage the users of the future.


Apple is focusing on technology that’s personal

“A more intimate way to connect” reads a section heading on the Apple Watch webpage. The busy adults of today use technology that is an addition to their life, rather than the integration it should be. With the new Watch, Apple again gives users a way to intimately interact and integrate technology into their lives. The Apple Watch puts information and communication closer than the user’s fingertips without disrupting their lives. The Apple Watch is even capable of physically notifying users in a non-disruptive manner by giving a simple tap for alerts and notifications.

The Apple Watch is the first big step to truly personal, individualized products from Apple. At Bluebridge, we like that philosophy. Good technology should enhance—not replace—real-life interaction. If yesterday’s announcement is any indication, it looks like Apple agrees.


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