Thursday, September 13, 2012

Don't believe the iPe

Rumours about the next iPhone have been pouring in the last weeks. Yesterday Apple finally confirmed most of those rumours by letting the world see for itself what the iPhone 5 really looks like and what new features it is packing. The first big change is the screen size and aspect ratio. The last iPhone, the 4S, had a 3.5 inches screen with a resolution of 640x960 pixel and an aspect ratio of 3:2. The iPhone 5 has a 4 inches screen with a resolution of 1136x640 px, giving a 16:9 aspect ratio. Apple had to make their screen bigger because their phones look like midgets compared to some Android phone like the Galaxy S II or even the Galaxy Note. Changing the aspect ratio means that developers have to adapt and adjust their apps so they fit on the new screen or else black bars will be displayed at each end of the device, just like when you are watching a movie that is not widescreen on a widescreen TV. Except from that, I think it was a good move to pull, especially because it will add an extra row of app icons. They also changed the processor that is powering the device for the new generation of Apple processor chips, the A6. During the presentation, Apple said that the new chip is twice the speed as the previous model, the A5. They did not give any more details so it is still uncertain whether it is a dual or quad-core processor and at what speed it will be clocked. The iPhone 5 will support the 4G and LTE networks and will be available through Bell, Telus, Rogers, Fido and Virgin Mobile in Canada. After 9 years of using the same connector for their iDevices, Apple decided to change the 40-pin connector we are all used to see to a much smaller, 8-pin connector. This is very sad for the customers who bought iAccessories like docking stations and speakers because they will have to purchase a 30 $ adapter to make it work with the new iPhone. From my point of view, the best improvement they have made on the phone is adding a third microphone and replacing the speaker by a better one. The camera has been improved as well, it is now has 8 mega-pixel resolution and the camera app has been ramped up too. The part of the presention where they were talking about the battery was very weird because it seemed like they were looking to skip that part. I am thinking that the new processor and the LTE support will drain the battery a lot, and on top of that, they said they made it smaller. Apple also released a new version of iOS in which they removed Google Maps to favor their own Map application. We should see it come to our canadian stores on September 21st, starting somewhere between 199 and 249$ on a 2 years contract. 

Tim Cook's team unveiled a new line of iPods, new earbuds which they call EarPods and a new version of iTunes. Nothing worth blogging about. The big deception is the fact that it does not include an NFC chip to use for mobile payment. To tell you the truth, I think Apple is playing catch up with Android phones because their product is simply not up to par with the best phones that are currently on the market from both a hardware and software point of view. Maybe Steve Job's departure was the beginning of the end for Apple.


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