Apple unveils new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus: New 3D touch, Rose Gold Color, 12mp Camera and More!

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

Just like the rumor-mill has predicted, Apple at its media event in San Francisco this morning announced a pair of new iPhones: the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus.

“What we have to show you today is really awesome,” said Tim Cook.

Although the design hasn’t changed over the present-generation iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, as is the norm for S-upgrades, the new devices pack in some major hardware improvements.…new iPhone 6s colors

There is a brand new rose gold finish and the devices use a stronger Series 7000 aluminum alloy. And yes, there is a pressure-sensing screen that they’re calling 3D Touch, not Force Touch as previously thought.

3D Touch

3D Touch works on both the Home screen and inside applications themselves, providing user interface shortcuts and making possible all-new gestures such as peek, pop, mini tap and full tap. You also get distinct tactile feedback.

3D Touch users capacitive sensors that are not integrated in the backlight. The sensors pick up the force between the cover glass and the backlight. That data is combined with input from the accelerometer and gyroscope sensors to increases the accuracy and precision.

3D Touch shortcuts are implemented across all stock apps, including Messages, Maps, Safari, Phone, Music and more. Actually, you can just press firmly on the Phone icon and a brand new menu pops up right on the Home screen with shortcuts to your favorite contacts.

3D Touch Phone icon

Or, you can press firmly on the Facebook app icon on the Home screen to update your status. 3D Touch can be also used to navigate between apps. If you apply just a little bit of force to screen sides, you can flip between active apps, which looks similar to iOS 9’s new app switcher.

3D Touch Maps

And of course, games developers have shown a few games that take advantage of 3D Touch. As for tactile feedback, they have actually built a new version of the Apple Watch’s Taptic Engine that achieves even richer tactile feedback while consuming less energy.

A9 chip

The new iPhones are powered by the all-new Apple-designed A9 processor, the company’s third-generation 64-bit mobile processor. The A9 sports a new transistor architecture and consumes less energy than the A8 processor inside the current iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones.

The A9 is up to seventy percent faster in CPU tasks and approximately ninety percent faster in graphics tasks, providing “console-level performance” in graphics-rich apps and games. And for the first time, the A9 chip embeds a new motion coprocessor dubbed ‘M9′ with always-on performance. The new A9 with M9 allows for new features like the always-listening ‘Hey Siri’ feature.

12MP iSight camera

The back shooter has finally been upgraded in terms of the number of pixels.

Now with a twelve-megapixel sensor that has fifty percent more pixels than the previous-generation iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the new iPhones can capture more detail so you can crop out and zoom into them without quality degradation.

The higher-resolution camera takes 63-megapixel panorama photos, up from 42-megapixel panoramas on the previous generation. In terms of video capture, the camera can now capture video in 4K resolution, up from full HD 1080p video capture on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

5MP FaceTime HD camera

The front-facing camera, which Apple refers to as FaceTime HD, has received a major resolution upgrade so it’s now five megapixels instead of a paltry 1.3-megapixel shooter on the previous generation.

phone 6s 5mp facetime camera

The FaceTime camera lacks LED flash, but uses a software trickery to achieve the same effect. If you turn on the flash feature in the stock Camera app, the new iPhone takes advantage of a custom display chip to flash the screen with three times the intensity to illuminate your face in low-light situations.

Live Photos

The new iPhones support motion wallpapers via a new feature called Live Photos.

You just pick one of Apple-designed Live Photos and set it as your background. Additionally, you can take your own Live Photos. You don’t have to do anything different than you would in order to take a Live Photo.

Live Photos

As you take pictures, the iPhone does that automatically provided you have flipped a new switch in the Camera app. Doing so extends the capture moment just before and after you took them. Live Photos are not animations, they are still twelve-megapixel still images each animated to look great.

Faster wireless, new accessories

The new phones feature faster LTE with an additional 23 bands and with support for upcoming 300Mbps cellular networks. Wi-Fi on the new iPhones has been upgraded, too, and now supports data transfer speeds at up to 866Mbps.

To go along with the new iPhones, Apple has designed brand new charging docks. There are also new leather covers in five finishes and new silicon covers in eleven colors, including Product(RED).


The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are available in Silver, Gold, Space Grey and Rose Gold at $199/$299/$399 for 16GB/64GB/128GB versions after a contract with your carrier. The previous-generation iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have been discounted by a hundred bucks and now cost $99/$199/$299 for the same 16GB/64GB/128GB models and after a contract with your carrier.

iPhone 6s Rose Gold

The iPhone 5s has become Apple’s new entry-level iPhone. The device, which has replaced the iPhone 4s, will be available free on most carriers with a contract.

You can pre-order new iPhones starting Saturday, September 12, ahead of their release on September 25 in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, Greece, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Italy and Puerto Rico.

The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will be available in more than 130 countries and over 400 carrier partners by the end of this year. As for iOS 9, it will release next week on September 16.

New iCloud storage pricing

In a surprise announcement, Apple said it’s cutting iCloud storage upgrades in half. So starting today, you can upgrade your entry-level iCloud account with just five gigabytes of free storage to fifty gigabytes for a monthly fee of 99 cents.

If you need more than 50 gigs, $2.99 per month will upgrade your iCloud storage to 200 gigabytes. The flagship tier with one terabyte of storage is now $9.99 per month.

Apple Watch

Apple iOS 9 to Feature Force Touch, New Keyboard and Group Read Receipts!


The next-generation iPhone will feature some form of Force Touch as one of the biggest new additions to the hardware, a rumor that has been circulating since the beginning of the year and only gaining forward momentum. The report today, however, specifically mentions that Apple has designed iOS 9 “to be Force Touch-ready” and is already hard at work with developers to integrate the technology into various apps.

Since Apple’s work on Force Touch runs the gamut of iOS devices, there’s also a possibility of updated Force Touch displays on new iPad models sometime this year. All iOS versions of Force Touch are also expected to provide the real-time haptic feedback buzz similar to that of the Apple Watch to provide users a physical response when their deep presses have been noticed. As 9to5Mac points out, however, since any new Force Touch on iOS announcement automatically requires the confirmation of new hardware, any iPhone and iPad support for the feature is unlikely to happen at WWDC.


Next, Apple is rumored to be working on a new keyboard experience for iOS 9, with the company experimenting on multiple designs, like one that is “slightly longer than the current keyboard” and provides users with a more robust suite of editing options while in portrait mode. Also in the works is a more accessible way to access the QuickType keyboard and a redesign to the unpopular Shift Key to provide an easier visual understanding of when shift or caps lock is engaged.

Today’s report also falls in line with previous rumors reporting that Canada will be the first country outside of the United States to support Apple Pay, with the report claiming that iOS 9’s Passbook app includes a “necessary foundation” to support various banks, credit and debit cards, and credit unions within the country. Although Canada is well-prepared for such a service, with many retailers and businesses across the country equipped with the contactless payment terminals needed for Apple Pay, such an expansion outside of the United States has proved difficult for Apple, especially in places like China, so a WWDC announcement yet again seems unlikely.

The final minor update to iOS 9 reported today includes the addition of read receipts to both group chats in iMessage as well as on a per-contact basis. Users will be able to turn on the read receipt functionality for specific recipients while leaving the read status of a message in the dark for other contacts. The company also seems to be considering removing the little-used Game Center app altogether in iOS 9, and minor data points suggest a few additions and updates to the new Health app, as well.


Apple’s record-smashing Q1 2015 earnings: 74.5M iPhones, 21.4M iPads, $74.6B revenue!

Apple announced a record-breaking 74.5 million iPhone units sold during the first quarter of the fiscal 2015 that ended on December 27. Thanks to strong sales in China, the Cupertino giant posted a record-shattering quarterly revenue and net profit of $74.6 billion and $18 billion respectively.

The financial results amount to a net profit of $3.06 per share. The numbers show a staggering 30% increase over the same quarter last year. The latter ended with $57.6 billion of revenue and net profit of $13.1 billion ($2.07 per share).

At 21.4 million, Apple iPad sales came in slightly lower than expected (21.5 million). The company moved 26 million slates for the same period a year ago.

The iPhone sales were not the only reason for the record performance. Apple posted “all-time record revenue” from Mac (5.2 million sold) and App Store transactions. The company didn’t mention iPod sales this time around.

Going forward, Apple expects between $52 billion and $55 billion of revenue during next quarter. The company’s board of directors declared a cash dividend of $.47 per share for the quarter it just reported.

Apple Watch will begin shipping in April

Apple will begin shipping its smartwatch in April. Tim Cook, the Cupertino giant’s CEO, confirmed the news during today’s quarterly earnings call.

As it turns out, Apple Watch will ship later than expected. Recent reports suggested that the wearable device will ship in March. No specific date for the launch of the smartwatch is set just yet.

A slightly underwhelming battery performance might be the underlying reason for the delayed shipping of the Apple Watch. The device was initially supposed to become available in “early 2015.”

Apple releases iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library, SMS Relay & Instant Hotspot, bug fixes and improvements.


As promised, Apple on Monday released iOS 8.1 for public consumption. Users who have an older version installed on their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad can now update to the latest software over-the-air, by choosing Software Update under Settings > General.

iOS 8.1 flips the switch on Apple Pay in the United States on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, as well as the newly released iPad Air 2and iPad mini 3.

It also re-enables the missing Camera Roll album in Photos and beta iCloud Photo Library (in beta) while bringing additional Continuity features like Text Message Forwarding between iOS 8 devices and Yosemite Macs and more.

Apple Pay, a headline new feature in iOS 8.1 supports mobile payments in apps, on websites and at select brick-and-mortar locations. On devices that don’t have NFC, like the iPhone 5s, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, Apple Pay only works when you buy stuff online and through apps.

To recap, here are the supported devices for Apple Pay:

  • iPhone 6 (in-app, online and in-store purchases)
  • iPhone 6 Plus (in-app, online and in-store purchases)
  • iPad Air 2 (in-app and online purchases only)
  • iPad mini 3 (in-app and online purchases only)

Although Apple’s marketing materials don’t make the distinction between in-app and online purchases, Safari is technically and app. Moreover, company executives did say during the WWDC keynote that Apple Pay will be supported by participating online stores through a browser.

Apple Pay is also coming to Apple Watch early next year, extending Apple Pay to over 200 million owners of iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s worldwide, Apple said in a media release.


Another cool new feature: Text Message Forwarding.

It lets you receive text messages in the Messages app alongside iMessages on Macs running Yosemite and iPads and iPod touches running iOS 8.1. Text messages are actually routed through a user’s iPhone, allowing you to both send and receive SMS directly from a Mac or iPad.

Text Message Forwarding requires that both your Mac and iOS device be on the same Wi-Fi network and have Bluetooth turned on for proximity.


iCloud Photo Library, a built-in service that puts your entire photo library in the cloud, is now available as a beta to everyone in iOS 8.1. Once enabled in Settings > iCloud > Photos, your device will automatically upload and store your photos and videos in iCloud and sync any changes between devices.


You can elect to “Optimize Storage” to keep device-optimized versions of photos on an iOS device or “Download and Keep Originals”, which stores full-resolution photos and videos on your device. Just to clear up any confusion, iCloud always keeps your snaps and videos in their original resolution.

Your iCloud Photo Library is also available via a brand new Photos app in iCloud’s web interface, depicted above, using any Mac or Windows PC running the latest version of Safari, Chrome or Firefox. And in early-2015, a Mac edition of iOS’s stock Photos app will launch allowing for the complete end-to-end photo-syncing solution between desktop, mobile and the web.

iCloud Photo Library is great, but you’ll quickly run out of space as every iCloud account includes a meager five gigabytes of free storage. Apple’s iCloud storage upgrade pricingisn’t the most competitive: the firm is offering 20 gigabytes for 99 cents per month, 200 gigabytes in exchange for five bucks per month, 500GB for $9.99 per month and 1TB for $19.99 per month.


Compare this to the $9.99 1TB Dropbox Pro plan (same as Google).

Microsoft is offering 1TB OneDrive bucket for seven bucks per month and they’re also throwing in Office 365 for that price. By the way, if you’re serious about iPhone photography you should consider Yahoo’s Flickr service, which includes one terabyte of free storage for your photos.

As mentioned before, iOS 8.1 also brings back the Camera Roll album which went missing in iOS 8. The Camera Roll album collates only the photos you’ve taken directly on the device or saved from Mail and other apps. The Camera Roll comeback makes the operating system compatible with applications that required it, such as WhatsApp.


The problem stems, as many have complained, from the fact that iOS 8.0 has removed the system-wide Camera Roll album for no apparent reason. In addition to these features, iOS 8.1 contains bug fixes, performance enhancements and several improvements listed below.


iOS 8.1 includes other nice-to-haves

A new Enable Dictation toggle in Settings > General > Keyboards (seen above) is now available. Moreover, you’ll notice slightly larger app icons when managing your widgets in the Notification Center. The iBooks icon has been slightly redesigned and there’s now an alternative way to access privacy settings on a per-app basis, through their respective pane in the Settings app, as pictured below.


Note that certain iOS 8 features are only available in select markets.

The operating system is compatible with:

  • iPhone 4s
  • iPhone 5/5c
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 6/Plus
  • iPad 2, 3 and 4
  • iPad Air and iPad Air 2
  • iPad mini and iPad mini 2
  • iPod touch (fifth-generation)