Apple Updates to iPhone 5, iPod Touch, iOS 6

5 years ago

In San Francisco this morning Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives took center stage to introduce the new iPhone 5, new iPod Nano and iPod Touch, an updated iTunes product and updates to iOS 6. Not a word about an iPad Mini.

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Note to jeans manufacturers: back pockets need to be a little deeper than before. The new iPhone is longer. Those little mini-pockets just won't do any more.

What's new in iPhone 5?

The glass and aluminum smart phone is 7.6 mm thick, 18% thinner than before. It weighs in at 20% lighter than the 4S. It's slightly longer, with more color saturation. There's a new chip inside which is more energy efficient. This is supposed to give you 8 hours of LTE browsing or 40 hours of music or 225 hours of standby time. You can choose between a black version and a white version.

All the apps have been updated: calendars, mail, etc. It will support the 4G LTE standard, which should mean faster speeds – Apple calls it ultrafast wireless. The dynamic antenna switches to the best signal automatically. The phone will work with AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.

The camera has 8MP with an f/2.4 aperture – like the iPhone 4S but thinner. It will be 40% faster at taking pictures. It also has a low light mode, a noise filter and better color matching. The camera has a sapphire crystal lens cover. There's a built in panorama feature. Facetime will be less blurry. The camera can take HD video images.

There are 3 microphones and an improved speaker. The 3 mics are on front, back and bottom and should improve voice recognition.

The prices for the various models remain the same. The 8 GB iPhone 4 goes down to free. Preordering starts Friday, September 14. Shipping starts Friday Sept 21.

The New Connector and All Those Docks You Own

There's a new connector called Lightning. More is done wirelessly now and the connector is changing with that. Lightning is 80% smaller than the current connector. Apple has a 30 pin to 8 pin adapter since the new iPhone won’t work with any of your current accessories to help you transition to the new connector.

The best thing about the Lightning connector is it fits either way. No more turning it over because you do it wrong the first time, every time.

iPod Nano and iPod Touch

The 7th generation iPod Nano will have a bigger display, be thinner, with easy controls, and a Lightning connector. The physical controls are on the side with touch controls on the 2.5 inch mini-display. There's an FM tuner and Bluetooth is built in. It comes in 7 colors and has 30 hours of battery life for music. You get 16GB for $149.

The iPod Touch gets a 4-inch Retina screen, a Lightning connector. It's thinner and lighter. And if the Retina display isn't enough for gamers, there's faster CPU and graphics, too. The battery provides 40 hours of music, 8 hours of video. There's a 5 MP iSight camera with the Panorama feature. iPhoto for iOS is available on the iPod Touch. With Bluetooth, too. And Siri. Yes, Siri on your iPod Touch. It comes in 5 colors and sports a wristband so you don't drop it. Pricing for the new Touch is 32GB $299 or 64GB for $399.

The new Nano and Touch are coming in October.


You heard that right. Earbuds have gone over the great divide and we now have Earpods.

Earpods are rounder, the sound is focused and they were designed after looking inside a whole lot of ears to create a nicer fit.

Earpods start shipping today and they will be packaged with all the new gadgets.

iTunes Changes

Facebook is now integrated with iTunes. (Same is true for App Store and iBook Store.) Search is better and you can listen to song previews while shopping around. iCloud is built in to iTunes. With iCloud, you can pick up where you left off in iTunes on another device. You can see the whole iTunes library and your own music library at the same time. All the functions are in one place.

When you minimize iTunes, you get a mini player which allows you to control the player and to search.

The iTunes Store is redesigned to be more like the store on the iPad. The iTunes Store will have tour and concert information on artists. The new iTunes will be available in October.

iOS 6: Changes in the Operating System

The first improvement mentioned in iOS 6 is in maps. It's integrating apps such as Yelp with maps, has turn by turn directions, 3D imagery.

The notification center now lets you post to your social networks. Safari has a full screen mode and iCloud based tabs for backing up anything you want.

Mail has a way to prioritize mail so you can always see the mail from your VIPs. Passbook puts tickets, boarding passes, and membership cards in one place. It integrates with lockscreen. Siri is evolving into a better person as well, with sports data, voice launched apps, and posting to Facebook and Twitter for you. Siri can SMS in response to emails. And it checks with you before sending, in case you are drunk Siri-ing. (How does one spell Siriing? Oh, right, it isn't supposed to be a verb.)

Updates to iOS 6 begin on September 19.


Well? Are you going to get any of these new gadgets as soon as possible?

Virginia DeBolt, BlogHer Section Editor for Tech
Virginia blogs at Web Teacher and First 50 Words.

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