Say hello to the new iPhone

The new iPhone 5 in black

Did you hear the news, Apple announced something today but no one was around to hear. Not really, if you haven’t heard you probably just stuck your head in the sand and decided against checking Twitter or your favorite blogs; but in either case, Apple officially announced their 6th generation iPhone – the iPhone 5.

What it is

The sixth generation iPhone is yet another incremental update to what has become Apple’s flagship product. Weighing in at 3.95 ounces (or 20% less than the iPhone 4S) complete with a new and larger 4-inch Retina display, the new iPhone is pretty much what has been leaked since they announce the 4S. As expected the new iPhone 5 includes a new connection, the 8-pin Lightning connector; sure it may make your old 30-pin connector obsolete, but you don’t necessarily have to toss all your peripheral devices. The iPhone 5 will also include a true 4G, LTE radio – so no more days of HSPA 3G masked as 4G on iOS.

Inside you’ll find a new A6 processor which, in regular Apple fashion, was not given any detailed specs other than it being about twice as fast as the current A5 processor found in the iPhone 4S.

The latest iPhone also saw a subtle change in its overall design; gone are the dual panes of glass and its place is a single slab (as small as it is maybe we should call it a sliver) of aluminum that – in our opinion- double the iPhone’s durability from the jump. It’s a subtle change that addressed some of the critiques of the previous design while still pushing the boundaries of the minimalist design.

So what are the extras?

Sure at face value there doesn’t seem much to the announcement and if you were looking for a major overhaul of the iPhone design, you clearly don’t value the amount of effort it takes to fashion a chassis out of one piece of aluminum. Yup, the new iPhone 5 sports a uni-body design – the chassis/back are fashioned out of a single piece of aluminum that make the dramatic weight reduction possible while maintaining the phone’s integrity. Judging by various site’s first hands-on impressions, the new iPhone delivers the goods.

Hardware aside, some of the more interesting changes can be found in iOS6. For starters, Apple’s continuing feud with Google means that we will no longer see Google Maps, or YouTube for that matter, preloaded on the iPhone but just like the new YouTube app that’s been released, I’m sure we’ll see Google Maps. In the meantime, you should probably get yourself acquainted with iOS’s 3D maps.

Apple’s 3D Maps aren’t news per se but it’s amazing to see how far along they’ve gotten with it It’s not perfect and Google Maps appears to be the better map app at the moment and it should be since they’ve had years to develop it.

Another feature on the iPhone 5 worth mentioning is the camera’s new Panorama feature. Using a simple sweeping motion, the iPhone’s iSight© camera captures, stitches, and corrects multiple images to create a single sweeping 28 Megapixel image. Panorama apps aren’t new to mobile phones by any stretch, but Apple’s continued development of their imaging technology further affirms that the iPhone’s target audience isn’t necessarily those that are looking for beefy spec sheets, but people who are most likely to have their phone disappear into their lives.

Should I buy it?

That really comes down to the following: Are you an early adopter? Are you out of contract and are looking for a new phone? Are you still using an iPhone 3GS? If the answer to any of these then the answer is a profound, “Yes.” Though most geeks would have liked to see a major overhaul of their OS, the iPhone’s iOS is the gold standard for user experience. Sure, it’s pretty much unchanged since it was first launched in 2007; but it’s also something that competitors have struggled to replicate (looking at you Samsung).

If you’re reluctant to let go of your hard earned money for the latest iPhone or let your Android flag fly proudly, there’s probably very little reason to consider making a switch. And that’s fine too; but if you’re looking to dive into iOS for the first time, there’s never a better time than when a new iPhone’s been announced.

Source: Apple

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