iPhone 6s after 3 days: Processor speed, display, 4K video, and Live Photo

29 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple iPad mini 4 review.

In a statement sent to Gulf News, the tech giant said the latest phone models will also be available on the same day in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. APPLE said on Monday it had sold more than 13-million iPhone 6s and 6s Pluses during their first weekend of availability in 12 markets, setting a record for its marquee product.Apple announced this morning that it sold more of its new iPhone 6 phones on opening weekend than any other iPhone — 13 million plus — but before we start planning the parade we should consider the big caveat in those figures: China.

The only obvious hardware change is Apple’s removal of the orientation lock / mute switch; you’ll need to swipe up Control Center for those two options now. This suggested investors remained sceptical that Apple can improve on the demand for the previous iPhone, which propelled the company to its most profitable quarter yet, said IDC analyst John Jackson.

Yes, the “s” models look more or less like their predecessors, but for quite a while Apple has used these cycles to upgrade a lot of the stuff on the inside. Apple added China to the list of 12 countries that would be part of the launch this year (New Zealand, too), adding millions more potential phone buyers.

The iPhone 6 had set the previous record of 10 million unit sales in its first weekend, but the figures did not include China, where regulatory problems delayed the gadget’s debut last year. Analysts had said Apple was virtually assured to set a first-weekend record for iPhone sales with the inclusion of China, which many expect will soon be the company’s largest market.

But several analysts said the 6s figures, which also included the US, Australia and the UK, suggested Apple was on pace to lift iPhone sales slightly from last year. While Apple’s new 2015 phones seem indistinguishable from last year’s models, if you check carefully you’ll discover they’re slightly larger and heavier. There’s nothing wrong with the iPad mini’s continued design; its metal-and-glass construction still screams “premium.” But going with the same look means Apple hasn’t yet addressed some legitimate critiques. The weekend also marked the debut of Apple’s upgrade programme, which allows users to receive a new iPhone each year for monthly installments starting at $32, regardless of their carrier. I absolutely couldn’t tell the difference, and the Apple leather case I’ve been using on my iPhone 6 for the last year slipped onto the 6s without any trouble. (Extremely tight, precisely made cases might have trouble fitting the new models, but I’d wager that most cases won’t have any trouble being repurposed for a newer model.) The change in weight, on the other hand—which appears to be related to the addition of 3D Touch sensors under the display, and possibly the new Taptic Engine—well, that’s noticeable.

Many customers over the weekend appeared to be participating in the programme, Cross said, although the plan may prove more popular among the earliest buyers of the new iPhones. New phones from chief rival Samsung Electronics have received a lukewarm reception, and other manufacturers seem to be stuck playing catch-up, Jackson said. But it’s also a power move for saving time: App makers can add 3D-touch shortcuts to their homescreen icons, so you can jump directly into Shazam-ing a song, composing a tweet, or listening to the podcast episode you were playing earlier. Still, many Wall Street analysts are feeling positive about Apple’s numbers. “While units are up more than 30 percent from last years launch, we believe the organic unit number excluding China may be a more accurate indicator,” said Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster in a research note today. “Assuming China accounted for about 2 million units of the opening weekend, it would imply organic units were up 10 percent year-over-year,” Munster wrote. It’s easy to imagine something like hailing an UberPool to the office or home with one tap, or peeking at your favorite teams’ scores by 3D-touching the ESPN app.

Apple investors have been anxious about the sustainability of the iPhone huge sales numbers over the past year, and especially about the reliability of the Chinese market to fuel future growth. Early reports suggested that the metal surface of iPhone 6s models, which use the stronger 7000-series aluminum Apple also uses in the Apple Watch Sport, was somehow more tacky or “grippable” than the older phones.

When I asked Apple about this, they declined to say anything, and if I’m reading between the lines I think the suggestion there is that Apple doesn’t think there’s any difference. But if you have a child or a cute dog, and regret how few videos you shoot of them relative to the number of still photos, it’s a delightful, free bonus feature. (Free, that is, beyond the cost of storage. Remember, friends don’t let friends buy the 16 GB iPhone.) Apple has made a Live Photo tool available to developers, and Facebook will reportedly implement it. Part of it could be a placebo effect, but my guess is that some change in Apple’s production process-either the manufacture of the aluminum itself or, more likely, the anodization process that each aluminum backplate undergoes—has introduced some variation in the texture of the iPhone’s surface. The mini 4 has 2GB of RAM inside, so apps are also less likely to unexpectedly restart when you’re multitasking, and Safari won’t need to reload your tabs so often.

There’s zero lag more often than not, and the (very) slight stutters I’ve seen in the app switcher and Split View can likely be blamed on the brand new iOS 9 rather than the iPad’s hardware. If you’re on the home screen and push a little extra harder on an app icon, you’ll usually (apps have to be updated to support this feature) see a menu of up to four Quick Actions. As the menu pops up, you’ll also feel a slight vibration coming from the phone’s Taptic Engine, which can create much more subtle vibration patterns than previous iPhones. But in addition to the new iPhone’s speed boosts and features, Apple has introduced a new way of buying one, called the iPhone Upgrade Program, which allows you to lease an unlocked iPhone and upgrade to a new phone annually.

Apple has done a great job integrating haptic feedback into 3D Touch, and the combination of your own sense of pressure on your fingertips and the vibration of the Taptic Engine is greater than the sum of its parts. Because the vibrations provide instant feedback about how hard to push in order to trigger 3D Touch, I never really had a problem triggering the feature accidentally. The items in Quick Actions menus are essentially links to different features or areas of the app whose icon you’re touching, allowing you to open the app and jump quickly to a specific area. For example, rather than opening the Camera app, tapping the icon to switch from the iSight camera to the FaceTime camera, and potentially swiping to get the app into Photo mode, you can just choose Take Selfie from the Quick Action menu. If Apple is going to make future “S” updates as significant as this year’s, and if the iPhone continues to serve as my primary mobile computer, I’m seriously considering it.

If you want to know more, you can press a little bit harder and you’ll get a stronger vibration as the window “pops” open, just as if you had tapped on it to begin with. That means it’s perfectly adequate — dare I say even good — in ideal light, but for everything else, you should really only open the iPad’s camera app when your phone is out of reach. In Apple’s own Notes app, for example, when you’re in drawing mode the app detects the pressure of your finger on the screen and uses it to determine the intensity of the pencil marks. I’m a believer in 3D Touch—it provides a fantastic collection of power-user features, but feels natural enough that I think it’ll be adopted by more than just the nerdiest among us. Apple’s $499 64GB model is the right choice for most people, and if you really need connectivity in a pinch, either tether to your smartphone or spend extra for the convenience of built-in LTE.

When you enable Live Photos (by tapping a new Live Photos icon when in the Photo setting of the Camera app), the iPhone is always shooting video and caching it temporarily. When you take a picture, the app grabs the last 1.5 seconds of video and the following 1.5 seconds, and saves that as a movie, alongside the still picture. The metal and glass design works as well this time around as it has since the original iPad mini, evoking a sense of quality that’s missing from the array of plastic and faux leather Android tablets it’s competing with. I feel like Apple deserves more credit than it’s gotten for Touch ID — it’s remarkable how fast and how consistently it works, especially compared to fingerprint readers on other phones and tablets.

If Apple Pay manages to take off, you’ll also use it to quickly make purchases in apps — but you won’t be able to use it to pay at a physical store. As a bonus easter egg around a still picture, Live Photos can be fun and silly, but if I’m ever in a situation where I want to capture movement, I’m going to shoot video instead. Positioning the stereo speakers right next to each other on one end of the tablet still feels like an odd choice — especially when you find yourself muffling them with your palm. I imagine that all of those filmmakers who love shooting stuff with iPhones will snap up these new iPhones immediately, just because of the 4K video support. Really, most of the complaints I have are only in comparison to the iPad Air or to some ideal smaller tablet I wish Apple had made instead of just rehashing last year’s model.

More importantly, Apple has built in a selfie-flash mode that uses the iPhone’s display itself as a flash, driving it to up to three times normal brightness and adjusting the color of the flash to one that’s appropriate for the scene. The M9 offloads tasks and runs with very, very little power use—handy for things like counting how many steps you take while your phone’s sleeping in your pocket. But it’s better than anything Android has to offer at this size — with apologies to the Nexus 9, which while impressive is a bit too big for people looking for a small tablet. More RAM lets the entire system breathe.” Everyone who switches between apps or between pages in Safari will benefit from that increase in RAM, even if they don’t have any idea why everything seems more instantaneous than on their old iPhones. However, iOS 9 was tweaked to extend battery life on all iOS devices, and presumably Apple is factoring those improvements (as well as possible increases in battery savings from updated internals) into its battery estimates.

Apple continues to balance the thinness and weight of their devices with battery life, shooting for a target battery life that it feels is sufficient. Yes, you can stick a battery case on your phone if you need more battery life, or carry a little external battery with you, but my gut feeling is that iPhone battery life should be getting better, and it just isn’t. I’m sure this policy is doing wonders for Apple’s average selling price, but the 16GB model with the price that gets ‘em in the stores is a severely compromised product. Every year it seems like there’s just not much more Apple can do to improve upon the previous year’s iPhone, and every year Apple manages to one-up itself.

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