Sunday, September 15, 2013

technology for girls - new iPhones and iOS 7

My dad has given me a lot of nicknames over the years, all with interesting origins. His latest one started around my senior year of high school when the iPhone 4 came out. I IM'ed him all afternoon with updates about Apple's keynote and what new specs the iPhone would have. He was impressed, and soon I became "Geek Girl." This nickname is really only partly true - there is still a lot I don't know/understand about technology. But one thing I do know is, how to simplify the lingo for girls who have no idea how anything works. 

On Tuesday, Apple announced three big things - the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 5C, and iOS 7.  So here, I'm going to breakdown the tech mumbo jumbo behind each thing so all you non-geek girls can fully appreciate/understand what these things mean. 

iPhone 5S

As with most "S" iPhones, it isn't much different from it's most recent predecessor. But there are a few things apple did to upgrade it. 

1. The 5S features a 64-bit processor, and it's the first phone to ever have one. That means it's going to be faster than the iPhone 5, which only has a 32-bit processor (about twice as fast). However, don't let the numbers fool you. A huge processor is nothing without good RAM. From what it sounds like, the RAM won't be any larger, so it's not going to be as huge a jump in speed as it seems. 

2. The 5S won't have more megapixels on the camera, but the flash and other internal camera specs will be better. There will be a dual, two-tone LED flash, called "True Tone," in order to create more realistic lighting by balancing the color and preventing that washed out look you sometimes get. There will also be auto image stabilization, which is a fancy way of saying that the camera will take successive shots and combine the best ones into a composite photo. And you can now take slow motion videos - pretty cool!

3. Now the coolest feature: Touch ID. Although the fingerprint identification technology has been around for a couple of years, this is the first time we're seeing it on a phone. The ID sensor will be under the home button, and it'll just be a touch, not a press, that will unlock the phone. You can use your fingerprint to make purchases, and you can set multiple prints to be identified. Because it's a brand-new thing, it might not work perfectly this round of iPhones. But if there are any bugs or flaws, Apple will probably get them squared away for the next round of iPhones. 

As an added bonus, iPhone 5S will be available in white, black, and now gold!

iPhone 5C

The only people who will probably buy this one instead of the 5S are either those who don't want to pay an extra $100 for the 5S, or 12 year olds who want an iPhone but whose parents don't trust them with such an expensive piece of hardware. Understandable. 

So the biggest things about the 5c are that they are exactly like the 5, and they have a plastic back instead of an aluminum one. This makes them much cheaper and faster to produce, which means more of them made at a cheaper cost to you. Yay. They come in bright neon colors and white, and each storage capacity is $100 less than the 5S of the same size. Because they are essentially a 5, they will not include Touch ID. 

iOS 7

Now for the beast. Everyone has been dreading the new iOS because of the anti-skeuomorphic design you're so accustomed to, but y'all. C'mon. 

I've personally been beta testing iOS 7 since June, and lemme tell you - the only thing essentially different is how everything looks. All the buttons are in the same place, all the icons still kinda look the same, all your apps will still work just fine. So when you look at your phone for the first time and think, "Oh crap, how am I going to work this now?" don't worry - it's not so bad. Besides changes in the fonts, icons, buttons, and colors, it's the same phone you know and love.

However, there are some things that are different that I think you all will rather like. First is the Control Center. Instead of a pull-down like the Notification Center, it's a pull-up. It allows easy access to volume, brightness, wifi, Bluetooth, camera, a flashlight, the calculator, and much more. You can turn it off in certain apps like Messages and Safari if it bothers you, but it's so much nicer than having to go to Settings all the time.

You'll also really like the new multi-tasking function. Instead of little icons at the bottom with teeny red X's to delete it, you now have a full page-preview display. To delete, simply swipe the page up. Very similar to Android, but it's pretty handy. I showed my roommates and they were really excited about that. 

Some other fun things are iTunes Radio, which is pretty much just like Pandora; larger App folders; Apps automatically update; and now in the Notification Center, there are different tabs for different things - Today, which shows you the date, weather, events on your calendar, alarms, and how far away from home you are; All, which is your normal notification list; and Missed, mostly used for missed calls. Pretty nifty stuff. 

iOS 7 will be released for the public on September 18th for all iPhone 4, 4S, and 5 users. iPhone 5C will be available for pre-order on September 13th, and both will be available for purchase on September 20th. 

If you have any questions about the new iPhones or iOS 7, leave a comment! I'd be more than happy to help! 

This is Geek Girl, signing off. 

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