As you might have heard, Apple announced the next round of iPhones — that’s right, plural — today. While the upgrades, revamped designs, and new features are more directed at consumers, there are a few updates that developers and businesses should be aware of.
In the past, when the company introduced a new iPhone, it lowered the price of the old one. This year Apple is doing something a bit different and is replacing the iPhone 5 with the iPhone 5C. Made with all of the same technology as the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5C is more colorful — it comes in green, white, blue, pink, and yellow — and also features a slightly higher capacity battery.
The next addition to Apple’s new product line-up is the iPhone 5S. Available in slate, gold, and silver, the iPhone 5S features a new A7 chip which enables this model to run in 64-bit. iOS 7 has been completely re-engineered for 64-bit, as well as Apple’s apps. For developers, Xcode supports 64-bit so you should be able to easily upgrade your apps. If you’re not able to upgrade right away, the iPhone 5S will still run older 32-bit apps too.
The 5S boasts faster performance speeds, longer battery life, an upgraded camera — complete with auto-stabilization, slow motion support, and two flash options — and a new security feature. Currently, the best way to secure your iPhone is to set up a passcode; however, not everyone does this. With that in mind, Apple introduced Touch ID, a security option that uses a key you have everywhere you go.
That’s right, it uses your fingerprint. Now you can simply touch your home button to unlock your phone. This might give you an added sense of safety, especially if you’re using a company-issued phone. You’ll also be able to use your fingerprint to do stuff in apps, like authenticate iTunes for buying content. Your fingerprint will be encrypted and stored inside a “secure enclave.” It’ll never be made available to other software, uploaded to Apple’s servers, or backed up to iCloud.
In addition to the new phones, the company quickly highlighted iOS 7, which will be available on September 18th, and the new iWork. All three productivity apps (Keynote, Pages, and Numbers) as well as two creativity apps (iPhoto and iMovie) will be available for free with any new iOS device. When you set up your new iPhone, for example, you’ll be given a screen to download the iWork apps. This could certainly come in handy for professionals who do a lot of work on the go.
We should note that iOS 7 will only support iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation). Both the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S will be available for pre-order on September 13th and public sale on September 20th. Apple expects its new products to be available in 100 countries and 270 carries by the end of the year.
[Image credit: Håkan Dahlström]