Predictability could be perceived as a boring incremental upgrade, but that’s not Apple’s typical methodology and that’s certainly not the case with the new iPhones which sport a number of unique advancements in usability which further set Apple’s flagship product line apart from other smartphones. What changed? Nothing. And everything.
Inside And Outside
On the outside there’s little to differentiate the iPhone 6s line from the predecessor, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Apple tossed in a few new colors, new leather and silicone cases, and lathered on a bunch of unique features in iOS 9. Just as a book should not be judged by its cover, neither should a new iPhone be judged by what’s on the outside, because what’s on the inside are a few massive changes.
As expected, hence the predictability, iPhone is powered by Apple’s new A9 CPU which promises notably faster graphics capability. Touch ID is faster. Menus and apps pop to the screen faster. Games run faster. All that is expected, therefore, predictable. Apple does this kind of thing every year.
What’s new– other than a few case covers and the new aluminum, and an improved glass screen– is on the inside. For example, the iSight Camera (the non-selfie camera on the back) jumps to 12MP, and while that number is lower than some Android smartphones (you’ll see the critics howl at how Apple continues to fall behind in the megapixel race), the photos and movies it takes are of stunning quality. 4k video at 60fps. It’s not the megapixels. It’s the end result of the photo or video that counts.
Also new is a flash for the front facing FaceTime camera. But not just any flash. Apple uses a brightly lit Retina display to create the selfie flash and the results are remarkably good. Elsewhere, Siri can be always on (instead of just being on when plugged into power), and not only does iPhone 6s shoot 4k video, it can edit 4k video. So everything the camera does is done better, including faster auto focus. The motion CPU is built in to the A8 CPU, too.
Also predictable was the iPhone version of Force Touch, which appeared in the new MacBook, and upgraded MacBook Pro line earlier this year. On the iPhone it’s called 3D Touch because it enables traditional touch, and two more levels of touch, depending upon how much force is applied to the screen. Each one can bring up additional peeks or pop up screens in various apps.
Along with the new camera comes a new technology called Live Photos. iPhone 6s automatically takes multiple images of a photo– before and after what you think you’re taking a picture of– and turns it into a modestly animated photo; animation that will show up on Apple Watch, and eventually in Facebook photos. The iPhone’s case uses a new alloy of 7000 Series aluminum so it’s stronger than previous models. Also faster is LTE and Wi-Fi.
As the cell phone carriers in the U.S. move away from their traditional so-called subsidy model (yes, it’s not really a subsidy), Apple has introduced a new iPhone Upgrade Program which gets you a new phone every year, including Apple Care, for a monthly price (actually, a finance program; so double-check the interest rates).
The question many iPhone users will have is this: “Is the iPhone 6s a worthy upgrade?” The answer is “Yes” if your iPhone is a few years old, but the difference in monthly payments between last year’s iPhone 6 and this year’s iPhone 6s is modest, but the new line of phones come carrier unlocked so you can get the phone and then choose which carrier to use it on.
Apple is correct. Other than the case case design, ‘The only thing that’s changed is everything’ including how you buy a new phone.