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iPhone 5 unveils with new features

This week Apple announced the next iPhone, Amazon has found a new Fire, and I look into the beta of the new Xbox Dashboard.

Big news! The new iPhone was announced by Apple yesterday.  The iPhone 5 has all the features I’ve talked about for the last few weeks, except NFC.  The new phone has a 4-inch screen with a 16 to 9 aspect ratio, and a glass and aluminum body at 7.6mm thick, which is 18 percent thinner than the iPhone 4S.

You can now have five rows of Apps on the Home screen, rather than four.  Touch sensors are now built into the screen, rather than a sensor under the display.  It now has 4G LTE for AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint and a new A6 graphics chip, which is twice as fast as the A5X chip.

You will get 8 hours of 3G talk time, LTE browsing, and 3G browsing time.  There are 40 hours for music and 225 hours of standby time.  The camera has a new low-light setting for two more f-stops and Panorama mode.  You can take photos while recording video, like the HTC One X.  The front camera is now a FaceTime 720p HD camera and has moved above the ear speaker, rather than next to it.

There is also a new “Lightning” dock connector.  It is now an 8-pin connector, not 30-pin. It can be plugged into the phone with either side of the connector, making it easy to plug it into the phone.  There is also an adapter for 30-pin to 8-pin which costs $29.

The phone will come in white with a silver back and black with a slate back.  You can pick up the 16GB version for $199, 32GB for $299 or 64GB for $399. You can preorder starting Friday and it will release Sept. 21.  The iPhone 4 is now free and the 16GB iPhone 4S is $99. iOS 6 will release Wednesday.

The 7th generation iPod Nano is here. It is 5.4mm thick, which is 40 percent thinner than the last generation.  It is back to being long like the originals, but it has a 2.5-inch touchscreen.  It comes in seven colors, has a FM tuner and Bluetooth with 30 hours of music playback.  16GB will cost you $149. You can pre-order on Friday and will release in October.

The new iPod Touch 5th generation has with the same size screen as the iPhone 5 and is 6.1mm thick.  This also has the new Lightning port.  It has the A5 chip found in the iPhone 4.  You will get 40 hours of music and 8 hours of video playback.  There is a hidden button on the backside called “iPod Touch Loop”, which lets you attach a wrist strap.

The back camera is 5-megapixels with a FaceTime HD front facing camera. The new Touch now gets Siri!  It comes in silver, black, blue, yellow, and red.  A 16GB version will cost $199, 32GB $299, and 64GB for $399 and be available in October but you can pre-order on Friday.

The rumored redesign of the ear buds was true! Apple revealed the EarPods.  They are available today and are packed in with all these new devices.  They are supposed to be more comfortable and sound better.

Amazon revealed two new Kindle Fires. The Kindle Fire HD comes in a 7-inch body with Android 4.0 in 16GB and 32GB storage for $199 and $249 respectively.  The other tablet, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 comes with better screen resolution, a 8.9-inch screen, and the ability to have 4G. A normal 8.9 16GB will cost $299 while a 32GB will cost $369.  The 8.9-inch 4G 32GB will cost $499 and a 64GB version will cost $599.

I would like to end this article by taking about the new beta for Xbox 360’s Dashboard update.  I was lucky enough to be one of the beta testers for Microsoft.  The beta comes with a few new additions, as well as apps.

On the home screen, there is now a new row of content, for easier access.  There is a feature called “Pins” where you can pick videos, games, demos, or apps to launch from the Home screen.

The big new App that is usable is Internet Explorer!  This thing is awesome! I love using this App more than I like using IE on a PC.  It was easy to save webpages, zoom, scroll, and search.  I’m not sure if there is a copy & paste action yet.  IE was flash enabled, but I did not try to play any flash based games.  I will say that I had crashing issues while using IE, but I’m not sure if that is because it was in beta or because I did not have a good connection at that time.

Overall, this is not a huge improvement over the last few updates, but the addition of IE is significant.  Xbox SmartGlass was not part of the beta, so I was not able to test it.  I’m hoping that it will be available to test before it is launched in November.

Well, that’s it for this week Spectators, join us next week for another exciting issue.  The question for this week is, “Would you rather buy a new iPod Touch or the iPhone 5?”  Send your responses to smsetser@valdosta.edu or post them at www.vsuspectech.blogspot.com


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