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iPhone gets personal next week

Written by: Steven Setser

Hello, SpecTech followers, and welcome to another wonderful Thursday. In this issue we have a lot to talk about from Samsung to Apple. Also, the Xbox One got a release date!

You’ve been waiting for it. The Xbox One will release in the U.S. on Nov. 22 while the PS4 will release on Nov. 15.

Microsoft has also set the date for a fall conference. On Sept. 23, Microsoft is expected to announce the Surface RT 2 and Surface Pro 2 with the newest Intel processors and a 1080p display.

Samsung has the hottest tech around. It is releasing a new Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. It has a better processor than before, 3GB of RAM, can multitask much easier and has a leather-textured back. It will release later this year and will come in Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G LTE versions.

Samsung also announced the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone. It has an even larger 5.7-inch screen but is lighter and thinner than its predecessor.  This too has 3GB RAM, a 2.3GHz processor and a 3,200mAh battery to get you through the day. It will come with the latest Android Jelly Bean update and launch with all major carriers.  It will be available in October for a down payment of $299 or $199.99 and $21 monthly payments for 24 months.

Lastly, Samsung introduced us to the Samsung Galaxy Gear. What is the gear you ask? It is a “smartwatch” that can communicate with your Samsung Galaxy smartphone. It can relay text messages, answer calls, create reminders and, yes, even tell the time. It has a 1.9-megapixel camera for images and 10-second videos. There is no release date yet, but it will cost $299.

Now let’s talk Apple. Apple spoke more about iOS 7. As I said before, the operating system looks flat and very colorful. It has a better settings menu accessed by swiping up from the bottom of your phone. It also has smarter multitasking, a better notifications bar and Siri is smarter. Even smart enough to look things up on Twitter or Wikipedia. Apple users can download iOS 7 on September 18 but must have at least an iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPad Mini, or iPod Touch 5.

As for new hardware, Apple announced two new iPhones. First off the iPhone 5 is dead. Its replacement is the new iPhone 5C which is made of plastic and comes in green, blue, yellow, pink and white. It has mostly the same hardware as the iPhone 5, but it has a better camera. The iPhone 5C can be pre-ordered on September 13 and will release September 20 for all major carriers. The phone will cost $99 or $199 on contract or $549 without a contract.

The other iPhone is the iPhone 5S. It looks like the iPhone 5 but also comes in gold. It has a new 64-bit A7-processor with a M7 motion chip. The M7 chip will help create a better fitness home for the iPhone, and NIKE has already created a health app for it. There is a new home button on the 5S. It is the same size, but lacks the “square” on the device because it now has a fingerprint scanner. This will allow for better security with unlocking the phone or purchasing content from iTunes. It can remember multiple fingerprints too. The camera is also better with an f/2.2 aperture and a new dual “flesh tone” flash on the device. The iPhone 5S will also launch on September 20 with no pre-order available. The phone will cost $199, $29, or $399 at all four major U.S. carriers.

Sony recently announced two rather interesting products, the Sony Cyber-shot QX100 and QX10. Now these sound like DSLR cameras, but they are just lenses that attach to your phone. They can pair up with either NFC or Wi-Fi and the phone it is attached to runs an app to control the lens. The lens itself has a battery and microSD card slot so your phone’s battery and storage are not taken up. A release date was not announced, but pricing is between $250 and $400.

Sony also announced a slimmer PS Vita as well as the PS Vita TV. The PS Vita TV is a small device that allows users to play Vita games and apps on a TV with a DualShock 3 or DualShock 4 with Remote Play. The PS Vita TV will allow streaming from a PS4 to a different TV with the Vita TV plugged in, so that means no more moving the whole PS4 to a different room, only the small box has to be moved instead. Both of these were announced for Japan; no word yet if any of this is coming to America.

That’s it for this week, Spectator readers. Here’s my question for you: Will you buy either of the iPhones or look for something else? Email your answers to smsetser@valdosta.edu.

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