Unless you’ve been hiding under a large rock, you know what an iPhone is. Unless you’ve been under a slightly smaller rock, you know that the new iPhone 5 is coming out this month. Apple just held their press conference today, and it looks to be another exciting release.
The iPhone 5 rose from the floor in the stage and is definitely following Apple’s trend of making big improvements to performance and this time we are getting a major aesthetic upgrade, as well. They now tout the thinnest and lightest iPhone in existence and they must be taking lessons from Metallica because the phone is much more metal now.
Every iPhone release raises the bar on the hardware, and this release is no different. Each new feature has been well thought out and designed for a specific purpose. First, we will go with the obvious. The screen size has been increased from the three and one-half inch display that has been used since the start in 2007 to a four-inch diagonal display. The big deal here is that we won’t have to deal with the black bars on the top and bottom of our screen when we are watching HD face plant videos. And like most Apple devices now, the retina display is used.
Another big change is the move to the unibody construction. Basically, this means that the metal portion of the body is now carved out of one solid block of aluminum. An important note here is that the metal now wraps around the perimeter of the phone and around the back. This eliminates the breaking glass on the back of the phone and may allow us to carry a case that resembles something other than a pool floatie for our phones.
The A5X processor has been used in the third generation iPad for some time now with a high degree of success. The iPhone takes this to a new level with a dual-core A6 processor. This processor will increase the overall speed of the phone as well as handling multi-tasking and HD video playback better. This paired with the one gig system memory upgrade promises that your phone will remain lightning quick even when you have a plethora of different apps running.
Speaking of lightning, the new lightning connector will change the plug that we use to connect the phones to our computers. This reversible eight-pin connector will boast faster information transfer and has a much smaller port. They also have increased the battery life across the board for the phone. So no more will we have issues where our phone dies in six hours because it can’t find a signal. The new camera has a much higher resolution and supports panoramic photos up to 28 megapixels.
Moving beyond aesthetics, the changes in the software will be what people see the most. The list of changes goes on and on but some of the bigger changes really try to make commonly used tasks faster and just generally make life easier. The new 3-D maps GPS feature eliminates the need for a third-party GPS app on the phone and has really made a big difference in battery life when using the GPS feature. It also gives you a 3-D picture view of buildings and terrain in the maps app. Being able to pull down the notifications tab and update twitter and Facebook makes your social networking life much faster and easier.
Finally, this release is going to be major for Apple. After selling more than 7 million Mountain Lion upgrades (new Mac operating system), releasing the retina display on the Macbook Pro, selling 17 million iPads in three months, and snatching 27 percent of the market share in laptops, it was time to move the 400-plus million device iPhone market to the next level.