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Finally, we can put all the iPhone 5S rumors to bed and start cooking up ones for the iPhone 6. On Sept. 10, Apple showed off what most people expected: golden iPhones, fingerprint scanners and a cheaper product. This was the debut of the iPhone 5S and 5C.
First, there’s the iPhone 5C. This will replace the iPhone 5 and will be considered the mid-range, more affordable model. It uses the same A6 chip as the iPhone 5 and features most of the same hardware aside from the larger battery.
The casing is where most of the difference is. Instead of aluminum, the phone is made of a hard-coated polycarbonate material. The face of the phone is black, while the trim and backing are available in five different colors: blue, green, pink, yellow and white. To further customize the look of the device, Apple will be releasing official cases that come in six colors: black, white, pink, yellow, blue and green. The silicone cases have holes cut in them to show off the original color of the phone, and consumers will be able to mix and match colors for a two-tone design.
With a two-year contract, the iPhone 5C will go for $99 for the 16GB model and $199 for the 32 GB. The iPhone 5C will be available in stores on Sept. 20 with pre-orders starting on Sept. 13.
The iPhone 5S, following tradition, is an incremental update on last year’s iPhone 5. It features the brand-new 64-bit A7 chip allowing for better, faster performance. Coupled with the A7 is the M7 motion co-processor for better processing of motion data provided by the phone’s accelerometers and gyroscopes.
The iPhone 5S sports a brand-new look. The aluminum and glass body returns, but with three fresh coats of paint. The phone will be available in white, with options for gold and silver trim and backing, and black with a grey back, dubbed “space grey.”
The camera on the iPhone 5S comes with some major new features. The new lens is of a larger aperture (f/2.2) and a larger image sensor. The new True Tone flash will make for better color balance on photos. The camera can now shoot in burst mode, taking several shots at once and selecting the one with the best image quality. Video recording has also been improved, as the camera can now shoot video at 120 FPS, allowing for slow motion recording.
One of the biggest rumors to claim authenticity is the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The sensor is built in to the home button, scanning your fingerprint for security and authentication. This process will be used for App Store and iTunes purchases, as well as unlocking the phone.
Like the iPhone 5C, the 5S will have official cases available for purchase. The 5S cases are made of leather with a microfiber lining and come in brown, beige, black, yellow, blue and red.
The iPhone 5S with a two-year contract will retail for $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for the 32GB one, and $399 for the 64 GB one. It will be available in stores on Sept. 20.
Both the iPhone 5C and 5S will ship with Apple’s latest operating system, iOS7, which is where most of the major changes will come from. Apple initially unveiled iOS7 at their World Wide Developers Conference in June. It features an entirely brand new user interface design. It forgoes the skeumorphic design philosophies of the past iOS iterations. Every Apple app has been redesigned, including often neglected ones, such as the Compass (which now also acts as a spirit level).
The entire aesthetic of the iPhone has been redone. Apps feature new icons, fonts and colors have been rearranged, and even wallpapers have undergone some alterations. iOS7 makes use of the phone’s motion sensors to provide more dynamic wallpapers. Wallpaper images on both the lock and home screen now move dynamically based on the phone’s orientation, giving off a parallax effect that gives a sense of depth and layers to the interface.
The brand-new Control Center for iOS7 brings even greater control of your phone to your fingertips. Swiping up from the bottom of the screen reveals instant access to toggles for Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb and Orientation Lock. It also gives immediate access to a brightness slider, iPod controls, flashlight, timer, calculator and camera functions.
A new multitasking interface allows for background updates and app previews, as well as a brand new swipe gesture to quickly close out of unwanted applications.
The lock screen has received an overhaul. You can now swipe anywhere on the screen to unlock the phone. Notifications and Control Center are available directly from the Lock Screen as well, finally making use of all that empty space.
Other features of iOS7 include updates to the Safari browser, AirDrop sharing with other iOS devices, automatic app updates, OS-level blocking of unwanted calls, updates to Siri, iTunes Radio and FaceTime Audio.
iOS7 will be available as a free update on Sept. 18 for the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5th generation iPod touch, 3rd and 4th generation iPads, and the iPad Mini.
By Alfredo Dizon, eParisExtra