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Apple marks time with iPhone 6s, 6s Plus

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With the launch of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus yesterday, Apple sent a message that it is comfortable with becoming predictable.

Apple’s announcement of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus was, above all, predictable. Most predictably, they were called “the most advanced iPhones ever”. The phrasing is characteristic of the Tim Cook era at Apple, with each new handset couched in similar terms. Of course, no one would have expected the new iPhones to be less advanced than previous models.

The new devices introduce 3D Touch, which senses force to enable new ways to access features and interact with content. iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus feature Retina HD displays  and 7000 series aluminium, the alloy used in the aerospace industry, in metallic finishes that now include rose gold.

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus also introduce what Apple says is a new approach to photography called Live Photos, bringing still images to life by capturing a moment in motion. It is not very different, however, from features introduced by Samsung, Sony, LG and Huawei in recent years.

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Apple does claim line honours for its own A9 chip, though, which it calls “the most advanced chip ever in a smartphone, delivering faster performance and great battery life”.

“The only thing that has changed with iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus is everything — 3D Touch lets users interact with iPhone in entirely new and fun ways, and the innovative Live Photos brings your pictures to life,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “These are the most advanced iPhones ever, with 7000 series aluminium, ion-strengthened glass, the new 64-bit A9 chip, 12-megapixel iSight and 5-megapixel FaceTime HD cameras, faster Touch ID, LTE and Wi-Fi. Customers are going to love them.”

Despite all these improvements, it is clear that Apple has become comfortable with being predictable, and is in fact marking time between it’s two-yearly release of redesigned phones.

Apple provided the following information on the new phones:

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus introduce new ways to navigate and experience iPhone by sensing pressure to enable new gestures — Peek and Pop — so you can dip in and out of content without losing your place. Press lightly to Peek at a photo, email, web page or other content, and press a little deeper to Pop into the content itself. With Quick Actions, 3D Touch provides shortcuts to the things you do most, so you can send a message or take a selfie with just a simple press from the Home screen.

The world’s most popular camera is even better in the new iPhones with new ways to capture and relive unforgettable moments. iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus introduce Live Photos, which go beyond snapshots to capture moments in motion. Live Photos are beautiful 12-megapixel photos that, with just a press, reveal the moments immediately before and after the shot was taken, so you can enjoy a living memory rather than an instant frozen in time.

High-definition video improves with support for 4K — with a resolution of 3840 x 2160, delivering over 8 million pixels — and the expansion of optical image stabilisation to video on iPhone 6s Plus, for taking beautiful videos in lower light. After capturing 4K video, you can edit on your Mac, PC, iPad and with the latest version of iMovie on iPhone, you can even edit two simultaneous streams.

Additional camera advancements include:

• a new state-of-the-art 12-megapixel sensor with advanced pixel technology and Apple-designed image signal processor, for truer colours and sharper, more detailed photos; and

• a new 5-megapixel FaceTime HD camera and Retina Flash, which momentarily makes the display three times brighter with True Tone lighting, for wonderfully bright selfies in low light.

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Advanced Technology

A9, Apple’s third-generation 64-bit chip powers these innovations with 70 percent faster CPU and 90 percent faster GPU performance than the A8, all with gains in energy efficiency for great battery life. The A9 chip and iOS 9 are architected together for optimal performance where it matters most, in real world usage. M9, Apple’s next-generation motion coprocessor, is embedded into A9, allowing more features to run all the time at lower power, including “Hey Siri,” without iPhone needing to be plugged in.

With advanced wireless technologies including faster Wi-Fi and LTE Advanced, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus users can browse, download and stream content even faster.¹ The new iPhones also support up to 23 LTE bands — the most in any smartphone — for better worldwide roaming.

iOS 9, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, brings more intelligence to iPhone with proactive assistance, powerful search and improved Siri features, all while protecting users’ privacy. Built-in apps become more powerful with a redesigned Notes app, detailed transit information in Maps, and an all-new News app for the best news reading experience on any mobile device.² The foundation of iOS is even stronger with software updates that require less space to install and advanced security features to further protect your devices.

Pricing & Availability

• iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will be available in gold, silver, space grey and the new rose gold metallic finishes. iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 Plus will be available in 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB models. The new iPhones will be available with a range of financing plans and payment options from Apple.com, through select carriers and Apple Authorised Resellers.

• Both models will be available in the UK, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the US beginning Friday, September 25, with pre-orders beginning Saturday, September 12.

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Welcome to world of 2099

The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.

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Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.

This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.

Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.

As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.

“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”

The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.

“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”

  •    Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

Use the page links below to continue reading about Tan’s visions.

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entries via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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