It’s mere minutes away. We’re sandwiched in Apple’s UK
iPhone 5 iPhone 4S launch event. There are fewer journos than ever here, which means fewer hands-on reports than ever before. We’ll be bringing you our first fingers-on impressions, just as soon as Apple dishes up the goods. Turns out Apple didn’t have samples for us to play with. For shame! We’re busy tracking them down, so stay tuned, and read on for the nitty gritty.
- iPhone 4S Bluetooth 4 hints at new accessories
- iPhone micro USB charger hits Europe. First chink in Apple’s proprietary armour?
- Siri for iPhone 4S revealed: Smart voice control spells death for the keyboard
- iPhone 4S coming to Vodafone
- iPhone 4S official, lands on 14 October
- New iPod nano: Apple really wants you to use it as a watch
- iOS 5 is coming 12 October with iCloud
19:36: iPhone 4S pre-orders begin on the 7th October. It’ll be available October 14th. And that’s it… No iPhone 5. It’s all over. We’ve updated the headline with a heavy heart.
19:34: For the first time, the iPhone 4S will be available with 64GB of storage. It’s available in black and white. The iPhone 4 and 3GS are sticking around too. The iPhone 3GS 8GB is going free on “typical contracts”.
19:29: now we’re watching a new ad for the iPhone 4S.
19:29: There’s support for English, French and German. It’ll be beta to begin with, but Apple is promising more languages and features later on.
19:27: Siri also does dictation. You can dictate anywhere you’d usually see a keyboard.
19:26: “who are you?” “I am a humble personal assistant”. Neat.
19:26: Ask Siri “how do I get home?” and it’ll figure it out. We will use that A LOT.
19:25: Searching the web is faster with Siri too. “Search Wikipedia for Neil Armstrong” results in you being zipped straight to the Wikipedia article. No Google in between. It just whizzes you straight to the Buzz Armstrong entry.
19:22: Siri remembers everything you ever tell it. Scott Forstall just asked it to remind him to call his wife when he leaves work. Siri set up a geofence around his work, remembering that he works at Apple, and set a reminder to “call Molly” – because it remembered who his wife was from a much earlier conversation. Spooky.
19:19: You can ask it to read your messages too you, or reply via dictation, or ask it about your calendar beforehand “Do I have any meetings Friday at Noon?” – “You don’t have anything on your calendar this Friday at 12pm” – it’s all seamless.
19:19: Siri understands maps, it’ll give you directions if you ask it… it’ll even fish out a restaurant for you: “There are 15 french restaurants nearby, I’ve ordered them by quality”…
19:15: Siri understands not just the words, but the meaning. Scott Forstall just asked “what’s the weather like today” followed by “what’s the hourly forecast” – Siri figured out it was the same question. It even understands “Do I need a raincoat today?” answering “It sure looks like rain today”. It seems incredibly smart. And it does more than weather…
19:14: There’s one more thing… Siri, true voice control comes to the iPhone. They’re demoing it now, saying it’s a Beta.
19:10: iPhone 4S takes 1080p HD video too. It has realtime image stabilisation too and noise reduction. Showing us a video now. It looks great, as you’d expect.
19:06: We’ve got a graph of how fast it is compared to other cameraphones too. There’re some example photos too, but we can’t do them justice here. Apple will doubtless have them online shortly.
19:06: The camera has been improved. The iPhone 4S has an 8MP sense. 3264 x 2448 resolution. 60% more pixels than the iPhone 4, but it has backside illumination that gathers 73% more light per pixel than the iPhone 4. Richer colours, better low light performance. It’s 30% faster too. There’s a hybrid IR filter for accurate colours too. Apple’s going after compact cameras with the iPhone 4S. It has a five element lens to make a 30% sharper picture with f/2.4 aperture. There’s even an Apple Image Processor inside the A5 chip. The iPhone 4S can detect 10 faces in a photo.
19:06: The iPhone 4S is a world phone too. A single phone to work on CDMA and GSM networks.
19:01: The antenna has been improved (we’d hope so), says Schiller. The engineering team made a system which “intelligently switches between two antennas to transmit and receive” – this has never been done and it can do it while you’re on a call for better reliability. Apple’s boasting 2x faster 3G downloads too. They’re not calling the iPhone 4G though.
18:59: Battery life is “industry leading” for the first time in iPhone, 4S has 8 hours of 3G talk time, 48 hours of 2G talktime. 10 hours of video. 40 hours of music playback.
18:54: And here’s the iPhone…. It’s the iPhone 4S. It looks the same, but Phil Schiller says it’s all new. There’s an A5 processor and 7x faster graphics.
18:50: There’s a new iPod touch too. It runs iOS 5, looks the same, but is also available in white. It’s cheaper though, starting at $199 for 8GB up to $399 for 64GB.
18:50: There are new clock faces too, so you can wear the nano as a watch… thre’s even a Mickey Mouse watch, and yep, the hands move. It’s available today.
18:47: Here’s Phil Schiller to talk about new iPods… They’re updating the iPod nano. It looks the same, but uses much larger icons. The fitness experience is improved too. It now senses walking and running without any add-on sensors for Nike+.
18:45: iCloud goes live on October 12. We’re watching a video all about it now….
18:41: Find my Friends is a new app that lets you share your location with friends. You can “see if your son made it to school OK today”… You can share your location permanently, or share your location for a certain amount of time, for a single event. That’s very smart. You can let people find you while you’re on a day out at the beach, and it’ll automatically switch off at the end of the event. Apple just went head to head with Google Latitude. Parents can switch off kids’ ability to turn off Find My Friends, and control who follows them too.
18:40: Eddy just had a little dig at Gmail. You get an ad-free Me.com e-mail address.
18:39: Documents in the cloud… build into iWork apps, and yep, they’re available on October 12 as updates to those who already have them (Keynote, Pages, Numbers).
18:38: Recapping iCloud with Eddy Cue. Since iOS 5 and iCloud are so intertwined, we’re willing to bet it’s launching at the same time.
18:37: Here we are: iOS 5 comes out on October 12, and it’ll be free! Compatible with… iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad, iPod touch 4G, iPod touch 3G.
18:34: iOS 5 is PC Free. You can set up the whole shebang without a PC, and using wireless updates.
18:33: Safari enhancements and mail gets a facelift with rich text formatting…. still no release date though.
18:31: A brief recap of the new camera features in iOS. The tweaks here are some of our faves, but here’s something new. you can now edit photos inside the standard photo app. Remove redeye, one-touch autocorrect, cropping. It’s all there.
18:29: Lots of repetition here, iMessage, Reminders, Notifications, Newsstand…. Hold tight, the new stuff will be along really soon. Probably, just after an iOS 5 release date.
18:28: Scott Forstall’s showing off iOS 5. It’s a recap of what we already know (and have been using for some time in beta form).
18:25: Apple’s got a new app. Cards. Design and send a greeting card from your phone. It’s sent in the mail. Apple just put Moonpig on notice. You even get a push notification when the card is delivered, because Apple includes postal service tracking barcodes. $2.99 all including postage within the US. $4.99 anywhere else in the world. Coming to the US October 12th.
18:22: Here comes the new stuff. Scott Forstall’s on stage to show off the ‘latest innovations in iOS.’
18:20: iPads are even replacing 40 pound flight bags for pilots. Tim Cook says that “makes the airplane more efficient”… only a little bit, granted. He says “Consumers don’t want tablets, they want iPads.”
18:19: Every state in the US now has an iPod pilot programme, or deployment. They’re showing up everywhere. iPads in schools are helping kids learn in amazing new ways.
18:18: iPhone now holds 5% of worldwide mobile phone market. That’s all phones, not just smartphones. It could be more… 1.5 billion units annually. Did Tim Cook just hint at a cheaper, mass market iPhone?
18:16: iPhone has 125% year on year growth. 93% of the Fortune 500 companies are testing or deploying iPhone. Tim says the iPhone is “pummeling the competition”. 70% of people are Very Satisfied with the iPhone, in satisfaction surveys. 95% are Satisfied to Very Satisfied.
18:15: Tim says 16 billion songs have been downloaded through iTunes. We just saw a screenshot of iTunes with iTunes Match running. Looks like iCloud’s a go for launch today then…
18:14: Half of iPod sales are now going to people who have never owned an iPod before. Doesn’t sound like Apple’s moving away from the iPod any time soon…
18:12: Recounting the iPod. “It reminded all of us how much we love music and made it simple to use again”
18:12: We have a high ceiling here, and a lot to do, says Tim. Next… Music.
18:10: Every single quarter for five years, the Mac has outgrown the PC market. Nearly 60 million people use a Mac around the world. Market share has increased too. In US retail, Macs are selling 1 out of ever four PCs in store.
18:10: Tim’s now talking about the MacBook Air, recounting reviews. Wired called it “laptop nirvana” and we agreed.
18:08: Tim says 6 million copies of Lion have been downloaded. It took Windows 7 20 weeks to reach 10% of their install base. Lion did the same in two weeks.
18:08: Products are at the core of everything we do. Here come the updates…
18:06: And now a short video about Apple retail…. hold tight, the iPhone 5′s coming soon. We hope.
18:04: A few updates: Two new retail stores opened last week in China. They’ve both set new records, with iconic curved glass staircase. “I think only Apple could do this” says Cook. It welcomed 100,000 visitors in its first weekend. By comparison, the top grossing Apple Store in LA had 100,000 visitors in its first month.
18:03 And we’re off. Tim Cook is on stage. He says it’s his first product launch as CEO, that he loves Apple, and that it’s a privilege of a lifetime to work where he does. He says Apple’s campus is like a second home. We’re watching a live stream at a private event at Apple’s Covent Garden store, so we feel a little voyeurish.