Apple Watch price and release date revealed at launch

After months of waiting, the eagerly anticipated Apple Watch was finally launched yesterday at an event in San Francisco. While most details on the Apple Watch had already been unveiled at an event back in September, it was the price and release date that interested parties were waiting to hear.

apple_watch_iwatch_2Unsurprisingly it ain’t going to be cheap, with prices starting at £299 for the entry level Apple Watch Sport model, and ranging up to a whopping £13,500 for the top of the range Apple Watch Edition version.

This massive variation in price has no bearing on the specs of the smartwatch, but rather the materials that it’s made from. The cheapest model, the Apple Watch Sport has an aluminium casing, while the regular Apple Watch is stainless steel and Apple Watch Edition 18 carat gold.

With 38 different models, Apple claims “there’s an Apple Watch for everyone”, assuming, of course that everyone has at least £300 to shell out on a device to complement their already heftily priced iPhone 5 or 6. However, those with plenty of disposable income will be able to choose between two different sizes (38mm and 42mm), the three different casings, and a range of different straps and watch faces, to suit their individual style and budget.

The Apple Watch will go on sale on 24 April, with pre-orders opening on 10 April.

Will the Apple Watch finally kickstart interest in smartwatches and bring them into common usage? If anyone can do it, it’ll probably be Apple.

iPad Air 2: is it worth upgrading?

ipad-air-2-thin3Last week Apple released the iPad Air 2, to great acclaim. It’s been heralded by many as the best tablet on the market, and there’s no doubt that it’s an impressive piece of tech, but is it worth the upgrade, given its £399-£559 price tag?

There wasn’t much about the iPad Air that needed improving, but Apple has managed to do so nonetheless. For starters, they’ve made it even thinner than the, already thin, iPad Air, trimming it down from 7.5mm to only 6.1mm to make it one of the thinnest tablets on the market.

Not only is it slimmer, but also considerably more powerful and has a new processor, the AX8, which is 40% faster than previous generations.

The 9.7 inch screen has the same 2048 x 1536 resolution as its predecessor but the iPad Air 2 now has an anti reflective screen, which Apple claims reduces glare by around 56% compared to the iPad Air.

The iPad Air 2 also now has Touch ID, which will come as a relief to those who’ve got used to using the feature on their iPhone and keep trying to unlock their iPad with their thumb!

iPad_Air_2_Touch_ID_1000It also has new improved cameras for those who don’t feel silly taking photos with their tablet. The rear camera has been upgraded from 5 to 8 megapixels and now has time lapse, slow motion and multi burst functions. Perhaps more pertinent to tablet use is the 1.2 megapixel front camera with improved sensor, which allows for much improved FaceTime calls, especially in low light.

The only potential downside appears to be the battery, which has been reduced from 8,827 mAh to 7,340 mAh in order to accommodate the new slimmer design. Apple claims that the smaller battery will not affect battery life, which will remain at 10 hours. However, early reviews suggest that it has been reduced slightly.

So, is it worth the upgrade? If you already own an iPad Air, it’s probably not worth the additional expense, but those with previous generations of iPad will certainly notice a considerable improvement. There are certainly worse things you could spend your hard earned cash on!

What do you think of the iPad Air 2? Are you upgrading?

Apple makes record 4 million pre-order sales of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in 24 hours

Apple has made a record number of pre-sales of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which were officially unveiled last Tuesday. Pre-orders for the handsets opened early on Friday morning and by the end of the day they had sold 4 million units, which is twice the volume of sales of the iPhone 5 over the same period when it launched in 2012. The new larger iPhone 6 Plus sold out almost straight away.

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The devices will go on sale in stores in the UK at 8am on Friday 19 September and there will no doubt be a similar frenzy to secure one, despite the fact that they are not cheap. To buy an unlocked iPhone 6 directly from Apple, it will set you back £539 for 16GB model, £619 for 64GB, and £699 for 128GB. The iPhone 6 Plus is £619 for the 16GB version, £699 for 64GB and £789 for 128GB.

Networks have also started to release their prices for buying the phone on a contract. Three and EE are offering the iPhone 6 on a 24 month contract for a minimum price plan of around £40 per month, plus £99 upfront for the handset. Both Vodafone and O2 are offering free handsets but minimum monthly price plans of around £53.

Those with an iPhone 4S or above who plan to stick with their existing handset will be able to upgrade to iOS 8 from Wednesday 17 September.

Will you be buying an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus?

Find out more about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus here

Apple Watch finally unveiled

apple_watch_event_tim_cook_apple_apIt’s been a long time coming but Apple finally unveiled its smartwatch on Tuesday alongside the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

The biggest surprise was probably the name, which most had, understandably, assumed would be the iWatch. Instead Apple decided to come up with something completely original and call it the Apple Watch.

As you’d expect from Apple, it’s as smart in design as it is in function. It comes in two different sizes (38mm and 42mm in height) with three different style collections: ‘Apple Watch’, ‘Apple Watch Sport’ and a premium collection, ‘Apple Watch Edition’. Between the collections there are a total of eleven different faces to choose from, including Stainless Steel, Space Grey Aluminium and 18 Carat Gold. There’s also a wide range of straps and even more display options to personalise your watch further still.

In addition to a button on the side, the watch face has a little knob that looks like the one that was used to wind up and set the time on old school watches. Apple has called this the ‘digital crown’ and it’s used to scroll, zoom in and out and is also the home button.

The Apple Watch is compatible with iPhone 5 onwards, and in addition to the standard communication features that you’d expect from a smartwatch (receiving calls, texts and displaying notifications from social media) the Apple Watch also has a walkie talkie feature for sending short voice messages as well as a tapping feature to subtly get someone’s attention and an animated emoji for those who prefer to communicate that way!

Apple WatchYou can use the watch to access and control iTunes, iTunes radio and Apple TV, and Siri’s on there too for you to ask questions, dictate messages and ask directions via the maps feature. Like the new iPhones, the watch also features Apple Pay.

It also functions well as a fitness monitor and has an accelerometer to measure activity as well as a heart rate sensor on the back of the watch face. These sensors feed information to the Apple Health app to analyse your performance and fitness levels.

Apple Watch also comes with a developer tool called WatchKit, which allows developers to create third party apps, so we can expect a plethora of apps for it when it goes on sale next year.

What do you think of the Apple Watch? Will you buy one?

Apple announces the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch

As expected, Apple announced two new iPhones and a smartwatch at its big event in Cupertino yesterday.

apple-eventAs soon as the event began, around 6pm GMT, the internet became inundated with blow by blow accounts of everything that was being said at the event, shortly followed by hands on reviews and comparisons with rival products.

Here at Gadget Stylist we love a new gadget, or three, as much as the next tech geek, and have pored through all the coverage for the past few hours. However, conscious of the fact that most people have much better things to do with their time than do the same, we’ve summarised the main features of the latest crop of Apples for you.

For starters, here’s the lowdown on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus…

iPhone 6

The first thing to notice about the iPhone 6 is its new design, with curved glass edges. Although not vastly different to previous incarnations (it’s not hugely dissimilar to the original iPhone!), at only 6.9mm thin (0.7mm less than the iPhone 5S) it’s slimmer and looks sleeker.

At 4.7 inches, the screen is slightly larger than the previous models and has what Apple describes as a “Retina HD” display, which has a resolution of 1,134 x 750 or 289 ppi (pixels per inch). While the much rumoured sapphire glass doesn’t feature this time, the phone’s front glass is described as being “ion strengthened”.

iPhone 6Inside, the iPhone 6 features the new Apple A8 processor, which although still 64 bit, is faster and more efficient than its predecessor. There’s also an M8 motion coprocessor with a new barometer sensor that measures both distance travelled and elevation, for enhanced fitness apps.

The phone also has a better camera with improved focusing technology to take faster and sharper pictures. It also has increased battery life and Apple claims it will manage 11 hours of continuous video playback.

One of the most exciting new features to grace to iPhone 6 is the long awaited Apple Pay that will allow you to pay for goods using your phone, thanks to its inbuilt NFC antenna and the added security of Touch ID.

iPhone 6 Plus

The iPhone 6 Plus has a whopping 5.5 inch screen with a 1920 x 1080 (401ppi) resolution display. It may be large but it’s only fractionally thicker than the iPhone 6 at 7.1mm.

To make the plus-sized phone easier to navigate, the iPhone 6 Plus has a feature called “reachability” where a double tap of the home button moves apps and content to the bottom half of the screen to make it easier to use with one hand.

The camera in the iPhone 6 Plus also has optical stabilisation to eliminate camera shake, but otherwise specs are pretty similar to the iPhone 6.

Both phones are available in space grey, white and gold, and in 16, 64 and 128 GB variants.

What do you think of the new iPhones?