Apple Enthusiasts Ready for Release of New iPhone, Apple Watch, and More

Sep 10, 2014

As usual the rumors about what Apple's September 9 announcements were mostly right. Ultimately, the company announced the release of two new iPhones, the forthcoming Apple Watch, Apple Pay, and iOS 8. Let's start with Apple Pay, the mobile payment solution that has the potential to truly change the way people shop. 

While some people have certainly adopted the convenience of mobile payments, it's still a rare sight to see someone in a suburban big box store tapping their phone to pay their bill. Apple, though, has teamed up with major credit card companies, as well as retailers like Target and restaurants like McDonald's to try and change the mobile payments tide. Forrester expects mobile payments to hit $100 billion over the next five years, and Apple hopes to be a big part of that with Apple Pay. Apple addresses security concerns by promising that credit card information will not be stored on the device.

As suspected, the payment solution will use a near-field communication (NFC) chip, that can be waved in front of a terminal to pay. Apple Pay will only be available on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the two new devices which will be available later this month, and the wearable watch that Apple says will be available in 2015.

That brings us to the new devices. Apple will be introducing two new smartphones, one with a 4.7 inch screen and one with 5.5 inch screen. (Wondering which size is right for you? Lifehacker had you covered.) Preorders will be begin on September 12, but you will have to wait until September 19 to actually get your hands on one. 

The Apple Watch won't be out until next year and will start retailing at $349. Of course you'll need and iPhone to use it, and in a move the recalls the earliest iPods, the watch face or "Digital Crown" can be used to navigate through the watch. Apple seems to be setting the smart watch up as direct competitor of fitness bands like Fitbit. There are a ton of fitness features baked into this watch, including GPS and accelerometer technology that will track users' activity, and reminders to get out of your seat and stand up during the day. You can also "send someone your heartbeat" which sounds weird but could be valuable for heart patients and cardiologists. The watch will come in two sizes, ostensibly one for men and one for women, in three versions which includes the Apple watch Sport with a sweat resistant band. (For a full rundown of its features, check out this Time article).

Finally, iOS8 will be out on September 17. It will include an app called Health, that integrates with any of your existing fitness apps. It will also incirporate the home automation controls via Homekit. OSX Yosemite users will be able to sync their Macs and their iPhones in new ways, and much more. Thought the new OS isn't technically available until September 17, Lifehacker has advice on how to get it now