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Apple Announces iPhone 5s With 'Touch ID' Fingerprint Sensor

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At its media event today, Apple introduced the new iPhone 5s. In line with expectations, the iPhone 5s will be the same size and design and the current iPhone 5 but will feature improved specifications and will be available in three colors: Silver, Gold, and Space Gray.

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Internally, the iPhone 5s will feature a 64-bit A7 processor that will be up to twice as fast at CPU tasks. Another significant new feature is a "Touch ID" capacitive fingerprint sensor built into the home button that's capable of scanning sub-epidermal skin layers. Touch ID can be used to unlock an iPhone and authorize iTunes purchases.

Built into the home button, Touch ID uses a laser cut sapphire crystal, together with the capacitive touch sensor, to take a high-resolution image of your fingerprint and intelligently analyze it to provide accurate readings from any angle. Setting up Touch ID to recognize your fingerprint is easy, and every time you use it, it gets better. The Touch ID sensor recognizes the touch of a finger so the sensor is only activated when needed, preserving battery life. All fingerprint information is encrypted and stored securely in the Secure Enclave inside the A7 chip on the iPhone 5s; it’s never stored on Apple servers or backed up to iCloud. Touch ID can also be used as a secure way to approve purchases from the iTunes Store®, App Store or iBooks Store.

iOS developers will not get access to the users' fingerprint as a means of authentication, according to AllThingsD, which spoke to Apple SVP Phil Schiller. He declined to comment on whether that sort of access may come in the future.

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The rear camera in the iPhone 5s has a new 5-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture and a sensor that is 15% larger than the current iPhone 5, as well as a dual-LED "True Tone" flash that will adapt to the existing lighting to provide better colors and more accurate skin tones. Other new camera features include Burst Mode, capable of capturing 10 pictures per second and automatically selecting the best shot, and Slo-Mo 720p video capture at 120 frames per second.

The company also launched a new line of $39 leather cases for the iPhone 5s.

The iPhone 5s will cost $199, $299, and $399 for the 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB models respectively with a 2-year contract. Non-contract, unlocked devices will be available at launch for $649/$749/$849.

The iPhone 5s and the lower-cost iPhone 5c that was also announced today will be available in stores in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and the UK starting on September 20.

Notably, there will be no preorders for the iPhone 5s.

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Apple Announces Colorful New iPhone 5c, Starting at $99 on Two-Year Contract

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Apple today announced the new lower-priced iPhone 5c, replacing the iPhone 5 in Apple's phone lineup. The new device is available in five different colors -- green, yellow, blue, white, and pink -- in a polycarbonate design. The phone uses the same A6 processor and rear-facing camera as the iPhone 5. Apple posted a new product video, featuring Jony Ive, for the 5c.

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"iPhone 5c is everything iPhone 5 was and more, in an all-new design packed with great features," said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "iPhone 5c is designed with a beautiful polycarbonate enclosure that looks and feels so solid in your hand."

The new phone includes some upgraded parts as well, including an improved front-facing FaceTime camera and support for more LTE bands.

The phone is made of what Apple calls a hard-coated polycarbonate, using a steel-reinforced interior that also serves as the antenna. The company also introduced a line of $29 cases that snap onto the back of iPhone 5c and come in pink, yellow, blue, green, white and black.

The iPhone 5c is available for preorder this Friday, September 13 for $99 in 16GB and 32GB for $199 with a two-year contract. It will go on sale Friday, September 20.

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Public Launch of iOS 7 Set for September 18

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At today's iPhone media event, Apple executives announced that iOS 7 will be released to the public on Wednesday September 18, two days before the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c are released.

Apple SVP Craig Federighi once again highlighted iOS 7's major redesign and the numerous new features it includes. He touched on Control Center, a revamped Notification Center, AirDrop, iTunes Radio, and new multitasking capabilities.

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"iOS 7 is completely redesigned with an entirely new user interface and over 200 new features, so it's like getting a brand new device, but one that will still be instantly familiar to our users," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "Next month we'll be shipping our 700 millionth iOS device, and we're excited about what our hundreds of thousands of iOS developers are doing to bring great new features to their apps."

Apple also announced that iOS 7 will support the new 64-bit technologies introduced with the iPhone 5s, with all built-in apps re-engineered for 64-bit and iOS 7 will support both 32-bit and 64-bit apps.

The OS has been built to complement both the iPhone 5c's colors and the new internal capabilities of the iPhone 5s, including its Touch ID fingerprint sensor and camera features like automatic image stabilization, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo 120 fps video. 

iOS 7 will be available on September 18 for the iPhone 4 and later, the iPad 2 and later, the iPad mini, and the fifth-generation iPod touch.

 

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Apple Offers Sneak Peek of Completely Redesigned Mac Pro

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At today's WWDC keynote event, Apple offered a sneak peek of its next-generation Mac Pro, a line of desktop computers that has not received a significant update in several years. The preview began with a teaser video showcasing the radically redesigned tubular tower.

The next generation Mac Pro is architected around an ingenious unified thermal core that allows the desktop to efficiently share its entire thermal capacity across all the processors. The result is a pro desktop with breakthrough performance packed into a design that is one-eighth the volume of the current Mac Pro. Next generation Intel Xeon E5 processors with up to 12 core configurations deliver double the floating point performance. With two AMD FirePro workstation-class GPUs, the all-new Mac Pro is up to 2.5 times faster than the current Mac Pro and delivers up to an amazing 7 teraflops of compute power. The new Mac Pro also features PCIe-based flash storage that is up to 10 times faster than conventional desktop hard drives and includes the latest four-channel ECC DDR3 memory running at 1866 MHz to deliver up to 60GBps of memory bandwidth. With all that power, the new Mac Pro lets you seamlessly edit full-resolution 4K video while simultaneously rendering effects in the background.

New generation Intel Xeon processors, ECC memory, and new PCIe flash storage will debut in the new Mac Pro. External expansion will be available via six Thunderbolt 2 ports and graphics will be handled by dual workstation AMD FirePro GPUs with support for up to three 4K displays. 

Compared to the previous Mac Pro, the next-generation model is approximately 1/8 the size. The new Mac Pro will also be assembled in the United States. A special WWDC session tomorrow will see representatives of The Foundry and Pixar showing off how The Foundry's MARI 3D digital paint tool can take advantage of the upcoming Mac Pro hardware.

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Apple Announces New MacBook Airs with Haswell Processors and 'All-Day' Battery Life

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At today's WWDC keynote in San Francisco, California, Apple announced new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs, which have been designed with battery life in mind. As expected, the new Airs use Haswell processors that offer enhanced performance and significantly improved battery life, but feature no cosmetic changes. 

With the new Haswell processors, The 11" MacBook Air will now have nine hours of battery life while the 13" MacBook Air will have a stunning 12 hours of battery life.


In addition to Haswell processors, the new MacBooks feature 802.11ac compatibility, with support for the "Gigabit WiFi" 802.11ac specification. Gigabit WiFi offers speeds up to three times as fast as existing 802.11n wireless networks. 

The 11" MacBook Air starts at $999 with a 128GB hard drive and the 13" MacBook Air with a 128GB hard drive starts at $1099. Apple's MacBook Airs are available today fromApple's Online Store and at retail locations.

   

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