Finally, after a long and anticipated wait, the new Iphone is out! Two new Iphones, in fact… and one more thing: the Apple Watch. But for you and me, who travel the world and want only the best of the best, how will the IPhone 6 and 6 Plus and the Apple Watch help us on the road?

  1. The Display: With a 4.7 inch (IPhone 6) and 5.5 inch (IPhone 6 Plus) ion-strengthened glass, new Retina HD, over one million pixels on the 6 (38% more than what you’re used to) and two million pixels on the 6 Plus (183% more), plus full 1080p display quality on the latter, these IPhones are now more resistant and offer a better viewing experience. This means better view of maps and apps, more resistant to the ‘Oh no I just dropped my phone on the sidewalk while I tried to gather my bags and hail a taxi all at the same time‘!
  2. Photo capabilities: The new camera is an 8MP iSight camera with True Tone flash and all new sensors for better picture-taking. The best feature here: Focus Pixels, a technology employed by high end DSLRs, which make auto-focus twice as fast and effective.  Optical image stabilization will allow the lens to move up and down, side to side, and front to back within its housing, in order to help you get better low-light photos and long exposures. And an intuitive Burst Mode detects smiles and blinks in group shots, automatically picking the best photos from a rapid-fire sequence (this also works on the front-facing camera for—you guessed it—Burst Mode Selfies).
  3. Performance: Even with their new, massive displays, they’ll be 50 times faster, with upgraded CPUs. For graphics, the improvement is even steeper at 84 times faster, making it the platform of choice for more sophisticated games (in-flight entertainment!) How does all this impact battery life? Apple says you’ll get just as much juice as you’re used to, or more, with 14 hours of video watching, 80 hours of music listening,  and 12 hours of Wi-Fi or LTE browsing on the iPhone 6 Plus (it’s a bit less, at 50, 11, and 11 respectively on the 6). The biggest surprise, and our favorite feature for travelers? The ability to make calls over Wi-Fi without the use of apps.
  4. iOS8: Automatic cloud storage for photos, the ability to install custom keyboards for easier on-the-go typing, and family sharing that helps you share music libraries and more with those you love (again: think of all the in-flight entertainment you can access now!).
  5. ApplePay: This new feature will allow you to synch credit cards with your phone, and tap to pay at various stores in the US. But it’ll also integrate with apps such as OpenTable and Uber, so you can pay for meals/rides/anything without ever sharing your credit card information directly with merchants. It’s touted as more secure, since your card number never reaches a service provider, and access to cards can be instantly wiped from your phone through the Find My Phone feature, should you ever lose track of your shiny new device.
  6. Apple Watch: A range of hands-free functions, such as Siri-assisted search and voice texting; easy retrieval of recently-accessed info (like reservation confirmations); and tactic feedback, which allows you to “feel” information without looking at the screen (a series of taps, for instance, can tell you when to turn left or right as you navigate your way down the streets of Bangkok). And what we didn’t expect: partnerships with Starwood Hotels that will (literally) open the door for mobile room keys, Honeywell for remote smart home controls, and BMW to help you find your parked car. Other ways to use it: as a viewfinder for your camera, a remote for your Apple TV, and a method of mobile payment (thanks to built-in ApplePay). And it’s compatible with iPhones from the 5 to the 6 Plus.

I’m a big Apple fan, but I know there’s other smartphones out there as good or maybe even better on some features (hard to admit… but I guess I have no choice 😉

If another phone makes you a lot happier and life easier when you’re traveling, and you know, hands down, it’s soooo much better than the IPhone, please write me at [email protected]com, and we’ll see if you convince me to write a post about it 😉

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