Today Apple announced a bushel of new products: not one but two iPhone 6s, three Apple Watches, iOS 8, Apple Pay, and assorted other apps. Here's what you need to know about the goods.
When: September 19 (preorders begin Friday, September 12).
How much: iPhone 6: $199 for 16GB, $299 for 64GB, $399 for 128GB; iPhone 6 Plus: $299 for 16GB, $399 for 64GB, $499 for 128GB -- those are US prices, all with a two-year contract. (Bargain hunters can now get the 5s for $99 or the 5c for free.)
Features: Both phones offer a bigger screen in high-res Retina HD, landscape mode and more keyboard keys for enjoying the extra glass, an A8 64-bit processor that should mean faster performance and longer battery life, an NFC chip for mobile payments, a new camera sensor, and a thinner body with curved edges. The phones will be available in silver, gold, and space gray (aka blackish).
What: Three collections: Watch (stainless steel, 38mm or 42 mm sapphire crystal display -- good news for smaller wrists -- with six watchband options), Watch Sport (aluminum, strengthened glass, five band options), and Watch Edition (18-karat gold, sapphire crystal display, leather and sport bands).
When: Early 2015.
How much: $349 and up.
Features: All watches have Retina touch screens, a "digital crown" (what looks like the winder) for navigation and zooming, magnetic charging (i.e., no jack), speaker and microphone (so Siri works), gyroscope and sensors that will enable Watch to monitor heart rate (allegedly) and, with the Activity and Workout apps, function as a health and fitness device. Apple Watch requires iPhone 5 or 6, and it will have Messages, Photos, Maps, and the new Pay app. No word yet on whether Watch will get its own app store.
What: A thorough update to the mobile OS that's more about function than design.
When: September 17.
How much: Free.
Features: Handoff with OS X Yosemite, improved Messages app (including group chat and audio/video sharing), enhanced notifications, QuickType for predictive typing, iCloud Drive, more Photos controls, the Health app for fitness and activity monitoring, Pay for mobile payments, and Touch ID (fingerprint verification) for third-party apps. iOS 8 will run on iPhone 4s and up, iPad 2 and up (including Air and Mini), and fifth-generation iPod Touch.
What: Use your iPhone like a credit card -- with readers at brick-and-mortar stores, or for online payments.
When: October 2014.
How much: Free.
Features: Apple Pay uses Passbook to store credit and debit card info -- Apple will not track your transaction details or shopping history, and stores won't see your credit card number or security code. Add new credit cards by snapping a photo with your iPhone. If you lose your phone, use Find My iPhone to put it in Lost Mode and shut down payments. Pay will work on iPhone 6 and Watch, and a number of credit cards, banks, and stores have partnered up.
We'll have more details and reviews of iOS 8, Apple Pay, Health, and other apps as they become available. In the meantime, go get your free copy of U2's "Songs of Innocence" on iTunes through October 13.