NetGuide NZ - Hands on with Apple’s "most forward-thinking" iPhone 5S...

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Hands on with Apple’s "most forward-thinking" iPhone 5S...

For the first time ever, Apple has introduced two new distinct lines of iPhone.

Is it a sign of weakness or a show of strength?

Billed as "the most forward-thinking iPhone ever," Cupertino's flagship device, the iPhone 5S comes with state-of-the-art technologies all engineered into a beautiful thin and light metal design.

Leading the pack of new features in iPhone 5S is Touch ID. It occurred to me that I unlock my phone multiple times per day, but entering my passcode each time does slow things down - even if we are talking microseconds.

Touch ID essentially makes the process faster, easier, yet still secure.

A new fingerprint identity sensor that’s integrated into the iconic Home button on iPhone, the Touch ID sensor allows you to unlock your iPhone 5S with just the touch of your finger.

Now you always have your password with you right?

Your fingerprint can also approve purchases from the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBooks Store as well as in-app purchases, so you don’t have to enter your password every time - and let's face it, I have that many passwords who knows which ones are correct.

The sensor design includes a laser-cut sapphire crystal, one of the hardest known materials I'm told, which helps direct the field of imaging more precisely onto the 170-micron sensor.

Adding a stainless steel detect ring around the button, the boundary detects your finger the moment you touch it, alerting the sensor to scan your fingerprint. Touch ID then reads the ridges of your print and finds the match to unlock your iPhone. Beneath the sensor is a tactile switch that retains the Home button’s familiar tactile click.

Sounds easy right?

Touch ID is even capable of 360-degree readability. It uses Apple algorithms to sense your fingerprint no matter the orientation of your iPhone 5S - portrait, landscape, or anything in between.

And because Touch ID lets you enroll multiple fingerprints, it knows the people you trust too.

New iSight Camera

Every day, more photos are taken with the iPhone than any other camera according to Apple.

So it makes sense that the iPhone 5S builds on the iPhone 5 camera in ways that make a real difference to your photos.

The new iSight camera automatically knows the best setting to use, how intense the flash should be, and recognises faces in the frame.

From photons to JPEG, Apple owns the entire photography process, with the strong integration of hardware and software that makes it such a compelling camera.

For some shots, speed makes all the difference however.

Introducing Burst Mode - the faster, more powerful A7 chip in iPhone 5S, which includes a new image signal processor. Because it’s designed by Apple, the ISP is integrated with the iSight hardware and camera software, delivering faster photo capture and up to 2x faster autofocus.

For all you photography nuts out there, Burst Mode captures 10 photos per second.

But the ISP and faster sensor also make Burst Mode possible, which is ideal when your subject is in motion as the feature continuously captures at 10 photos per second, letting you take hundreds of photos so you don’t miss a moment.

Intelligent software algorithms analyse all the shots in real time, comparing sharpness and clarity, and even detecting when someone’s eyes are closed. Then the device suggests individual photos or a sequence of photos that you might like best.

iOS 7

It's fair to say that the iOS 7 was designed with iPhone 5S in mind, as everything about it takes advantage of the advanced technologies built into iPhone 5S - like the 64-bit A7 chip, the Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor, and the new iSight camera.

In addition, iOS 7 introduces new features, such as Control Center, smarter multitasking, and AirDrop, that make the things I do every day easier and faster - which can be no bad thing.

Safari

A redesigned user interface lets you see more of your content—starting with full-screen browsing, while the new tab view lets you easily switch between open web pages.

Safari in iOS 7 has a unified smart search field for both search terms and web addresses. Shared Links shows web pages shared by people you follow on Twitter.

Siri

In iOS 7, Siri has a redesigned interface that fades into the foreground. The voices (female and male) for US English, French, and German are now clearer and more natural sounding, making them easier to understand.

Siri answers more questions with Wikipedia integration, Twitter search, and Bing web search results that are displayed inline. And the personal assistant role has been expanded to include changing settings, returning calls, playing voicemail, controlling iTunes Radio, and more.

Summary

Apple's new iPhone 5S brings power and performance with tell tale signs of genuine innovation.

Excellently built, a staggeringly fast processor and an high-end operating system - capped off with the genius of Touch ID.

While it may sound gimmicky at first, the feature is a great time saver and offers greater security than previous models.

The critics will no doubt claim the Apple's new smartphone is revolutionary not evolutionary, but led by the Touch ID, and in particular the amazing capabilities of the new iSight Camera - I have to disagree.

The things we all take for granted, such as quick uploads, downloads, seamless interactions etc are all here in abundance with the iPhone 5S. But the difference is, unlike its competitors, Apple doesn't scream from the rooftops every time it does something great.

In placing itself, and its mechanics, firmly in the background, Cupertino has allowed the entire smartphone to shine, a skill somewhat understated in today's world.

For iPhone 5S pricing please click here

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