iPhone 6: Is Bigger Better for Homeschoolers – WHS 121 – The Wired Homeschool

On Tuesday, September 9th, 2014, Apple held a keynote event to announce 2 new iPhones, a watch, and a new mobile operating system. There was a lot talked about in the 2-hr event. Here’s what I think homeschoolers will want to keep their eyes on.

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Image credit: Apple, Inc.

New iPhones and Pricing

The first thing you’ll notice about the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is the larger sizes. Sporting new 4.7″ and 5.5″ displays, respectively, Apple has once again stepped up the size of their display. Both devices come with stunning new Retina HD displays and a slim design to make up for the additional weight of a larger screen.

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The cameras receive an upgrade too adding features like faster focusing due to Focus Pixels, image stabilization (6 Plus only), 1280p video, and new 240 fps slow-mo option for capturing the horrified looks on people faces when the take the ice-bucket challenge.

Wi-Fi assisted calling has been added along with faster LTE speeds but so far no major carriers are supporting the new wi-fi feature that allows you to make phone calls using a wi-fi network. This generally allows you to save minutes used on your carriers service. T-Mobile has announce that they will support wi-fi calling but that means purchasing an un-subsidized iPhone.

Speaking of subsidies and pricing, the iPhone 6 will run you $199, $299, $399 for 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB models. The iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 for a 16GB model, $399 for 64GB, and $499 for 128GB. If you want a 32GB model iPhone you can get the iPhone 5s for $149 or for $99 get the 16GB model. The iPhone 5c now becomes the free phone offered by carriers with a 2-yr contract. All the other prices above come with a 2-yr contract too.

There are a number of additional features like health monitoring and a better powered-down mode to conserve battery life but I don’t want to get too deep in the technical weeds. There’s more technical information available from Apple if you choose to dig deeper.

There Needs to Be More

So what’s missing from the new iPhones that you might find in other current generation smartphones?

32GB entry-level model. Apple needs to ditch 16GB models and make the 32GB phones the baseline.
Wireless charging. Seriously, why are we still plugging in our phones at night to charge them? At least make it an available option.
Water-proofing Accidents happen. You’re dropping $1,600 on a smartphone over the entire 2-yr contract. This should be standard.
Extended battery life. Making the iPhone 6 just a few millimeters thicker could have gone a long way in improving batter life without adding too much weight or bulk.
Multi-user mode. People share their devices. It would be nice to be able to log out and let your kids use your phone with restrictions enable for them.

A lot of the “new” features in iPhone 6 were available in Samsung and Nexus devices 2 years ago. Apple tend to follow the mantra that slow and steady wins the race but the once innovative smartphone maker has now become a follower in some key areas of smartphone development.

Apple make a high-quality device, no doubt, but they’re losing the battle when it comes to the new normal. Samsung and Google will continue to add more and more features and Apple will choose to slowly develop their devices. I’m sure the iPhone 7 team is hard at work right now looking at what new features they’ll have available in the next model.

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Music for the podcast by Kevin Macleod.

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