The jumbo-sized iPhone 6 duo and Android Wear-slaying Apple Watch no doubt stole the show during Cupertino’s latest glitzy (and lengthy) special press event, but a slew of slightly less paramount announcements deserve a bit of attention as well.
All set on what new iPhone to get in lieu of the aging, tiny 5s? Excited for the Watch too, although it’s still at least four months down the line? Circled September 17 in your calendars to remember when to update the iPad Air to iOS 8?
Good, then it’s time to talk Apple Pay, iCloud, U2, iPod Classic and… Justin Timberlake. Starting with perhaps the biggest software announcement of yesterday’s keynote (iOS 8 doesn’t count), it looks like you’ll be able to soon retire your five-decade-old magnetic interface-using credit and debit cards.
Once you register them into iTunes, a simple Touch ID authentication is what separates you from paying for goods and services at Subway, McDonalds, Macy’s, Sephora, Groupon and much, much more via your iPhone 6. Even via your wrist, courtesy of the Apple Watch.
Called simply and fittingly Apple Pay, the newly introduced service exploits NFC technology at its fullest (take note, Google) in a bid to revolutionize the classic, “fairly antiquated payments process” used by us all.
Moving on, Apple is closing in on Google and Microsoft on the cloud storage battlefield, slashing iCloud prices to $0.99 a month for 20 GB, $3.99 for 200, $9.99 for 500, and finally $19.99 for 1 TB. Much better than before, although 5 free gigs is still too little compared to Google’s complimentary 15.
What else? Oh, yeah, the iPod Classic is officially dead. The enduring portable media player didn’t exactly get the memorial it was entitled to, but its legacy carries on, in the form of Touch, Nano and Shuffle models, still available through Apple’s countless stores.
On a completely unrelated note, U2’s appearance on stage next to Tim Cook was obviously not just a random thing, as the Irish rock band actually released its 13th studio album exclusively on iTunes. The 11-track record can be had for free, and October 13 will see it spread its wings towards other sales channels and retailers.
Last but not least, it is with great pleasure that I give you the first pair of TV ads for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Starring Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon’s voices and little else, the short clips hilariously promote iOS 8’s new Health app and… Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi cult classic “2001: A Space Odyssey”?!?