It’s here! It’s here! The iPhone 5 is finally here! This week in Tech was all about Apple and its new range of products, including the long-awaited iPhone 5, new versions of the iPod Touch and the iPod Nano, and more. Here are five things you need to know about this week in tech:
1) All About Apple
The iPhone 5 made its debut at an Apple event in San Francisco on Wednesday to much fanfare, with Apple Senior Vice President Philip Schiller calling it an “absolute jewel” and “the best phone we’ve ever made.”
Apple also took time during the event to introduce new changes to its iPod Touch and iPod Nano, including a significant upgrade to the iPod Touch’s camera and extended battery life for the iPod Nano. But it was clear that the iPhone 5 was the star of the show.
Here are the most important updates that make the iPhone 5 stand out from its predecessors:
— Taller screen: The phone has a 4-inch screen, slightly larger than previous versions.
— Improved camera: The new iSight camera can take pictures faster, and more easily in low-light conditions.
— Faster processor: A zippy A6 chip means you can launch apps much quicker.
— Thinner panel: The body of the phone is slightly smaller and the back of the phone is made of aluminum, hopefully meaning more durability and less screen breaks.
— New charger: The “Lightning” connector is the first major update to Apple’s line of chargers since 2003. This much-thinner power charger is already causing some controversy, with a few customers lamenting the fact that they will have to buy $29 adapters to make the iPhone 5 work with existing accessories.
USA TODAY was on the scene at the Apple announcement event on Wednesday. Reporter Edward Baig said the iPhone 5 looks “awfully inviting.”
No more digging around your purse or your wallet for that airplane boarding pass, Dunkin’ Donuts coupon or Yankees ticket. Apple will include a new app called Passbook for the iPhone 5 and the new iPod Touch that will hold digital copies of coupons, concert tickets, gift cards and more.
Every coupon or ticket can be scanned right from the Passbook app, and the app will automatically bring up your passes and tickets when you need them. When you arrive at LAX to board a flight to JFK, the app will bring up your American Airlines boarding pass. When you stop at Starbucks in the airport before boarding your flight, Passbook will bring up your gift card.
Business owners and advertising executives are already excited for Passbook.
The money quote: “This is huge. Apple doesn’t do anything halfway. This is a tremendous opportunity to revolutionize the way we use our wallets.”â?? David Reeves, Vice President of the 22squared advertising agency.
Don’t feel bad if you are so excited about the iPhone 5 that you want to ditch your iPhone 4S. We have a list of 11 things you can do with your old iPhone.
Here are two of suggestions from the Associated Press:
— Give it to your kids: Kids are notorious iPhone stealers — one minute, you put your phone down on the kitchen table to take something out the microwave, and the next minute, your precocious child/nephew/cousin has already scooped the phone up to play another round of Angry Birds. If you want the iPhone 5, why not give your old iPhone to your child to be used exclusively for games?
— Use it as a tiny iPad: You can finally be THAT person who knows everything about everything if you use your iPhone as a mini iPad with a Wi-Fi connection. You can use the phone’s Maps feature to find your way to the bar to meet up with friends, and you can use the phone’s browser to search Google and settle arguments about Bruce Willis’ Bacon Number once you get to the bar.4) First look: New Razr phones are snappy, responsive
Yes, there are other smartphones out there besides the iPhone. K.T. Bradford of Tecca took a look at Motorola’s new Razr HD and Razr Maxx HD and said both models were proof that Motorola intends to “make the best stuff even better” in their smartphones.
Bradford said she was impressed by the cameras on the Razr HD and the Razr Maxx HD. The cameras snap pictures quickly and take still shots while filming video.
Newcomers to the Razr will like that both phones have plenty of easy-to-use features. Both phones have a Help app, an extra screen called Quick Settings to the left of the default Home screen and a Circle widget that shows the clock, weather, alerts and more.
It seems like the only downside to the Razr HD and the Razr Maxx HD is availability: Motorola has not yet released pricing information or release dates for either phone.
Social-media giant Mark Zuckerberg was in the spotlight to discuss Facebook’s slumping stock price and more at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.
Facebook’s stock was trading at $19.43 on Tuesday morning, a little over half of its offering price of $38 a share. Facebook launched its initial public offering (IPO) on May 17 with much hype. Facebook’s stock has had a rocky road in the four months since. Investors seem cautiously optimistic that Zuckerberg can revive Facebook. The stock was trading at around $22 on Friday.
Zuckerberg acknowledged that Facebook made a few “missteps” in its shift to mobile. He hopes a restructuring of its advertising strategy will boost Facebook’s revenue. Zuckerberg was humble and apologetic at Tuesday’s TechCrunch Conference, telling TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington during an interview that Facebook’s stock market performance so far has been “disappointing” and “some days are hard.”