iPhone and iOS upgrades untouchable by rivals


Fall is here, and along with a change in temperature, leaves, and fashion come new iPhones.

Apple gave their now yearly phone keynote Tuesday, and to the surprise of few, announced the latest entries in their growing product line.

iOS 7, the latest operating system for the varied list of Apple devices, was given an official launch date of Sept. 18.

With a new iOS iteration, updated hardware inevitably follows, and succeeding the massively popular iPhone 5 will be not one but two new phones: the latest flagship iPhone 5S, and a colorful, plastic-backed iPhone 5C, developed as a budget model intended for newcomers to Apple tech and overseas developing markets that lack affordable carrier subsidies.

While the iPhone 5C is little more than the current version of the iPhone with the aluminum unibody stripped out in lieu of vibrant polycarbonate, some significant hardware advances have been made for the 5S.

A larger image sensor and sharper lens aperture are paired with a dual-LED flash to offer a camera with an estimated 33 percent superior light sensitivity. Securing the phone is a new biometric fingerprint reader built into the home button, billed as “Touch ID”, a form of password and authentication replacement that should prove difficult to circumvent.

The new Apple A7 CPU powers these new modifications, running on the first 64-bit processing architecture in a smartphone.

For the tech laymen, this basically means that the iPhone has processing power on par with desktop computers, in terms of code complexity. This is a huge and awesome step towards cell phones that are as capable as a full-sized computer.

Joining the A7 is the Apple M7, described in the keynote as a “motion co-processor” to handle environmental data at lower power consumption. This will translate to a noticeably longer-lasting idle battery.

Despite these jumps in features and hardware, however, many students remain content with their current phones.

Students are not sold on the idea of the new iPhones, but such has been the case with the previous “S” phones. When the iPhone 3G was replaced by the 3GS, few cheered, despite the massively-increased battery life. When an upgraded camera and Siri were added to the iPhone 4S, there was not as much fanfare as the original iPhone 4 launch.

Despite the lack of overt hype, all of these phones beat their predecessors in adoption speed and overall sales, and the 5S is expected to do the same. Those processor and camera upgrades cannot be beaten in any other phone, be it iOS or Android, and the Touch ID will be the impetus for other manufacturers to include a fingerprint authentication system.