Apple may be notoriously secretive and tight lipped, but the company appears to be getting worse and worse at actually keeping things under wraps. The iPhone 5 appears to be the most leaked handset in existence. Thankfully, the suspense is over, the next-gen iPhone is finally here and it does, in fact, go by the numerical title of 5. Just like the parts that have been circulating this is a glass and aluminum affair and, at 7.6mm it's a full 18 percent thinner than the 4S. It's even a full 20 percent lighter at 112 grams. It's all those amazing things and it packs a larger 4-inch display. The new version of Apple's Retina panel is 1136 x 640, which clocks in at a more than respectable 326ppi.
That new longer screen allows for an extra set of icons to be displayed on the home screen, and first party apps have already been tweaked to take advantage of the additional real estate. The iWork suite, Garage Band and iMovie have all been updated. Older apps will still work too, though they'll be displayed in a letterbox format until an update is issued. The tweaked ratio puts the iPhone 5 display closer to 16:9, but it's not quite there.
The most exciting news is likely the addition of LTE. There's still HSPA+, EV-DO, EDGE and all that jazz on board, but it's the true 4G that is really generating excitement. In the US Sprint, Verizon and AT&T will all be able to take advantage of the single chip data and voice LTE solution inside. And, if you're stuck on one of those tiered data plans, the 802.11 a/b/g/n antenna should help you keep your wireless usage in check.
If the brand new radios weren't enough of a raw spec update to get your geek blood pumping, the new A6 CPU inside should push you over the edge. Apple claims its a full two times faster than the chip inside the 4S, but we'll have to wait and see how accurate that assertion is. The A6 is reportedly 22 percent smaller than its predecessor, which probably helped Cupertino achieve such slim dimension on the iPhone 5 and it's also more energy efficient -- allowing the handset to chug along for 8 hours of talk time, despite the addition of LTE. Keeping your data usage to Wi-Fi will allow you to milk up to 10 hours out of the device.
Apple's got a new iSight coming with its brand new iPhone 5: an 8-megapixel camera with a 3,264 x 2,448 backside-illuminated sensor, five-element lens, and f/2.4 aperture. "Same as the iPhone 4S, but thinner." 25 percent thinner, to be exact, to match the now slimmer iPhone. The branding remains the same -- it's still the iSight -- but a few new bells and whistles have been added alongside the slimming. A new dynamic low light mode, for one, and a fancy sapphire crystal cover. The phone's new A6 processor also helps out, offering a "smart filter" for better color matching.
In terms of functionality, there's a new panorama mode, that allows picture stitching for multiple images into one, larger shot (a whopping 28 megapixels in total). Photo sharing is also getting expanded, allowing for more social functionality -- images can be shared with multiple friends or family members, and then those folks can comment.
But you only care about video, don't you? You'll be glad to hear that it's getting expanded as well. The front facing camera now offers 720p video capture for all your extreme close-ups -- also for FaceTime, which will be available via LTE on the iPhone 5. But all cellular networks? We're not so sure just yet.
Every new iPhone needs a new engine, and Tim Cook has just made some bold claims about Apple's latest silicon creation: the A6 processor. He hinted at a significant shrinkage in transistor size, allowing the chip to be 22 percent smaller than the A5 and hence more energy-efficient, while at the same time -- he says -- doubling all-round CPU and graphics capabilities. By way of practical benefits, the Apple CEO promises the Pages app will load up 2.1x faster than before, while Keynote attachments will hit the screen 1.7x faster. Bring on the benchmarks!
The new iPhone deserves a new dock connector. Say hello to the reversible, 80 percent smaller, Lightning. The likes of Bose, BLW and B&O are already working on new compatible docks while the new connector itself is now easier to connect, more durable, all digital, with an adaptive interface which warrants some closer inspection. Naturally, an adapter will also be made available for your existing iPhone peripherals and it sounds like it should pair well with that Thunderbolt connection, right?
Now that the iPhone 5 is officially out of the bag, it's time to talk software. Apple hasn't exactly kept its cards close to its chest in regards to iOS 6: Cupertino teased the software at WWDC, letting us in on increased Facebook integration, a new map application, Passbook and "Do Not Disturb" in the process. Today the OS gets official, and we're getting a demo of the OS running on the iphone 5 showing those features and more.
Not too much new here, but the software is up an in action on the new smartphone. In Safari, you'll be able to share tabs from your desktop with your phone (dubbed iCloud Tabs). We're also seeing Passbook in action once again, bringing up a plane ticket at the lockscreen when you get to the airport, for example. One new thing here: Delta is confirmed as a partner for this digital ticket service. As we've already known, on the Siri front you can bring up sports ranking and Rotten Tomatoes movie ratings via the voice assistant. And, of course, one of the most welcome features is FaceTime over cellular -- no mention of whether that will be supported on all carriers, but it certainly looks that way.