It’s all anyone in the tech-osphere is talking about; people are lined up at Apple stores around the world. But for the not-so-wallet-friendly base prices of $350 US (for the Watch), $199 US (for the 6), and $299 US (for the 6 Plus), you may be doubting whether the money is worth it. You don’t even want to know what the cost of the iPhones are if you don’t have a contract (but we’ll tell you anyways – starting at $649 for the 6 and $749 for the 6 Plus. Ouch). When you’re debating making the switch to the new iPhone, or sending in your pre-order for the Watch (set to come out in early 2015), here are the features you should be aware of that can benefit your student life:
The Apple Watch
After years of countless James Bond movies, we’ve all thought the radio-transmitting wrist watch was just a fascinating, futuristic gadget. Well, welcome to the future. Soon we’ll all be talking into our wrists and tapping our watches to make glorious things happen (although the ability to cut through glass isn’t available…yet). The exciting thing is that apps are only starting to be developed. Who knows what they’ll come up with in the next year? Here are some of the key things we already know about that will help you as a student:
Pretend you know where you’re going when you’re completely lost
When using Apple Maps, find directions to where you want to go – same old, same old, right? Wrong. One of my favourite new features with the Watch includes different vibrations to notify you when to turn left and right so your eyes don’t need to be glued to your wrist. No one will know you’re a freshman in a new city.
Draw when you don’t have time to type
When you’re trying to push through crowds on campus to get to your next class, the last thing you want to do is try to type on your phone. Chances are you’ll make mistakes that even autocorrect can’t figure out, and you’ll walk into people, trip over someone studying on the floor, or even drop your phone. The next time your friend texts you “Are you coming to class?”, you can just draw a checkmark on your watch and you’re back in action.
It’s hard to lose
Much like parents who clip a leash to their toddlers in the shopping mall, you now effectively have a phone on a leash. Strapped to your wrist at all times, you don’t have to worry about which class you left your phone in this time.
It gives you incentive to get back into shape
The Watch can sense your heartbeat and your altitude (among other things), which makes for an effective fitness tracker. It can tell how many calories you’re burning and how many flights of stairs you climbed today. It’s the cheat-free reminder you need (see also: guilt trip) to get up and get moving.
The iPhone 6 or 6 Plus
If you’re already an iPhone user, you likely don’t need much convincing to upgrade. Each subsequent iPhone generation comes with new and advanced features that you didn’t know you needed – but now your two-year-old 4S seems not only outdated, but inadequate (I know mine does).
It’s bigger (but still thinner than ever)
Now this is not necessarily a benefit for some users. Of course we want more information on the screen at once – we’re multitaskers with an attention span of zero. But what about fitting our phones into our pockets? There’s only one solution: jean manufacturers need to get on board with bigger pockets. Go big or go home, right? If you don’t care about pocket space (seriously, your phone will be glued to your hand anyways), the iPhone 6 Plus might be right for you. It’s great for videos on the go, and has a different landscape layout for ease of use. Those of us with smaller hands or no need for a phablet will be more than happy with the 6.
The camera is better
Are you the type to take pictures of the notes your professor has put up during the lecture, or ones your friends took when you missed that class? The 8MP iSight camera boasts 1.5-micron pixels and ƒ/2.2 aperture, for clearer photos than ever. It also includes auto-stabilization to make sure your selfies will be blur-free.
Leave your wallet at home
Apple Pay will let you tap to pay at select stores (220,000 locations to start) – just hold your finger on the TouchID and you’re done in seconds. Your bag will be heavy enough with textbooks; leave your bulky wallet at home and pay securely.
Longer battery life
For those long days at school, battery life is vital. The last thing you want is to be running around looking for an outlet (and there never seems to be one). The iPhone 6 gives you up to 11 hours when browsing on Wi-Fi (12 hours with the 6 Plus).
Finding and connecting to wireless is half the battle, but actually being able to use it without hangups is a whole other frustrating issue. For those of you lucky enough to have functioning Wi-Fi in your classrooms, this is a great advancement.