Apple unveiled it's newest flagship mobile products on September 9, 2014: iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iOS 8, and Apple Watch. Will these be of any benefit to podcasters?
iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
Leading the way in Apple's mobile devices is the iPhone. It's now thinner has better battery life, bigger screens, and more cool features.
iPhone 6 screen size
The most obvious change with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is the bigger screens. iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch (diagonally) screen. That is 750 × 1,334 pixels, which makes it the identical pixels per inch as the iPhone 5 line (326 PPI).
iPhone 6 Plus” has a 5.5-inch (diagonally) screen. That is 1,080 × 1,920. You may recognize those dimensions. Held in landscape (wide) orientation, iPhone 6 Plus offers full 1080p resolution at 401 PPI.
A bigger screen means apps can include more functionality in a handheld device.
- BossJock is my favorite app for podcasting from iOS. On iPhone 6, BossJock can display more sound effect buttons.
- An audio editor, like Multitrack DAW or Hokusai, can fit more audio on the screen, making it easier for you to edit.
- A video editor, like iMovie, can also fit more on the screen. Additionally, you'll be able to see the video even better for editing more precisely.
iPhone 6 Plus landscape mode
iPhone 6 Plus also invites more landscape-optimized layouts with its larger screen. Apps will start to look more like their iPad counterparts with multiple columns. This would either expose more functionality, or simply present a more optimized experience with the same features in just a different layout.
iPhone 6 storage increase
iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus come in the standard 16 GB entry device. But the 32 GB has been replaced with 64 GB, and Apple now offers a 128 GB version.
128 GB will give iPhone users more storage capacity for HD videos, podcast projects, and more.
Optical image stabilization on iPhone 6 Plus
iPhone has always had an amazing camera. Apple made this even better with optical image stabilization. Digital stabilization adjusts the captured frames to reduce shake effects, but this can often introduce other, weird effects like edge blurring. iPhone 6 Plus's optical image stabilization connects with the gyroscope to detect shake and physically move the lens and sensor to reduce the unintentional motion for smooth video.
This will allow video podcasters to shoot even better video with just their iPhone. But this optical image stabilization is only in the “Plus” model, and not in regular iPhone 6.
iPhone 6 pricing, availability, and comparison.
Both iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available on September 19, priced $199–$499 depending on storage and screen size. You may compare two “6” models with the “5” models on Apple's website. But when looking at just the “6,” here are the only differences.
- $199 (16 GB), $299, (64 GB), $399 (128 GB)
- 4.7-inch (diagonally) screen) with 1,334 × 750 pixels at 326 pixels per inch
- 1,400:1 contrast ratio
- No optical image stabilization
- Maximum battery life: 14 hours talk, 10 days standby, 10 hours 3G, 10 hours LTE, 11 hours Wi-Fi, 11 hours video playback, 50 hours audio playback
iPhone 6 Plus
- $299 (16 GB), $399, (64 GB), $499 (128 GB)
- 5.5-inch (diagonally) screen) with 1,080 × 1,920 pixels at 401 pixels per inch
- 1,300:1 contrast ratio
- Optical image stabilization
- Maximum battery life: 24 hours talk, 16 days standby, 12 hours 3G, 12 hours LTE, 12 hours Wi-Fi, 14 hours video playback, 80 hours audio playback
Besides the obvious differences of a larger phone, iPhone 6 Plus has optical image stabilization, but iPhone 6 doesn't.
With each new iPhone comes a new version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS.
Podcasts app preinstalled
iOS 8 will include Apple's Podcasts app preinstalled and unremovable. This certainly reduces the barrier to entry for beginner podcast-consumers. With the app preinstalled, you just have to tell them to tap it and search for a podcast.
This also means your iTunes links for your podcast will open directly into the Podcasts app regardless of whether the user has ever opened it before.
Yes, this may mean more people will “stumble” into podcasts out of curiosity for the app that comes preinstalled on their new or updated phones. But I would expect this to be just a little more popular than the Newsstand app.
Continuity and OS X
iOS 8 and Apple's upcoming newest version of OS X, version 10.10 “Yosemite,” will be more tightly connected with each other. Apple is introducing a great feature called “Continuity” that will allow several iPhone tasks to be performed on or connected with a Mac.
The biggest feature for podcasters will be the ability to make and receive phone calls through Mac OS X. This would make phone-call recording much easier with an app like Audio Hijack Pro, WireTap Studio, or Soundflower (for the advanced users). (Skype-call recorders won't work for this—yet—because they're specifically designed for Skype.)
QuickType and third-party keyboards
iOS 8's built-in keyboard will learn your writing style (like Swiftkey X on Android) in different contexts and suggest the kind of language you would use for each. iOS 8 will also—finally—allow third-party keyboards, such as Swype.
A better keyboard can make writing show notes or jotting ideas easier and faster on your mobile device.
Deeper integration for developers
iOS 8 learns a lot of lessons from Android and will offer deeper system integration for developers. This means podcast and podcasting apps can do more behind the scenes to enhance the experience.
Here are some theoretical examples.
- Podcast apps could add a browser extension that allows you to instantly subscribe to a podcast with your preferred app right from the podcast's website.
- Audio- and video-recording apps could have an easy way to send the recordings over to your editing app.
- Social-network apps can integrate with the system-wide sharing feature, so it could be easy for you to share anything to Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, Soundcloud, and more.
iOS 8 availability
iOS 8 will be a free update launching on September 17, 2014. It will support iPhone 4s and newer, iPad 2 and newer, and iPod Touch 5th generation and newer. But don't expect all features to be fully supported on older devices.
Apple brought back Steve Jobs' famous “One more thing …” with the announcement of Apple Watch.
In its first generation, Apple Watch is an iPhone accessory—it requires an iPhone. It has no headphone output and is mostly designed to interact with your existing Apple devices.
We really have to wait until Apple Watch is released to best know what it is capable of doing and how developers can use it. But I have a few ideas.
Apple Watch's standalone apps—at least what we know now—primarily focus on time, health, and connecting with functionality on your other Apple devices—primarily iPhone.
I really can't see much standalone use for podcasters and podcast consumers, at least not yet. Apple Watch's main power comes from how it extends and interacts with other devices.
Controlling other devices with Apple Watch
As an (expensive) iPhone accessory, Apple Watch can integrate with functionality already on iPhone, but being more accessible by being on your wrist instead of in your pocket. This could make podcast-playback more controllable.
Apple Watch will probably also pair with iPad, Apple TV, and OS X and allow you to control some features from your wrist. Here are some ideas.
- Start, pause, mark, and stop your audio or video recording
- Advance presentation slides
- Adjust and verify iPhone camera settings without touching your iPhone
- Quickly control Wi-Fi-connected lighting or power switches
Extending iOS apps
Apple Watch's greatest power will come in how developers can use it to extend the features and functionality of existing iOS and OS X apps. This can go far beyond notifications.
- See recording time
- Monitor and adjust volume levels
- Control soundboard playback
- Switch cameras in a live-stream
When Apple gets closer to launching Apple Watch, developers will find more amazing ways to leverage the new device.
Apple Watch pricing and availability
Get ready for the shock. Apple Watch will cost more than most iPhones! It starts at $349 and will be available in early 2015.
What do you think?
How do you think iPhone 6, iOS 8, and Apple Watch will help podcast-listeners and podcast-makers?
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Thanks for this article Daniel. I couldn’t watch the keynote and LOVE your take on how podcasters can take advantage of the new iPhone and IOS features. I’m also really excited about what Apple Watch can do although I’ll probably wait a couple years to get one myself (it’s just not in the budget, ya know).
I don’t know if I would ever get one unless it was under $100. I don’t wear a watch or any other band on my wrist.
I’m with you Daniel watches has become distinct dont you think. I mean really as long as I’m carrying a cell phone I have no need for a watch. I’m even surprised Apple put so much resources into this project.
Thanks for a great read
Great write up, Daniel. Appreciate the analysis.
Thanks, Jeff! What are your thoughts on the announcements?
Thinking beyond the magic of Once upon a time.
I’ve been really enjoying your last few podcasts and the podcast app in the iphone has got me really excited. Thanks for the write up.
You’re welcome! Are you planning to upgrade?