Apple has announced the release of the iPhone 5, which will begin shipping on September 21st. The iPhone 5 is faster, thinner and lighter than previous models, sports an additional microphone for better noise cancellation, and will add support for 4G LTE networks. More significantly, the display has expanded from 3.5 inches to 4 inches, enabling a 16:9 aspect ratio and improved video viewing. Apple has also decided to replace the dock connector used with all previous iPhones with a smaller dock connector called “Lightning”, a move that will directly impact anyone who owns other Apple mobile devices or accessories by requiring the use of adapters or interface cables.
The latest version of the mobile operating system, iOS 6, will become available on September 19th, and is expected to bring 200 new features, including a more empowered Siri voice assistant, better integration with Facebook, and the ability to conduct FaceTime calls over cellular connections. The major improvements, however, will be in the new or updated apps that are built into iOS. For instance, users of dedicated mapping apps such as AT&T’s Navigator will find that Apple’s new Maps application now provides turn-by-turn directions, and Instapaper users will find that Safari now supports the saving and offline viewing of entire Web pages, not just links. The new Passbook application allows users to aggregate boarding passes, movie tickets, coupons an loyalty cards, allowing them to stop carrying a wallet full of plastic.
Rumors that Apple would release a smaller version of the iPad called the iPad Mini during the same timeframe have turned out to be false, though there continues to be some expectation of an announcement in the next few weeks.
Information Services will actively test these technologies and provide updates to the community as soon as they are available.