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Apple unveils finger print recognition technology touch ID alongside the iPhone 5C and 5S


By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

September 10, 2013 | 4 min read

The "next-generation" of iPhones have been revealed: the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, including newly integrated fingerprint technology, Touch ID.

Tim Cook took to the stage for the event, telling the room that "next month we will ship the 700 millionth iOS device," pre-empting the 5C and 5S reveal.

He then said: "In the past, we've lowered the price of the current iPhone, making it accessible to more people. This year, we're not going to do that."

The iPhone 5C was then unveiled.

The sleek and colourful phone, coming in blue, white, pink, yellow and green, is made with hard-coated polycarbonate and "has all of the tech that customers love with the iPhone 5." It is put together seamlessly, with no visible joints. Apple has also created custom cases with a "soft-feel silicon rubber." They have been laser-cut with a pattern than allows the colour of the phone to show through.

Spec-wise, powered by an A6 processor the 5C has a 4-inch retina display, integrated touch, full sRGB, and widescreen video. It also has a FaceTime HD camera on the front, larger pixels, and backside illumination.

The iPhone 5S was then unveiled. Powered by a new, A7 chip, it comes in high-grade aluminuim in black, gold or silver. It is "a huge leap forward in mobile computing performance" with a 64-bit chip. Meaning "the CPU is twice as fast, and graphics are twice as fast as well." To spell it out, it is five times faster than the iPhone 5.

For gamers, "this will enable breakthroughs in performance for graphics-intensive games."

At this point Infinity Blade III was announced: "Infinity Blade III will redefine the power of gameplay. It will be available alongside the new iPhone 5S."

He then moved on to the main features of 5S. The iSight camera. It has a sensor with a 15 per cent larger active area with a "true tone flash". The flash has two LEDs, one is cool and white, the other is warm and amber. The camera combines both to get the right colour balance. The massively improves skin tone in photos.

Auto image stabilization was also unveiled, it takes multiple photos, ten frames per second, then combines them for light levels and picks the sharpest one.

Next to be revealed was possibly the worst kept secret in the tech industry - Touch ID. The new sensor scans your sub-epidermal skin layers to allow phone access. As anticipated, it is built into the home button, meaning you simply touch the round button at the bottom of your phone to gain secured access.

You can also use the fingerprint scanner as authentication when buying apps for example. Security wise, Apple said that your fingerprint is never available to other software. and is never uploaded to Apple's servers or backed up to iCloud.

A breakdown of the price for each device was given. The 16GB 5C starts at $99, $199 for 32GB, on a two-year contract. The 5S ranges from $199 to $299 on a similar two-year contract. Both devices will be available globally by the end of 2013.

The event also brought updates to the iOS 7. A new lock screen has a pull down tab to allow access a Control Center and Notification Center. There are also improved system alert sounds, while the iOS 7 camera now has a built-in filters a gallery which automatically groups photos into "moments" and "related collections."

iOS 7 updates will be free starting 18 September.

New products will also be available in the coming weeks - most notably the much discussed iTunes radio, described as "the best way to experience new music", and a new "Share Sheet" which makes it easier to share via Twitter or email.

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