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Today Apple held a massive product event during which it introduced two new models of the iPhone — the 6 and 6 Plus — its new payment product ApplePay, and the much rumored Watch.
Although such devices can often distract travelers with work emails and bad news, they are also our number one travel tool that allow us to check into flights from a cab, find our way around new cities, and search restaurant reviews from a park bench.
Below we highlight the Apple announcements with the most significance to travelers and travel brands.
>> Apple Watch
The most anticipated part of today’s launch was the Apple Watch, which has very real implications for travelers — at least those can figure out how to work it.
Multiple travel capabilities were highlighted during the event including one-tap flight check-ins via the American Airlines app and real-time transit updates and directions via CityMapper.
Watch owners will also be able unlock hotel rooms by simply waving the watch in front of the door at all of Starwood’s W Hotels by spring 2015.
Passbook is also available on the watch, giving users the availability to access airline, train, and attraction tickets.
>> Apple Pay
Apple also introduced Apple Pay, which can be used to transact with a number of travel companies.
Disney World (which is a sister-brand of sorts to Apple, thanks to Steve Job’s Pixar Studios) will accept Apple Pay at its physical cash registers before Christmas. Users will also be able to make one-tap purchases on GroupOn, Uber, and OpenTable.
Uber has launched a new feature, Drive Now, which allows users to request and pay for a ride without creating an account. OpenTable will allow users to pay for their meal at participating restaurants directly through the app.
It’s easy to imagine the way that Apple Pay will also make it easier to pay for public transportation directly through an iPhone. The NFC technology would make it possible for people to simply tap their phone to board a subway train or bus than deal with paper tickets and passes.
>> Photo & Videos
The new phone also come with an improved 8-megapixel camera. Besides being able to view the photos on larger displays, the iPhone 6 camera also focuses on faces fasters, improves details and sharpness in photos, and can take larger panoramic photos.
Its video capture has improved to shoot 1080p video at 30 or 60 frames per second.
Most of the photos and much of the content shown during Apple Keynotes are travel-related, not just because iPhones are travel tools, but because it is aspiration content that everyone can relate to.
The Wi-Fi in the iPhone 6 is said to be three times faster than the Wi-Fi on iPhone 5S.
>> Battery Life
The battery life on the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is slightly extended giving travelers the ability to explore a little longer without worrying about their phone’s battery.
For example, travelers can currently browse via Wi-Fi for 10 hours before killing their battery. That length is extended by one hour with the iPhone 6 and two hours with the iPhone 6 Plus.
For travelers that use their iPhone more like iPods on long trips, the iPhone 6 adds 10 hours and the iPhone 6 Plus adds 40 hours of audio before the battery gives out.
“Apple’s battery estimates are typically solid, but it’s going to take a lot of testing to prove these numbers out,” writes Nilay Patel on Verge’s live blog.
|iPhone 5s||iPhone 6||iPhone 6 Plus|
>> Active Travel
The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus can tell the difference between cycling and running as well as calculate distance and elevation.