BBM Finally Launches For Android And iOS, Years Too Late (Download here)

If this was 2010, RIM launching BBM on Android and iOS would have been viewed as a nod to open communication and a platform-agnostic product strategy. If this was 2010, it would have been marked as a win for RIM and a sign that company is here to fight. If this was 2010, RIM might still have a chance.

But at the close of 2013, BBM launching on Android and iOS is a swan song for Research In Motion-turned BlackBerry. And the 5 million downloads are just a hint of what could have been.

BlackBerry finally launched BBM on Android and iOS today, leaning on a reservation system likely to prevent the issues that plagued the first launch. And just eight hours after launching, BlackBerry took to Twitter to proclaim 5 million users had already downloaded the app. As of writing, BBM is the top free download in the App Store. The demand is there, but the future is not.

BBM was once the king of messaging platforms. Hit Me Up On BBM. It was iMessage and ChatOn before either one existed. And even five years ago it seemed to work better than its modern day counterparts. It was RIM’s secret sauce and had the company been willing to share a few years back, things could have been different for the Canadian smartphone maker.

RIM’s decline was clear a few years ago, yet the company proceeded as business as usual. BBM could have been a type of Trojan horse, showing Android and iPhone users the strength of RIM’s platform. But the company took too long to launch the messaging app on competing platforms. BlackBerry is now seeking a corporate buyer. Canadian wireless companies are not carrying the latest BlackBerry. And it won’t be long until BBM will be just a footnote in the company’s storied and sad history.



Samsung Galaxy S5 release date, news, rumours, specs and price

A Samsung Galaxy S5 release date is not expected until next year, but a raft of Samsung Galaxy S5 rumours have already starting circulating, offering early details on the next-gen flagship phone.

With the Samsung Galaxy S4 now a matter of months old, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 available to buy and the iPhone 5S having hit retailers as the new target of the smartphone industry, Samsung has promised some impressive Samsung Galaxy S5 specs are on the horizon, while the rumour mill has offered even more.

While recent Samsung Galaxy S5 rumours have pointed to the device trading in its less than impressive plastic build in favour of a new metal option, Samsung itself has stated the phone will support a 64-bit processor. While it might copy the iPhone 5S’ CPU, Samsung has stated the S5 will not feature an integrated fingerprint scanner.

What’s more, while much on the Korean manufacturer’s next flagship phone still remains shrouded in speculation and mystery, recent reports have claimed that the Samsung Galaxy S5 specs sheet could be bolstered by a 16-megapixel rear-mounted camera and 3GB of RAM wrapped within a Samsung Galaxy S4 Active esque waterproof coating. Although currently unconfirmed, the already eagerly awaited Samsung Galaxy S5 is an inevitability of the current trend of annual product cycles and companies’ insatiable need to always be pushing the envelope and raking in the cash.

Ensuring you are kept abreast of all the latest Samsung Galaxy S5 news and rumours, including when you can expect the Samsung Galaxy S5 release date, what specs the phone will have and how much it will set you back, bookmark this page as will be updating it regularly leading up to the S5 launch next year.

Samsung Galaxy S5 News

The latest Samsung Galaxy S5 news has seen a waterproof body tipped for inclusion on the HTC One rival. Unlike the S4 and the follow-on S4 Active, recent reports out of Korea have hinted that the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be a waterproof and dustproof direct from the box, much like the Sony Xperia Z1.

According to further Korean national news outlets, the Samsung Galaxy S5 will also adopt an aluminium or other metal body in a bid to keep footing with the highend and luxurious path being forged out by its competitors, Apple and HTC.

Ensuring it is not left behind, further Samsung Galaxy S5 news has seen the Korean manufacturer play a petty game of one-upmanship with Apple. Following the iPhone 5S unveiling with a 64-bit CPU in tow, Samsung has confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy S5 specs sheet will see the same processing power.

Questioned by the Korea Times on whether its future phones will run 64-bit CPUs like the iPhone 5S, Samsung’s CEO of Mobile Shin Jong-Kyun stated: “Not in the shortest time. But yes, our next smartphones will have 64-bit processing functionality.”

Although taking pointers from the iPhone 5S’ processor, further Samsung representatives have added that the S5 will not incorporate a fingerprint scanner like its leading rival. “We are not yet developing the technology,” an official Samsung spokesperson said when questioned on the possibility of a fingerprint scanner hosting Samsung Galaxy S5.

Further reports have suggested the Samsung Galaxy S5 release date will see the handset line up with 3GB of RAM in tow. A feature that has also been mooted for the imminent Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the S5’s expansive RAM has been hinted at after the company’s latest development announcement.

Speaking in recent weeks, Samsung confirmed that it had started mass production of the first 3GB low power DDR3 RAM chips for mobile devices. With the Samsung Galaxy S5 set to be the manufacturer’s new flagship phone, it makes sense that it will run the company’s latest developments and most advanced components.

A chip that could spell more than increased speeds and improved multitasking capabilities, the Samsung Galaxy S5 RAM improvement could result in a slimmer phone with a bettery battery life. An official spokesperson for the company stated: “Samsung’s new ultra-slim memory solutions will enable thinner smartphone designs and allow for additional battery space, while offering a data transfer speed of up to 2,133 megabits per second (Mbps) per pin.”

Samsung Galaxy S5 Release Date

As you would expect, Samsung has yet to give any direct indication as to when the Samsung Galaxy S5 release date will be held. That’s not to say we don’t have some idea on when to expect the next addition to the company’s flagship smartphone brand though.

If Samsung sticks with past tradition – and we can’t see why it wouldn’t – then it is expected that the Samsung Galaxy S5 release date will be held sometime around April/May 2014.

Although still nothing more than speculation, this predicted Samsung Galaxy S5 release date does have a theory behind it. Like its bitter rival Apple, Samsung has become something of a fan of strict annual product cycles for its leading product lines, as such it has become a little bit predictable.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 hit UK retailers on April 26 after a dedicated New York launch event on March 14. The Samsung Galaxy S3 went into stores on May 29 2012 and all the way back in 2011, the Samsung Galaxy S2 launched on May 1. Starting to see the pattern?

Although a late April/early May Samsung Galaxy S5 release date is believed to be on the cards, there are still many rounds of rumours and leaks expected before then.

Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5 Rumours

It might be early, but the Samsung Galaxy S5 rumours are already doing the rounds. The most prominent Samsung Galaxy S5 rumours to date, however, all focus on one area of the currently unconfirmed phone – its design.

With the Samsung Galaxy S4 having been widely criticised for its plastic form factor which failed to match up to the brushed metal highlights of the iPhone 5 or HTC One, Samsung is widely expected to adopt an all new finish for the S5, with new aluminium body repeatedly tipped.

According to unnamed “sources close to the South Korean phone maker,” recent reports have suggested that the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be used to launch a new ‘Design 3.0’ standard within the company.

The sources stated: “While we don’t have the slightest idea what Design 3.0 really means in terms of looks, we can now confirm that Samsung will start to use aluminium for its high-end smartphones, and the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be the first one to receive this treatment.”

Further hinting at a change in design and materials, Samsung recently acquired carbon fibre specialist the SGL Group, announcing in an official statement that it would be using the high-end lightweight materials in future phones and tablets.

“Lightweight materials have become an important factor not only in industrial applications but also the consumer end markets such as digital media,” Yoosung Chung, President & CEO of Samsung Petrochemical said. He added: “This partnership will position Samsung as a leading player in the development and application of carbon fibre-based products.”

“The cooperation is expected to provide a stable long-term supply of carbon fibre materials for Samsung and promote its use in various Samsung products and applications such as consumer electronics, medical devices and engineering applications,”

Samsung Galaxy S5 Specs

With the Samsung Galaxy S4 having taken smartphone specs to the next level, it is widely expected that the South Korean manufacturer will continue with a similar trend with the next-generation S5. Although few areas of the phone’s features list have yet been rumoured, certain elements have been teased.

Earlier this month a Samsung design patent leaked (above) showing off a new angled-edged phone which has been mooted to the be the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5.

Based on the outed design filing, the phone will run a version of Google’s Android operating system (no surprises there then) as well as integrated cameras front and back. At present no further S5 specs have leaked.

Other recently emerged Samsung Galaxy S5 rumours have claimed the upcoming handset will make use of a new 16-megapixel smartphone camera sensor, offing high-end snaps that will finally spell the end for the dedicated compact camera.

According to recent reports, the Samsung Galaxy S5 specs sheet will see the new 16-megapixel camera sensor further bolstered by optical image stabilisation features.

The revised camera component is said to be under development in Korea to replace the 13-megapixel snapper found on the existing S4. It is not expected that the improved camera optics will be ready in time for next week’s Samsung Galaxy Note 3 unveiling.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Price

Although the Samsung Galaxy S5 price is a long way from being confirmed, it has already been suggested that the S5 will cost more than its already pricy predecessor.

According to the same unnamed sources who have claimed a metal bodied design will be bestowed upon the next-gen handset, the Samsung Galaxy S5 price will be bumped up by the new premium building materials.

Stay tuned for more Samsung Galaxy S5 news and rumours as more details on the S4 follow-on continue to appear. While you wait, why not take a look at all the latest iPhone 5S rumours.


BBM Android app available to download, install, chat today

BBM for Android is scheduled to launch today, but missed the release time. Originally, BlackBerry planned to make the BlackBerry Messenger app on your Android phone available today to chat with your long-lost BBM buddies, with the BBM iPhone app set to come in a few hours.

“Thanks for your patience Android users!” says BlackBerry. “Working hard to get you the real BBM ASAP. We’ll let you know when it’s live.”

Head over to the Google Play app store and you should be able to download BBM for Android at some point today. Install the app and you’ll be chatting with your old BlackBerry buds before you can say “WhatsApp? What’s that?”

The BBM app for other devices lets you swap instant messages with other app users, with voice chat to come at a later stage. If you’ve defected from BlackBerry to Apple, the iOS app will be available from the Apple App Store at midnight.

BlackBerry has certainly made us wait for the instant messaging app to arrive on other phones. Sadly scammers have taken advantage of the wait to fill Google Play with fake BBM apps, targeting eager ex-BlackBerry owners with ads, spam or worse.

BlackBerry Messenger was the main reason that teens became as addicted to their BlackBerrys as the most business-minded executive, mainly because — unlike texting — it’s free. You can also write much longer messages and see when someone’s read your missive.

But with the rise of the iPhone and more affordable Android phones, the shine wore off BlackBerry devices — especially with the arrival of IM services like WhatsApp or Samsung ChatOn that work across different devices, so you can chat with friends and family even if they have different phones to you.

Are you excited to get back on BBM? Will this encourage people to come back to BlackBerry, or have the folks at BlackBerry just killed off the last reason to actually buy one of their phones? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or chat away on our Facebook page.

Update: The BBM app was scheduled to appear at noon, when this story was first posted. We’ve updated the story to reflect the delay.

BlackBerry Messenger hits iPhone and Android devices this weekend

Once a unique tool to send short messages without running up SMS charges, BlackBerry Messenger now competes with mobile instant messaging products from Facebook, Apple and others, and less directly with the micro-blogging service Twitter.

AP Photo/Eric RisbergOnce a unique tool to send short messages without running up SMS charges, BlackBerry Messenger now competes with mobile instant messaging products from Facebook, Apple and others, and less directly with the micro-blogging service Twitter.


TORONTO — BlackBerry Ltd said on Wednesday that its popular BlackBerry Messenger instant chat application will be available for rival devices using Google Inc’s Android software and for Apple’s iPhone this weekend.

The struggling Canadian smartphone maker had announced plans to open up the service, often referred to as BBM by both fans and the company, back in May.

Once a unique tool to send short messages without running up SMS charges, BBM now competes with mobile instant messaging products from Facebook, Apple and others, and less directly with the micro-blogging service Twitter.

Android users will be able to download the application on Saturday, while iPhone users can get it on Sunday.


iPhone 6 specs, features, release date, price, news & rumours

Apple launched the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5c on the 10th of September, killing all speculation that it would be called the iPhone 6. We’re still expecting Apple’s 2014 handset to be called the iPhone 6 and have preserved the rumours until we get more information. Click through to find out more about the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c

Apple is in a slightly strange position at the moment: it doesn’t have the smartphone with the fastest processor or the highest-resolution screen. In fact, looking at specs alone, the HTC OneSony Xperia Z and Samsung Galaxy S4 are all giving the smartphone king a run for its money and making people think about the Android platform.

That’s not say that Apple has been idle. In fact, it’s clearly been working hard on both new hardware and a new operating system in order to re-assert itself. From the existing rumours, it would appear as though the next iPhone will be the iPhone 5S, an update to the iPhone 5. Then, we’re going to get the iPhone 6, a completely revamped phone.

In this article we’re concentrating on the iPhone 6, although it may turn out that some of these features make it into the iPhone 5S. Apple may even just dump the iPhone 5S and move straight to the 6 instead. Regardless of names, if Apple’s going to continue to make the most desirable smartphone it’s going to have to pack some serious technology into its latest handsets.




At the start of the year you could pretty much pick any month and say that’s when the iPhone 6 was coming out. Obviously, a lot of rumoured launch dates have been massively wrong. Trying to pin down a date is very hard, but there are some pointers that give us more likely dates.
First, if Apple follows its usual release schedule, it means it releases one generation of phone and the following year, uses the same case and design, but updates the hardware. If Apple sticks to that, it would mean that the iPhone 5S would follow the iPhone 5.

So, first we need to work out when the iPhone 5S would launch. Most of the information we have would point to an autumn launch. Here’s why. First, Tim Cook hinted at an autumn launch in a call with investors. “Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software, and services that we can’t wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014,” Cook said.

Next, we know that iOS 7 is due for release in autumn, so we’d expect it to come out with the iPhone 5S, iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2.

Finally, Apple’s CFO, Peter Oppenheimer said that Apple would have a “very busy fall” in a more recent earnings call, but said that he would give “more detail in October”.

One of the latest rumours, reported by AllThingsD, is that the next iPhone will be announced at a special event on September 10th. Obviously, Apple hasn’t said anything about this rumour, so we’re going to have to wait a bit longer to find out if it’s true.

Typically, Apple products are released around two weeks after the launch event, so we could expect to see the next iPhone around the end of September or very early October. The best guess is that this will be the iPhone 5S, while we’ll get the iPhone 6 in 2014.

Apple typically waits for a year before launching a new product, but many think that we won’t have to wait that long after the iPhone 5S for the iPhone 6. It’s rumoured that the iPhone 6 will have a larger display, so Apple could quite happily continue to sell both phones. In many ways this would be similar to the Samsung strategy of having the large Galaxy S4 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.




Apple has been known for its high quality screens and it’s going to be interesting to see what it can do with the iPhone 6, particularly as it looks like the iPhone 5S will have the same screen size and resolution as the iPhone 5.

Big-screen phones are the thing of the moment, with Samsung, Sony and HTC all opting for large, Full HD screens. Now, Apple’s not one to necessarily follow what everyone else is doing, but given the demand for such phones, we wouldn’t be surprised to see that the iPhone 6 has a larger display. Of course, the screen would need to be Retina, which means that you can’t see the individual pixels when used at a normal viewing distance.

Currently doing the rounds are the rumours that the iPhone 6 will have a 4.8in screen, which would make the phone similar in size to the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. At this screen size, Apple could then move to a Full HD (1,920×1,080) resolution or even go beyond.

While Apple has not previously made a large-screen phone, upping the screen size for the iPhone 6 makes a lot of sense. It means it can compete with the large-screen phones from other manufacturers and keep the iPhone 5S as a smaller alternative, giving iPhone users more choice.

Tim Cook has made a statement that would appear, on a first glance, to deny a large-screen Apple iPhone 6. In an Apple earnings call, Cook said, “My view continues to be that the iPhone 5 has the absolute best display in the industry, and we always strive to create the very best display for our customers.

“Some customers value large screen size, others value other factors such as resolution, colour quality, white balance, brightness, reflectivity, screen longevity, power consumption, portability, compatibility with apps and many things. Our competitors had made some significant trade-offs in many of these areas in order to ship a larger display. We would not ship a larger display iPhone while these trade-offs exist.”

What that statement says, to us, is that Apple won’t ship a large-screen iPhone until it’s managed to iron out all of the trade-offs. A thinner screen, to make a lighter phone, could well be the right way to go, then.

It’s no wonder, then, that Apple may also be considering the screen technology that it uses, with a Sharp IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) screen top of the list. This new technology allows for screens that use less power and are considerably thinner. Rumours certainly picked up when the Sharp IGZO technology was demonstrated at CES 2013.

Sharp has also started manufacturing a super-sensitive touchscreen, which you can write on with a pencil and even operate with gloves on. Given Apple’s relationship with Sharp, rumours have linked the new technology to the iPhone 6.

The new screen technology has eight times the sensitivity of existing models, is scratch resistant and is also thinner than existing screens. In other words, it would be hard to see why Apple wouldn’t want this technology.




A bigger screen requires more power, so any technology that can increase battery life has to be good. For the iPhone 6 Apple could be about to revisit gaze detection technology, where the phone can tell if you’re looking at the screen or not. If you were to look away, the phone could pause a video playing and turn the screen off.PatentlyApple has dug up the full information on how the technology is likely to work.

Given that Samsung has similar technology in its Galaxy S4 smartphone, we’d say there’s a high chance that Apple will follow suit and implement its own version.


iOS 7


Although incredibly innovative and easy to use when it was first launch, iOS is now looking a bit dated. Each update to iOS has really felt like a tweak, leaving the same user interface alone. Some would argue that iOS 6, which was introduced with the iPhone 5, was actually a step backwards with Apple Maps proving to be far worse than the Google Maps app it replaced.

Well, we now know exactly what we’re getting with iOS 7, which was unveiled at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June). Designed by Jony Ive, the system is a big departure from the current version. For starters, the interface and icons have all been completely redesigned with a ‘flatter’ appearance. It’s certainly more modern looking.

On top of that, there are a raft of new features, including Control Center, which lets you access common settings from a swipe-up menu; a Today view in the Notification Center pull-down menu; AirDrop, which lets you transfer files via Wi-Fi to other users; a new Camera app, with new filters; and lots more.

iOS 7
We will see iOS 7 in autumn, most likely with the iPhone 5S, but a tweaked version could come to the iPhone 6

Apple has said that iOS 7 will be released in autumn, which should nicely coincide with the launch of the iPhone 5S. With the iPhone 6, though, we’re likely to get a tweaked version of the OS that introduces some new features. For example, if the rumoured NFC chip makes it to the iPhone 6, we may see a new Apple payments app.




One of the most important part of any smartphone is the camera, with people generally preferring their phone over a compact camera. With the competition putting a lot of effort into the quality of their cameras, Apple has slightly fallen behind, with the iPhone 5’s quality not matching that of the Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One.

Recent rumours, reported by MacRumours have stated that the iPhone 5S will get a 12-megapixel sensor, up from the 8-megapixel version on the iPhone 5. It stands to reason that the iPhone 6 will get the same, or better, sensor.

Upping the sensor resolution can introduce problems with noise, though, as there’s less light per pixel. Apple will be keen to counteract problems like this, so a lens with a faster aperture would make sense. Currently the iPhone 5 has an f2.4 lens, but an f2.2 or f2.0 lens would mean better low-light photography.




In terms of storage, 64GB has been the top model for a couple of years, so we’d expect the top model to now be 128GB. We know that Apple now has that capacity, thanks to the recent launch of a 128GB iPad 4.

The new model doubled the maximum capacity of the previous high-end iPad (64GB). This update was said to be about increasing the variety of uses for the tablet, with Apple stating that more storage was good for large files for use in applications such as CAD and music production. It’s also a more useful amount of storage for photos and videos.

The update to the iPad 4 was a completely new model with a new price, so we’d expect the same range of capacities and prices to be available from the iPad 5: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. With Apple now using 128GB storage in its tablets, the question is whether or not it will provide the same range of capacities in its iPhone and iPad Mini range, too.

Given that the capacity is now available to Apple and that the smartphone market is even more competitive, we’d say that a 128GB version of the new phone is more than likely.




One of the omissions from the iPhone 5 was NFC, but with the technology starting to appear in most new Android phones, we’d expect this in the in iPhone 6. With Apple pushing its Passbook App, for storing store cards, tickets and coupons, integrating this with NFC would make a lot of sense.

With Apple also rumoured to be including a fingerprint sensor to secure transactions, it would make sense for the company to also launch a payments app, so that you can pay for items with your smartphone. Contactless card readers are becoming more and more popular in the UK, so the technology for receiving these payments is already there.

Apple did have a slight dig at NFC when it launched iOS 7’s AirDrop feature, saying that its technology was easier than bumping phones together. However, that may be the case for transferring files, but for secure payments NFC is a must. Most likely, Apple’s dig is because NFC is a technology that it currently doesn’t have.

The current speculation is that booth NFC and a fingerprint sensor will be integrated into the home button, and will be known as TouchID when Apple introduces the new phone.




Judging what Apple will do with the processor is harder, but we’d expect an updated model in the iPhone 6. Currently the iPhone 5 has a dual-core Apple A6 processor, but a quad-core Apple A7, using ARM Cortex A15-based cores, sounds plausible to us.

It also seems more than likely that Apple will use ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture. This allows a processor to have low-power cores that save on battery life, when not much CPU power is required, switching to full-power cores when more intensive tasks are required. Apple’s always been hot on battery life, so this move would make sense, particularly as it’s something that ARM’s really pushing at the moment.

Alleged shots of the iPhone 5S have shown the internals of the phone, including an unknown processor. Obviously, you can’t tell specs from a shot of a chip, but a new processor could well mean an A7 chip, which will be used in the iPhone 5S first, before making an appearance in the iPhone 6.

iPhone 5S internals
This alleged shot of the inside of an iPhone 5S shows an unknown processor – could it be the Apple A7?




Apple typically releases its new models at the same price as the old ones. If that holds out, then, and assuming that the 16GB model is dropped, we’d expect the 32GB model to cost £529, the 64GB model £599 and the 128GB model £699. However, if the company continues to sell the iPhone 5S, we could be in for some new pricing, with the iPhone 6 a premium model that sits above it.

iPhone 5S specs, price, release date & news

Apple has finally revealed the iPhone 5S, its long-awaited successor to the iPhone 5, alongside the colourful plastic iPhone 5c at an official launch event in San Francisco.

want to know the difference between the new phones? Read our iPhone 5s vs iPhone 5c comparison

It’s about time Apple fans had a new object of desire, as the Android competition has been getting much stronger with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4HTC Oneand Sony Xperia Z piling on the pressure. Read on to see how Apple has answered the critics.

iPhone 5s colours


iPhone 5S design

As expected, the new handset will be available in a choice of “space grey”, “silver” or “gold” colours, retaining the same glass and aluminium body from the iPhone 5 except with some aluminium edging that gives it that little extra bit of bling.


The 4in display remains unchanged and Apple has stuck with a “Retina-class” 1,136×640 resolution panel. This is unsurprising, seeing as it’s already impossible to spot the individual pixels from an average viewing distance, but will still come as a disappointment for anyone hoping to watch Full HD video (or even 720p content) natively on their morning commute.

The power button is still at the top, next to a 3.5mm audio jack. The volume buttons and mute switch are still on the side and the Lightning connector is still found at the bottom – all in all a very similar looking handset to the iPhone 5.

iPhone 5S TouchID

The only new physical addition to the iPhone 5S is the TouchID ring built into the home button. This silver ring acts as a fingerprint reader for enhanced security. It can read in any orientation and scans below the epidermal skin layers. To avoid scratches, the home button is now made from sapphire crystal.

Want to learn more about Touch ID? Read our breakdown here

iPhone 5S

The rear camera sensor is around 15% larger than the outgoing model, and uses 1.5 micron pixels for improved low-light shooting. The f/2.2 aperture is larger too, and is paired with a twin-LED flash for even more light when shooting in dark conditions. Apple calls it “True Tone”, with one cool white flash and a second warmer amber LED that automatically adjusts depending on lighting conditions for the best picture. Image stabilisation and best shot selection are both automatic. There’s also a burst shot mode and 120fps slow motion video recording at 720p, along with the new filters found in iOS7.


iPhone 5S performance


Inside, Apple has upgraded the A6 processor found in the iPhone 5 to an A7 CPU. It’s a 64-bit chip, to take advantage of the 64-bit version of iOS 7 it will run. It should be up to 40x faster in terms of CPU performance and 56x faster for GPU tasks than the original iPhone, and can run OpenGL 3.0 games like the 2013 Nexus 7.

iPhone 5S A7

It is paired with an M7 Motion Coprocessor, which handles accelerometer, compass and gyroscope duties. It can tell whether you’re walking, driving or stationary, and app developers will be able to tap into it in combination with GPS. Despite the presence of two processors, it should still manage 10 hours of 3G or 4G browsing, or up to 250 hours of standby on a single charge.

It also supports global LTE bands, apparently more than any other smartphone in the world, so will have no trouble working on 4G networks in every country it launches in – including here in the UK, where you’ll have a choice of EEVodafoneand O2.


iOS 7

The iPhone 5S will launch with iOS 7, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. It’s a major visual departure for the software, with a pastel colour scheme, flattened icons and no more skeuomorphic elements (the way the notes app looked like real lined paper).


Multitasking has been improved so apps update through push notifications, not just when you switch back to them from other apps. Notification Sync will please owners of multiple iOS devices, as swiping a message away from an iPhone 5S will also dismiss it from an iPad.

Apple iOS 7 Notification Center

The redesigned Notification Center now lets you scroll through messages, emails, tweets and other notifications in a long list. Tabs separate updates into Today, All and Missed, so you don’t need to worry about things falling through the cracks.

Apple iOS 7 Control Center

The major addition is Control Center , which puts common settings and toggles such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Flight mode and brightness in one location. A swipe from the bottom of the screen brings up the menu, which also includes a flashlight, music playback controls, a camera shortcut and a calculator. All five iWork apps will be free to download too.

Apple iOS 7 AirDrop

Finally, AirDrop shares whatever you’re currently doing to any nearby iOS 7 device using Wi-Fi. Tapping the AirDrop icon shows who is in the vicinity, and selecting them automatically shares.


Price and availability

The iPhone 5S will go up for pre-oder on the 13th of September, alongside iOS7 for existing iPhone, iPad and iPod models. It will go on sale a week later on the 20th of September. Prices start from $199 on a two-year contract in the US for a 16GB model. The 32GB version will cost $299 and the 64GB will set you back $399. In the UK, SIM-free prices start at £549 for the 16GB, £629 for the 32GB nmad £709 for the 64GB model.


We’ll be taking a closer look at the new phone a little closer to launch, so be sure to check back later in the week.


Even before the official unveiling, we knew thatiOS 7 would launch in the autumn, and Apple rarely launches a new OS without some new hardware to go with it.


As is customary with Apple launches, very little confirmed information had leaked out, but there are always clues suggesting what the company has planned. Brand new hardware was always going to be saved until the iPhone 6, which is expected to launch in 2014.

We were expecting the iPhone 5S to look similar, albeit with a few cosmetic tweaks, to the iPhone 5, primarily because of Apple’s quarterly SEC filings. The financial documents showed $903m spent on equipment purchases, compared to $4.5b two quarters previously. The larger spend was due to heavy investment in new screens for the iPhone 5 – which wasn’t necessary for the new phones.



We weren’t convinced by rumours that the iPhone 5s would have a higher-resolution display than the iPhone 5, because the screen size didn’t look likely to change. Apple already calls the iPhone 5 a “retina-class” handset, where you can’t see individual pixels when holding it at a normal viewing distance, so upping the resolution would be pointless without increasing the screen size.


Two or three different screen sizes were also suggested for the iPhone 5S launch. There’s no question large-screen smartphones, such as the 4.99in Samsung Galaxy S4, are growing in popularity, but different screen sizes for a single product isn’t really something Apple does.

In fact, Tim Cook has said in the past, “My view continues to be that the iPhone 5 has the absolute best display in the industry, and we always strive to create the very best display for our customers. Some customers value large screen size, others value other factors such as resolution, colour quality, white balance, brightness, reflectivity, screen longevity, power consumption, portability, compatibility with apps and many things.

“Our competitors had made some significant trade-offs in many of these areas in order to ship a larger display. We would not ship a larger display iPhone while these trade-offs exist.”

We imagine that the larger iOS smartphone will end up being the iPhone 6. Apple could have a large screen phone for those that want it, but continue selling the smaller, more pocket-friendly iPhone 5S.

There was a possibility that the iPhone 5S would be Apple’s first foray into IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) display panels. The result would have been a slightly thinner and significantly brighter display than the iPhone 5, that would be far more energy-efficient than previous models. We first saw the technology at CES in January, when Sharp debuted IGZO displays for the first time inside a 32in 4K monitor. Apple reportedly approached Sharp about its technology following that reveal, about both the iPhone 5S and the upcoming iPad 5, but in the end we’ve still got the same panel seen in the iPhone 5.



Historically, the iPhone has been available in either black or white, but the iPhone 5S added a third colour. Apple Insider originally reported that a “trusted source” expected a third Gold colour option to be added for the iPhone 5S.


TechCrunch heard from “multiple sources” that the iPhone 5S will be available in black, white and gold. To avoid looking tacky, Apple ultimately went a champagne hue, like Hi-Fi kit from the last decade than the blinged-out rims on a footballer’s SUV. Colours tend to cycle in and out of fashion, so perhaps it’s time for champagne gold to be cool again, and it certainly gives Apple a phone that stands out from everything else.

iMore backed up those initial rumours with some technical information on how easy the phone is to make. “According to our own Ally Kazmucha, who’s no stranger to the process, gold is among the easiest colors to anodize onto an iPhone. It involves simple chemical reaction, with the possible addition of dye depending on the exact color they want to produce. (True black, conversely, is the hardest, and takes the most time, which is likely why we currently have ‘slate’ instead.)”



There was every possibility that the iPhone 5S would get a faster A7 processor, a step up from the A6 chip found in the iPhone 5. A recent iPhone 5S photo leakshowed a new processor in the phone, but there were no rumoured specifications and we didn’t know how many cores it had.


Lots of other manufacturers moved to quad-core parts last year, but Apple stuck with dual-core largely because iOS only required two cores to stay efficient. We expected Apple to make the switch, but it has instead stuck with dual-core and opted to move to 64-bit processing model instead.

iPhone 5S
This leaked shot was allegedly of an iPhone 5S, showing a new A7 processor

Manufacturing date codes on the processor and memory put their production dates in October and September 2012 respectively. MacRumours said that the prototype itself was built in December 2012, so it’s likely a very early example of the proposed iPhone 5S design. There’s a very good change the final product may differ greatly from that pictured, but until someone like iFixit performs a breakdown, we won’t know exactly how accurate the leak was.



The iPhone has a reputation for the quality of its integrated camera, but in recent months the competition has taken the lead. The Nokia Lumia 920, HTC One and Sony Xperia Z have all been sold on the quality of their cameras.


Vietnamese site Tinhte, which has previously managed to get Apple hardware early, said the iPhone 5S will have a 12-megapixel sensor. That jump would improve photo resolution, but could also increase noise. Fitting high-resolution, but physically small, sensors means that there’s less light per pixel, which can have a knock-on effect when shooting in low light. Instead, Apple opted to remain at 8-megapixels, but increase the size of those pixels for more detailed photos.

Leaked shots also hinted that the camera would have a dual-LED flash, making it easier to take shots in darker environments. That proved true, although Apple’sTrue Tone system remained a secret until the launch.




Following the launch of a 128GB iPad 4 we knew Apple had the ability to put huge internal capacities in its devices, but as Apple said the 128GB iPad was intended for CAD and music production apps, it was unlikely a 128GB iPhone would be announced. In the end, only 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models were revealed.




The final rumours before launch suggested that the iPhone 5S would get a fingerprint reader and NFC. When combined, the fingerprint reader could authenticate NFC payments to make the smartphone a secure way to buy goods and services.

Taiwanese reports suggest the fingerprint reader will be made by Chipbond, which has secured a huge contract to supply Apple. Apple recently bought Authentec, which built a new fingerprint/NFC security system – this fuelled speculation about the capabilities of the new phone. However, NFC was by no means a certainty, as AirDrop was originally introduced as being better than tapping two phones together – a dig at the way NFC and Android works.



The iPhone 5 had several different variants, with each one sold in a different country based on specific 4G frequency support. There’s no global model which supports worldwide 4G, so we were expecting Apple to resolve this with the iPhone 5S. If not only for customer convenience, it would also reduce costs for the company in the long run. That proved accurate, although we don’t yet know which manufacturer is providing the global LTE chip.



If there’s one thing you can count on for Apple, it’s reliable pricing. Pretty much every time a new product is launched, it costs the same as the outgoing model. We expected £529 for the 16GB model, £599 for 32GB model and £699 for the 64GB model, but in the end Apple raised the price slightly to £549, £629 and £709 for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB respectively.

Deals will, of course, be available from mobile operators if you buy the phone on contract.


BlackBerry denies 27 June release date for BBM on iOS, Android

Recently, 27 June was outed as the launch date forBlackBerry Messenger on iOS and Android. T-Mobile‘s UK Twitter feed delivered the news, tweeting, “BlackBerry Messenger will be available to download on iOS and Android from June 27th! :)” along with an alleged photograph of BBM on aSamsung Galaxy S4.

The tweet was later deleted, however and spoke to BlackBerry for more information. “While there have been reports that BBM will be available to iOS and Android on [27 June], this is not accurate. We will communicate an update as soon as we have an availability date to share.”

Previously it was understood that BBM would launch for non-BlackBerry devices “this summer, subject to approval by the Apple App Store and Google Play“, according to the device-maker.

Historically, mobile networks know of launches for services that may affect its network performance or sales far ahead of time. As such, its not unlikely that T-Mobile’s “leaked” date of 27 June, if not eventually shown to be accurate despite BlackBerry’s denial, is a good indicator that a launch will be around that time.

T-Mobile was also contacted  but the network declined to comment.