Make us your home page

Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

The most innovative thing about Apple's new iPhone 5s might be under the hood



There's been plenty written about how Apple's iPhone announcement this week was more iterative than innovative — the company tweaked the products, but didn't add any new must-have features.

That's not entirely wrong. I'm certainly not going to be lining up to order either of the new phones, personally. But it might be wrong to say Apple is letting things get stale.

The processor in Apple's iPhone 5s — the brain — is a first for a phone. Apple doesn't do a great job explaining what this means at the top of their news release:

Apple today announced iPhone 5s, the most forward-thinking iPhone yet, featuring an all-new A7 chip, making iPhone 5s the world's first smartphone with 64-bit desktop-class architecture for blazing fast performance in the palm of your hand.

That's probably enough to make your eyes glaze over. What's it all mean?

ZDNet offers an explanation that basically amounts to 1) Apple wants to be first at something, and 2) more gobbledygook. ("Unifying the iOS/OS X app codeabase." "64-bit CPUs are better suited to some heavy computational lifting tasks." Huh?)

I like Touch Arcade's suggestion: Apple's switch to 64-bit might just be the first step towards console gaming.

Basically, Apple has already announced that its new operating system for iPhones and iPads will include support for handheld game controlers. Adding 64-bit processors to its iPhones opens the door to adding it to the Apple TV as well. It's not hard to imagine a setup that would allow you to play a game on your phone while you're out of the house, arrive home and throw it up on your television, either using your iPhone as the controller or using the handheld game controller you left next to your TV.

Of course, gaming is just one area that could exploit new muscle in the iPhone. Just about anything you do right now on your laptop because your phone lacks the punch might benefit.

That's a pretty interesting concept — a laptop in your pocket.

Maybe even innovative.

[Last modified: Friday, September 13, 2013 11:13pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours