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Discover How the New iPhone 5S Technologies Can Impact How You Use Your Smartphone

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Once again, Apple has done an impressive job of taking an already powerful smartphone, the iPhone 5, and improving upon it with the iPhone 5S without compromising its ease of use, size, weight, battery life, or price. Jason R. Rich takes a look at what new technologies have been incorporated into the iPhone 5S and explores how the new features and functions can impact how you use your smartphone.

Once again, Apple has done an impressive job of taking an already powerful smartphone, the iPhone 5, and improving upon it with the iPhone 5S without compromising its ease of use, size, weight, battery life, or price.

The iPhone 5S is even more efficient due to a faster processor and other technology that work behind the scenes in conjunction with iOS 7. This latest smartphone model includes technological advances that improve how people interact with the device, including how it responds to a user's commands and actions.

Using the Touch ID Sensor Built into the iPhone 5S

The most obvious technological improvement made to the iPhone 5S is the Touch ID sensor that is built into the Home button. When activated, this sensor quickly and accurately scans the users' fingerprints before giving them access to the iPhone beyond its Lock Screen.

This same Touch ID sensor also uses a person's fingerprint to confirm an iTunes Store, App Store, iBookstore, or Newsstand purchase, so users no longer need to manually enter the password associated with their Apple ID in order to make a purchase.

As with most iPhone-related features, use of the Touch ID sensor is optional. Upon activating and setting up the device for the first time, users are prompted to set up the Touch ID by scanning their fingerprint and turning on the features associated with this sensor. However, at any time this feature can be activated, modified, or deactivated from within Settings.

To customize settings related to the Touch ID sensor, launch Settings, tap the General option, and then tap the Passcode & Fingerprint option. If the feature is already active, you'll be prompted to enter your four-digit passcode to confirm your identity.

Then, from the Passcode & Fingerprint menu within Settings, it's possible to turn the Passcode feature on or off, determine when the Passcode will be required, turn on or off the Simple Passcode option, and manage the fingerprints stored within the iPhone 5S.

From this menu, it's also possible to turn on or off the Voice Dial options and determine which features (Siri, Passbook, and/or Reply with Message) can be used when the iPhone 5S is locked. Plus, if turned on, the Erase Data option causes the iPhone 5S to automatically erase its contents if an unauthorized person attempts to gain access to the device more than ten files in a row with an incorrect passcode.

After tapping the Fingerprints option that's displayed about halfway down on the Passcode & Fingerprint menu, the Fingerprints menu is displayed. From here, you have three options. First, you can turn on or off the Passcode Unlock feature. When turned on, this feature allows you to unlock the iPhone 5S using your fingerprint scan, as opposed to manually entering your four digit Passcode when viewing the Lock Screen.

Second, you can turn on or off the virtual switch that's associated with the iTunes & App Store option. When turned on, the iPhone 5S allows you to use a fingerprint scan to confirm your iTunes Store, App Store, iBookstore, and Newsstand purchases, instead of manually entering your Apple ID password when making a purchase.

Third, under the Fingerprints heading, it's possible to tap the Add a Fingerprint option. This allows the iPhone to scan additional fingerprints that it will accept. You can use this option to allow additional users access to your iPhone 5S by scanning their fingerprints, or you can add an additional fingerprint of your own.

Depending on how you hold your iPhone 5S, at times you may find it convenient to use your thumbprint with the Touch ID sensor. However, at other times, you might opt to use your index finger.

For the Touch ID sensor to accept both your thumb and index finger fingerprints, each needs to be scanned into the device separately. To do this, tap the Add a Fingerprint option and then, as instructed, lift and rest your finger on the Home button repeatedly so that the iPhone can accurately scan and store each fingerprint.

The process of scanning a fingerprint needs to be done only once (per finger or user). If you opt to scan the fingerprint of other authorized users into your iPhone 5S, but later want to revoke access to your smartphone, return to the Fingerprints menu within Settings and swipe from right to left across the listing for a fingerprint scan that you want to delete. They're listed Finger 1, Finger 2, and so on. Next, tap the red and white Delete button to confirm your decision.

Once a fingerprint is deleted from the iPhone 5S, the Touch ID sensor built into the smartphone will no longer recognize that fingerprint. If you have revoked someone else's access to your iPhone, however, it may be necessary to also change the Passcode programmed into your iPhone if the other person knows this four-digit code.

To change the four-digit passcode, return to the Passcode & Fingerprint menu within Settings and tap the Change Passcode option. When prompted, enter a new four-digit passcode and then confirm the new passcode. However, if you want to use a more complex, alphanumeric password as opposed to a four-digit passcode, turn off the virtual switch that's associated with the Simple Passcode option that's also displayed within the Passcode & Fingerprint menu. Then you can create a longer password using a combination of numbers and letters.

New Camera Features and Functions

Thanks to the faster A7 chip built into the iPhone 5S, you'll quickly discover that the overall speed of this latest iPhone model is enhanced compared with the original iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, or the iPhone 5C.

In addition to the faster speed, the front- and rear-facing cameras built into this latest smartphone model have also been improved. Thus, when these cameras are used in conjunction with the Camera app, for example, you'll have access to new features. You can also shoot noticeably clearer, more vibrant, and more visually impressive photos and videos.

In fact, it's not possible to shoot video and take digital photos at the same time, thanks to the improved hardware built into the iPhone 5S and the functionality offered by iOS 7. In addition, the Camera app now features five different shooting modes, including:

  • Slow-Mo: While shooting 1080p HD video, it's possible to capture video footage in slow motion.
  • Video: Shoot 1080p HD video using the rear-facing camera built into the iPhone 5S.
  • Photo: Shoot 8-megapixel still images while taking advantage of the improved Autofocus, Face Detection, improved speed, and Auto Image Stabilization built into the Camera app.
  • Square: Shoot still images that are automatically cropped into a square shape to accommodate online social networking services, such as Instagram.
  • Pano: Capture visually stunning, high-resolution, panoramic photos of vast landscapes, city skylines, or large groups of people using this shooting mode.

In addition to these shooting modes, the iPhone 5S edition of the Camera app offers a new Burst Mode that allows users to hold down the shutter button in order to capture up to 10 photos per second. This is ideal when taking action photos because you can capture many images quickly and then select the one that best depicts the exact moment you want to showcase. To use it, activate the Camera app and hold down the Shutter button instead of tapping it to snap a single photo.

The Camera app's HDR shooting mode has also been improved. This is particularly useful when shooting in low-light situations. Instead of taking a single image, HDR mode automatically captures several images simultaneously, each utilizing the available light slightly differently, and then combines the images into one more vibrant and detailed image. To turn on this feature, tap the HDR On option that's displayed near the top-center of the Camera app's screen.

Another instance where improved technology has been incorporated into the iPhone 5S relates to the True Tone flash. Instead of showering your subject with a burst of bright white light that originates from the iPhone's flash, the new True Tone flash that's currently available only within the iPhone 5S analyzes the available light and then adjusts the flash's intensity and color temperature to fit the situation.

This new True Tone flash will automatically help reduce unwanted shadows, overexposed subjects, red eye, washed-out colors, and other problems that a flash often causes in photos. All these features, combined with a larger and more advanced photo sensor that's built into the iPhone 5S, virtually guarantee that you'll be able to shoot higher quality and more detailed photos with even less effort and photography know-how.

If you use either the front- or rear-facing camera built into the iPhone 5S for FaceTime video calls, the people you're communicating with will immediately notice that the video feed you're sending is clearer and more vibrant.

Other New iPhone 5S Technology

Especially if you're an experienced iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 user, when you upgrade to the iPhone 5S, you'll notice a wide range of other improvements as well, all of which are a result of improved technology and speed. For example, when surfing the web using a 4G LTE cellular data connection, the connection speed you experience will be even faster.

Siri will also respond faster and be more accurate. Yet another noticeable improvement will be obvious when you play graphic and animation-intensive games on the iPhone 5S. The A7 chip, combined with the other technologies built into the Smartphone, allow it to display more complex and detailed graphics, and improve reaction and response times within action-based games.

Despite all the improvements made to the iPhone 5S, users can expect a battery life that's comparable (or in some cases better) than the original iPhone 5.

Final Thoughts...

The Touch ID sensor built into the iPhone 5S is extremely cool and high-tech, yet it's also a powerful security feature that can be used to protect the data, documents, and files you store on your smartphone. Meanwhile, if you're like so many people who enjoy taking and sharing photos and video chips with your iPhone, you'll be impressed with the enhanced capabilities of the Camera app and the quality of images you're able to capture.

Or, if you're an avid gamer and want to replace your handheld Nintendo or Sony PlayStation gaming system with the iPhone 5S, this too is now viable because the gaming technology built into Apple's latest smartphone allows for superior game play experiences.

So, if you've been on the fence about whether to upgrade from an older iPhone model to the iPhone 5S and can see yourself utilizing any of the improvements you've just learned about, the decision to upgrade should be an obvious one.

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