Tech 2.0 for Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012

Contributor: Matt Davenport
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Updated: 9/13/2012 11:33 am

What most people wouldn't give to be taller and thinner. That's what Apple has done for its signature smartphone. After sticking with the same screen size for the past five years, Apple has upsized the display for its upcoming iPhone 5. The new screen -- 4 inches measured diagonally -- will put it in line with some of its competitors which have bigger screens. But the new iPhone is thinner than previous models, thanks to new technology making the touch screen and display area thinner. Earlier versions of the iPhone had 3.5-inch screens. The new form factor gives the iPhone 5 room for another row of icons -- and makes watching wide-screen movies a little easier on the eye. One other big change -- the size of the dock connector is smaller than the ones that have been in play for the entire life of the iPhone and iPod until now. The new iPhone will go on sale in the U.S. and eight other countries a week from Friday -- September 21. The price starts at $199 with a two year service and data plan, same as the previous model.

Not willing to shell out the money for the new iPhone? Or don't have an upgrade coming from your carrier for a while? You can still take advantage of some of the features of the new iPhone without having the new model. Apple is releasing a new operating system for its mobile devices. The iOS 6 software has more than 200 new features -- though not all will be available on all devices, depending on their hardware. Among the ones available include a new Apple-crafted mapping service and better integration with Facebook. And Siri gets a makeover this go-round, too. She'll give driving directions as you scoot around town -- and lets you post Facebook status updates dictated to her. One other feature worth noting makes handling email easier. You can designate certain people "VIPs" -- and the software will let you get email from them more easily. The iOS 6 will be compatible with the 3GS, 4 and 4S models of the iPhone. It will also be available for the last two iPad models and for the newer iPod Touch devices. The free software update will be available starting next Wednesday, two days before the new iPhone 5 hits stores.

Over the past five years, Apple has sold some 244 million iPhones. And with a lot of people looking to upgrade when the new one hits stores next Friday, it begs the question: what can you do with an old iPhone? Here are a few suggestions. Those with kids might consider letting them have the old units to play games. That way you can keep yours for, you know, making calls and sending e-mail. You can also bequeath the older one to a parent, family member or friend. It can be donated to a charity -- or used as a pocket-sized iPad, camera or alarm clock. Or you can do what Apple does with its phones -- sell them. Finally, if you're the clumsy type -- hang on to it. It can be a handy replacement should you drop or lose the new one.

RT @Gizmodo: You Can Pre-Order Your iPhone 5 Tonight at Midnight

RT @xKathrinRx: I really want the iPhone 5 now but my current 4s contract don't run out till like the end of the next year :/

RT @FUN: The biggest flaw of iPhone 5 is how much thicker, slower, and less compelling it is compared to iPhone 6.

Can't wait for the new iPhone 5. I've had this mint condition, perfectly good, antique iPhone 4 for over a year now. Embarrassing.

Dear New IPHONE 5.... "I want you.." Carlos
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