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FAQ: It's the iPhone 5

Gregg Keizer | Sept. 14, 2012
The rumor mill nailed most of the iPhone 5 features, but that doesn't mean there aren't questions about it. Here's our answers to those questions.

The iPhone 5 is the first Apple device to rely on the A6; this year's iPad, for example, uses what Apple's named the A5X.

I've been waiting for LTE on the iPhone, but how do I know if my carrier supports it? In the U.S., the iPhone 5 supports LTE on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon; in Canada, it's Bell, Rogers and Telus. For LTE coverage in your area, check with your carrier.

A list of other countries' iPhone 5 LTE-supporting carriers is here, on Apple's site.

Europeans may notice they've been shoved to the back burner. That seems to be Apple's plan, which focuses on delivering hardware to handle the most-popular frequency bands in North America and Asia, according to experts.

Will my apps run on the iPhone 5's larger screen? Yes.

Current apps will, depending on the orientation of the iPhone 5, display black bars at the top and bottom, or along the sides, much like an older TV shows "letterbox" movies or a widescreen set displays standard-definition programming.

There's no stretching or scaling, as there is when iPad owners run an iPhone app.

Some developers will be quick out the gate with redesigned apps that make use of the full 4-in. screen; Apple cited CNN and OpenTable in its presentation yesterday.

Naturally, Apple beat everyone to the punch on full-screen support: The Pages, Numbers and Keynote productivity apps, for example, take advantage of the new display, as do iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand.

And iOS 6's built-in apps, like Calendar, Facebook, Mail and Safari, are ready for the bigger screen.

Can I use my existing accessories with the iPhone 5? Not without spending more money.

For $29, Apple will sell an adaptor to connect older accessories that relied on the 30-pin docking port to the iPhone 5's new, smaller "Lightning" port.

Apple's also selling a cable with old and new connectors at each end for an even-higher $39.

But neither ships until October, according to Apple's online store.

Even a connector or cable may not do the trick at times; CNET yesterday noted that some cars from makers such as BMW, Kia and Hyundai may not be able to play tracks from a iPhone 5 because of the adapter requirement.

I think I'll pass on the iPhone 5. What's for me? iOS 6, the operating system upgrade that adds new features to your current iPhone.

iOS 6 ships Wednesday, Sept. 19, and can be installed on the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. No word on when that day the upgrade will appear on Apple's servers; last year, iOS 5 went live around 1 p.m. ET.

 

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