With much fanfare and hype Apple announced the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ in a high-profile keynote earlier today.
While more and more poker players seem to be hopping on the Android train these days the iPhone remains one of the most popular handheld devices amongst poker players.
There’s a good reason that most online poker sites have developed special apps just for iOS devices.
Today’s announcement actually heralded a number of new features (including an entirely new design) that could potentially benefit poker players who use iPhones to play poker.
Here’s a look at six ways the iPhone 6 will be a vastly superior way to play online poker than previous iterations:
1) Bigger Screens (Finally!)
If there was a single feature that made online poker more of a challenge on iPhone compared to Android it was the relatively minuscule 4.0 screen size of the device.
That all changed today with Apple announcing a 4.7 inch device and an even bigger 5.5 inch iPhone 6+.
It’s a huge upgrade for poker players as you’ll finally have enough space to properly read the board and avoid mis-clicks. That betting slider will finally be a little less finicky.
It will improve nearly every part of the online poker experience and navigating online lobbies suddenly won’t be such a nightmare.
On the 5.5 version iPhone poker sites can even start looking a little more seriously at multi-tabling at least two tables. Multi-tabling already exists on iPhone on some sites but it’s extremely hard to actually play because you have very little idea what’s happening on the other table.
There is some fear that the increased screen size will make one-handed operation more difficult. This shouldn't be a problem for playing online poker because most mobile poker sites already utilize both hands.
Interestingly the new 5.5-inch iPhone may have an impact on live poker as well as some poker pros may opt for it instead of an iPad to browse the internet and watch movies while at the table.
2) Faster Processor Especially Graphics
The new iPhones get a marginally faster A8 chip that appears to be roughly 25% faster.
Perhaps of more interest is that it can run graphics a whopping 50% faster, which is great for intense games and may improve the way poker sites are rendered.
Mobile poker apps are actually not the most graphically intense applications but the processor bump certainly won’t hurt.
3) Slightly Better Battery
The iPhone 6 isn’t getting a drastically bigger battery (at least not the 4.7 version) but you should still see marginally improved battery life.
Despite having to power a much bigger display the battery will last a bit longer thanks to a more efficient processor. Depending on your usage the new iPhone should make it through a full day of heavy use.
Meanwhile Apple has shoved a much larger battery in the 5.5-inch iPhone+ and it's expected to last much longer than previous versions.
Of course a better battery improves poker playing by letting you play longer. If you spend a ton of time commuting and grinding online tables you might even think about the iPhone+.
4) Better TouchID for Security
The new iPhone incorporates the fingerprint-based security feature TouchID in an even bigger way.
The Apple Payments app will allow you to use the TouchID to make purchases in actual stores around the world including grocery stores and coffee shops.
Apple Payments will actually store credit cards such as VISA and MasterCard, which means you could conceivably deposit to an online poker site right on your phone just by entering your fingerprint.
You also might be able to use your fingerprint to log into your poker client, in theory that would be more secure than a password.
5) Faster LTE and Wi-Fi
This is an important one for online poker since quality LTE and Wi-Fi will keep you connected.
Apple is claiming the iPhone even has more LTE bands than any other smart phone, which should be a serious benefit for poker players who travel frequently.
Thanks to updating to 802.11n Wi-Fi can be up to 3x faster than before, which is huge for playing online poker at home or in Wi-Fi zones.
6) Apple Watch Compatibility
This is a bit of reach for poker sites but Apple also introduced an entirely newly device at today’s keynote: the Apple Watch.
The entirely new device will connect to your iPhone and provide a deluge of updates from the phone that you’ll be able to read just by looking at your wrist.
While it seems unlikely you’d ever be able to actually play poker on the new watch (the screen is just too small) you could probably set up alerts for when certain tournaments are starting or when a particular table starts up.
In addition the new watch will have unprecedented health tracking features. The watch will take your pulse, keep track of you physical activity and even alert you when you’ve been sitting too long.
The various health benefits could be huge for when you’re playing long sessions on your desktop at home.