Apple held it’s annual September keynote at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. This is usually the date saved to announce the new iPhones and possibly one or two other products. Last year we got to see the Apple Watch for the first time. This year, Apple announced two new products that it hopes are the next big tech product out of the fruit company.
Apple also took the time to announce new Apple Watch news and the new iPhones, which for a second there almost looked like an afterthought. There was a lot great new stuff and some head scratching news. Apple Pencil? Really? Let’s recap and dive into the new products that were announced.
The event kicked off the new news about Apple’s newest entry into their lineup: the Apple Watch. The Watch itself, along with its hardware remained the same. We anticipate the Apple Watch 2 will be launched in April – a year after the release of the first Watch. The only radical new changes are two new color options for the Sport: Gold and Rose Gold and new band colors. Nothing too exciting. Apple announced the release of watchOS 2, which is really exciting, setting the date on September 16. This will bring native Watch apps to the Watch itself. Before, the apps on the Watch were essentially mirrored from the phone, pulling information from someone’s iPhone and then loading it on the Apple Watch. This led to long wait times, often resulting in people just taking out their phones. The new update should improve performance.
iPhone 6s/6s Plus
The only thing that’s change is everything. Wrong. Actually, the outside didn’t change all aside from an ‘s’ on the back of the new iPhones and a new color option: Rose Gold. The new color does look nice, but it’s mostly veered toward the female demographic. The two main announcements that came on the iPhone front was a new 12 MP camera capable of recording 4K video and a new touch screen technology which Apple is calling 3D Touch.
The new camera looks amazing. Bumping up the resolution to 12 MP from 8 MP, where it stood still since 2011, was a welcomed addition. Adding to the new resolution is the 4K capabilities that promises to deliver crispy and beautiful 4K video content. Apple has always made amazing cameras and this year doesn’t look like it’s going to disappoint.
This feature has already been in place on few Apple products, primarily the Apple Watch and newer MacBooks. Now Apple carried the touch sensitive displays over to the iPhone. This is a new way of interacting with your phone. Essentially, this adds a new button to the screen that allows you to view preview content or adding options right from the home screen. Take Facebook for instance, if you are on your homescreen and you want to add a post to your timeline, you just press on the Facebook icon and a couple of options will appear – one of them being the ability to post to your timeline. Bing, bang, boom. This eliminates extra taps on your screen and gets you to your content faster. This feature has the chance to revolutionize how we use our iPhones and the one I’m most excited about.
The new iteration of the iOS is set to hit the streets on September 16th. Big new features include a new font (San Francisco), a improved Siri, a redesigned multi-tasking window, improved battery life and real multi-tasking for the iPad (its about time!). The update should roll out to all iPhones dating back to the 4s. Most of the news about iOS 9 was announced in June’s WWDC event, so there wasn’t anything surprising. And considering how little time Apple talked about iOS 9, we’re sure that most of the new features coming are already announced.
Remember those rumors a year ago about Apple working on a new, bigger tablet to compete with the Microsoft Surface. Well, here you go. Tim Cook introduced new 12.9-inch iPad Pro that is set to take on the Surface with its own keyboard and stylus, or pencil, but we’ll get back to that in a minute. This new gargantuan tablet boasts a beautiful Retina Display, Touch ID and four speakers two enhance sound quality. It has been confirmed that the new iPad also bumped up it RAM capabilities to 4GB. This machine should prove to be a beast but it’s still a tablet, not a computer. And given that it’s 128GB-LTE models gets up over $1,000, you might be better off forking over a couple more hundred bucks for a MacBook Pro.
Yes, Apple went into the stylus segment with its version dubbed the Apple Pencil. Yes, the name is terrible. And secondly, coming in at $99, it’s insanely expensive for an add on. The features of the Apple Pencil look useful, but there might be cheaper alternatives that working better out there.
iPad mini 4
Apple spent about one minute talking about its miniature tablet. This seems to point out the declining demand for tablets and the increasing need for more powerful computers. The iPad Pro seems geared for that segment. The new iPad mini is essentially an iPad Air 2 but in the smaller form factor. This includes the slimmer profile (compared to the Air 1), new camera and omitting the mute lock.
Apple finally refreshed the Apple TV box top with a new version with beefed up specs and an all new touch-sensitive control. The new Apple TV will come with redesigned software based on iOS 9, a control that has touch capabilities along with a gyroscope to turn the control into a game controller and built-in Siri integration to get you information fast and now. The new look on the software side is much welcomed. Netflix and Hulu have revamped their native applications while Apple is debuting a brand new App Store to access new apps quickly. Universal search is also integrated to Siri, which means when you look up for an episode of Orange is the New Black, Siri will bring it up ready to play in Netflix. Overall, the improvements to the Apple TV are nice and should provide new usage for the box top set.
The fall should prove a busy season for Apple as they gear up to launch new iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs to along with the released of iOS 9. The new iPhones launch on September 25. The new iPad Pro and Apple TV will be available in November.