For the most part, we knew what to expect from today’s big Apple (News - Alert) announcements: the business-grade iPad Pro, some sort of Siri revision that involves integration with a new version of Apple TV, the next generation of the company golden child—iPhone (News - Alert) 6S and 6S Plus—new Apple Watch features, and new software.
And that’s pretty much what we got.
What’s better than an iPad? A really big iPad. The iPad Pro (starting at $799 with 32GB and Wi-Fi) has a 12.9-inch screen, and 5.6 million pixels in the screen. Where it poses most potential for professionals is in the form of the device’s larger surface for typing. Factor in the A9X chip from Apple, and tack on the “smart keyboard,”—voila! Your new MacBook Pro you purchased last month is obsolete. More significantly, the iPad Pro’s multi-tasking capabilities make the tool a little easier to use for collaboration in Microsoft (News - Alert) Office, and a new Adobe Suite specifically for the device along with the Apple Pencil , a stylus, make it a designer’s dream.
Big Picture: it seems to be a sink or swim device. It swims if the enterprise buys in, otherwise, will consumers really want a big iPad with a fancy stylus? We’ll find out in November.
True to the rumors, Apple has made a few updates to Apple TV—namely, a touch remote that integrates with a new universal search system, and leverages Siri, so you can say things like, “Siri, I want to watch the Mets game,” or “Siri, what’s the weather like today?” and get an answer in the form of TV content. The other big addition is a smorgasbord of third-party applications that put gaming (enough to compete with Xbox One and Playstation 4?), shopping, and sharing on a TV screen—all made possible by the dedicated operating system for Apple TV: tvOS.
iPhone 6S and 6S Plus
Apple’s iPhone came, saw and conquered the smartphone scene, and it hasn’t looked back. So not surprisingly, some of the coolest innovations this time around are built into the company’s golden child. Specifically, 3D Touch makes it possible to command the iPhone using pressure. The example provided in the unveiling was the ability to view an email by applying slight pressure, and closing it by simply letting go.
Other new features include a 12-megapixel camera that can shoot 4K video. Additionally, the Live Photo feature makes it possible to have photos that move through a slightly extended capture moment. Traffic might flow on a still of a city, or water might cascade for a brief moment in a snapshot of a waterfall.
The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus will be available for preorder September 12. Both devices launch September 16, which also marks the release of iOS 9.
As for Apple Watch, users can expect some new wristbands, Facebook (News - Alert) Messenger, and AirStrip, a mobile healthcare app. Not much to write home about. And true to form, Apple closed out the event with a musical performance, this time by OneRepublic.
More updates and plenty of analysis will follow as these products become available, and as the experts weigh in on the future of each.