Everything Apple Launched Last Night
On expected lines, Apple on Wednesday evening announced a raft of new products. The company unveiled the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, the new iPad Pro and a completely redesigned Apple TV with a dedicated remote for Siri controls and a touch surface. In addition to this, the company also launched new variants of the Apple Watch including new bands.
The new iPhones look the same, but are different from the inside :
The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, expectedly, look identical to the iPhone 6 models of 2014, but now come with massively upgraded internal components. In fact, even in terms of design both iPhone models get subtle changes. Both iPhones are minutely thicker at 7.1mm and 7.3mm respectively. They also are slightly taller and heavier, but that’s because Apple is using aircraft grade aluminium to avoid the bending issues that plagued the iPhone 6.
Apple also claims that the screen is sturdier with a double ionization process. In fact, the retina HD screens are the highlight of the new iPhones as they utilise a new 3D touch technology, which is an offshoot of the Force Touch technology the company introduced with the Apple Watch display and the track pad on the new MacBook.
Apple has kept the resolution the same for the both the iPhone models – 1,334×750 for the iPhone 6S and 1,920×1,080 for the iPhone 6S Plus, however, the 3D touch is pressure sensitive and depending on the pressure it reveals contextual menus, previews and more for the user. Users can peek into things like email and messages or a web page by applying light pressure and an increase in pressure will pop open the feature. In the company’s own words, “Quick actions, 3D touch provides shortcuts to the things you do most, so you can send a message or take a selfie with just a simple press from the home screen.”
Using the 3D touch, users can apply pressure to sides of the screen to activate the app switcher too, making switching apps more efficient and avoid the double click on the home button.
The cameras get a massive upgrade. For the first time since 2011, the resolution of the iPhone camera has changed. Now, both the iPhones get 12-megapixel rear cameras. These cameras also come with relatively large 1.22um pixels and also a technology, which reduces crosstalk between pixels (ISOCell technology). The camera retains a f/2.2 aperture, an IR filter and a sapphire lens. Optical image stabilisation remains a feature exclusive to the iPhone 6S.
Apple is introducing a new feature called ‘Live photos’, which are essentially GIFs and are taken when you start and stop clicking a photo. Finally, you can also take 4K videos with your new iPhones.
As for the front camera, the resolution has been bumped to 5-megapixels, and innovatively, Apple is leveraging the LED screen as a dual tone flash like the one there is for the rear camera. The moment you take a photo; the screen will flash in two different tones.
Another new upgrade is the new Apple designed A9 processor, which comes with the M9 motion co-processor. Now, details regarding the number of cores and clock speed haven’t been revealed. We even don’t know the amount of RAM in the phone. However, the company claims this new processor is 70 per cent faster than the A8 processor in terms of CPU performance and a whopping 90 per cent faster in terms of graphics performance. That certainly sounds like a massive upgrade.
The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus are also being billed as the best phones for travelling. That’s because the phones now don’t only support LTE advanced, but also support 23 4G bands, the most of any smartphone.
Lastly, the touch ID sensor has also received an update. It is now a second generation sensor, which Apple claims is faster and more accurate.
The iPhones will run on iOS 9, which the company will release on September 16. The phone will have an always on mode and the phone can be activated using the ‘hey siri’ command.
Pre-orders for the iPhone begin on September 12, and the phone will go on sale in 10 countries on September 25, but India is not included. However, Apple says that the phone will be sold in more than 130 countries by the end of the year, which almost certainly means that the iPhone is coming to India in 2015.
The iPhones will be available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB models, four colours including the new rose gold.
The new bigger iPad Pro :
Apple was in desperate need to breathe new life into the iPad, whose sales were dwindling quarter after quarter. Apple’s answer yesterday was the new iPad Pro – a massive 12.9-inch iPad, which has been geared for creative use. The 12.9-inch screen of the iPad Pro is the highest resolution screen of any iOS device at 2,732×2048 pixels. This means when kept in landscape mode the vertical height of the screen is the same as an iPad Air, which allows for full resolution apps, when even two apps are being used side by side.
The bigger deal about the iPad Pro is the A9X processor, which according to Apple offers desktop grade performance and is 80 per cent faster than all the portable computers sold in 2015. For the sake of productivity, the company unveiled new accessories – the smart keyboard, which has been woven out of an Apple made fabric and has keys similar to the new MacBook and an ultra sensitive stylus called the Apple Pencil made for creative professionals.
The larger screen of the iPad Pro means that users can multitask with full apps running side by side and have a full virtual keyboard. These features are facilitated by the new features of iOS 9. Microsoft even demoed a new version of Office, which leveraged the new big screen multitasking features and Apple Pencil use cases heralded by the Apple.
The iPad Pro also becomes the first Apple product to have a four speaker arrangement. Apple claims the speakers are 3 times as loud as the iPad Air 2, which frankly is quite a lot. There’s a new magnetic connector on the side of the iPad Pro for the smart keyboard.
The iPad Pro remains very thin at 6.9mm, which means it is thinner than the new iPhones. It also has a 8-megapixel camera on the back and a 1.2-megapixel camera on the front. Apple claims 10 hours of battery life in the Wi-Fi only model and 9 hours of battery life in the 4G LTE model.
The iPad Pro also starts with a higher memory SKU with the 32GB Wi-Fi starting at $799. The 64GB and 128GB Wi-Fi models will cost $899 and $999 respectively, while a decked out 128GB 4G LTE model of the iPad Pro will cost $1079. The Apple Pencil will cost $99 and the smart keyboard will have a price of $169.
The iPad Pro will be available in November and will be sold in three colours. The company also quietly launched the iPad Mini 4 for $399.
The all new Apple TV with the Siri remote :
The new Apple TV was kind of built up as the star of the show. While that may not be the case, the Apple TV is a big update for Apple. The star of the show is the new Siri remote, which has a touch surface similar to the Mac trackpads for user interface navigation and also has a dedicated button for Siri activation so that you can control the set top box using just voice.
The new Apple TV is a diminutive little box with a weight of 425 grams and a height of 35mm, but Apple has added the brains of the iPhone 6 to it making it deceptively powerful. The Apple TV has the A8 processor, which makes it very powerful and has connectivity options like HDMI, USB-C, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and IR.
In fact, the Siri remote works with Bluetooth technology and Apple claims that it will have a battery life of 3 months. You can charge it also. The Apple TV is sold in 32GB and 64GB models and the big deal is that now the App Store is coming to the big screen.
Apple has adapted a version of iOS for the Apple TV and calls it tvOS. It has opened the software developer kit (SDK) for developers to create new apps and games for it.
The Apple TV is meant for people to enjoy their content on the big screen, including apps and games. Apple is making a big push in the video game space and announced a number of titles like Shadowmatic, Guitar Hero and a new Disney Star Wars game were headed for it.
The Apple TV will be available for $149 and $199 in 80 countries in October. This probably means it will also be launching in India.
New models and bands for the Apple Watch :
With the Apple Watch being a product Apple had just launched in 2015, chances were that a version 2.0 was not a reality. However, Apple did announce a partnership with luxury fashion brand Hermes.
The company announced a Hermes version of the Apple Watch with three Hermes designed leather straps and a Hermes watch face in its own typeface. The Hermes model will have three variants – a single tour, a double tour and a cuff and it will be available in 38mm and 42mm dials. The Hermes model will come with a stainless steel case and will start at $1,100 and will go all the way up to $1,500. The model will be available in October in the US and 12 other countries. Again, it will not come to India.
Apart from the Hermes model, Apple announced a new rose gold and gold model of the base line Apple Watch Sport, which is made out of aluminium. Apple also announced a bunch of new bands for the Apple Watch also announced an all red stainless steel model, whose proceeds would go to the global fund to fight AIDS.
Apple also demoed the new functionality of watchOS 2.0, which enables native apps, third party complications, new watch faces and a new feature called time travel, which works in tandem with the digital crown.
Like iOS 9, Apple said that watchOS 2.0 will be pushed out to users on September 16.