After teasing us for a week and even getting Siri in on the PR campaign (if you asked her to “give you a hint” a week ago, she’d make ambiguous remarks about today’s announcement) Apple unveiled their latest iDevices, meant to make the masses drool and kick up the lust for their shiny new offerings. As usual, it worked. We know that the forward march of technology means that the latest iPhone will always be the “best iPhone yet” but that doesn’t mean we won’t be pre-ordering the 6S to make sure we have one on launch day. Here’s the info on Apple’s newest goodies.
iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S+
Multitouch is so 2007. The pair of iPhones announced today are all about 3D Touch. We’ve seen some of the force touch options already in the Apple Watch and some of the way it functions in the newest Macbooks from earlier this year. We’re fans. The extra layer it adds to multitouch functionality is as intuitive as it is innovative, making it even easier to navigate through Apple’s iOS and any apps you use on a daily basis. Obligatory bumps to a camera (12 megapixels up from 8) now allow shooting 4K video right from your phone and capturing Live Photos, a.k.a. normal photos with a bit of animation in them. Battery life was glanced over and a new rose gold color option was unveiled — to match your rose gold Apple Watch, we assume — but these are the moderate improvements we expected from an S upgrade and Apple hasn’t deviated from that plan. Both new phones go on pre-order September 12th with the phones hitting stores September 25th with the pricing for the new phones starting at $199 for the 6S and $299 for the 6S Plus.
iPad Pro 12.9”
Probably the most important number of the day, that’s the diagonal screen size of the new iPad Pro. Not only does the screen make the iPad Pro a contender for replacing your laptop but the new 64-bit processor puts it right up there with the power of many laptops currently on the market. Apple fully understands that they’re putting the iPad Pro on a course to take aim at other laptop makers and, to solidify that fact, they also announced a brand new smart cover specifically for the iPad Pro that includes a built-in keyboard, though we’ll have to wait and see how nicely it plays with the iOS operating system. After building their enormous multitouch business on Steve Jobs’ philosophy that your finger was the best stylus on the market, Apple about-faced and announced the Apple Pencil. You hear that? That’s the combined sound of Samsung execs furiously pointing out that they’ve included a stylus with their products for years and Jobs rolling in his grave. Presumably that’ll continue until the iPad Pro comes out in November for $799.
The future of TV is….apps? It is according to Apple. Without changing too much about the look of current AppleTV interface. Apple will now let you search through the entirety of the offerings in the AppleTV apps to find the specific show you want no matter which outlet is offering it. Oh, and you can do it all using your voice because Siri is integrated throughout. The biggest change to the hardware here is a new rechargeable remote for the AppleTV that includes a multitouch pad for easy scrolling and a mic for all those neat new Siri features. Apple took the time to boast that the AppleTV will also function as a game console, pulling the appeal of App Store games into your living room setup. 32GB and 64GB flavors will be available for sale in October and are priced at $149 and $199 respectively.
We’re not sure if this deserved to be the opener for one of the biggest Apple announcements of the year, but Apple did. The “new” Apple Watch is the same one we encountered earlier this year but with some new materials, new bands, a partnership with Hermes for a premium leather band and a Product (RED) edition that’ll help contribute to charity. So they got that going for them, which is nice.