What's New with Apple - 2015's Big Reveals
As always, the competition, retailers, and Apple fans and haters alike all closely watched the Apple Event.
As always, the internet lit up with news, swooning reviews and snarky comments.
If you are an Apple fan looking to buy new devices this year, this is a quick but comprehensive look at all that's on offer.
This basic Content List to make this Hub easier to navigate:
1. iPhone (6S and 6S Plus)
- 3-D touch, Live Photos, Eliminate ads
- Price and Upgrade program
2. The iPad Pro
- The Apple Pencil (My favorite part!)
3. Apple TV
4. Apple Watch
5. Timeline for Product Releases and Upgrades
Have a look at the whole Hub or just scroll to what you like. Enjoy!
1. iPhone 6S and 6S Plus
Apple has been trying to claw back the ground it has lost to Android in its most profitable division – the smartphone market.
iPhone 6S and 6S Plus Physical Attributes:
- It is made of a stronger material than previous models, so ‘iPhone Bendy’ models will no longer be available (unless you really try).
- It’s available in ‘Rose Gold’, which is just a fancy name for ‘Pink’.
iPhone 6S and 6S Plus Tech Specs:
- 4K video resolution – smoother, more detailed video than ever before.
- 12MP main camera (150% increase over iPhone 6’s 8MP)
- 5MP front camera which incorporates use of 3-D touch (see below)
iPhone 6S and 6S Plus - What’s New?
- 3-D Touch
Basically ‘press harder’, this is the cousin of the ‘long press’ to reveal options.
This feature allows the same icon (or link etc.) to serve multiple purposes, for example, if you simply press the camera icon, you go into camera mode, but if you press it a bit harder, it takes you directly into selfie mode.
3-D Touch also allows previews of messages so you don’t have to open them to find out.
On the surface, this doesn’t seem like much, but actually, it’s a very convenient time-saving feature for people on the go.
- Live Photos
This app allows you to create a GIF out of still photos and add sound clips to it.
- Eliminate ads
Apparently, third-part apps will allow iPhone 6S and 6S Plus users to shut out all ads. It is unclear how this will work, but if it is as effective as most of us would like, it just might force other companies to follow suit.
iPhone 6S and 6S Plus Price
- For a 2-yr contract, prices start at $199 for the iPhone 6S 16GB and go up to $499 for the iPhone 6S Plus 128 GB model. (See picture at right)
- iPhone Upgrade Program
You no longer have to wait 2 years to get your hands on a new iPhone – Apple is now offering the iPhone Upgrade Program that allows you to get a new iPhone every year. You will get an unlocked phone and can choose your own carrier.
Included also is Apple’s AppleCare+ package.
Prices start at $32/month.
iPhone 6S and 6S Plus - To Buy or Not to Buy
Whereas there is no truly revolutionary feature in the new iPhone 6 models, the iPhone Upgrade Program just might push those sitting on the wall into Apple’s garden.
2. The iPad Pro
12.9 inches diagonally across makes for a huge tablet. (It is also slightly heavier than 2010's original iPad)
Marketed at video editors and designers (the main reason for the Apple Pencil - see below) and those who want a laptop replacement, this super-fast, super-high resolution device is a beast at work and a sight to behold.
Let the figures speak for themselves:
Diagonal screen size
2732 X 2048
Total no. of pixels
0.27 in (6.9mm)
10 hrs of video/WiFi
What's under the Hood?
Equipped with iOS 9 for better multi-tasking and boasting a 64-bit Apple A9X processor (1.8x faster than the A8X), the iPad Pro’s 12.9-inch Retina display has 5.6 million pixels with which to show you exactly why laptops aren’t a designer’s only mobile option.
At first glance, it seems to be simply a better-specifications evolution over the iPad Air. However, the whole raft of features it boasts sets the iPad Pro in a completely different league.
- 8-megapixel iSight camera with f/2.2 aperture, 5-element lens, True Tone flash and 4K video recording
- 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD camera
- Wi-Fi 802.11ac with MIMO
- LTE up to 150Mbps
- Bluetooth 4.0 LE
- Touch ID fingerprint sensor
- Four speakers
- Dual microphones
The iPad Pro is available in Gold, Silver and Space Gray.
No Rose Gold or classic Black or White.
iPad Pro Cost
The most basic model (Wi-Fi 32GB) will cost $799.
The top-end model (Wi-Fi & Cellular 128GB) will cost $1079.
Not Just a Stylus
When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, he said that ‘nobody wants a stylus’ and that the best pointing device is our finger. For simply pointing and clicking, I couldn’t agree more; the stylus he referred to was revolutionary at inception, but its development stagnated and it just became a pointing stick.
Apple has revived the stylus with the Apple Pencil in a way I think Jobs would have liked.
The Apple Pencil is not meant to be a ‘finger-replacement’ – it is a highly-accurate device meant to replace pen and paper. The Apple Pencil has multiple pressure sensors which do 2 main things - detect how hard it is being pressed on the screen, and the angle at which it is being held against it. When you change either, the Pencil changes the width of the line it produces on the iPad Pro.
I have always wished for a stylus like this, and can only hope its actual performance will be able to live up to the excitement the Apple Pencil's launch has caused me.
Apple Pencil Editing Capabilities
In the Apple Pencil, computer visual artists have an easier, more responsive way to edit pictures and photos. The new Adobe Photoshop FX app made its debut at the Event and Eric Snowden of Adobe used the Apple Pencil to demonstrate how well it works with graphics suites. In one example, the face of a model was edited to smile in a few simple steps.
But it doesn’t stop there.
The Apple Pencil can edit in Microsoft Office, and will convert drawn shapes into graphic objects that are then embedded in the document or slide. It will allow you to circle and underline parts of your documents.
The Apple Pencil can be charged directly by the iPad Pro via Lightning cable. It is claimed 15 seconds of recharge will give 30 minutes of Pencil use.
Gimme! Gimme! Rating
Apple Pencil Cost
The Apple Pencil is going to cost $99 and it will be available in November.
It remains to be confirmed whether this stylus can work with existing iPads. That would really be fantastic.
There's also a $170 smart keyboard available.
3. Apple TV
Time Cook, Apple CEO: We believe the future of television is apps...our vision for TV is simple ..."
Apple has launched a dedicated TV app store. With apps like HBO, Netflix, Hulu, MLB and more available with the 2015 edition of Apple TV, it seems like TV as we know it is going to undergo some very big changes soon.
What is particularly interesting is how Apple 2015 will have a Siri-like feature integrated for search.
Apple TV 2015 Cost
Prices for Apple TV, 2015 edition are $149 for the 32GB model or $199 for the 64GB model.
A Butterfly Flaps its Wings...
Whereas this is the shortest component of this Hub, the changes to Apple TV in 2015 might just be the biggest shot fired in a long time. The repercussions for TV content providers and cable service providers mean that there are fortunes to be made, and lost, on how Apple TV is received and how widely it is integrated into consumers' homes.
Watch this space.
4. Apple Watch
Apple launched Watch OS 2.0. OK in itself, but better is the fact that the OS will be a free upgrade for all Apple Watches.
Apple Watch 2015 did not really impress me. Only 'new' were new colors and bands (boo!); 20 models are available online now. It seems the crux of its development over the past year has been the tweaking of its insides so developers are more easily able to create apps using the Watch's integrated capabilities like accelerometer and heartrate monitor.
That just might a push in the right direction, however. At the moment, the Apple watch is not much more a shiny, expensive gizmo that people covet exactly and only because it is a shiny, expensive gizmo. Incentives to developers to come up with apps that transform the Apple Watch how the humble smartphone was transformed might be the key to Apple's success in this sub-market.
Mums can listen to their unborn babies' heartbeat wih AirStrip:)
Apple Watch and its 'app-y future
Apple revealed that its features like heartrate monitor and accelerometer will now be able to be used by external apps - the possibilities are limited only by developers' imaginations.
One such app, AirStrip, was showcased at the Event, which left a lot people feeling very warm and fuzzy inside. Watch the video for a quick preview of AirStrip.
Apple watch Cost - $$$
The Apple watch 2015 edition will set you back between $ 549 and $ 1,099.
Timeline for Apple 2015 Product Releases and Upgrades
Apple Watch's new models; iPad Mini 4
Some Apple Watch bands were seen hourse before the launch
iPhone 6S, 6S Plus preorders open
iOS 9 and Watch OS 2.0 available
iPhone 6S and 6S Plus available in stores
Mac OS X El Capitan available
new Apple TV