Apple’s September 9th 2015 event was sufficient as far as product launches goes. In short they announced the iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, updated Apple TV, iPad Pro, iPad Mini 4th Gen, and expectant releases for Watch OS 2, El Capitan, iOS 9 and other hidden gems.
Let’s breakdown the event by each category with some follow up thoughts regarding each.
Watch OS 2 & Apple Watch:
- New color schemes (Rose Gold)
- Variety of new bands (including Hermes collaboration)
- Watch OS2 update to be rolled out September 16th
With a reiteration of everything we knew to be coming out with Watch OS 2. Native apps, new faces, and some other features/demos.
Really the highlight being the customizability & personalization with the watch bands/straps.
The rumor mill was eventually right & the iPad Pro is officially in the line up of Apple’s tablets. Introducing the following.
- 12.9 inch screen
- A9X CPU
- Four Speaker Audio
- 3D Touch Enabled Screen
- Baseline model starts at $800
- Accessories include Apple Smart Keyboard & Apple Pencil
First off it’s big. That’s literally they’re slogan & in this case bigger is yes you guessed it, better. Featuring a faster processor which nearly doubles the iPads speed & GPU performance to match. Overall this is a iPad for a market whom 9 inches isn’t enough. More geared towards those who use iPad as a content creation device though consumption is absolutely stunning on the pro. More real estate allows for a better overall experience. Also the Apple Pencil, don’t even ask me why its called that is a real product & it costs $100. Let’s just call it what it is, a stylus. Allows for better interaction with the iPad Pro & its built in technology actually serves great in creation scenarios detecting force, tilt, rotation and more. Overall the iPad Pro starts off at $800 but can easily surpass that of the baseline Macbook. This is an iPad for a specific power user & not everyday consumer.
Perhaps my favorite of the announcements the all new Apple TV.
- Siri Capability
- All new remote featuring touchpad & Siri button + other feature such as ability to control TV volume/power
- Updated OS & UI
- Starting price $150 (32gb Model)
This is Apple’s answer to the long awaited updates of its set top box. Sporting its classic yet more minimal design the updates really focus on the internal changes. The new UI is even more simple & easier to navigate with a big focus on “Siri”. The voice assistant seems to be more useful in this scenario than ever. Allowing you to find actors, new releases, and skip through your program with a simple voice command. Apple’s new remote sports a touchpad to help navigate the interface easier & doesn’t rely on IR (thankfully) anymore. All of this in an effort to produce a better entertainment device. The Apple TV much like the Watch is receiving its own store to bring the app experience to the big screen in a more native way. The TV OS is even being released to developers to start production of TV scaled apps/games. More promising is the future for this all new product, Apple is said to want to become a major player in the content game & this is their gateway to it.
iPhone 6S & 6S Plus:
The main announcement of the keynote centered on their “S” upgrade to the 6 lineup.
- New Rose Gold color scheme
- A9/M9 upgrade
- 12 Megapixel Camera
- 4K Video
- Live Photo (gifs)
- 3D Touch capability
- Baseline starts at $300
This “S” update really centers on the 3D touch in my opinion. It’s faster & better of course on paper as its an upgrade. You’d expect nothing less, however the new features & possibilities really stem from the touch capabilities. This will change how we interact on iOS & surely will be rolled out across all iOS devices in the time to come. We’ve seen it on the trackpads now tablets & phones. Improvements to the camera continue to showcase why the iPhone features the best camera in terms of mobile currently & the addition of gimmick such as “Live Photos” is a nice touch. However other decisions such as keeping the 16GB model in as the baseline model is beyond me. With additions such as 4K video you’d think Apple would realized nowadays 16GB is not enough! However that may explain why they cut pricing on their iCloud storage & increased capacity. Overall the new iPhone upgrade is sufficient for a lot of users who’ve been waiting to upgrade such as myself. If your on the 6 or 6 Plus you don’t have to go running to upgrade as you’ll surely still be fine especially with iOS 9 bringing a refresh to your device. All in all it’s the typical “S” upgrade driven with the 3D touch as the selling point.
All in all Apple’s keynote really did feature a variety of product launches. A longer keynote that ran 2+ hours & featured numerous demos really showcased the Apple of tomorrow. In reality however its what we expect out of a top company such as Apple. An attempt to stay ahead & continue their dominant climb while throwing in some nice to have features in the middle. Nothing crazy out of the blue aside from iPad Pro but even that was predicted to drop. No one more thing or innovative new product but in reality the technology & advancements they’ve made alone to get things such as the Apple TV, iOS 9, iPhone 6S sensors and so on all out in this time frame is a feat in itself that can’t go unnoticed. None the less Apple fans rejoice as they have a lot of options to choose from in the coming months & updates that’ll surely bring new life to their devices. While others users can look on & decide whether or not its time for them to A) Switch or B) Continue on with whatever works for them.
But come on Apple Pencil really? That’s going to be a meme for a couple weeks.