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.
Like something out of a straight Apple Parody.
- 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.
Previously I published an article on what to expect at Apple’s “Hey Siri” event. Leaving off the iPad’s from said list. Until now rumor mills have been going back & forth whether or not we’d hear about iPad’s at the event. Some saying Apple had a bigger focus thus requiring the bigger space they rented in order to showcase multiple new products. While others argued that Apple would certainly have a secondary event solely for the iPad.
However more news has come to light that this will probably be Apple’s sole fall event. Thus bringing the iPad releases into said “Hey Siri” event for a big release alongside the new iPhone & Apple TV.
So what exactly can we expect for Apple’s famous tablet lineup.
The long awaited iPad pro is said to add power user like specs to the iPad line & bring a bigger screen size at 12 inches. The rest of leaked specs are as follows-
- 2732×2048 resolution
- A9 Processor w/2GB of Ram
- Force Touch-Enabled Stylus
- Stereo Speakers Top & Bottom
Thats right a stylus. While thats something we probably wouldn’t see years ago under Jobs with the addition of Force Touch technology a stylus could be a good addition to the tablet. However this is still up in the air as users are mostly fine with the finger precision.
As far as design goes the iPad Pro will share the looks of the previous two iPad models Air & Mini just harboring the faster hardware, screen size, & of course “Pro” tag.
iPad Mini 4:
Apple is also said to update the iPad Mini alongside the Pro release adding in a thinner design, better camera at 8 megapixels, and improved display (fully laminated). There’s still question as to whether the mini will receive the A9 update or the A8X CPU to coincide with the rollout of iOS 9.
iPads have no doubt been in a league of their own for quite awhile. It’s Apples product where we haven’t quite seen true competitors to it’s design, ease of use, and app support. The Pro isn’t for the everyday user rather the power user. Those who want more out of the iPad & to truly replace that of a laptop, as if that can’t be done already. Pro model would be a perfect fit for iOS 9 & the new series of games/apps that’ll be released with it. Also finally rounding up their tablet line from Mini, Air, to Pro (or whatever they call it).
Stay tuned for more coverage following the event.
September 9th, 2015 Apple will be hosting its popular event in which they announce the next update to the iPhone line. Headlined “Hey Siri, give us a hint.”. Really try it, you’ll get all sorts of colorful replies from Apple’s voice assistant.
The event itself will be scheduled for 10:00 AM on September 9th at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California.
Here’s a look at what we can expect from the upcoming event.
Being an “S” improvement this will focus on mainly internal hardware changes. No noticeable design changes.
Hardware improvements such as
- A9 Processor
- 12 megapixel camera
- Force Touch
- Rose Gold Color Scheme
There’s also rumors of Apple switching to a new aluminum based shell to reduce the bending of the iPhone 6 & 6+. The notable upgrades aside from speed of course will be the Force Touch integration. Force touch is a technology Apple has integrated into their Macbook trackpads that can better detect taps on a touchscreen. Long presses, harder presses, so on, and react differently. This will tie into the iOS software allowing you to interact with items dependent on your touch.
In a long awaited update Apple’s set top box will be refreshed with some new hardware now confirmed by various sources.
Hardware wise Apple TV will now come in a slimmer design compared to the current model. More importantly the main hardware will be updated with the following-
- A8 Processor
- New Touch Based (Black) Remote
- More Local Storage
- Full App-Store
- Siri Functionality
It’s said to maintain all current ports without any upgrade to support 4K quality. The notable changes here come in the form of software & speed. The faster hardware will go hand in hand with the app-store they plan to add to their set top box. This could be a way for Apple to integrate their already popular apps across the big screen & living room. Capturing the entertainment & gaming space in one device. All suspected to start around $149. This is a big part of Apple’s longtime strategy as they have a big interest in this space. Apple is said to want to enter the streaming space under their own brand & partner with content providers to go against services such as Netflix. This wouldn’t be far different form their other models of controlling software + hardware.
iOS 9 & Watch OS 2:
We’re also bound to hear about the progress of iOS 9 & Watch OS 2 as we expect the new iPhones launch to coincide with iOS 9 which will bring a number of incremental upgrades to iOS 8. Watch OS 2 additionally will bring a whole set of features that Apple Watch users have been waiting for such as native Watch OS apps & so on. We’ll see a highlight of what we’ve already heard about each & more importantly a set date for release.
Overall the events focus will be taken up on the iPhone 6S & 6S Plus. Only to then be turned to the Apple TV. These are by no means revolutionary updates rather ones we’ve all been waiting for. Though as usual with Apple already at the top of its game they’re providing just enough to keep their customers satisfied & sales in tact. We’ll have more coverage of the event live on September 9th.
Microsoft will be launching its latest OS on July 29th. Windows 10 will be the latest upgrade since Windows 8 & aims to bring the windows we all wanted. A mix of the best features of 7 & 8 while throwing in some new additions. Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming Windows release.
How Much is it?
The Windows 10 upgrade will actually be free to Windows 7 & 8 users for a full year. After the year you’ll have to pay either $120 for the home edition & $200 for the pro edition.
Am I Eligible for the Upgrade?
As noted anyone currently on 7 or 8 can upgrade however there are some hardware requirements. Minimum requirements are as follows:
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2GB for 64-bit
- Hard disk space: 16GB for 32-bit OS or 20GB for 64-bit OS
- Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
- Display: 800-by-600 resolution
How to Upgrade
Microsoft is offering the upgrade to Windows testers first & foremost however if your a normal user you can join the upgrade queue by simply making sure your windows is up to date & you’ll be receiving an option to “Reserve Your Free Upgrade”. Which is worth doing whether you plan on upgrading or not simply for the free price point.
What’s New in Windows 10?
Windows aims to provide that familiar UI that your used to & bring an assortment of new features into the mix.
Cortana is Microsoft virtual assistant rivaling that of Siri or Google Now. It’s finally being ported over to the desktop with Windows 10 & will help you with various tasks on your computer from reminders to a giving you an overview of your day.
The new default Windows 10 browser is known as Edge. Coming from Project Spartan Edge aims to bring a sleek UI with various features that tie right into the OS. Useable via touch screen interface or the classic mouse & keyboard. The browser comes packed with tools to help you while browsing the web. It’s aim is to have you consume & create content easily within the same browsing interface.
Xbox One owners can rejoice as Microsoft is finally bringing native streaming to Windows 10. This feature will allow Xbox One users to stream their gaming experience to their PC. So with a click of a button you can sling your gaming over to your laptop or desktop based monitor.
Improved Start Menu-
With the major backlash over Windows 8 UI forcing them to reinstate it in 8.1. Windows 10 aims to bring a new but improved start menu that windows users are familiar with. Everything is essentially tucked into the start menu now versus the whole Window/Modern UI nonsense. Giving you an overview of your latest & most used apps, universal search, and more.
Flexibility & Unification-
With Windows 10 Microsoft wants the user to work they want. Making it flexible across all platforms phone, tablet, and desktop. Bringing a familiar feel while scaling the content/apps to perfectly fit the platform. Use it with your touch enabled device/screen or stick to the mouse & keyboard the choice is yours.
All in all Windows 10 brings much needed fixes to the Windows. It’s a a combination upgrade of what Windows should’ve been over the last couple of years. Bringing in the best of previous versions while eliminating the worst & adding in some cool new features. It’s not a full scale change of Windows as we know it rather a throwback to familiarity with some new tricks up its sleeves. This is the first time Microsoft has taken the free upgrade route & it’ll surely help the adoption rate of the new OS. Windows 10 officially is released July 29th & I’ll be spending some time with it & bringing you more content & thoughts after further testing. Stay tuned for more updates.
Not to long ago Frederico Viticci of Macstories wrote this post. In it highlighting why these prerelease app reviews were harmful to developers. Seeing as betas like iOS 9 are still not out for the public its understandable that there’ll be bugs with certain 3rd party apps. As developers work to update for the upcoming version.
As Frederico states
Betas are, by definition, unfinished software, and unfinished software has bugs and works inconsistently. As Apple writes on their Beta Software Program website, “you can take part in shaping Apple software by test-driving pre-release versions and letting us know what you think”.
Developers here are crippled in that they literally can’t post updates for iOS 9 & OS X El Capitan as the App-Store won’t allow it. So users on these betas have who’ve been experiencing bugs have been taken to the review section.
However as of today that changes as Apple now restricts anyone from writing reviews on prerelease versions of iOS, as it should be. While most apps work fine on iOS 9 there are still some bugs & crashes you’ll experience that aren’t on the fault of developers who are well aware of the issue. As of right now this is limited to iOS but we’ll surely see this adapted to OS X betas as well. For now however it’s a good start.
The popular photo sharing app Instagram has finally brought search functionality to its web counterpart. Instagram.com has been a complimentary portal to your feed for some time now. Today they’ve made it possible to search users, hashtags, and locations all via the web.
Via the website you can just about do everything you can on mobile with the exception of actually uploading photos. The sites main purpose is to serve as another method of access to your photo stream & people your following. While Instagram plans on keeping its main focus of course on the mobile end this is a nice addition for those who like myself time to time like to open up IG on the browser end.
As of now still no word on a desktop/web uploader for photographers who may use another camera to take their pictures. For now you’ll have to stick to importing the photo from desktop to mobile device. However search away at Instagram.com