Here’s a look at everything that went down at Apple’s March 21st even that’s main focus was primarily on the iPhone SE & iPad Pro 9.7 inch announcement. This event ran shorter than typical Apple events at 1 hour & was hosted at Apple’s own campus.
The event opened with Tim Cook taking the stage to address some Apple’s ongoing news from sales to the current government case.
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Apple vs FBI:
Tim Cook opened said event addressing one of the major news stories as of late the Apple vs FBI case in the San Bernardino court case. In short the FBI wants Apple to create a backdoor into the iPhone allowing them to try to bypass the iPhone passcode attempts.
Tim Cook stated:
We did not expect to be in this position, at odds with our own government,” he continued, “but we believe strongly that we have a responsibility to help you protect your data and your privacy.
This underlines how important privacy & security is for Apple. Reinforcing their stance on this topic and the importance of protecting their customer base as a whole.
Apple & the Environment:
Apple’s VP of Environment Lisa Jackson then took the stage to announce that Apple Inc facilities now runs on 93% renewable energy this is a move towards their goal every 2 years to get closer to a 100% renewable energy based company. Apple takes environmental concerns very seriously from their products to their facilities & they took a good portion of the opening keynote to address this.
CareKit is based off Apple’s ResarchKit and will allow people to develop their own health based apps. As Apple’s hardware begins to integrate more health based solutions it only makes sense they allow 3rd party developers to create similar apps. The framework is continuing on Apple’s trend of OpenSource based software. Apple COO Jeff Williams took the stage with the announcement & showcased apps that have been developed thus far on CareKit.
iOS 9.3 & TV OS:
Software wise Apple announced two updates ahead of WWDC that are being released today.
iOS 9.3 brings the following features/changes:
–Night Shift Mode (F.Lux for the iPhone auto-adjusting screen tone/color)
–Touch ID security for Notes app
-News App updates
-Apple Music updates
–CarPlay Support Improvement
and much more the full release can be viewed here.
TVOS 9.2 Updates:
The Apple TV got some major updates today as well.
–Siri Dictation Support
–Siri App-Store Search Support
–Bluetooth Keyboard Support
and other slight improvements to the UI & performance of the OS. This version address some major gripes from the Apple TV’s release & allow for much easier navigating with the Siri based remote.
Apple Watch Bands/Price Drop:
The first new hardware announcement came with the Apple Watch. As Tim Cook on staged announced that it was the #1 selling smartwatch in the world.
He went on to talk about the love for customizing the Apple Watch with bands & the all new ones that are coming this Spring.
-Nylon weave bands $50
–Leather Bands (Teal/Red) $150
–Sport Bands (Yellow) $50–Black Milanese Loop $150
Along with the announcement of new bands the Watch now starts at only $299 so a $50 price cut. These new bands are meant to give users more options & probably make way for the future gen 2 announcement possibly late in the year.
The announcement that everyone was waiting for could be considered a step back literally when you look at it. The iPhone SE announcement is Apple’s take on second take on the 4-inch phone. It’s essentially the same 5S body with the addition of the new rose gold color & internal specs.
Spec wise your getting everything from the current 6S model such as:
–A9 Chip/M9 Co-Processor
–12 megapixel camera w/4K Video
Price starts at $400 ($500 for 32Gb)
This is a phone thats 2x as fast as the 5S & all of it in the same 4-inch body. Apple claims that this is for the market that still prefers the smaller size iPhone & saves them overall in certain costs. They confirmed after the event that all 5S cases should support the SE model of phones. In a world of larger smartphone Apple is taking a step back & updating an older generation phone.
iPad Pro (9.7 inch):
It’s not being called the iPad Pro by any means rather it’s adopting the Macbook Pro model of names. The iPad Pro 9.7 inch & 12.9 inch models. Rather than the iPad Air 3rd gen Apple is rebranding it as the iPad Pro & adding all pro level specs to match.
-32,64, 256GB models
–Improved Retina Display (Tru-tone, Anti-Reflective, Wide color display)
–A9X & M9 Chips
-12 megapixel camera
–4 Speaker Audio
Price: Starts at $599
The iPad Pro 9.7 inch introduces the first Rose Gold color option for the tablet line as well. It also features the all new improved camera for photos/videos (If your into that) but also brings the infamous camera bump to the iPad. This iPad also features Apple’s all new display tech “True tone”. Sensors in the iPad Pro detect ambient light in your environment & adjust the screen tone as such to produce a more natural & easier on the eye experience. The most powerful iPad yet in a smaller form factor than it’s bigger sibling the iPad Pro 12.9 inch. So in the end it comes down to the screen size you prefer much like the iPhones.
All in all it was small scale event & one that’ll be the last time we hear of a product release from Apple’s town hall as their new campus is set to be ready by 2017.
These product announcements while new are all iterations of existing hardware in smaller form factors. The iPad Pro essentially being shrunk down to the 9.7 inch version & iPhone 6S specs meeting the 5S body results in the SE. While this event wasn’t meant to be a major event for the company it’s their first big announcement in 2016 & is meant to set the pace for the upcoming products throughout the year such as the iPhone 7 & mac line upgrades.
For more information & to rematch the keynote head over to Apple’s official page.