From the iPad to the Apple TV to the iPhone, Apple has unveiled a range of new products which promise to overhaul their current product lines and continue their phenomenal success in the tech industry.
Kicking off Apple’s annual September event, held at San Francisco’s 7,000 seat Bill Graham civic auditorium, was the announcement of a software update for the Apple Watch called watchOS 2. The new OS promises to improve app speed and allow them to run natively on the smartwatch rather than through a paired phone. WatchOS 2 also includes new communication features such as the ability to respond quickly to Mail with dictation, Smart Replies or emoji.
Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Philip Schiller, took to the stage to introduce the all-new iPad Pro. The new tablet has a 12.9-inch display with 2,732 by 2,048 pixels, a total of 5.6 million – higher than any other iOS device. It is powered by Apple’s 64-bit A9X chip, which is 1.8 times faster than the previous chip in the iPad Air 2 and rivals many portable PCs which are currently on the market.
The tablet comes with Apple’s latest iOS operating system pre-installed which has a number of new productivity additions including multitasking features designed specifically for the iPad to allow users to work with two apps simultaneously in a split screen view. This will prove to be especially useful on the Pro model because its screen size is so large that you can fit the screen of an iPad Air 2 in portrait across one side of an iPad Pro in landscape.
Alongside the new iPad, Apple also introduced two accessories, the Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard. The pencil is a stylus, which Apple describes as “a precision input device”. It has been designed with the Pro tablet in mind and uses advanced sensors to measure both pressure and tilt, making drawing and sketching feel fluid and natural. It is available for purchase separately and works with popular apps like Mail, Notes, Procreate and Office 365.
The Smart Keyboard further extends the utility of iPad Pro by giving users a full-sized keyboard integrated into the tablet’s woven fabric smartcover. It attaches directly to the iPad Pro’s smart connector port, eliminating the need for a separate battery, on/off switch or Bluetooth pairing.
“iPad Pro is the most advanced and powerful iPad we have ever made. Its beautiful and large 12.9-inch Retina display has 5.6 million pixels and provides an immersive experience for content and apps. The iPad Pro is far and away the fastest iOS device we have ever made — its A9X chip beats most portable PCs in both CPU and graphics tasks, but is thin and light enough to hold all day,” said Schiller.
“The innovative Apple Pencil and new Smart Keyboard enable users to customise their iPad Pro experience to the particular apps they use and the work they do, making iPad Pro ideal for everything from professional productivity to advanced 3D design,” he added.
Apple TVThe long-awaited update to the Apple TV, coming this October, was unveiled with an all-new operating system based on Apple’s iOS, named tvOS. It is a complete redesign of the current set-top box’s user interface and enables iOS developers the ability to build apps and games specifically for the TV and deliver them through the new Apple TV App Store.
Controlling the new hardware is the Siri Remote that has Apple’s Siri personal assistant deeply integrated into how the user navigates the interface. Through voice commands it is possible to search TV shows and movies by title, genre, cast, crew, rating or popularity and it provides results based on app services, such as iTunes, Netflix, Hulu and HBO.
A glass touch surface on the remote also allows for navigation and it is able to recognise both small, accurate movements as well as big, sweeping ones. Developers can take advantage of these features to add a new dimension to tvOS apps and games.
The product that will likely prove the most popular is Apple’s latest offering in its market leading product line, the iPhone. As with the iPhone 6, the 6s is being launched in two models – iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
The exterior of the phones retain the stylish design of the current iPhone 6 but has had an extensive upgrade in hardware particularly with the new A9 chip, which allows for faster performance and an improved battery life.
The new iPhones also introduces what Apple has dubbed “3D Touch”, a touch screen feature which senses the pressure of the user’s touch to enable new ways to access apps and interact with content, including providing shortcuts to common actions allowing users to send messages or take photos from the Home screen.
The phones also feature Retina HD displays which have been built with the strongest glass on any smartphone and 7000 series aluminium – the same alloy used in the aerospace industry.
“These are the most advanced iPhones ever, with 7000 series aluminum, ion-strengthened glass, the new 64-bit A9 chip, 12-megapixel iSight and 5-megapixel FaceTime HD cameras, faster Touch ID, LTE and Wi-Fi,” said Schiller.