Yesterday, Apple announced its new products which will be available during the holiday season. Here’s a breakdown of all the essential facts.
Probably the biggest announcement of the Apple Keynote event was the iPad Pro. This behemoth of a tablet measures in with a 12.9″ retina display with 2732-by-2048 resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi). To put this in perspective, this iPad is as wide as the iPad Air is tall and has a one of the sharpest displays on the market. It comes equipped with Touch ID, an 8MP iSight camera, 1080p HD Video recording at 30FPS and 120FPS for Slo-Mo, iOS 9, and 10 hours of battery.
The iPad Pro also has two brand new accessories: The Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil.
The Smart Keyboard is similar to the Microsoft Surface’s keyboard. According to Apple, “Its top layer is crafted from a sheet of highly durable custom-woven fabric that’s laser ablated to form the shape of each key.” This is a bit concerning for me personally because the “fabric” keyboard that came with the Microsoft Surface felt like it would wear down if you used it for a significant amount of time. Of course though – this is Apple – so I expect the Smart Keyboard to feel superior to any Microsoft product. This keyboard also comes with the same technology that’s on the new Macbook keyboards. Basically, the way the mechanisms are arranged below the key allow for a firm press no matter where your finger lands on the individual key. Yeah, they’ve thought of everything!
According to Apple, “When iPad Pro senses Apple Pencil, the subsystem scans its signal at an astounding 240 times per second, giving it twice the data points it normally collects with your finger. This data, combined with Apple‑designed software, means that there’s only milliseconds between the image you have in your mind and the one you see on the display.” Basically, this is a highly-tuned stylist that works flawlessly with iPad pro. You also need to charge it, which you do by taking the cap off and plug it into your iPad Pro.
iPad Pro – Silver, Gold, Space Gray
32GB Wi-Fi – $799
128GB Wi-Fi – $949
128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular – $1079
There are a lot of people who are bashing the iPad Pro and it’s accessories because it’s “too big” and or “have a terrible name” (referencing the Apple Pencil). I on the other hand think that the iPad Pro is a game changer. Ever since the original iPad was announced, I’ve watched almost every keynote expecting them to show how the iPad can function as a laptop rather than an oversized iPhone. With this announcement of the iPad Pro, that’s exactly what they’ve done. Not only does this iPad have more processing power than 80% of the other laptops in the market, but it’s also large enough to be used in a variety of ways. As an artist, I can see the potential of using the iPad Pro to draw out concepts and wireframe designs very easily. In the medical field, it has the processing power to run apps which detail every part of the body in gorgeous HD without sacrificing speed. The iPad Pro could also be a godsend for those who have visual or motor skill handicaps due to the large retina screen and the size and precision of the Apple Pencil. Overall, I’m impressed.
Next we have the upgraded version of the Apple TV. While introducing this product, CEO of Apple Tim Cook talked about how the progression of the TV has hit somewhat of a standstill. Cable providers have their own on-demand systems but a lot are very clunky and hard to use. Honestly, the most advanced aspect of TV is probably the DVR. Just the idea of waiting for your show to air so you can record it and watch it later sounds a bit archaic considering that Netflix uploads entire seasons of TV all in one go. Cook believes that the future of TV is through using apps, and the Apple TV is their vision of the future.
The new version of Apple TV boasts the Apple A8 chip, HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0, and the brand new Siri Remote. Users can simply press the Siri button to search for whatever shows they’d like. Siri is even smart enough to find inquiries such as “Comedies with Jason Bateman” or “that episode of Modern Family with Edward Norton”. The top of the remote has a glass touch pad which allows the user to swipe between items.
The biggest addition to the incorporation of the Apple App Store. Users can download all of their favorite media apps (HBO GO, Hulu, Netflix) directly to Apple TV as well as apps for individual channels (the channel must have an app available like AMC or Adult Swim). The Apple TV also allows you to download your favorite mobile games or shopping apps like Angry Birds or Gilt. The best way to showcase the potential of Apple TV would be in the MLB At Bat app. Once users subscribe to the MLB At Bat service, they can watch whatever game they want, get notifications about whats happening in other games, and even watch multiple games at once!
Apple TV – $149*
*Does not include individual subscriptions to media apps.
In my opinion, the Apple TV is moving television forward. Instead of paying a cable company for hundreds of channels you never watch, a user can buy subscriptions to whatever content channels they want to watch. Though that sounds sweet, I think that the true value of Apple TV will come with the apps which will be developed for it. I believe we will begin to see new products and new services which were previously unavailable or unthinkable. For instance, this gives people who develop content for YouTube or other internet-based channels to have their own apps that would allow people can watch them on their television rather than their computer or mobile device. I think the only real competition for Apple TV would be from video game consoles like Xbox or Playstation (who already have similar platforms), but that is assuming the consumer plays video games (or doesn’t like the games you can download from the App Store). If you’re not a gamer, I’d buy Apple TV.
iPhone 6S & 6S+
Upgraded iPhones are always a popular topic, so lets dive right into the new features of the 6S and 6S+. These new phones boast 12MP Cameras which can shoot up to 4K video (woah, thats like super good quality). To give people some context, a Canon 7D DSLR camera shoots 18MP but does not shoot 4K video. They are equipped with new “3D Touch” features which allow users to press the screen at various forces to access new commands. Basically, they added sensors that would be comparable to “right-clicking” on a computer. They have also added a feature called “Live Photos” which takes a series of photos before and after you take picture and compiles them in an animated GIF that can be accessed by using force touch. Essentially, live photos provide context to the moment the photo was shot. They are kind of like the animated images in newspapers that Harry Potter reads!
Aside from those features most of the upgrades came in the form of making the iPhone perform faster and generally work better. They also added an additional color choice in “Rose Gold” (yeee its pink!).
A new service that Apple is providing is the “iPhone Upgrade Program” which allows users to pay Apple a monthly fee for their phone rather than bundling the cost of the phone in the service providers contract. This monthly fee also comes with AppleCare+ and the ability to upgrade after 12 months. The prices below are the monthly rates which come with Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program.
16GB – $32.41/mo
64GB – $36.58/mo
128GB – $40.75/mo
16GB – $36.58/mo
64GB – $40.75/mo
128GB – $41.91/mo
The new iPhone 6S & 6S+ have some really cool new features and some hardware upgrades. If you have the 6 or 6+, I wouldn’t jump yet. Mostly because you probably have a contract with your service provider where you probably owe upwards of $700 on your phone if you jump ship now. If you are interested in upgrading from the 5S or older, this is a phone you want to get. The 6 & 6+ have some issues which it sounds like Apple has fixed with the 6S & 6S+ so my bet is if you upgrade to the new phones they will be the most stable and reliable phones Apple has to offer.
Other Notable Announcements
Apple announced the new iOS 9 which will include features like split screen multitasking for iPad and and an upgraded Wallet app which assists with managing Apple Pay. There we’re also upgrades to Watch OS and new colors and bands for the Apple Watch.
Did you see Apple’s keynote? What do you think of the new Apple products? Let us know on any of our Social Media pages or in the comments section!