As an avid Apple fanboy the prospect of new Apple products draws me in like a worker bee to the call of his Queen, and today Apple strengthened it’s reign. Tim Cook & Co held nothing back and announced more than in any previous September conference without the need of the traditional “… And one more thing” moment.
Off the bat they announced two new models of the Apple Watch that will begin shipping today, Gold and the new highly rumoured rose gold, a similar colour but with a tint of pink, and the release of Watch OS2 on September the 16th.
The new Watch OS allows much more third party integration than Watch OS1, which limited the amount of hardware developers could access. This allows apps to access more health data, demonstrated on stage as an app could distinguish the heart beat of a mother from her unborn child and allow her to hear her child’s heartbeat through the Watch.
Developers can now create “Complications” for the Watch, allowing data and notifications from their apps to be displayed on the watch face, enabling users to view notifications without traversing the menu to the specific app.
The iPad Pro (Released November 2015)
So if you’ve read any tech or lifestyle blogs in the last month or so you’ll probably already know about the iPad Pro, but now its official and it is incredible.
Aimed at consumers in the creative industry this majestic and powerful tablet has supersized everything about it’s predecessors. The screen is 12.9 inches and has a resolution of 2732 x 2048, which is a higher resolution than the majority of televisions. The device is only 6.9mm thick compared to the iPad Air 2 which is 6.1mm and weighs around the same as the original iPad, which is impressive considering it has four speakers and a new port. On the inside the CPU is faster than 80% of portable PC’s and the graphics are better than 90% of them, according to Apple of course, and a lengthy battery life of 10 hours.
The iPad Pro also comes with new dedicated accessories, first up is the keyboard smart case. Considering the iPad Pro is big enough to fit a full sized keyboard on its screen the smart case is for those of us who enjoy the feel of a physical object to type on, it connects to the iPad through its new port on the side using the same magnetic technology implemented in the MacBook’s charger to provide power and data transfers.
The most exciting accessory, from a graphic artists point of view, is the Apple Pencil which analyses the pressure you put onto the screen to determine the width of the strokes, the angle of the pencil to determine shading and works with all apps that allow you to add doodles and drawings, demonstrated by none other than Microsoft on their office apps.
Apple TV (Release date TBA)
As an owner of the underwhelming Apple TV 2 this update has been long overdue. The fact is that the old Apple TV was a box that allowed you to use your Mac whilst watching a film, without being tethered to the TV with a HDMI cable.
The first big announcement for Apple TV is the dedicated app store, this allows developers to create apps for the box rather than Apple picking and choosing what apps are included. This includes games, news apps, property buying apps, retail apps and many more. To allow apps such as games to work Apple has revamped its stylish remote with a Siri enabled, touch pad emblazoned, motion detecting remote-like slate.
The touch screen allows the user to swipe through apps, films and play games as if they were using their phones, delivering a similar experience across their entire product range. Siri is heavily integrated into the OS, you can call Siri at any time and she will smartly deliver what you are looking for at the bottom of the screen, as to not disrupt what you are viewing. She can now search not only iTunes but Netflix and other video providers to find what you are looking for, for instance you could ask Siri to find “The South Park episode where George Clooney plays a dog” and she’ll find it for you, on every platform it’s available.
The new iPhones, at first glance, could be mistaken for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus but inside they’ve changed everything.
The biggest addition is the game changing 3D touch technology which analyses pressure and allows you to view messages, links or anything without opening them by applying a bit of pressure to the screen. You can press hard on an app to bring up a menu of things you usually do or the sections of an app to quickly jump to that task or section, zoom in on games and make your photo’s move like a photograph from Harry Potter. – Yes you heard right, photo’s on the iPhone 6S range are animated, when you take a photo it records a few second before and after a photo is taken to capture the memory behind that photograph. These live photo’s are going to be integrated into Facebook and other social media in the future. The camera itself has been upgraded to 12mp and Apple has developed a new sensor so these extra pixels don’t lose quality, it can now shoot 4K video and the 5mp FaceTime camera has a new “front flash” feature, this is similar to Snapchats screen flash but now the screen has been developed to work properly as a flash light.
The CPU has been upgraded to be 70% faster than the 6 and GPU 90% faster at graphics tasks, the Touch ID hardware has been upgraded to be even faster at reading your fingerprint, the WiFi receiver is now twice as fast and finally Siri will now answer to “Hey Siri” when she isn’t charging.
Thats everything that was announced today at the Apple event. For more information you can always pop Siri up and say “Hey Siri, anything interesting happen today?” and don’t forget if you’re going to buy any Apple products you can receive up to 15% off with student discount.