Apple Officially Launches iPhone 6s, iPad Pro, and new Apple TV
On Wednesday, September 9, Apple wowed a massive crowd at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Tim Cook and crew announced hardware updates to iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, while also updating iOS 9 and Watch OS2. The fall is always a busy time for Apple and its customers, with full refreshes coming annually to mobile devices.
iPhone 6s, which follows the ‘s’ pattern off-year update, boasts a new interactive feature titled 3D Touch. The new technology, which is specific to iPhone 6s, allows users to depress the screen just nanometers to effect interface change with peak and pop options. 3D Touch provides quick short cut actions on native iOS applications. For example, instead of merely tapping the Camera icon, 3D Touch the icon to receive a shortcut menu that lets you quickly jump to a selfie photo.
To ensure iPhone 6s is faster than the previous model, a new A9 chipset is being deployed with an embedded M9 motion coprocessor. A 70% faster CPU and 90% faster GPU show aggressive gains over the iPhone 6. The M9 allows a new feature for always-on “Hey Siri” interactions. Just shout “Hey Siri,” at any moment, to invoke the digital assistant.
The final major hardware upgrade is the new 12MP camera. Each pixel in the camera is redesigned to prevent cross fading colors, which translates to sharper, crisper images that lack noise or bleeding color bands. Optical Image Stabilization remains only on the Plus version of the lineup.
Coming to the iPad line up, iPad Pro includes a 12.9″ screen. iPad Air 2 is only 9.7″ for comparison and the image above shows the device being held for perspective. Consequently, it is a massive new tablet device, approximately the size of a laptop screen. In comparison to the iPad Air 2, it is almost double the CPU performance and includes interactivity with a new stylus, Apple Pencil, and attachable Smart Cover with integrated keyboard.
Apple is touting the device as a more creative and productive platform, given its size and corresponding accessories. Boiling it down, screen size is the biggest difference that will be instantly noted. Paired with size are pixels to make the screen pop. The 12.9″ screen includes 5.6 million pixels, which provide the ability to run full-size side-by-side apps with iOS 9.
If you love listening to music or watching shows on iPad, the Pro includes a new dynamic four speaker system. The configuration allows for stereo sound and also prioritizes the two speakers that are on the top, by shifting sound output based on feedback from the accelerometer.
Apple TV received its first update in more than three years. The new set-top-box is upgraded with the same A-line processors found in iPhone and iPad, giving it the firepower to run full blown applications, right on your living room TV. The new functionality is made possible, not only by the new chipset, but also the improved multi-gesture trackpad based remote.
Searching for content is now simpler with the addition of Siri to the Apple TV. Like similarly competing products, a microphone is now included on the lighting port rechargeable remote. Setting Apple TV apart is a unified search option, which searches multiple streaming content locations for the desired media, showing, for example, if a return is available on iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, or HBO. With unified search, users no longer need to launch streaming services individually to find content.
Apple Watch was retouched with Rose and Yellow Gold color ways for the Sport line. Additionally, multiple new Sport Band color options were released. The two new Watch colors are available in both 38mm and 42mm options, but only come with specific color bands, increasing the desire to buy extras to swap around.
A new relationship with Apple Watch Hermés also made an appearance. The Hermés collection watches come with premium leather cuffs, doublets, and bracelet options, including a specific watch face. Considering watch faces, Watch OS2 will allow third party complications to be added to the screen. Currently, the only details shown on Apple Watch faces are those dictated by Apple. However, with the launch of the new OS, third party apps will be able to show prominently on the face, including flight times, electric car charges, or sport scores.
Apple completed most rumor mill expectations, leaving everything completely open about another upcoming event. While all iOS devices were updated, laptops and desktop computers may still find updates this fall, as the iOS devices are slowly released over the next couple of months, starting with iPhones on Saturday, September 12 at 12:01AM PST.