As expected, Apple has announced upgrades and/or additions to most of its hardware. Apple enthusiasts have gotten so good at reading the tea leaves that there wasn?t much in today?s announcement that wasn?t expected. Here?s our round-up of Apple?s new products and updates, introduced today.
Apple?s fall ritual of launching a new iPhone continued with the launch of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. A new iPhone release seems old hat, but it?s still vital to Apple?s business. Business Insider tipped us off to a chart that Statista put together showing that Apple?s iPhone revenue alone surpassed the revenues of Facebook and Google combined in the 2nd quarter of this year.
As the names indicate, the new phones come in the same, larger sizes as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which were announced last fall. Besides an upgraded camera and a faster processor, there are some other innovations in the phones, including 3D Touch. 9to5mac describes this feature as:
Force-sensing technology that adds new gestures ?peek? and ?pop,? which bring up modal windows and things hidden under panes. This works everywhere from the Home screen to within apps, and provides tactile feedback for touch interactions. You can open an email message with a ?peek? to show a window rather than going all the way in, or press more to see the entire message in full screen.
Notably, 5 years after the launch of its ground-breaking tablet, Apple is launching 2 new iPads, but neither is a direct upgrade of its legacy device. Instead, it?s introducing a new larger-size iPad Pro, and upgrading its smaller tablet line with the new iPad Mini 4.
The iPad Pro, with its 12.9-inch screen, will be available starting in November. It?s billed as a device for work, not play. It blurs the distinction between a tablet and a MacBook in several ways. For one, the price, which ranges from $799 to $1099 for the iPad Pro, is comparable to the smallest of the MacBook Pro models.
To put it in perspective, here?s a chart with the pricing of Apple?s MacBooks, compared to the various iPad models:
MacBook Pro $1099 (13-inch) $1299 (15-inch) $1999 (15-inch)
iPad Pro* (12-inch) $799 (32GB Wi-Fi) $949 (128GB Wi-Fi) $1079 (32GB Wi-Fi + cellular)
iPad Air 2 (9.4-inch) $499/$629 (16GB) $599/$729 (64GB) $699/$829 (128GB)
iPad Mini 4* (8-inch) $399/$529 (16GB) $499/$629 (64GB) $599/$729 (128GB)
*New devices announced today
Second, the beefed-up capabilities of the iPad Pro make it much more powerful than the iPad Air and iPad Mini lines. Beside the larger screen, the iPad Pro has a more powerful processor, higher resolution than the 15-inch MacBook Pro, support for new accessories (a Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil), 10-hour battery life and more.
The new iPad Mini 4 is an upgraded version of the current small iPads. The iPad Mini 4 will have an 8-inch screen (a touch larger than current 7.6-inch model). Significantly, the internal specs for the new iPad Mini 4 are the same as for the iPad Air 2. In other words, other than the smaller screen size, under the hood, the iPad Mini 4 is just as powerful as the iPad Air 2.
The newest addition to Apple?s product line got the fewest upgrades. The highlights are include an agreement with Hermes to produce new designs for the face and the band of the watch, as well as new apps (Facebook Messenger, GoPro, iTranslate and more) and a new version of the watch?s operating system (coming next week).
As expected, Apple has significantly upgraded Apple TV. As rumors continue to swirl that Apple may launch its own pay TV service ? and possibly even get into the production end of things ? Apple CEO, Tim Cook, introduced the 4th generation Apple TV by stating that, ?The future of TV is apps.?
The new Apple TV, which will be available in October, is a slightly larger device with a number of significant upgrades, including a new remote with touch controls, an App Store and Siri voice command. Here are the big changes:
? A key hardware component is the brand new remote control with a microphone to enable Siri commands and a touchpad to allow touch commands and it?ll also have a gyroscope and accelerometer to facilitate gaming controls.
? For the first time, Apple is opening up Apple TV to app developers to allow creation of 3rd party apps as it had done with its other devices.
? The new Apple TV will have Universal search, allowing users to search for content from iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Showtime. Those specific services were announced by Apple today, but that list is sure to grow in the near future.
Get a full rundown on the specs on the new Apple products from 9to5mac.
– Pat Welsh