September 9, 15. The day we’ve all been waiting for. It’s the day of the new apple products release. Being the main event during this time, I decided to give you a brief summary of the event, the products launched versus people’s expectations. Products are listed in order of their launch during the event. I tried as much as possible to get the information provided by the many speakers who spoke at the event and a few screenshots were taken through my MacBook while live streaming through apple.com.
APPLE WATCH & OS2
Due to the fact that Apple Watch is a new release for apple, the Watch stayed the same but Apple introduced a new operating system: the OS2 which includes new faces, time travel, transit in maps, new applications, etc.
The OS2 will be available as of September 16.
Some of the new applications and features that were demonstrated during the event are, but not limited to:
- Time Travel: this new feature allows for easy traveling through days and checking what’s on the calendar.
- Transit: this feature was added to the maps application and is designed to help users with public transportation.
- Facebook Messenger: which will be available on Apple Watch allowing for quick messaging.
- GoPro control: allowing for better control right on your wrist.
- Airstrip: which is an application for physicians and was introduced by its founder Dr. Cameron Powell who talked about how this application allows for better messaging and communication in healthcare. It allows the physician to see his appointments, the diagnosis of the next patient, the patient’s lab results and even get notifications from his assistant. The application is also meant for home monitoring for pregnant women who can now measure their heartbeat as well as their baby’s heartbeat and send it straight to the doctor. Oh, the big announcement for this application is that not only can mothers monitor their baby’s heartbeat, but also they can actually hear it straight from the Apple Watch!
As for the physical changes, Apple introduced a new collection of Apple Watch from Hermes, which features the iconic Hermes “double tour”. The three models will be available in October. Also, new colors for the watch and the band have been introduced, including a red band, which is especially designed to help with the funding of AIDS. An Apple Watch Fall Collection of bands was also released with a number of colors to choose from.
Personally, I really appreciate the effort put into developing OS2 but I honestly don’t believe that effort was put in the right direction. As mentioned in my article: Things I can’t live without – Part 1, I believe that many options are lacking from the Apple Watch, including its support for earphones, quick typing on a keyboard and the integration of certain apps that were absent. During this event, only one of those was kind of thought of and that is the last one. Apple is trying to expand the integration of apps on the Watch (like Facebook Messenger, GoPro, etc.) but is still neglecting major issues. The earphones issue will be disregarded as an argument as it cannot be fixed with the existing model but other software-related issues could have been more thought of like, for example, introducing a small easy keyboard for quick typing. Maybe this is a hard thing to do but hey, hasn’t apple always aimed to introduce technologies that weren’t possible before?
I personally believe that the IPAD PRO was the star of the event. It is and I quote: “The biggest news in iPad since the iPad”. It was described as the most capable and powerful ever created by Apple. It features the biggest screen ever designed in an iOS device. It has a screen of 12.9” retina display and 5.6 million pixels. Its width is the same height of the iPad Air, but it is still relatively thin and light. It also features a full size keyboard which can be replaced by a new accessory launched by Apple exclusively for the iPad Pro, which is the Smart Keyboard which connects to the iPad magnetically through a smart connector and is therefore immediately recognized.
With the launch of the new iPad, Apple also launched the new iOS9 for both iPad and iPhone, but most importantly it launched the Apple Pencil and clearly showed, through several demos, how it can make the use of the iPad much easier.
Starting with the Apple Pencil, it is the ultimate technology for precision and accuracy. It allows for quick annotation, note taking, drawing and fixing. In fact, with the new notes application, and with the Apple Pencil, it is now possible to draw quick diagrams and add it to the text in your notes. Same goes for the mail application, where you can now quickly annotate the attachments on an email. The pencil is easily charged through a Lightning charger and is connected directly to the iPad.
For the demos, the event featured major developers who introduced new applications and explained how the integration of Apple’s new features made things faster.
- Microsoft participated in the event and talked primarily about productivity. The new applications developed made use of the iPad’s new multitasking feature that allows the user to open two applications simultaneously, copy and paste from one to the other and easily switch between them. They showed how you can open both PowerPoint and excel on the same screen through “split screen”, copy a table from excel, paste it onto PowerPoint, draw some shapes with your pencil, see these shapes transform into real shapes and easily multitask between several applications.
- Adobe introduced three new applications, which include the amazing Adobe Photoshop Fix that features facial detection and allows for easy portrait manipulation.
- 3D 4 Medical who created an application that allows users to visualize the human anatomy and bridge the communication gap between doctors and patients. You have to see this application to know what I am talking about. It is simply amazing.
The new iPad comes in three different colors and will be available along with the Smart Keyboard and Apple Watch this November.
“The future of TV is apps”, this is how Apple described their vision for television.
The Apple TV now includes a wider choice of applications with redesigned graphics. The main feature of the new Apple TV is the new remote that comes with it. It includes a touch surface to allow for better navigation as well as a Siri button that gives the user high control. These features include:
- Filtering: it is now possible to tell Siri what type of movie you want, filter them by director, actor, etc.
- “What did he/she say?”: When watching a movie, you can ask Siri this question and it immediately steps back 15 seconds and temporarily turns on captions.
- “Who stars in this?”: Siri provides you with details about the cast of the movie at the bottom of the screen without disrupting the movie. This option also works if you want to know what is the score of a sports game, how the weather is outside, etc.
Apple TV also features new applications like:
- GILT: which is a shopping application that allows you to shop with your whole family right on your couch.
- MLB app: which allows you to watch two games at the same time, quickly switch between them and see the stats of the game.
It also features new screensavers, which are made of HD videos shot exclusively for the Apple TV.
IPHONE 6S & IPHONE 6S PLUS
I cannot help but start this part with a big disappointment. Even though Apple happily described the new iPhone with the following statement: “The only thing that’s changed is everything”, I am sorry to tell them that not much has changed except the color of the phone. Oh, and they basically only added one color which is the Rose Gold Aluminum finish. It now comes in four colors: Silver, Gold, Space Grey and the new Rose Gold.
To be fair, Apple introduced a major technology, the 3D Touch, which now recognizes force when touching the screen. This technology was first implemented in the Apple Watch. It allows for more options when touching the screen. Different forces bring out different commands and options like shortcuts, peek of content, etc. It even allowed for the option to take an emergency selfie when touching the camera application harder.
Apple also developed multitasking in the new iPhone, which will be available to all users who download the new iOS9 that will be available starting September 16.
Apple described the new iPhone as the “most advanced smartphone in the world” and called the new A9 chip “the most advanced chip ever in a smartphone”.
The new iPhone also includes the new “Hey Siri” option, which means that you can now immediately talk to Siri without touching your phone. This can be helpful in certain situations when your hands are dirty or wet.
A 12-megapixel camera was also introduced in the all-new iSight camera, 50% more than the previous camera, allowing for better detail and sharpness. It is accompanied by the true tone flash.
With the new camera, you can take bigger panoramas and 4k HD videos that are characterized by 8 million pixels in each frame. The front camera was also upgraded to a 5-megapixel Facetime HD Camera, also backed by the retina flash, which is also a true tone flash.
Finally, Apple introduced Live Photos. With the option on, you take a normal picture. Later, when looking at your pictures, you can use the 3D Touch to turn these pictures into short videos that feature motion and sound. Live Photos are done as the iPhone will record a second and a half on each before and after the picture was taken and turn them into pictures that literally come to life. Live Photos can be seen on all apple products, including Apple Watch. Even applications will develop Live Photos integration. In fact, Facebook will be one of the first to develop Live Photos integration.
The new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus will come with matching charging docks and will be released along with new covers.
Pre order starts on September 12 and the iPhones will be available starting September 25.
Finally, Apple made two announcements:
- Apple stores will now offer the iPhone Upgrade Program which allows iPhone users to pay a certain amount of money each month for the phone and gives them the opportunity to get a new iPhone with every release. This will begin in US stores but will be expanding to the rest of the countries as well.
- Apple developed and launched a new application, which will be available on android stores. They claimed that many android users are switching to iPhone; therefore this application will allow them to move all important information from their android phone to their new iPhone! Now that for me is the announcement of the year!
The event ended with a great performance from One Republic.