iPhone 6S & iPhone 6S Plus
As usual for an “S” year, Apple announced new phones which are faster than their predecessors without changes in form factor. One of the most dramatic changes is the addition of a rose gold colour that is pretty nice but not going to make me throw out my gold one. The 6S and 6S Plus are supposedly getting a stronger aluminium case so they won’t bend anymore. Things took a weird turn when Apple announced the Force Touch (May the Force Be With You?) which they promptly renamed to 3D Touch because the internet (rightfully) thought Force Touch was too creepy. This feature is based on the Apple Watch so your phone will now be able to respond to differences in tap pressure.
More importantly, when referring to the new iPhones, the phrase emergency selfie was uttered. Apparently humanity has been clamouring for this technology and Apple has responded using the 3D Touch shortcut so the camera is ready to take very fast selfies. It’s times like this I’m ok with a zombie apocalypse.
*We are used to price hikes for no good reason just because we live in Canada, but a jump from $769 to $899 for a 16GB iPhone 6S and $1029 for a 64GB iPhone 6S is crazy talk. You’re essentially forced to buy the 64GB one because 16GB is useless considering the camera is now 12 megapixels and the files are huge.
Well, if I ever end up on Alone I know what I’ll be using for my shelter. This iPad is ridiculously big (12.9” screen) and can only be properly mocked by the glory of Buzzfeed. All jokes aside, it looks like Apple is hoping to to find a niche in specific industries (design, medical) where you need a large surface to work with but conventional laptops don’t work. To that effect, they have introduced the Apple Pencil (aka a stylus) to go with it.
The Apple Pencil (accessory to iPad Pro)
Schools have been phasing out cursive so I never thought we would ever see a writing instrument again. I guess the Steve Jobs era is dead and buried. The pen will be able to position, force, and tilt which would be glorious to use on an iPad. Really the only advancement here compared to the stylus on the Galaxy Notes is that it can detect tilt which I guess can be very useful when drawing.
The Smart Keyboard (accessory to iPad Pro)
The keyboard magnetically connects to the iPad Pro and charges when in use so no extra charging needed. The first thing we thought when we saw it worked is that Apple borrowed a page from Microsoft Surface. Now let’s see if they fare better.
Apple Watch Software
No new Apple Watch was announced, just the WatchOS 2. This OS will allow new watch faces, Siri gets smarter, GoPro functionality, easier music control and the ability to FINALLY respond to emails on your watch to name a few. I’m glad my pleas have been answered.
Of today’s announcements, the Apple TV is probably where the most changes have occurred. The Apple TV now comes with a new remote which handles swipe gestures, voice control, and can detect its position (think Wii remote). Also the remote is bluetooth enabled so you no longer have to point the remote at the device. With voice control, you will be able to do very sophisticated searches and more importantly, it will “remember” your previous query so you will be able to build on them. The Apple TV will finally get closer to the Star Trek world I’ve been waiting for! Moreover, searches will work against all services (well that’s to be confirmed) so when searching for The Walking Dead, it will show results on regular TV, Netflix, and iTunes. Another important note is that for the first time, they are now providing us developers with an SDK so apps can be built. A whole new era of possibilities have been unleashed. As usual, gaming seems to be a natural fit but really the sky is the limit here. You think of it, and come to us and we will help you build it!
Other unsolicited thoughts:
50 Shades of Purple
Why was everyone wearing various shades of purple? Doesn’t everyone know that on Wednesdays we wear pink?
The Birkin of Watch Straps
Hermes is making an Apple Watch strap? There will be like 5 people in the world who can afford it and/or understand how to use an Apple Watch.
Hell Hath Frozen Over
Microsoft and Adobe made presentations of their software and how great the iPad Pro worked. Once mortal enemies of Apple (in some ways), it seems the tides have shifted.
I have a fleeting memory of them in a Super Bowl ad with the lovely Minka Kelly and that’s about it. Everyone was expecting someone relevant like Taylor Swift or entertaining like Kanye West but alas it was not to be. The only memorable part of the performance were the lyrics ‘make that money, watch it burn’ which is being mocked mercilessly online now.
Who am I kidding? I’ll probably buy it all anyways