Apple have unveiled a number of new products at a press event in Cupertino overnight. Among the new gadgets are a supersized iPad designed to take on Microsoft’s Surface tablet, a new model iPhone 6S with pressure-sensitive touch and a completely overhauled Apple TV.
Lets break down what Cook and Co. had to offer bit by bit.
News that the iPad Pro may have been a real thing leaked late last week across many tech and gadget blogs and caused quite a stir among those looking for an alternative to Microsoft’s rather utilitarian Surface range of tablets. With a screen clocking in at a whopping 32cm and a battery said to run for 10 hours, the iPad Pro is “as powerful as a desktop” according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. It’s also running a 64-bit A9X chip, giving it substantial grunt in the realm of large work tabs. It will also work with a smart keyboard that looks remarkably similar to Microsoft’s offering, clipping to the device, and what Apple are calling Pencil, the stylus that Steve Jobs always dreaded, but will allow users to interact with the mega tablet with greater precision.
The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus were a foregone conclusion for many going into today’s event. Cook was quick to point out that though the phones themselves have not changed physically in any major ways, on the inside they are very different to their predecessors indeed. Boasting what Apple calls “3D Touch”, the new 6S models have been given a new pressure-sensitive touch input that allows for a suite of brand new swipe and hold gestures. The biggest change by far would have to be camera. The camera on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was certainly no slouch but the new one really puts it to shame. It can now support all the way up to 4K recording (or 3840×2160 res) and the Plus gets better image stabilisation for later editing. The rear camera will be 12MP while the front-facing camera will be 5MP.
WatchOS 2 was another talking point most were sure Apple would be spotlighting during the conference and they were not disappointed. The Apple Watch has been a problematic fave for many early adopters who, once they’d strapped the lovely looking device around their wrists, weren’t entirely sure what to do with it. WatchOS 2 addresses the Apple Watch’s biggest issue and promises apps that run much faster and natively on the device. Also on deck: a number of fancy new wristbands and a number of very cool medical apps for measuring the health metrics of the wearer.
But it was the Apple TV that saw the most sweeping changes. Rumours had abounded the last few days that Apple were about to make a serious stride or two into the world of gaming and they didn’t disappoint. The new Apple TV will run a brand new operating system called tvOS, which is closely based on iOS to offer greater app interconnectibility. There’s also a new remote called the Siri Remote which does all sorts of crazy new things – you can ask Siri to help you navigate via a built in mic, roll around the user interface using a touchpad built right into the top of the remote and even control it with small movements using the built in gyro. The new Apple TV also comes loaded for bear with the latest version of Metal which means games are Apple’s big new order of the day. They’ll run on your TV screen via Apple TV with any number of third-party game controllers and packs the A8 chip so everything runs super smoothly.
We’ll no doubt be talking more about what these changes mean for the gaming world in the coming weeks and months. For now, this has been one of the most exciting updates from Apple in some time.