The world watched in awe as Apple announced their latest innovations today on stage at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Tim Cook and his staff took the stage to announce a lineup of new products and updates to old favorites that will surely change our lives forever. Some will be enjoying these new wonders directly, and others will spend minutes and minutes hooking them up to their home WiFi when their aunt comes to visit. Either way, these new Apple products will touch our lives for years to come.
First on the docket was the Apple Watch. A relatively new product in the grand scheme of things, many apps from iPhone will be transitioning over to the watch experience. Programs such as Facebook Messenger and GoPro will be coming soon. As for new tech, an app called AirStrip was shown off, which monitors alerts and lab results for a patient you might be caring for if you’re a doctor. If you’re on the other side of the hospital experience, you can use a new application to interact with your yet-to-be-born baby, listening to their heartbeat utilizing sensors placed on your or your significant other’s pregnant belly. New models of the Apple Watch will be shipping out today, with an upgraded OS for those watches arriving on September 16th.
Next on the docket, the iPad Pro was unveiled. It is a tablet with a 12.9 inch display, support for split screen apps and a four speaker system built in. Marketing executive Phil Schiller couldn’t help but say that it was amazing. It features a full software keyboard, but Apple also innovated by adding a new smart keyboard built right into your iPad case. For only $169, you can now type on your tablet and bring computing into the portable space like never before. Of course, Apple wasn’t finished innovating there, as they also introduced the concept of a stylus to the masses. Dubbed the Apple Pencil amid a sea of laughter, this $99 accessory detects position, force, and tilt. It will allow people to draw with the precision that is only afforded with precise equipment.
Representatives from Microsoft and Adobe hit the stage to show the versatility of available applications on the Apple app ecosystem. You can portably run a word processor, edit photos, and even examine 3D models of human beings like never before. Much was also made of the device’s amazing ability to play movies, and the experience will be much more cinematic on the iPad Pro because you have to hold it with two hands. The iPad Pro and its amazing ability to have a bigger screen than other iPads will be available starting at $799 for the 32GB model, with the 128GB model going for $1,079.
It can be noted that movies also look great on televisions, and Apple has that arena covered with the innovative new Apple TV. For the first time anywhere, a set-top box exists that can play movies and television shows on demand. In addition, the Apple TV has the Siri Remote, which includes a touch surface on the front for intuitive movement and a button for searching through voice commands. It also features highly curated moving backgrounds to give your television something beautiful to display even when you’re not consuming content. What an innovation.
One of the biggest and most highly anticipated additions to the Apple TV experience is integration with the App Store. This will bring games to the Apple TV and utilize motion enable controls built into the Siri Remote. Titles range from mobile first games like Crossy Road and its new for Apple TV multiplayer mode, to more console minded fare like Guitar Hero and Disney Infinity. Harmonix got on stage to introduce Beat Sports, which is a rhythm game that has you timing Wii Sports-style tennis swings to the beat of a monster’s attacks. Many apps on the store, including games, will be available as universal apps, so you can stay within the Apple ecosystem with save games and only purchase an app once per account. These innovations will be available when you purchase a $150 Apple TV in October.
Finally, who could forget the iPhone? Apple introduced the iPhone 6S, which is scientifically the most advanced phone ever made. It does everything your previous iPhone and every other smartphone in the world can do, plus there are several brand new features. One of those is the Live Photo system, which innovates by having the phone record a small amount of time before and after each photo that you take. This allows the photos to move when they’re touched, giving you context for the next time you take a picture of something funny you find at the grocery store. It also seems useful if you’re one of those people who take pictures of human beings. Photos were also improved by adding the ability to use the highly advanced screen of your pocket computer as a flashbulb in case you need to take an emergency selfie in low lighting.
The other huge new addition to the feature set of the iPhone 11 is 3D Touch, which adds functionality related to touching and holding buttons and menus in the phones user interface. Truly on the cutting edge of how people interact with their phones, 3D Touch will give you new options to access features in applications you already use. It also adds a fun random delay to opening up applications by forcing you to retrain your fingers and brain to do actions you used to do without thinking. Apple and I both think that you’re really going to like it when it is available at carriers nationwide on September 25th.
Everyone was played out of the Apple presentation by the smooth sounds of OneRepublic, which is a musical act that is somewhat popular from what I could gather via context clues. Truly, the innovation on display for this proud technology giant was breathtaking, and I only wish that their competitors could match their accomplishments instead of wasting time on such frivolous side projects as self driving cars.
Alex Santa Maria is a proud owner of a Droid Ultra and this press conference was reviewed from a Windows 10 PC. Credit to Reddit user MBGLK for the Stylus/Apple Pencil comparison image.