Apple September 2015 Event Recap

iPhone 6 pictured.

If you heard an odd rustling sound at about 10 a.m. PST yesterday morning, that was the sound of Apple fan boys (and girls) around the globe getting their wallets ready for the new products set to be announced at the September Apple Event.

Yes it is that time of year again – leaves are changing, the PSL is back, and Apple is releasing new iPhones and iPads. As someone who used to waive the Apple flag high and proud but recently jumped ship, I was curious to see what the tech giant would have in store for its newest generation of products. I wasn’t expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. Here is what we learned today.

Apple Watch

Tim Cook started the event off by talking about the latest upgrades to their wearable smart watch including new colors and bands. Apple is releasing new gold, rose gold, and aluminum watch styles to their sport line, as well as watch bands in new colors. The new partnership with Hermes means more high end watch bands will be available in a variety of styles.

With watchOS 2, the watch will be able to integrate better with the current 10,000 apps and will be compatible with new apps like Facebook Messenger. New watch faces and integration with 3rd party apps means the ability to have the weather, your flight time, the current time, and current events right on your watch.  WatchOS 2 is also opening doors for some tremendous uses for the Apple Watch in the healthcare field. Doctors can use the watch with an app called AirStrip, to securely get live updates on their patients’ conditions as well as communicate with them while they are at home. One of the more useful features coming to watchOS 2, is the Time Travel feature that allows users to look to their day ahead and see appointments along with the changing weather.

The new models of the Apple Watch are shipping today and start at $349 for the Apple Watch Sport collection model.

Apple TV

Apple TV is not a new product, however the new generation of the device has some pretty useful features. The new model will search across all of your installed apps to find the show or movie you are looking for and present the results together. That means no longer having to bounce between Hulu and Netflix trying to find the show you want to watch. The new model will also utilize Siri to search and incorporate voice controls while watching. For example, you can say “Fast forward 7 minutes.” and Siri will jump to that point. You can also use commands like “What did they say?” and Siri will rewind 15 seconds as well as temporarily turn on subtitles so you don’t miss it again.

Along with the new useful search features and voice controls, Apple TV has also been redesigned to be more compatible with gaming apps by including the Apple A8 chip and iPhone technology like Metal, that allows users to play and share games with incredibly detailed graphics.

The new Apple TV will be available at the end of October. The 32GB model will come in at $149 and the 64Gb model will cost you $199.

iPad Pro

Quite possibly one of the biggest announcements from today’s event (I mean that both literally and figuratively) is the new iPad Pro. The new tablet comes in with a 12.9″ Retina Display and the new 64-bit A9X processor chip. Apple claims that this new iPad has delivers desktop class performance, while still being a fraction of a millimeter thicker than the iPad Air 2. On stage, they demoed the iPad Pro running Adobe apps and AutoCAD flawlessly as well as showing how iOS 9’s split screen feature really comes alive on a screen that size.

Some new accessories for this iPad were also announced and include a smart keyboard case as well as the “Apple Pencil” – which is basically just a stylus – both of which can be purchased separately. It is nice to see that Apple is listening to their customers and finally making accessories that people have been asking for and 3rd party manufactures have filled in for.

The iPad Pro will be available in November starting at $799 for the 32GB WiFi only model and $1079 for the 128GB WiFi + Cellular model. The Apple Pencil will be available for $99 and the Smart Keyboard will be available for $169.

iPhone 6s & 6s Plus

What would the Septemeber Event be with out the announcement of the new iPhones slated for release. The new models, designated 6s and 6s Plus, don’t look any different from their predecessors aside from the added rose gold color option. The biggest change lies under the display. Up until now, the iPhone has recognized touch gestures on the X and Y planes. Meaning you can swipe up, down, left, and right. It can tell that you are pressing on the phone when you open an app or tapping a link, but it did not have a way of telling the varying degrees of pressure that you were placing on the screen. Now, using a new feature Apple has dubbed “3D Touch”, the iPhone will be able to tell how hard you are pressing on screen and be able to serve up difference actions based on the pressure. For example, to preview a new email with out opening it just lightly press. To open it completely, press slightly harder. This has tremendous applications not just with the native OS, but also with 3rd party developers.

In addition to the new touch technology, Apple has (finally) increased the megapixels in the rear camera giving it a 12-megapixel sensor and the ability to take “Live Photos”. When taking a picture the iPhone will automatically record a few seconds before the picture and a few seconds after. Then simply press on the photo to see the animation for a “living memory rather than a frozen moment in time.” In addition to the megapixel increase, the new iPhones now have support for 4K video and expanded optical image stabilization on the 6s Plus model.

Inside, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are powered by the new A9 64-bit chip which Apple claims is 70% faster when it comes to the CPU and 90% when it comes to the GPU than the A8. The chip has also been designed to not only be faster, but more energy efficient to be able to handle more features running all the time, like “Hey, Siri,” without having to be plugged in, all while not burning through the battery.

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will be available for pre-order on September 12th and in stores September 25th. They will be priced as follows:

iPhone 6s (with out contract): 16GB – $649 , 64GB – $749, 128GB – $849

iPhone 6s Plus (with out contract): 16GB – $749, 64GB – $849, 128GB – $949

iPhone Upgrade Program

Apple also talked about their iPhone Upgrade Program, exclusive to their retail stores. Customers can go in and get the new iPhone of their choice unlocked, pick any carrier, plus get AppleCare and the ability to upgrade every year starting at $32/mo. For those that need to have the latest and greatest iPhone, this may be the deal for you.

For more details on these announcements, you can visit the Apple website here.

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