The Apple event was last week, and it was awesome, incredible, amazing, and I was going to love EVERYTHING that they had to offer! Well… at least according to those who were on stage… I sat through over 2 hours of the presentation, or what felt like 30 minutes of presentation and 1 and half hours of whooping and applause after almost every sentence. It was as American as Apple iPie and came with all the (over)hype that you would expect. Not to mention that everything they presented was “the most powerful and capable” device that they’d ever produced. Yeah, we get it… they’re new, that’s kind of the point.
The day actually started with a further drop in Apple’s share prices as the new products weren’t seen to be innovative as should perhaps have been expected, with many “brand new ideas” heavily borrowed from other older products.
So next we go to the new iPad, the iPad Pro. In all honesty, it’s not a huge upgrade considering the large price tag that they’ve put on it starting at $799*. It’s clearly a laptop – or notepad – replacement aimed at creative professionals who need decent power and want to touch everything that they’re creating. It finally now has its own floppy keyboard like the Microsoft surface, for that convenience and ease of use – if you’ve got a spare $169 hanging around.
Now we come to the real fun of the iPad Pro, the stylus! Yes, the very thing that Steve Jobs said that he will never have with an Apple product. And not only that, it’s called the Apple Pencil, which thankfully even got mocking laughs from the diehard fans in the audience. It’s also an additional $99 which I think is a bit of a kick in the pants and should surely come as standard, especially if you’re going after those creative types. But all that aside, I’m actually fairly impressed with it. Many testers are reporting a very low latency, which is actually pretty standard with styluses these days, but this one can tell when you’re tilting it. So if you need to digitally shade something in then this is the stylus for you, and it can judge the weight that you’re putting onto it for thickness of lines etc. Pretty cool, I think. I’m sure some people will find that incredibly fun and useful.
Next we go to the new Apple TV. This has potential, what with new entertainment apps and the ability to play iOS games on it. However the Ouya tried something similar before and failed spectacularly… As with most of this event, there really wasn’t anything new, although the Bluetooth controller was a nice touch, as the previous infrared iteration is very pedantic about where you aim it from my personal experience. The added voice control of course looks very convenient but let’s see how that performs outside of controlled demo settings. They did actually bring out the developer Hipster Whale and I’ll admit to some excitement in seeing a multiplayer Crossy Road coming to the Apple TV.
And finally, the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s plus. First of all, Apple are very keen to point out that while it looks the same in every aspect to previous models, it has changed inside – honest! Far be it from me to call Apple out for lacking creativity…
The big thing that Apple were pushing here is the whole 3D touch thing. Hold your finger on something and a list of options come up. New to phones maybe, but hardly innovative given other devices that do the same thing. So I’m not convinced at the moment, but I do think it could be good in future iterations and I am interested to see where it goes. Also, big props to Craig Federighi for the most entertaining and well-prepared-appearing presentation regarding these phones and their 3D touch capabilities.
Now we come to the camera capabilities of these new phones. It can shoot videos in 4k, great. The screen isn’t advanced enough to actually watch in 4k so what’s the point? When we know that the Sony xperia z5 premium is releasing this year with a 23 megapixel camera capable of shooting in 4k as well as coming equipped with the first 4k screen for smartphones, it’s difficult to get excited about anything less… The Apple 6s has a 12 megapixel camera, but the front screen does have a pretty cool flash behind it to light up selfies so I thought that was a nice addition. There’s also the addition of live photos which records a second and a half before and after the actual picture is taken. Then by utilising the 3D touch you can see a three second video of your photo subject, it’s nice but I can’t help thinking that you’d have to be a professional photographer to actually get the full use out of this.
Oh but good news, the 6s does come in Rose Gold now!
Pink… they mean pink…
*So far only US prices have been given on all newly announced products.