BY BETH PETER
On September 9th, #AppleEvent was the top trending hashtag as viewers and fans worldwide watched live streams of Apple’s press conference. The conference, one year after the press event during which Apple announced their iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, revealed many new things for Apple’s product line. The much anticipated watchOS 2 (available Sept. 16) carries many impressive features, such as the ability to monitor an unborn baby’s heart rate from the mother’s wrist. Apple also announced a new collection of Hermes watch bands, toting the ability wearers have to switch bands out depending on season or outfit.
The rumored iPad Pro made its debut, boasting a 12.9 inch screen and an A9X chip that grants it “desktop-class” performance, Phil Schiller, the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple says. The iPad Pro provides a 10 hour battery life and the new Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil allow more creative uses of the tablet than its previous iterations. In a surprise, Microsoft spoke on the compatibility with Office marking an unexpected partnership between the media giants. Adobe also got an early look at the iPad Pro and demonstrated the effectiveness with which the tablet works in partnership with select Adobe apps.
Apple TV was the next topic on the agenda. Voice-controlled by Siri, the TV provides access to a selection of content apps (Netflix, Hulu, HBO, iTunes, and Showtime), along with some mobile apps that suggest Apple’s interest in pursuing the console market. Games like Guitar Hero and Disney Infinity Wars were previewed, along with some iOS games such as Crossy Roads.
The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus were finally announced, answering to the yearlong speculation. Matching their previous incarnations in size, the new iPhones promise stronger glass that will have a higher resistance to breakage, along with the anticipated 3D Touch. 3D Touch will allow users to access shortcuts for apps and photos, without having to open and navigate within each app. Apple is referring to it as “peek and pop.” The iPhones will also be available in new Rose Gold, matching the new Apple watches. The rear camera in the iPhones 6S and 6S Plus will now be 12 megapixels, a jump from the 6 and 6 Plus cameras that had 8 megapixels. The new cameras will also be able to shoot in 4K, and the front camera received a push up to 5 megapixels. Apple also announced a feature called “Live Photos” which will record a short video buffering the time a picture is taken, allowing users to pull a still from the video if they miss the intended shot.
With all the exciting features unveiled, it will be interesting to see how Apple answers to questions of battery life and the lack of flexibility in terms of applying Apple OS to other devices.