September always smells like a freshly unboxed new iPhone. That's the month Apple runs its fetishistic event where its seasonal upgrades (and, at times, new products) are unveiled.
Big expectations that aren't always followed through with big surprises. When it comes to innovation, Cupertino is going through something of a conservative phase right now, enhancing the products that already work for them. That's not a bad strategy, just one we are still getting used to when thinking of Apple.
Thus, Apple has basically taken its string of first-line products and upgraded (almost) them all.
Let's check out the 5 most exciting releases from yesterday's Apple Event.
The new iPhones retain the same screen size for both the iPhone 6s (4.7-inches) and iPhone 6 Plus (5.5-inches, 2K display), but are built in new robust aluminium materials (no bendgate anymore, they promise) in silver, gold, space grey, and the most loved rose gold. The A9 processor in its guts almost doubles the CPU and graphical performance of its predecessors. Both models sports a 5-megapixel front camera with enhanced brightness and an impressive 12-megapixel rear camera capable of shooting 4K video. It comes packed with the groundbreaking 3D Touch technology and a revamped Touch ID.
The new generation of iPhones will hit retail stores on 25th September in three flavors: 16GB ($199 with 2-year contract, $649 contract-free), 64GB ($299, $749 contract-free) and 128GB ($399, $849 contract-free). Pre-orders from 12th Sept.
2. Laptop-size iPad Pro
Both the materials and guts of the new iPad Pro have been revamped following the same line as the new iPhone 6s (no rose gold though). However, the new iPad Pro sports a 12.9-inches display (the largest on an iOS device), features full support for both virtual and physical keyboards (and stylus) and comes with some professional built-in apps like Adobe Photoshop Fix. It seems quite evident that Apple wants to position the new iPad Pro as a pure professional laptop-killer tool, occupying that way, the space of other hybrid tablets like Microsoft Surface. November will be the month of the official release.
3. Apple TV
If there's an Apple product that needed an upgrade, that was Apple TV. It needed to catch up with the interesting proposals of other set-top-boxes like the Roku, the Nexus Player and the Fire TV.
The new Apple TV comes with a new OS (tvOS), more power (64-bit A8 chipset), more storage (32GB and 64GB models) and greater connectivity support (Bluetooth 4.0). Its interface has also been redesigned and, despite the revamped remote controller, Siri has become the main way to navigate. Games are bundled to show off the Apple TV aims to be a full living room entertainment gadget.
As most carriers scrap 2-year contracts to tie you in, iPhone users might find harder and harder to afford iPhone upgrades. Apple has come out with a solution: the Upgrade Program. Starting at $32/month for the iPhone 6s 16GB model (check out price table below), users that get the iPhone throughout this program will be able to trade in their iPhone for a new one every year at no extra cost and enjoy all the benefits of AppleCare+ (full 24-month warranty with two full replacements).
5. Live Photos
This is Apple GIFying your Camera Roll. Now, when taking a photo with your new iPhone, you will actually be recording a 1.5s footage. In other words, you’ll get Vine-style tiny video clips out of your photos. Apple guarantees live photo will be supported by all iOS devices, Facebook, and other social services.