By Tiernan Ray
Apple’s (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook started off today’s media event in San Francisco discussing Apple Watch. Cook brought up veep Jeff Williams to talk about the company’s continuing “innovation.”
Williams talked about new watch faces and new “complications,” things that can be programmed to display on the watch by programmers, both of which had been previewed in June at the company’s developer forum. Apple is bringing transit directions to the mapping function of the watch, which is already offered in the beta version of iOS 9 for iPhone and iPad.
Williams said Facebook (FB) will bring its “Messenger” app to the watch. Williams invited onstage medical apps company Airstrip, and its founder Dr. Cameron Powell, which makes software to organize a doctor’s schedule. It will show real-time heart-rate readouts for a patient right on the watch face. The app will also let a mother wearing Apple Watch hear her baby’s heart rate, coming off of an “NST” monitor.
Next, Williams said new leather bands designed with Hermes will be coming to Apple Watch in October. Williams said the company will also expand to gold and rose gold finishes in aluminum, but at the same price as the existing sport line, rather than the $17,000 of the top-of-the-line gold offering.
The new models are shipping today, said Williams, and the 2.0 update to Apple watch OS will be available September 16th. Next up, iPad. Cook comes back on stage to talk about how the company is teaming with IBM (IBM) and Cisco Systems (CSCO). “We asked ourselves, how could we take iPad even further?” Cue the intense video of something flying through space… Cook emerges from the curtains with … The iPad Pro! Cook invites marketing head Phil Schiller to talk about the details. As anticipated, the screen is 12.9 inches on the diagonal. The width is the same as the height of the iPad Air, explains Schiller, so it gives more room for iPad Air apps. The processor runs an “A9X” processor, which is 1.8 times faster than the predecessor chip, the A8X, the company said. Graphics are 2 times faster than the A8X. Schiller said the performance of the iPad Pro will faster than most portable PCs. “It’s going to enable new classes of applications for iPad.” The tablet gets 10 hours of battery life. The device is 6.9 millimeters in depth, slightly thicker than the 6.1 millimeters of the iPad Air. It weighs 1.57 lbs, slightly heavier than the 1.54 lbs of the iPad Air. Schiller said there’ll be a new smart keyboard accessory, shades of the Microsoft (MSFT) Surface type-pad cover. It attaches via a new connector port, the “Smart Connector.” You slide the iPad Pro onto the cover. Another new accessory is … a stylus! As widely expected, it’s called “Apple Pencil.”
Roll the video with Jony Ive. The tablet scans the surface twice as frequently, explains Ive, to get extra accuracy about the stylus position. It can sense pressure and a variety of aspects of the direction of writing, he notes. It can be used at the same time as one places fingers on the tablet. The stylus has a battery that “lasts for hours,” says Ive, but it can also charge up from the iPad Pro.
Bring on the demos. To some chuckles, Schiller brings up Microsoft’s head of Office, Kirk Konigsbauer. He and an assistant demo some use of Microsoft Word. “We want to make it easy for anyone to make really, really great documents,” and now “extend this richness with ink” for annotations.
Next up is Adobe (ADBE) head of design Eric Snowden, to show off three different applications working on iPad Pro. The first is “Fix,” a new app for Photoshop-style work, including “facial detection” for touching up a photo of a model’s face, for example. Using three fingers on the screen, one can “scrub” backward through a design to get back to an original state. “You never have to worry about losing your work,” says Snowden. The software will ship in October.
The last design is from a company called 3D For Medical. The software provides rich illustrations of patient anatomy, to show a patient where their injury is. Apple shares are up 35 cents at $112.67. The tablet comes with an 8-megapixel rear camera and a “HD FaceTime” front-facing camera. The devices starts at $799 for a 32-gig model with WiFi, on up to $1,079 for a model with LTE wireless built in. iPad Pro will go on sale in November, says Schiller.
As expected, there’s also a new model of the iPad Mini, starting at $399. And now Cook is back up, and it’s time to talk Apple TV. Cook says it is “the golden age of television,” but that “the TV experience hasn’t changed that much in decades. The television experience has been virtually standing still.” Cook notes people are enjoying more and more content on Netflix, Hulu, etc. All of it, he says, “is consumed through an app.” What’s needed is “powerful new hardware,” a “modern OS,” and an “app store,” says Cook. “We know this is what it takes, and we’ve been working really hard and really long to bring all of these together.” “The New Apple TV.” Cue Siri and the video… Siri is answering questions such as “Movies with Jason Bateman.”
Time for Eddie Cue to take the stage. It’s a “powerful set top box” with an “incredible user interface” on a “modern OS,” says Cue. The company wanted to bring the “same experience” as on the phone “even though it’s across the room.” There’s a new remote with touch-sensitive glass for “gliding” across movies. The remote has a “Siri button” Siri can search across multiple apps for content requests, says Cue, to big applause… Siri will do things like tell you whose in a movie by asking, and show you sports scores and weather, for example, on a strip along the bottom.
Cue says the Apple TV will now support apps. Apps include Netflix and HBO Go. And Activision-Blizzard‘s Guitar Hero among various video games. Apps for kids as well. Up for the demo is “Crossy Road,” a cute-looking scrolling game like Frogger.
The new remote functions rather like Nintendo‘s Wii controller, using motion to control actions in the game.
Next up, shopping. Shopping site Gilt offers the ability to click through various fashion listings.
Next, MLB.com shows off surfing through the season baseball lineups and jumping to a stream of any given game. The remote lets you click once to see the picture within a UI that shows stats of the teams and games. Cue says the effect is to “take linear video and make it interactive.”
Developers, says Cue, will be able to make universal apps that run across Apple TV, iPad and iPhone.
The new set-top includes an “A8” custom processor.
Apple TV will sell for $149 or $199 depending on 32 gigabytes or 64 gigabytes of storage. The device goes on sale in late October, but developers will get access to the Apple TV OS for programming development today.
Now it’s time for iPhone. Cook is back onstage. Cook makes special note of the 75% iPhone growth in China.
Roll video, showing … iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.
Schiller is back up on stage. There’s a new rose gold aluminum finish. Schiller says it is an entirely new aluminum finish.
Cue the Jony Ive video, which explains that the phone has “3D Touch” using capacitive sensors that sense levels of force. It provides for functions such as shortcuts on the home screen and a “peek” at content from a list, such as email or messages. It’s the same “Taptic Engine” used in the Apple Watch.
Schiller is up for a demo, bringing on software veep Craig Federighi. Federighi, one of the ablest demo folks on the team, shows pressing on a message in the email list, tantalizing with the title “Apple Ride.” It’s a picture of the most beautiful unicycle. The point, says Federighi, is to avoid going back and forth from message list to message and back to the list. It pops up the content of the message overlaying the list.
Favorite numbers pop up from the phone app without opening the app itself, multi-tasking can be achieved without double-clicking on the home button, instead pressing on the edge of the screen.
The new models use a new “A9” chip, which Schiller says has a “new transistor architecture” for faster performance.
The A9 chip builds in the “Motion Coprocessor” to allow for Siri to be called up just by saying “Hey, Siri,” without pressing the home button, whether or not one is plugged into power. There’s also a new version of the Touch ID sensor to allow for much faster fingerprint recognition and phone unlocking.
The camera has been updated with a 12-megapixel sensor, with “Deep trench isolation,” quips Schiller.
Also as rumored, the 6S will take 4K videos. Roll the video of pretty nice looking video of riding around SF on a cable car.
A new 5-megapixel FaceTime camera on the front side makes the display light up three times faster to create flash for selfies.
A new technology called “Live Photos” captures a second and a half before and after the shutter, adding video and even audio to each photo. You can use 3D Touch to press on a photo and see the moment of video. The Live Photos will be viewable across all devices, including Apple Watch.
iPhone now has more LTE bands, 23 in all, which Schiller says is the most of any smartphone. There’s also a new app to move your stuff from Android to iOS.
The new models will cost the same as the existing iPhone 6. The 5S iPhone becomes the new “free” offering on contract, while the existing 6 and 6 plus come down by $100.
With a nod to the new contract-free program from many carriers, Apple will offer through its retail stores a separate purchasing model, for $32 per month, unlocked, with your choice of carrier.
The new phones become available for pre-order this Saturday, September 12th, and available on September 25th.
And now it’s one of Tim’s “absolute favorite bands…” One Republic!
And that’s a wrap! Apple stock has ended the event down 93 cents, or 0.8%, at $111.38.
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.