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    September 10, 2015

    Top 5: Key moments of the Apple launch event

    In true Apple style the company released a slew of fancy i-gadgets to lure the precious dollars (and soon to be rands) out of their customers’ pockets. The company lived up to the statement of the “most exciting event ever” by releasing much anticipated products like the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus (obviously), the totally new Apple TV and most exciting of all, the iPad Pro.

    Most of the rumored releases and features were confirmed as Apple introduced probably the most advanced smartphone on the market today. Interestingly enough not a lot was said about battery life (of any of the products) indicating that all these new super advanced features might just be a bit of a drain. Anyway, let’s take a look at the top 5 key moments of yesterday’s launch event.

    iphone-6s-roseApple iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus

    Apple CEO Tim Cook stated – “The iPhones that you are about to see are the most advanced iPhones ever. And, in fact, they are the most advanced smartphones in the world.” These are kind of the go to words for any smartphone launch but in this case they might just be true. The firm’s force-sensitive 3D Touch display technology just introduced smartphones to the right-click that took computing to a whole new level some 40 years ago.

    The already impressive Apple camera has received another upgrade, with 4K video recording, Live Photo feature that magically turns stills into GIFs and of course the newer stronger 7000-series aluminum construction. The phones include the all new super fast A9 processor, 2GB of RAM and will come at the exact same price tag as last year’s iPhone 6S (and Plus). The phones go on sale on the 25th September in the US so hopefully we will see them in SA by the end of the year.

    032-new-apple-tv-with-remote-650-80All new Apple TV (apps are the future)

    Apple has realised that the streaming TV industry has a lot of profits on offer. In an attempt to rile up the audience before he unveiled the new Apple TV, Tim Cook took public issue with a stagnation in innovation he’s noticed in the television space for decades. He mentioned that Apple revolutionised the smartphone world with the introduction of the App Store. So, why not do this for TV? “The future of television is apps,” Cook said. The Apple TV sports the A8 chip and AC Wi-Fi, with a new Siri Remote with voice control and a touch surface for navigation. The best feature? Siri can respond when you utter something like, “What did she say?” by rewinding the playback by 15 seconds and briefly activating captions. Brilliant!

    But hasn’t the “future” been happening right in front of Apple this whole time? Almost every major TV network has a set-top box app, not to mention the countless independent streaming apps, like Netflix and Hulu. The introduction of the new Apple TV is a seemingly far better box than any of its rivals, which is nothing to scoff at, but let’s not call this “the future” just yet. This is the present – a better present, but still just that. We will have to wait and see just how popular the new Apple TV will be.

    iPad Pro review17-1200-80Introducing the Apple iPad Pro

    The unveiling of the iPad pro was definitely the highlight of yesterday’s event. A lot of rumors indicated that the iPad Pro might not be ready for the event but Apple was able to present this amazing new device. The iPad Pro is a 12.9-inch Apple tablet with a 2,732 x 2,048 resolution and the shiny new A9X processor.

    The biggest surprise however is that Apple (going against Jobs’ philosophy) actually developed a stylus for it, the Apple Pencil. The iPad Pro is clearly being positioned as a Microsoft Surface killer. To further enable the iPad Pro in this mission Apple created the Smart Keyboard. This keyboard cover looks mighty similar to Microsoft’s, and it even makes up for the iPad Pro’s lack of a kickstand. We will have to see how this war pans out.

    010-watch-sport-rose-gold-650-80Apple Watch – New designs

    That’s about it, really. Apple announced a rose gold version of the aluminum (i.e. remotely affordable) Apple Watch Sport, much to everyone’s delight. Now, you don’t have to drop 10 grand on a watch in your favorite color – just around $350 dollars.

    The Apple Watch OS2 is also incoming on the 16th of September. There will be a lot of upgrades to Apple apps as well as 3rd party apps. They include new watch faces, updated music app, tether-less Wi-Fi and new features using the sensors and controls on the Apple Watch.

    ios-9iOS 9 coming 16 September

    The new iOS 9 features consist of redesigned built-in apps and a few new ones. There’s more multitasking functionality than ever for iPads, while 3D Touch and motion wallpaper are expected for new iPhones. That will make new iPhone 6S colors like rose gold really pop.

    Even though Apple still forces you to use Apple Maps when using iOS features to access navigation, the good news is that iOS 9 is going to make Apple Maps better, maybe even tolerable. In its first major refresh since 2013, the app now includes long-awaited public transit directions. iPads will finally be able to handle more hefty productivity tasks with the new multitasking feature. That’s to the delight of enterprise users who prefer iOS for personal use. Both Slide Over and Picture-in-Picture are compatible with newer iPads: iPad Air,iPad Air 2, iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3. The last mode, Split View, is an iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro-only feature.

    Stay tuned to Bandwidth Blog for all the analysis post the Apple event.

    Follow Jaco on Twitter: @Jaco_vdWalt

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