Apple's Latest Event Unveils a "Monster" Device
Apple has developed their annual reveal event into a highly anticipated, anxiously awaited conference that has all maniacs of Macintosh nipping at the bit. Early in Apple’s most recent September 9th event, Tim Cook promised viewers some “Monster announcements” were to come. Rumors about the event included a new and improved iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch enhancements, and an updated iPhone. While speculation gave fans a little bit of a hint at what was to come, it certainly didn’t predict Apple’s most substantial reveals.
The Apple Watch was the first product to take the spotlight. Major changes weren’t expected from their latest invention because of its recent introduction and limited app development. The most influential announcement was a major operating system update called watchOS2. A partnership with French luxury brand Hermes was announced as well. Apple and Hermes will release a new, high-end version of the Apple Watch complete with Hermes leather band and a Hermes specific user interface. This is an obvious attempt to target the wealthier Apple Watch wearers. I went to the Hermes website and quickly found a $990 pair of high heels, a $16,000 watch, and a 100% cotton “Men’s T-Shirt with pocket” for $345. Hermes is as high end as it gets. Apple also released some new Apple Watch bands and finishes.
New Apple Watch Features
- watchOS2 coming soon
- Apple Watch partners with Hermes
- New bands and finishes
After the Apple Watch, it was time to introduce Apple’s newest iPad. This was the “monster announcement” Tim Cook mentioned in his introduction, and it truly is a monster of a tablet. In the portable computing world, things are trending toward larger devices that are as powerful as laptops, but can also be used independently as a tablet. To satisfy these consumers, Apple has announced a bigger and better version of the iPad: iPad Pro. In the iPad Pro you’ll find MacBook level power combined with the crystal clear touchscreen we’ve come to love in the iPad. iPad Pro uses a 12.9” Retina Display that dwarfs all iPad screens before it. To better illustrate its size to the audience, Apple demonstrated the height of the iPad Air 2 is equal to the width of the iPad Pro. Here are some quick stats on the new juggernaut iPad:
New iPad Pro – A 12.9” super tablet faster than 80% of laptops
- 9”, 5.6 million pixel Retina Display
- Third-generation A9X chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture
- 8 MP iSight Camera, 720p HD FaceTime front camera
- New 4-Speaker architecture for improved audio
- Starts at $799. Available in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray
Apple also introduced a super stylus called the Apple Pencil and a Smart Keyboard to accompany iPad Pro. The utility of iPad Pro is what sets it apart from past iPads. Apple highlighted its usefulness in their presentation by first demonstrating its compatibility with Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel). Adobe programs are also fully functional on iPad Pro and Apple made an InDesign demonstration a highlight of their production as well.
Apple TV was the next topic of discussion at the September 9th special event. In Tim Cook’s opening remarks about Apple TV, he told the audience that Apple believes the future of television is apps. To account for this, Apple announced their newest version of Apple TV which runs on a modern operating system, includes the App Store, and is controlled with a newly designed Siri remote with touchpad. With the addition of the App Store, users can play games like Guitar Hero and use apps like Zillow right in their living room.
New Apple TV Features
- Use games and apps like Netflix, Hulu, WatchESPN and iTunes
- New Siri Remote with Touch surface
- Starts at $149
Finally, Apple announced the newest version of the iPhone: iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. There weren’t any major announcements in the iPhone portion of the meeting. A new touch screen capability called 3D touch allows the user to make different selections by pressing harder or softer on the screen. This feature was the highlight of the presentation. In response to “Okay, Google” available on Android, Apple also implemented “Hey, Siri” on the iPhone 6s, which allows the user to say “Hey, Siri” on any screen to reach the Siri voice feature. A few other additions on the new iPhone are a new Rose Gold color option, a quicker fingerprint scanner, 4K video capability, and a leasing program which allows customers to purchase the phone directly from Apple through monthly payments.
New Apple iPhone 6s and 6s Plus Features
- 3D Touch
- Hey Siri
- New Rose Gold color option
- Faster Touch ID
- 4K Video
- iPhone Upgrade Program
- Starts at $299 with Contract. Available in Silver, Gold, Space Gray, and Rose Gold
Nebraska Furniture Mart will offer almost all of these new Apple products as soon as they’re officially released. The Apple TV is “coming soon” according to Apple’s website. The iPhone 6 and 6s will be available in late September. iPad Pro is going to be on the shelves a little later with an estimated release date in November. In the meantime, check out all of our Apple products and stayed tuned for the latest updates!