Here Are The Most Important Things Apple Announced Today

Photo: Courtesy Christina Bonnington.
Today at San Francisco's Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Apple announced three major things we can look forward to this fall: a pair of new iPhones, an updated Apple TV, and a gigantic iPad — and a few other things, too. The updates are great news if you’ve been itching for a new phone, if you’ve been looking to upgrade your living room experience, or if you’re looking for a new mobile productivity solution.

Here's what you need to know about Apple’s biggest announcements today.

iPhone 6S & iPhone 6S Plus
Photo: Courtesy Christina Bonnington.
Apple updated the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. On the outside, things don't look too different — save for the addition of a fetching rose gold color in addition to the current silver, space gray, and gold options. However, the new 6S and 6S Plus will supposedly be able to better withstand the stresses of daily use thanks to a stronger aluminum casing (the same that's used in the Apple Watch) and stronger glass.

The 6S and 6S Plus also take another cue from the Apple Watch: something called 3D Touch. Now, your iPhone will be able to distinguish between a tap, a normal press, and pressure-sensitive "peeks" and "pops." These new taps will act primarily as shortcuts for navigating your phone or to pull up menus. For example, you can peek into an email without actually navigating directly to that email (as a way to quickly glean its content) or you can pull up a menu on the Camera app to quickly take a selfie. It seems like a tool that will really help streamline iPhone navigation, but may take a little getting used to.

The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus house an updated 12-megapixel shooter that can capture 4K video. The front-facing camera also got an upgrade: It can take 1080p video and 5-megapixel images, and includes a hack that lights up the screen to illuminate your face instead of a flash for nighttime selfies.

To support all these new features, Apple updated the iPhone's internals with a faster A9 processor. It's also got a faster, updated TouchID sensor, so hopefully your phone will actually recognize your thumbprint now (and quickly).

The new iPhones go up for pre-order on Saturday and ships September 25th. Pricing starts at $199 for 16 GB, $299 for 64 GB, and $399 for 128 GB for the iPhone 6S; and $299 for 16 GB, $399 for 64 GB, and $499 for 128 GB for the larger iPhone 6S Plus.
Apple TV
Photo: Courtesy Christina Bonnington.
The biggest screen in your home is finally getting some love from Apple. The new Apple TV brings with it Siri voice control, faster processing and greater app options, and a redesigned remote control.

The 2015 Apple TV is 10mm taller than the 2010 model. Running a new iOS-based operating system called tvOS, it’s powered by an A8 processor (the same as in the iPhone 6) and can accommodate super fast 802.11ac Wi-Fi speeds.

It also comes with a new Bluetooth remote that includes a glass touch surface at the top, five buttons, and a mic for voice control, so you can now use Siri to do your Apple TV bidding. You can say things like, “Siri show me something new” or “Show me family movies, animated only.” Siri will search across multiple content apps when you search for a show like New Girl, and then give you the different viewing options on a single screen. You can search Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Showtime, and more.

Siri also gives you some cool options, like if you say “What did she say?,” she’ll rewind what you’re watching 15 seconds. You can also ask about the weather or the latest sports scores without interrupting the content that’s playing. If you want more info, Apple TV automatically pauses what you’re watching when you hop into another app, like Weather or Apple Music. Apple has redesigned all of its apps for Apple TV, but there are tons of other apps available, too, like addictive chicken-crossing-the-road game Crossy Road (which now includes a multi-player mode).

The remote lasts three months on a full charge and charges via lightning connector. We're hoping there's some sort of warning before the remote battery completely dies!

The new 32 GB Apple TV will cost $149 when it goes on sale in late October, with double the storage capacity (64 GB) available for $50 more.
iPad Pro
Photo: Courtesy Christina Bonnington.
In what Apple called “The biggest news in iPad since iPad,” the company introduced the iPad Pro. This jumbo-sized iPad has a 12.9-inch display that fits 5.6 million pixels. It’s just slightly thicker than the iPad Air at 6.9mm thick (versus 6.1mm thick) and weighs just over 1.5 pounds. Its A9x processor is 1.8 times faster than the A8x in the iPad Air, and it gets 10 hours of battery life. Besides that large, pixel-packed screen, movie watching will be improved thanks to four built-in speakers that automatically balance left and right audio depending on how you’re holding the tablet. It puts out audio that’s three times louder than the iPad Air 2.

Apple also introduced two new accessories to accompany the iPad Pro: The Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil. The Smart Keyboard is a version of the smart case that includes a keyboard (yeah, duh, we know). It connects to the iPad using a new three-dot magnetic connector that also transfers power and data, so you don’t need to worry about charging it separately. Software in iOS 9 will automatically tell when it’s connected. The Apple Pencil is Apple’s first stylus. It can detect position, force, and tilt, which, when combined, could make it a powerful tool for illustrating on the iPad, with stroke boldness and thickness depending on how hard you press and what angle you hold it. Pencil will also work really well with Microsoft’s apps on the new iPad, such as PowerPoint.

The new iPad comes in three finishes (silver, gold, and space gray) and will ship in November for $799 for 32GB, $949 for 128 GB, $1079 for 128 GB with LTE. The Smart Keyboard costs $169 and Apple Pencil will cost $99, both available in November.

(Apple also updated the iPad mini, which is available at $399, if the iPad Pro is way too big for your tablet needs.)
Apple Watch
Photo: Courtesy Christina Bonnington.
Apple did not announce a new watch, but it did announce that WatchOS 2, the software behind the Apple Watch, will be available September 16th. With it, Watch owners will see a lot of new capabilities including new watch faces and third party complications (which will let you glance at your information and better see what's most important to you). Complications are things things such as the latest news headlines and updates on upcoming flight departure times. Apple is also adding transit to maps, so it’s easier to find — and use — public transportation.

Apple also partnered with Hermès for three new handsome leather watchbands and also debuted a handful of its own new band colors for the fall. Apple is also offering two new finishes in anodized aluminum: gold and rose gold. They’re available at the same price as the rest of the Sport lineup.

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