Today in Cupertino, California at the Apple Campus, Tim Cook (Apple’s CEO) and the team took to the stage to announce several new additions to the product lines as well as a few updates to their software.
The headline announcement was the iPhone SE – a new 4-inch smartphone with the equivalent power and graphical capability of the iPhone 6s (Apple’s latest 4.7″ phone). It features the same A9 processor chip and 12-megapixel iSight camera which can capture panorama images up to 63-megapixels and record 4K video. The front facing FaceTime camera now has a Retina Flash which turns the screen into a flash for selfies. For the first time in an iPhone this size, Apple Pay and Touch ID are included. The iPhone SE will be available in 4 colours; Silver, Gold, Space Grey and Rose Gold. Storage and pricing start at 16GB for £359 or 64GB for £439. Preorders start on 24th March.
The 2nd product to be unveiled was the 9.7″ iPad Pro. This joins the new Pro family alongside the existing 12.9″ model. Similarly, it packs the same A9X chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture. Crucially for an iPad this size it offers support for the Apple Pencil drawing tool and has its own Smart Keyboard case. It also features four speakers for improved stereo sound. The smaller iPad Pro actually contains a higher spec iSight and FaceTime camera than its big brother; 12MP and 5MP respectively and also offers 4K video. Preorders start on 24th March with prices starting at £499.
The Apple Watch saw a price drop from £299 to £259 as well as the introduction of several new straps, with the Woven Nylon loop chief amongst them. A Space Black variant of the Milanese Loop was shown alongside new versions of the Leather and Sport straps.
Apple used the event to launch its latest Mobile Operating System update, iOS 9.3. Included are fingerprint protection for Notes, Night Shift for reducing the blue light that is produced by the display in the evening and better recommendations in the News app. CarPlay now offers a Nearby feature for locating facilities and includes improvements to its Apple Music function. iOS 9.3 is available now for all users.
A new software platform, CareKit, was revealed today which will allow people to develop their own health apps. It launches in April and shares a similar design to Apple’s existing ResearchKit which is used by scientists for gathering data.
In keeping with their wish to be as green as possible, Apple showed off Liam, a robot created to pull apart iPhones in their factories to enable them to be recycled more efficiently. Liam will remove gold and copper from the camera, silver and platinum from the logic board and cobalt and lithium from the battery before sending everything off to be recycled.
Did you watch Apple’s live stream or follow the news as it happened? What are your thoughts on the new product additions? Sound off in the comments below and look out for a follow up post where I share my opinion on the new announcements.