The familiar September Apple event this year introduced new products to their iPhone, iPad and Apple TV product lines. However, with these new additions, specifically with the new iPad, there is a growing notion that Apple either is focusing on creating new products that are innovative and advantageous to the user or simply trying to surpass the competition.
Perhaps one of the most awaited release debuted during the event was the new Apple TV. The previous Apple TV, which was released in March 2012, was increasingly paling in comparison by competition such as Roku and Amazon. The new Apple TV updated many components of the device, including a new operating system and a new remote structure.
The Apple TV introduced a new operating system called tvOS, a system similar to Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS. This new software introduced Apple’s signature artificial assistant Siri to their tvOS with commands like searching, enabling captions and controlling playback. This feature is not new to “set atop” boxes, since the Fire TV had introduced this feature in 2014 as a search tool for Amazon Prime. Roku also had added this feature to their devices in April 2015.
The Apple TV now also comes with a new remote, which is a well-deserved upgrade from its predecessor. It features a glass touch surface on the top, allowing for touch gestures familiar to the users. The remote, however, is an improvement to the previous remote, which consisted of a 4-button click wheel, a menu and a play/pause button. The Apple TV is needed upgrade from its precursor that benefits the user in terms of listening to the requests of the customer.
In true Apple tradition of odd-year releases, Apple released a new model of their iPhone line, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. The iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus introduced a few new features that the previous model did not possess, like a new camera and new touch features.
The cameras on both devices were upgraded tremendously. The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus feature a front-facing camera of 5MP and a rear camera of 12MP, a sizeable jump from 1.2MP front and 8MP rear of the 6. The camera update is directly in line with the current “Instagram-led” photography upgrades.
In addition to the camera update, the new phones now feature a new I/O feature called 3-D touch. 3-D touch is a feature that allows the sensors in the phone to be able to distinguish how much pressure the user has placed on any specific touch, giving new functionality based on this level of pressure. 3-D Touch is a use of Apple’s taptic engine that allows for new features such as Peek and Pop. Peek allows for the user to look at something without actually opening it. Pop is if a peek is continually held down causing the item to open.
Another new feature introduced probably much to the happiness of their customers, is that now the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus come in Rose Gold. Many of the most exciting features are introduced when Apple comes out with “whole number” upgrades every even year. However, the feature camera and input improvements are still valuable enhancements that owners of the new devices will enjoy.
The other major product released at the event was the introduction of Apple’s latest iPad model, the iPad Pro. The iPad Pro is a largely different perspective on the iPad concept, featuring a 12.9 inch screen, over a three-inch increase from the previous rerelease the Air 2. Apple also has introduced two new optional companion devices used for the iPad Pro: the Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard. The Apple Pencil is essentially a battery-powered stylus that allows for increased precision down to the pixel level with pressure functionality increasing line weight. The Apple Pencil charges directly from the iPad itself; it takes a full charge of six minutes for 12 hours of use. The direct device charging is an interesting feature but beneficial as opposed to carrying a separate charger. The Smart Keyboard is a new take on Apple’s Smart Case line and also features a new concept that connects directly with the iPad Pro, causing no pairing required, a feature common of tablet keyboards.
With the introduction of the Apple Pencil, the Smart Keyboard and the screen size increase, many are calling the iPad Pro Apple’s competitor to the Microsoft Surface Pro, which was initially introduced in 2012. However, the device appears as if it will be useful to the customer demographic of the company, artistic, creative individuals.
The Apple event saw many changes and new features introduced with the debut of these new products to the Apple collection. The new launches will be successful for the company in a number of ways among their dedicated following. However, while many people saw this event as an improvement in the company, some fear that the company is drifting away from creating new, innovative solutions for the customers, with a particular focus on design and into a competition driven company.