Editor’s Note: This is a special edition of the TechSummit Rewind.
At a San Francisco press event Wednesday, Apple unveiled a few updates to the Apple Watch lineup, the new iPad Pro, the long-awaited Apple TV revamp, and the iPhone 6s/6s Plus. Here’s what you missed:
The company announced new Apple Watch cases and bands, available today, including new gold and rose gold aluminum Apple Watch Sport models.
watchOS 2, the second major update to the Apple Watch’s operating system, will launch for free on September 16th, with new features and native third-party apps.
In addition to launching native third-party apps, watchOS 2 allows those aforementioned apps to display information like news headlines and upcoming flight times on your watch face as complications, as well perform tasks like playing back video, using the microphone/speaker, and measuring your heart rate. With those complications, you will be able to see information like news headlines, and upcoming flight times. With Time Travel, you can see future events and past headlines by scrolling on the Digital Crown.
The operating system also includes the ability to respond directly to Mail messages with dictation, Smart Replies, or emoji; and Digital Touch adds new sketch colors.
Users can also create new watch faces using individual photos, an album of photos, or a timelapse.
“Our customers love Apple Watch and tell us its incredible health and fitness features are having a huge impact on their lives. We’re excited to expand Apple Watch’s functionality with watchOS 2 and offer even more personal choice with beautiful new styles and colors.”
-Jeff Williams, Apple senior vice president of operations
Apple Watch collections are adding new case colors and new bands:
- Apple Watch Sport’s anodized aluminum case now comes in gold and rose gold with lavender, antique white, stone, and midnight blue sport bands.
- Apple Watch Sport’s silver aluminum case is now available with orange or blue sport bands.
- The stainless steel Apple Watch collection has a variety of new bands including a two-toned Classic Buckle in black or saddle brown.
- The Apple Watch space black stainless steel case is now available with a black Sport Band.
- Apple Watch Edition now comes with an 18-karat rose gold case with a midnight blue Classic Buckle.
The Apple Watch is also getting a stainless steel case with a PRODUCT(RED) Sport Band with a portion of the proceeds going to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.
Apple Watch bands for the entire Watch Sport and Watch collections are also available to purchase separately, along with new fog, turquoise, vintage rose, and walnut bands.
These new hardware updates are available now on Apple.com, and will come to physical Apple Stores, and select authorized Apple resellers in the next few days.
Apple Watch Hermes Collection
Apple also introduced the Apple Watch Hermes, a new collection of stainless steel Apple Watches with luxury good manufacturer Hermes’ leather bands in the company’s Single Tour, Double Tour, and Cuff styles.
“Apple and Hermes make very different products, but they reflect the deep appreciation of quality design. Both companies are motivated by a sincere pursuit of excellence and the desire to create something that is not compromised. Apple Watch Hermes is a true testament to that belief.”
-Jonathan Ive, Apple chief design officer
The Single Tour with the 38mm stainless steel case comes in fauve Barenia leather, noir box leather, and capucine Swift leather; while the 42mm Single Tour comes in fauve Barenia leather and noir box leather. The Double Tour is available for the 38mm stainless steel case and is available in fauve Barenia leather and bleu jean, capucine, and etain Swift leather. The Cuff pairs with the 42mm stainless steel case and is available in fauve Barenia leather only. Across the collection, each stainless steel case features an etching of the Hermes signature, and includes a customizable face with three exclusive dial designs inspired by Hermes’ Clipper, Cape Cod, and Espace watches.
Apple Watch Hermes starts at $1,100 for the 38mm stainless steel case with the Double Tour, $1,150 for the 42mm stainless steel case with the Single Tour, $1,250 for the 38mm stainless steel case with the Double Tour, and $1,500 for the 42mm stainless steel case with the Cuff. The collection will be available at select Apple retail stores, select Hermes stores, specialty stores, and department stores starting October 5th in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.
The iPad Pro was rumored for several years, and the curtain has finally been dropped on it. The Pro features a 12.9-inch Retina display featuring 5.6 million pixels, which Apple clams to be the “most ever in an iOS device,” and the new 64-bit A9X processor to rival “most portable PCs.”
That display “delivers greater contrast, more uniform brightness, and improved energy efficiency” through photo alignment technology, oxide TFT, and a variable refresh rate. A new four-speaker audio system provides “powerful, clear, and rich stereo sound,” and a refined unibody anodized aluminum enclosure gives iPad Pro a “sturdy feel” with a thin and light design.
iPad Pro also delivers “desktop-class CPU performance and console-class graphics” with the aforementioned A9X processor, 802.11ac WiFi, support for a range of LTE bands and other cellular connectivity options, as well as a projected 10 hours of battery life.
Apple also introduced the Apple Pencil for the Pro (despite what company founder Steve Jobs thought when the original iPhone launched in 2007), a “precision input device” stylus available for a separate _ purchase to make drawing and sketching feel “fluid and natural.” The touch subsystem of iPad Pro’s Multi-Touch display has also been redesigned with the Pencil in mind to reduce latency and deliver “incredible accuracy” for things like drawing and 3D design. Sensors in the stylus measure both pressure and tilt for a “fast and fluid drawing experience,” while a built-in Lightning connector is used for pairing, charging, (and breaking) it. Apple Pencil also works with apps like Mail, Notes, Procreate, and Office 365 for iPad.
The company’s Smart Keyboard is also a separate accessory for purchase that offers a full-sized keyboard in a form factor that looks like a certain Microsoft tablet. The keyboard attaches to iPad Pro’s new Smart Connector port, which works in companion with the existing Lightning connector. The Smart Keyboard is covered in custom woven fabric, and features keys that provide the “accuracy, stability, and satisfying key feel of standard keyboards,” but is also foldable to transform into a Smart Cover.
“iPad Pro is the most advanced and powerful iPad we have ever made. Its beautiful and large 12.9-inch Retina display has 5.6 million pixels and provides an immersive experience for content and apps. The iPad Pro is far and away the fastest iOS device we have ever made – its A9X chip beats more portable PCs in both CPU and graphics tasks, but is thin and light enough to hold all day. The innovative Apple Pencil and new Smart Keyboard enable users to customize their iPad Pro experience to the particular apps they use and the work they do, making iPad Pro ideal for everything from professional productivity to advanced 3D design.”
-Phil Schiller, Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing
iPad Pro starts at $799 for the 32GB WiFi-only model and $1,079 for the 128GB WiFi + Cellular model in silver, gold, and space gray when it launches in November from Apple.com, Apple retail stores, select carriers, and Apple authorized resellers.
The Apple Pencil will be available for $99 and Smart Keyboard will be available in charcoal gray for $169. New iPad Pro Smart Covers will be available for $59 in charcoal gray and white. New iPad Pro Silicone Cases will be available for $79 in the same colors. All of these accessories will be available in November (presumably at the same time as the iPad Pro).
iPad mini 4
The iPad mini 4 got a slight spec bump to bring it in line with the iPad Air 2, and is available at the same price points as the previous iPad mini (WiFi only/+Cellular):
- 16GB: $399/$529
- 64GB: $499/$629
- 128GB: $599/$729
File this one under It’s about time! The Apple TV got a long-awaited refresh built on apps built for the television. Apps let you choose what to watch when you want to watch it. The new Apple TV remote features a microphone with Siri functionality, so you can search with your voice for TV shows and movies simultaneously across multiple content providers.
The all-new Apple TV is built from the ground up with a “new generation of high-performance hardware and introduces an intuitive and fun user interface” using the Siri Remote. Apple TV runs the all-new tvOS operating system that’s based on iOS.
“There has been so much innovation in entertainment and programming through iOS apps, we want to bring that same excitement to the television. Apps make the TV experience even more compelling for viewers and we think apps represent the future of TV.”
-Eddy Cue, Apple SVP of internet software and services
The new Siri Remote uses a glass “touch surface” (otherwise known as a trackpad) for scrolling. The remote’s accelerometer, gyroscope, and touch surface can also be taken advantage of games and other apps.
With Siri, you can use your voice to search TV shows and movies by title, genre, case, crew, rating, or popularity so you can say things like “Show me New Girl,” “Find the best funny movies from the ‘80s,” “Find movies with Jason Bateman and “Find popular TV shows for kids.” Apple TV will search iTunes and popular apps from Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Showtime, displaying all the ways you can watch the resulting TV shows and movies. Siri also offers playback control and on-screen navigation, as well as quick access to sports, stock, and weather information.
The new Apple TV will be available at the end of October for the following prices at Apple.com, Apple retail stores, and select Apple Authorized Resellers:
- 32GB: $149
- 64GB: $199
At first glance, you wouldn’t be able to tell the iPhone 6s/6s Plus from the model they’re effectively replacing, but one of the biggest differences lies right in front of your eyes. 3D Touch senses force to enable you to dig deeper into apps/content. The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus also feature Retina HD displays that’re made from “the strongest glass on any smartphone” and feature 7000 series aluminum on the back in four metallic finishes.
3D Touch enables new Peek and Pop gestures that allow you to dip in and out of content without losing your place. Press lightly to peek at a photo, email, or webpage, and press a little deeper to pop into the content itself. With Quick Actions, 3D Touch provides shortcuts to things you do most, so you can send messages or take selfies with a tap from the Home screen.
The new iPhones also introduce a new feature for the photographer in us: Live Photos, which brings still images to life by capturing a second and a half of action before/after a photo is taken. All of this is powered by Apple’s A9 processor, which brings “faster performance and great battery life.”
Live Photos show up in your Camera Roll as ordinary 12 megapixel photos that you’re accustomed to, but with a tap, they reveal the moments immediately before and after the shot was taken.
The iPhone 6s/6s Plus also introduce 4K (3840×2160 resolution) support, which delivers over eight million pixels, and optical image stabilization for video taken on the iPhone 6s Plus. There’s a new 12-megapixel sensor and a five-megapixel FaceTime HD camera with Retina Flash, which momentarily makes your display three times brighter with True Tone lighting for brighter low-light selfies.
The aforementioned A9 chip offers 90 percent faster GPU performance than the A8 with energy efficiency gains to improve battery life. Apple’s M9 motion coprocessor is also embedded into the A9 chip to allow features like “Hey Siri” to run all the time at lower power without iPhone having to be plugged in.
iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will be available in gold, silver, space gray, and the new rose gold metallic finishes for $0 down with 24 monthly payments starting at $27/$21 respectively from Apple’s US retail stores, Apple.com, select carriers, and Apple Authorized Resellers. Exclusively at Apple retail stores in the US, customers can choose their carriers and get an unlocked iPhone 6s/6s Plus with the opportunity to get a new iPhone annually and AppleCare+ with the company’s new iPhone Upgrade Program with monthly payments starting at $32/$37 respectively. Both models will be available in the following countries on Friday, September 3rd:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Puerto Rico
- United Kingdom
- United States
Apple-designed accessories including leather and silicone cases in a range of colors and Lightning Docks in color-matched metallic finishes will also be available.
iOS 9 will be available as a free update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users on Wednesday, September 16th as a free update for the following devices:
- iPhone 4s and later (5, 5c, 5s, 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus)
- iPod touch 5th generation and later (6th generation)
- iPad 2 and later (3, 4, Air, Air 2)
- All iPad minis