New iPhone 6s, iPad Pro, Apple TV, Apple Watch: Four things you need to know about Apple's launch

 
Lynsey Barber
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An iPhone, an iPad, a TV streaming box and a sprinkling of new smartwatch designs - is there anything that Apple didn't announce at its major event yesterday evening?

In typical Apple fashion, executives at the company, including boss Tim Cook, took to the stage to reveal some major new hardware and software, which is likely to tempt any Apple fan into handing over their hard-earned cash - and perhaps those who are not, the company hopes.

Here are the four major things you need to know to bring you up to speed on the launch, and what it means for Apple.

1. iPhone 6s is all about 3D Touch technology

The latest version of the iPhone updates the year-old iPhone 6, Apple's most successful ever-phone, which pushed the company to new highs in terms of sales and profit.

The iPhone 6s is not a major change on its predecessor. The significant difference is the addition of a new feature called 3D Touch, a new way to interact with your phone other than swiping, tapping or pinching, identifying the pressure of your touch on the screen to make things happen.

This may not sound like a big deal, but Apple design chief Jony Ive has revealed the firm has been working on the technology for years and that it has been "unbelievably hard" to develop, according to Apple's senior vice president Phil Schiller. Analysts say the technology behind it will change the way we use smartphones and the apps we use on them - and not just for Apple.

There were also improvements to the camera, including new features for taking pictures, which will please selfie-lovers, Instagrammers and amateur photographers, but may worry any company still manufacturing traditional cameras - it incorporates some technology used in DSLRs - and the quality of pictures the new iPhone can are on a par with professionals.

Get the lowdown on the key spec, including price and release date here.

2. Who wants a giant iPad?

A long-rumoured new iPad Pro is "epic" Apple says, and at 12.9 inches in size it is pretty huge - three inches bigger than the current largest iPad.

It's aimed at business users and professionals, coming with a stylus and a keyboard (at an extra cost, of course), and a new version of Microsoft's Office for iPad. Fans watching the event were treated to a demonstration of how Adobe products such as Photoshop can be used on a tablet.

Apple, which relies on iPhone sales more than anything else, will be hoping the bigger iPad helps boost flagging sales of the device. But the iPad Pro comes with a price tag that could get you a fully formed MacBook, leaving some wondering who exactly will buy it.

A move into making its own keyboard and stylus - something Apple founder Steve Jobs was against during his reign as boss - is a surprise move, traditionally leaving those kind of accessories to third party makers.

Analysts suggest the iPad won't have mass appeal, but it's an interesting move into the enterprise market - an area rivals such as Microsoft and Lenovo have tried to stake their claim to in the tablet market.

Here's all you need to know about the new iPad, including spec and price.

3. Apple TV is a good start to a TV takeover

Some were expecting a major move into TV from Apple - however, yesterday's announcement wasn't necessarily all that big.

The update to Apple TV - its first in several years in a fast moving market - offers users the ability to control their TV with Siri's voice control and a fancy touch screen remote.

The crucial change to Apple TV is a dedicated OS and app store, bringing apps to your living room in the same way the iPhone brought them to your palm.

Analysts believe the TV is a good starting point for Apple's TV business takeover down the line, in much the same way as the iPhone made apps a thing.

Get the full lowdown on the Apple TV here.

4. Apple Watch treats, but no sales figures

Apple Watch fans were treated to some new goodies.

All Watch owners will get an upgrade to the current operating system, with new features such as more customisation of the watch face, and more interaction with third party apps and notifications.

Something which has been missing from the Watch, much to the disappointment of some users and potential buyers, also makes its first appearance - Facebook. Its Messenger app will now be available.

There was also a new colour - rose gold - and a new model entirely designed with luxury fashion brand Hermes, once again strengthening its fashion credentials and its luxury links. Here's the lowdown on that.

There was, however, a noted absence of any sales figures for the device, remaining secretive about its success.

While the bevy of announcements, which also included news of a 16 September release date for iOS9 for all iPhone users, kept fans happy, investors were not so sweetened. The launch didn't quite live up to the dizzy heights of last year's launch (which also happened to include its first ever smartwatch) for investors, with shares dipping by around two per cent after the event.

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