Last week’s Apple media event saw the company unveiling what it repeatedly called the “most advanced iPhone we’ve ever made”, just in case anybody suspected they might take the radical step of announcing a less advanced phone. Nope, instead of regressing, Apple instead marched boldly into a shimmering, rose gold future with two more iPhones, a superpowered iPad and a reinvented Apple TV.
Here are the five biggest announcements from the event.
Two new iPhones
The iPhone 6s (and its bigger brother, the 6s Plus) launch on 25 September and introduce a whole new way to poke your screen. 3D Touch is sensitive to pressure, meaning you can lightly touch links to preview what they lead to, or press fully to go there. You can glance at emails without leaving the inbox, or lightly touch a flight number to see departure times and gate information without switching apps. Apple call it peeking and poking, which is adorable.
The new phones feature a remarkably improved 12 megapixel camera, now capable of filming at 4K resolution, while the selfie camera can snap your cheeky mug at a hefty five megapixels. Also announced was Live Pictures, which records a few seconds of video before and after every single picture you snap, effectively turning all of your photos into miniature Vines.
The iPhone 6s starts at £539, while the Plus starts at £619.
One new Apple TV
The old Apple TV was a bit of a lame duck, an awkward Apple set-top box put out to pasture by its uncaring creator. New Apple TV is all swish-bang fancy, with a new operating system and a built-in, film-buff Siri. Ask her to suggest a comedy and she’ll pull search results from across all of your video-on-demand apps, order her to narrow it down by director and she’ll dutifully comply. You can even shout “what did he just say?” and Siri will rewind whatever you’re watching by 15 seconds and turn on closed captioning.
With far better support for apps this time around – and a redesigned remote that’s actually useable – Apple TV has the potential to become the success it was always meant to be. It launches in October. Prices in the US start at $149.
A strapping apple watch
Straps are important. Watches would keep falling off our arms without them. The Apple Watch is getting a selection of handmade designer straps from Parisian luxury brand and professional horse-botherers Hermès.
Prices start at $1,100 for the single tour style, with the longer and more elegant double tour coming in at $1,250. Why not treat your wrist, after all it’s done for you?
A superpowered iPad
Apple says the iPad Pro is “the biggest news in iPad since the iPad”. Whether or not that’s true, the new tablet is certainly the biggest one they’ve ever made. Measuring 12.9 inches diagonally, it’s a footlong behemoth that’s positioned to take on Microsoft’s Surface devices in the almost-a-laptop range of tablets.
To this end, Apple announced a stylish, fabric-lined keyboard that attaches magnetically to the iPad Pro. It’s a climbdown from the Jobs-era, peripheral-averse genesis of the Apple tablet, but the keyboard accessory highlights the company’s new efforts to slip their pads into the professional design industry. Speaking of which.
When presenting the first iPhone, Steve Jobs famously derided the stylus as a method of interacting with a screen. The man was all about using his fingers, but then again, he was speaking during a dark age of clunky PalmPilots and PDAs, way back when poking a phone with a stick was the best option we had.
So the change of heart can be forgiven as Apple announced their first ever official stylus for the iPad. Called the Apple Pencil (tellingly, the word ‘stylus’ doesn’t appear anywhere on the product page) it lets you doodle and edit on the new tablet, and utilises all manner of pressure sensors to adjust the weight of your lines. You can draw thin lines. You can draw thick lines. Draw whatever the hell lines you want. It’s the Apple Pencil.
There’s no UK price yet, but the Pencil will cost $99 in the US. And now you’ve just read three paragraphs about a pencil, sorry.