On 21st March 2016, Apple held a keynote to announce its new products and software. Among the products are the iPhone SE and a smaller iPad Pro about which we have been hearing about for the last couple of months. Apple hosted the event in their own campus and announced their 40th Anniversary and also their 1 billion Apple devices milestone. Tim Cook opened the keynote with a message regarding privacy and data security regarding the USA government requesting a backdoor in iOS and stating that Apple has a responsibility to keep the user’s data safe. Here is a rundown of the announcements by Apple in their March 2016 keynote:
Apple Watch announcements
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, announced that the Apple Watch became the world’s #1 selling smartwatch within the year of its introduction and has become an essential part of most Apple device users. Apple has introduced new four new Apple Watch bands: woven nylon bands in vibrant colors, space black Milanese bands, sport and leather bands. Apple also has slashed the price of the Apple Watch starting from $299.
Apple TV announcements
Tim Cook announced a new update for the Apple TV’s tvOS, which includes:
- Dictation, through which a user can dictate usernames and passwords throughout the Apple TV through the Siri Remote.
- Siri has been updated to search for apps in the App Store for Apple TV.
- Siri now also can search content across apps installed like Netflix, YouTube, HBO Now, Hulu and many more apps are adding this functionality.
- iCloud Photo Library and Live Photos are also added to the new update.
- Apple TV apps can now be organized in folders in the home screen.
The update for Apple TV is free and will be available from 21st March, 2016.
iPhone SE announcements
Rumours about a new smaller and faster iPhone had been circulating around the internet in the previous few months. Apple confirmed the news about a new iPhone by announcing the new iPhone SE. The new iPhone SE looks just like the iPhone 5S from late 2013 but it is being called the fastest 4-inch iPhone.
Apple’s main reason behind making a new 4-inch iPhone was that people love a small phone which is easy to hold and most new iPhone users in the previous year were going for 4-inch iPhones. Apple announced that nearly one-third of new iPhone users were buying the iPhone 5S and almost two-thirds of that were in China alone.
The iPhone SE consists mostly of the same hardware as the iPhone 6S including the 64-bit A9 processor, which makes it as fast as the iPhone 6S and twice as fast as the iPhone 5S. iPhone SE’s camera is the 12 megapixel iSight camera which is Apple’s most powerful camera which supports recording 4K video, 1080p video in 60 frames per second and slow motion in 240 frames per second. For selfies in dark scenes, the iPhone SE flashes the screen for brighter selfies. iPhone SE provides 50% faster LTE speeds and faster Wi-Fi due to the 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology. Apple is producing the iPhone SE from recyclable products. The main disappointing thing about iPhone SE is that the RAM is same as iPhone 5S which is 1 GB, most people are saying that it should have been 2GB.
iPhone SE price
The iPhone SE pre-orders start from 24th March and will be widely available from 31st March. Prices start from $399 for 16 GB and $499 for 64 GB. The iPhone SE comes in Silver, Gold, Space Grey and Rose Gold.
iOS 9.3 announcements
Apple announced the iOS 9.3 update which, according to them, is the biggest update to iOS 9. The new update packs the following features:
- Night Shift, which allows the screen of an iPhone or iPad to change the color of the screen to a warmer spectrum based on the time of day and location of an iOS device, to save a user’s eyes from strain.
- The Notes app can now be secured with a fingerprint lock or PIN.
- The Health app has an app suggestions page for highlighting the best apps available with Apple Health integration.
- The News app, introduced in iOS 9, is now faster and includes Top Stories and Editor’s Picks.
- CarPlay has been updated with Apple Music suggestions and Maps Nearby.
iOS 9.3 update is available as a free update from 21st March 2016.
iPad Pro announcements
Apple has announced a smaller iPad Pro with a 9.7-inch retina display. The main reason behind the smaller iPad Pro is to make is large enough to do work while being small enough for portability. Apple stated that over 600 million Windows desktops and laptops are still over 5 years old and the iPad Pro is the ultimate replacement for these computers. Apple also announced that there are almost a million apps specifically for the iPad available in the App Store.
The new and smaller iPad Pro contains a new Pro Display which is 40% less reflective and 25% brighter than the iPad Air 2. The screen works with Night Shift which is being introduced in iOS 9.3. The display also contains the True Tone feature which acts just like how paper would change its color tone in different lighting environments. The smaller iPad Pro has Pro Speakers which are four speakers on the device to deliver crisp surround sound audio. The iPad Pro features the fastest A9X processor which allows viewing videos in picture-in-picture mode and multi-window apps. The camera in the iPad Pro is the 12 MP iSight camera with 4K video recording capabilities and Retina Flash just like in iPhone SE.
New Pro Accessories were announced for the iPad Pro which are:
- Smart Keyboard to fit the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.
- Lightning to USB Camera adaptor, on which you can plug in a camera to transfer photos or attach another USB powered device like an Ethernet port.
- Lightning to SD card adaptor for SD cards.
iPad Pro (9.7-inch version) price
The new and smaller iPad Pro pre-orders start from 24th March and will be widely available from 31st March. Prices start from $599 for 32 GB, $749 for 128 GB and $899 for 256 GB. The iPad Pro comes in Silver, Gold, Space Grey and for the first time, in Rose Gold color.
These new announcements in the Apple Keynote Event were widely anticipated and received most positive reactions. The iPhone SE and the smaller iPad Pro offer new options for new users and returning users alike.