Based on the responses I’ve seen on Twitter, it looks like live Apple events have lost some of their spark. While the latest event launched new initiatives both on the software and hardware side, that “incredible” Apple product that we can’t live without wasn’t present.
But Apple did a good job as always of iterating and expanding on their current product line to further solidify the brand with the 4-inch iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro.
Apple Doubles down on security
Right out of the gate, Apple takes some time to update us on it’s position when it comes to our data on its devices. Tim Cook took to the stage to assure Apple users that access to secure data will not be compromised.
“We built the iPhone for you, our customers. We need to decide as a nation how much power the government should have over our data and our privacy.”
Cook didn’t call out the FBI or make any reference to the San Bernadino case, but he pretty much “sub-tweeted” the whole issue.
That wasn’t the main purpose for this event, so Cook quickly switched gears and went into the announcement of CareKit, and new open-source platform, born out of ResearchKit, that will allow developers to create health apps that tie into the current user health and fitness activity collected by Apple.
In short, CareKit will consist of modules that will track and monitor data that could help diagnose and monitor autism symptoms in young children, help Alzheimer’s patients personalize their care plans, and collect data from epileptics to one day be able to sense an oncoming seizure. Only the data that the user chooses to share will be accessible by medical professionals.
I was bummed that Apple didn’t announce a WatchOS 2 update that make the UI more fluid and less laggy, but there was mention of Apple’s “Spring line” of nylon bands and a new Space Black version of the popular Milanese Loop band. As an added bonus, the entry-level price of the Apple Watch dropped to $299.
Time Cook made sure to emphasize that owners love to personalize their Apple Watch with bands, so of course, Apple gives you a taste of all the possible Apple watch and band combinations with its latest personalization gallery.
Not to disappoint those fans of the “perfectly sized” iPhone 5S, Apple announced the iPhone SE that has the same footprint and design of the 5S, but with the software and specs of the latest iPhones, sans Force-touch.
- 4-inch Retina Display (doubles as flash for “selfie” photos)
- 12mp 4K rear iSight camera with Live Photos functionality
- Faster LTE with Voice over LTE and Wi-Fi Calling
- Always on “Hey Siri”
- Improved battery life
- iOS 9.3 out of the box
…More features than the similar sized and styled iPhone 5S, but with the additional Rose Gold color and at a cheaper $399 entry-level price tag (16GB…which is never enough space). The appropriately spaced 64 GB version is $499. Orders for the iPhone SE start on March 24.
According to Apple, the iPad Pro is the PC replacement. While that could be the case with non-enterprise PC users, Apple in the workplace has a long way to go (Ask me how I know). So tablets are here to stay for Apple and based on the “success” of the 12-inch iPad Pro, Apple has decided to offer an additional Pro tablet in the shape of a 9.7-inch Pro tablet with the same features of its larger brother.
- 64-Bit A9X chip
- 2048×1536 resolution Retina display
- True Tone color display with four-channel ambient light sensors
- Four-speaker audio
- 12‑megapixel rear iSight camera with 4K video capture
- 5-megapixel front FaceTime camera with Retina Flash
- Supports up to 23 LTE bands with up to 300 Mbps data transmission (data plan required)
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro adds a Rose Gold color, not found on the 12-inch Pro, and comes in three storage configurations: 32GB for $599, 128GB for $749 AND 256GB for $899; and can be ordered starting on March 24, with shipping a week later.
You could say that nothing “revolutionary” came out of this latest Apple event, but nevertheless, Apple is staying on top of its game, and is even giving the people what they want, more-so than previous device releases.
Did you watch the event? What impressed or (disappointed) you the most?