Update: Click here for a deeper dive into Apple’s latest hardware announcements.
As has become a March tradition, Apple once again held a spring event to show off the latest and greatest from its Cupertino labs. The Rocket Yard has a quick round up of what was announced, and on Tuesday we’ll be taking an even deeper look at what was unveiled.
So what did Tim Cook & Co. have in store? Read on to find out!
As usual, Cook himself took the stage first. Right out of the gate, Cook discussed Apple’s approaching 40th birthday, as well as the ongoing Apple, FBI security debate simply thanking its customers for the overwhelming support the company has received. (Related article: Staying Informed Paramount When Forming Opinions in Apple, FBI Case.)
Cook then invited Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives to the stage where she discussed the company’s renewable energy initiatives and introduced “Liam”. Liam is a new robot project from Apple that breaks down and separates old iPhone materials for future uses.
Apple COO Jeff Williams then took the stage to discuss ResearchKit and how it has transformed medicine and research. Williams also announced CareKit, which is a framework to build apps that empower people to use data to understand their health. CareKit will be open source and available in April
Apple Watch bands, Apple TV
Williams passed the baton back to Cook, who moved on the Apple Watch and new bands for the device. Cook showed off the new bright woven nylon bands and new sport and leather band. Perhaps the bigger announcement is that the Apple Watch will now start at $299.
Next up was Apple TV. Among the new features: Folders for apps and Siri for the App Store.
iPhone SE, iOS 9.3
The most important announcement of the day came next: The iPhone SE. Apple sold more than 30 million 4” iPhones in 2015, so a new smaller model was inevitable. The iPhone SE gets many of the features of the iPhone 6s including a faster processor and camera upgrades. Apple is calling it the most powerful 4” phone ever and it will be on sale starting at $399 with a 64GB model for $499. You can also get it for as low as $17 a month without contract. Orders begin March 24.
Apple VP Greg Joswiak also talked about updates to iOS 9 including Night Shift, CarPlay, Notes app getting Touch ID support, Apple News and Maps updates. iOS 9.3 is available today for free download.
iPad Pro with 9.7” screen
As expected, Apple has created an iPad Pro with a smaller 9.7” screen, the same as its previous generation iPads. Dubbed, “the ultimate PC replacement,” the smaller iPad Pro features a Pro display with the same materials as its bigger brother. Its new screen is less reflective and brighter than ever.
The new 9.7-inch iPad Pro also has a True Tone display. Two new four-channel ambient light sensors that measure the color temperature of ambient light, and adjusts the display to match it. The new iPad Pro also gets the same chip as the larger iPad and “Hey, Siri” abilities. The usual accessories (keyboard case, Apple Pencil) were discussed. An impressive new camera was also announced (for those who actually use the iPad camera). A 32GB iPad Pro 9.7” will start at $599 for 32GB models and goes up to 256GB for $899. Shipping begins March 31. iPad mini now starts at $269 and iPad Air 2 starts at $399.
What was your favorite announcement from Apple at today’s event? Let us know in the comments section!