A Look at Everything Apple Announced at Keynote 2016
On Monday, March 21st at its California headquarters, Apple unveiled a new iPhone and iPad, as well as announced improvements to current products. Fittingly, CEO Tim Cook also discussed security at length – not shying away from concerns resulting from the current fight with the FBI. "We believe strongly that we have a responsibility to help you protect your data and protect your privacy. We owe it to our customers, and we owe it to our country,” he said. The key takeaways from the event are summarized below.
The 4-inch iPhone SE
The new iPhone was introduced as having all the power of the iPhone 6s, but with the aesthetic of the iPhone 5. The reason, said Apple VP Greg Joswiak, is simple: “For some people, they simply love smaller phones.” With a $399 price point, analysts believe that the new phone is Apple’s attempt to penetrate the fastest-growing markets of India and China, specifically “prepaid consumers who cannot afford, or are not familiar with, bigger screen smartphones,” said Neil Mawston, an analyst at Strategy Analytics.
The iPhone SE promises an A9 processor with faster LTE and Wi-Fi speeds, better battery life, 4k and 240 fps slow-mo video recording, live photo support, and Apple Pay. The 16GB model, as well as a 64 GB model for $499 go up for pre-order on March 24, 2016, with the first units shipping March 31, 2016.
9.7 inch iPad Pro
The “baby brother” to the 12.9 inch screen iPad Pro that some consumers deemed too large, the new 9.7 inch model is roughly the same size as the iPad Air 2 but with features like Apple Pencil, Apple’s Smart Keyboard, a 12 MP rear camera with 4K video recording and live photo support, and a 5 MP front-facing camera. In addition, the screen of the new iPad pro will be 40% less reflective than that of the iPad Air 2, but will be 25% brighter.
A feature called “True Tone” will benefit designers by constantly checking the lighting of the room and adjusting accordingly for color accuracy. Three models will be available for pre-order March 24, 2016: the 32GB for $599, 12GB for $749, and 256GB for $899.
As of Monday, the new version of iOS is available for distribution to all iPhone and iPad users. The new iOS brings three major enhancements:
Night Shift, a feature that shift’s your device’s display from blue to orange in the evening, which studies suggest can improve sleep;
3D Touch and Touch ID improvements, specifically to lock down the Notes app with a fingertip; and
CarPlay improvements, which will allow for easier sync to Apple Music and Maps apps.
New Apple Watch Bands + Lower Starting Price
The starting price for the 38mm Apple Watch Sport is now $299, down $50 from the introductory price. To go along with the price drop is a new selection of colorful, woven nylon bands which CEO Tim Cook calls the “Spring line-up.” Also offered is a classier “space black” version of the metal Milanese loop.
Update to Apple TV
Starting Monday, users can download the latest version of Apple TV’s software, tvOS 9.2, for free. The most important development is the introduction of voice dictation support – meaning you can ask Siri to search for a specific movie as well as enter your username and password. Other new features include Folders, allowing users to organize apps in the home screen, access to the iCloud Photo Library, and Live Photos.
Apple announced the launch of Carekit, a companion to ResearchKit that allows six partner medical organizations, including John Hopkins University and Stanford Medicine, to create apps to help patients monitor their symptoms and care with their doctor. Users can record, track, and compare their symptoms with their doctors, and in turn the physicians can create a list of care instructions that are adjusted based on the CareKit information.
Apple also gave an update on its goal to run all facilities on 100 percent renewable energy. Currently, 93 percent of its facilities run on renewable power, and 100 percent of US facilities are environmentally friendly. Following this announcement, Apple showed the first footage of a recycling robot called “Liam,” which was built specifically for disassembling iPhones down to their smallest components for recycling and refurbishing.