It’s not every spring that we see an iPhone launch, so Apple’s ‘Let Us Loop You In’ event from Cupertino took us a little by surprise, with not only the new iPhone SE on the agenda, but also a new smaller iPad Pro 9.7″. We’ve rounded up all the news on those, plus the latest on iOS 9.3, Apple TV and more below (as well as our over-excited live tweeting…)
First up, in terms of new product at least, was Apple’s new 4″ iPhone SE. Apple are positioning this as both an option for those users who prefer a smaller phone, and who want a more affordable option, coming in at a modest 4″ and $399. Having said that, it doesn’t skimp on features and specs, matching up to iPhone 6 in most departments, but being more akin to the old iPhone 5 in design.
They’re calling it the most powerful 4-inch phone ever, with a 64-bit A9 chip that’s great for graphics-intensive games and their most advanced camera system – 12MP iSight, Focus Pixels, True Tone flash, Live Photos and 4K video capture, plus a front-facing cam with Retina flash to help you get the perfect selfie. Hey Siri, Touch ID and Apple Pay are all present and correct, with battery improvements and speedy LTE and WiFi.
– Read more about Apple’s iPhone SE here.
The other headliner at the event was iPad Pro, with a new 9.7″ model that takes everything great about the larger 12″ iPad Pro and shrinks it down to a more portable form factor. As with the larger version, the main talking point here is the power-efficient oxide TFT display that’s 40% less reflective than iPad Air 2 and 25% brighter, with a wide colour gamut and 25% greater colour saturation. It now sports True Tone technology which measures colour temperature of ambient light and adjusts to match, becoming warmer for more comfortable working.
The A9X chip gives great processor and graphics performance, making it ideal for modelling and rendering, and it also features the most advanced iPad camera ever – a 12MP iSight cam with Focus Pixels, True Tone flash, Live Photos and a front-facing 5MP cam too. Then there’s the four built-in speakers which give it twice the audio performance of the iPad Air 2, and support for the excellent Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard.
– Read more about Apple’s iPad Pro 9.7″ here.
And the rest…
Among the other, smaller announcements, we had new bands for Apple Watch (including a woven nylon strap and new colours), and incremental software releases. tvOS gets an update with improved Siri functionality and new folders system, while iOS 9.3 sees a new Education Preview suite designed for students, teachers and administrators, Night Shift mode which switches colours in the evening to the warmer end of the spectrum to help you sleep better, password-protected Notes and other updates in CarPlay, News and Health.
Apple also showed off a new addition to ResearchKit, with new CareKit, an open source scheme to build apps to enable people to take more active role in their care. And they were keen to stress their green credentials too, mentioning that they are operating with 100% renewable energy in 23 countries, using more and more recycled and sustainable packaging among other good stuff.
As it happened
It’s become a bit of a tradition to unleash our Core Operations Manager Charlotte Barton on our Twitter feed during Apple launches, and this time round was a real stream of consciousness belter, touching on iPad, iPhone, yaks and elbow patches…
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