Earlier this year, Apple announced their latest phone the iPhone 6s/Plus. It is arguably the most feature packed phone Apple has released yet.
Although the iPhone 6s looks identical to its predecessor, the iPhone 6, there is more to it than what meets the eye. The phone is far sturdier than before, assuring that the iPhone 6s bending is something that you do not need to worry about, after the #bendgate controversy last year. The phone frame is equipped with Aluminum 7000 alloy, which is lighter, 60% stronger, and more resistant to scratches. The iPhone 6s is slightly heavier as its vibration motor has been swapped with a haptic engine. Apple has also added a rose gold edition of the iPhone 6s, adding a fourth color the iPhone can now come in.
The iPhone 6s’ performance has improved significantly from the iPhone 6. With the new A9 chip, the phone has double the processing power and double the graphical performance. The A9 chip is a Dual-Core clocked at 1.85 GHz combined with 2GB of RAM, drastically improving multitasking and graphics.
The new iPhone 6s has hundreds of new features including 3D Touch, a 12MP Camera, and Apple Pay. Many may not be able to recall touch screens before the first iPhone, but multiple points of contact were impossible until Apple unveiled Multi-Touch. 3D touch tests the boundaries of touch screen technology by sensing how much pressure is applied on one’s display. Apple Apps, Facebook, and Instagram already utilize 3D touch and in 2016, most apps are planning on following suit.
Apple has also updated the iPhone’s camera to a new 12.3 megapixel camera, in order to compete with the historically superior cameras of its competitors, the Samsung S6 and other Android devices. The new camera allows for 4K video and Live Photos which records 1.5 second before a picture is taken and 1.5 seconds after. You can also now shoot in Full HD resolution at up to 120fps. The front facing camera has also been upgraded to a 5 megapixel camera improving upon the grainy 1.2 megapixel camera from the past generations.
With the release of the iPhone 6s comes a new iOS. With various improvements across the board, iOS 9 is faster and more stable than any of its predecessors. Some major improvements that are noteworthy include the ability to leave group chats on Messages (finally), iCloud sharing of photos, presentations, spreadsheets, PDFs, and all other sorts of files, new emojis, a new news app, CarPlay, transit directions on Maps, Apple Wallet, split-screen mode for iPads, Live Photos, and a drastically improved Siri. iOS 9 has also changed its system font to San Francisco, custom built by Apple. There are many more new features added to iOS 9 that can’t be covered in the limited length of this article, but this update is one of the bigger ones (nothing like iOS 4 or 7, but it’s still a doozy).
For the past 2 years, there were rumors that Apple was going to make a larger model of the iPad that would run on a laptop-grade OS X to compete with the more successful tablets of Apple’s competitors such as the Surface Pro and Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga. This year Apple unveiled the iPad Pro, but comes with iOS 9, a decision questioned and criticized by many.
The iPad pro is Apple’s largest tablet to date weighing in at 753g, with a display size of 12.9 inches (Your average MacBook Pro), and priced at a starting price of $799 going up to $1079. The large display makes it clear what this tablet is mSiri
Siri has been improved upon with temporal and facial recognition with photos. For example, you might be able to ask Siri to show you photos of one of your friends Friday night. It also has “contextual awareness” which allows Siri to utilize locational parameters to know when to complete certain tasks: “Call Dre when I get home” or “Remind me to text her back when I get in the car”. Apple Music also has new command phrases such as: “Play the top song of 2015”. Siri has also moved beyond voice recognition software and now powers all of iOS 9’s internal search functions, allowing for proactive actions such as knowing what music you like to listen to when you’re in your car, jogging, or at home and automatically queueing it for you (a little bit too SkyNet for my liking…), guessing unidentified phone numbers from context clues in messages or emails, providing driving directions and telling you when to leave for events based on addresses, and all of it is done straight through the device, ensuring none of your personal information can be leaked from some servers in the deserts of New Mexico.
Notes has been completely overhauled. Once a rudimentary word processor with little to no utility now has become quite the app. Attachments, photos, drawings, lists, and various other new features are now available. Titles and headings are now available to add more styles. Unfortunately, Notes has yet to become available for the Apple Watch as a reader app. Users can also search with text or attachments.
Newsstand is finally gone (good riddance) and has been replaced with the News app. Using RSS feeds, users are able to keep themselves informed. Features include the ability to favorite publications, a personalized “For You” tab that the app suggests based upon your history, and save pieces to read later. Although a little rudimentary, it is a great start in a new direction.
Some of the most notable new features of iOS 9 are on the keyboard, something that we all use constantly. The predictive keyboard introduced in iOS 8 from Android devices gets a big revamp, especially on iPads. The keyboard will now display lowercase letters if your keyboard is in lowercase mode, and will now display capital letters if your keyboard is in capital mode (I honestly didn’t realize that this feature wasn’t already in existence). Customizable shortcuts now exist on both sides of the predictive text window of the iPad depending on the app. Photos, attachments, bold/italics, undo, and many other buttons can appear, drastically facilitating most processes. Also, touching the keyboard in two places (or simply pressing really hard on an iPhone with 3D Touch) will turn it into a “pseudo-trackpad”.
Various optimizations behind the scenes have allowed iOS to become one of the easiest iOSes on battery life ever. Nearly an hour of battery life has been added to every iOS device, which is a shame since I just bought my mophie battery case (you should read that article too). Apple has also added a “Low Power Mode” on iOS devices which can be turned on after 20% of your battery life has been depleted. Your iPhone will automatically prompt you to activate Low Power Mode upon reaching 20%. Low Power Mode achieves its “Low Power” by shutting down various non-essential processes of the device such as Mail fetch (which automatically checks if you have mail constantly), Background refresh (which is similar to Mail fetch but with all your apps), and advanced motion effects. The CPU and GPU are also significantly throttled, going at a “just enough” rate to keep your iPhone relatively usable. Apple claims that Low Power Mode can squeeze out 3 more hours of battery life. You can also monitor your battery and various process that might be devouring energy in your Notification center, along with the battery life of any Bluetooth devices you might be connected to.
The 4 digit passcode is a thing of the past. The new default passcode length is 6 digits or more, but you can revert back by going into the Touch ID & Passcode settings.
ade for. The design, is same as an iPad Air 2 except bigger. However, the speaker grills are on 4 corners on the tablet instead of just being on the bottom. The tablet’s exterior is equipped with a 6000 series aluminum body and can come in Black, White, or Gold.
The iPad pro is equipped with an A9X, a chip much more powerful than any other mobile CPU Apple has ever conceived. There are 2 CPU cores with 4 GB of RAM and a 12 core GPU. Apps like Adobe Photoshop and Autodesk can work at their full potential on the iPad Pro, and games can also fully utilize the GPU and metal to achieve graphics unheard of on mobile devices. Performance wise, any amount of strain that users are going to put on it shouldn’t be a problem.
This new iPad releases plenty more features to the mix. Although split screen was available on the iPad Air 2, the A9X allows the iPad Pro to further improve upon the feature. Now once the iPad pro came out, it could actually do more than the iPad Air 2. You can now watch videos while you are on a website, or you can play games and watch the LA Lakers. One new feature that Apple has finally added are the new stereo speakers on the 4 corners on the device. The last feature is an old one that might not be visible at first glance. The smart connector makes a return and has been greatly improved upon. It is same with the iPad but has more capabilities. The Smart Connector can provide power to a Smart Cover, allowing for a greatly improved Smart Keyboard.
With much controversy, Apple has released a stylus, despite what Steve Jobs said with the release of the original iPhone. The Apple Pencil is $99, at least tenfold the price of any other stylus on the market. However, the Apple Pencil has a lot of features that is quite exciting for Artists. The iPad Pro display with the pencil can sense up to 2560 different levels of pressure. The pencil can also create shading effects by tilting it, similar to normal pencils. Battery life of the Pencil can last up to 12 hours, substantially less than its competitors, and is charged with a lightning connector, so one will have to plug it into the iPad Pro charging port or any other Apple product that has a lighting port. However, 15 seconds of charging will give you 30 minutes of battery life.
The new Smart Keyboard is virtually identical to the Surface’s keyboard, but it is made of leather. Apple has released keyboards for the iPad in the past, but they’ve been bulky, and nothing more than expensive stands. The Smart Keyboard allows for more portability as it works identically to the magnetically attached Smart Cover, and is substantially sturdier. As previously mentioned, the Smart Keyboard connects to the iPad Pro via the Smart Connector which, in conjunction with the two-way conductive fabric of the Smart Keyboard, powers the keyboard with the iPad Pro’s battery. As a result, it is best to disconnect the Keyboard when it is not in use as it drains the battery life of the iPad Pro.
The iPad pro is equipped with an 11000 mAh Li-Ion battery which can last up to 10 hours. However, it is a pain to charge the iPad pro as it takes nearly 5 hours to fully charge.
The Apple Watch has had a shaky start since its release in April 2015. The dependence on the iPhone and subpar battery life have really made it unappealing to the wider market. Its lack of necessity and plethora of first-gen issues made many potential consumers wait for a later update. Its stigma as a non-essential accessory hasn’t disappeared with watchOS 2, but its certainly on its way.
New Watch Faces:
Apple included some new landscapes in some famous cities in the world. With force touch you can also see time-lapse of the city skyline. You could also do your own live photo to have a flashback story. Apple finally included more customized option but third party should also be a part of this too.
Now Apple added a new feature that is useful for people who want to see their upcoming events. By spinning the digital crown, you can travel forwards or backwards in time up to 1 week.
With Apple’s new update when the watch is turned sideways, it will be like a digital clock. Press the digital crown to snooze, and press the side button to turn the alarm off. Nightstand mode works with the Watch charger and the Magnetic Charging Dock.
Faster, more powerful apps.
Watch OS 2 will make use of the native app and let the S1 chip process on its own instead of having the iPhone to process the data. This moves the Apple Watch further away from being a non-essential accessory and closer to its own device. Existing apps have been improved across the board, taking advantage of the Watch’s features such as its Taptic Engine, Digital Crown, accelerometer, heart rate sensor, speaker, and microphone, adding more utility to the widely considered overpriced device.
New Functions to Apple Apps
You can now reply on your wrist for quick answers. Just say to the Apple Watch what you want to say, and you will have another chance to revise it. Apple Pay has also been added, and can use credit cards, Passbook passes, store credit cards, and loyalty cards that are saved in Wallet on the user’s iPhone. Its available solely in the U.S. and U.K. (for now) and can be accessed from both the iPhone or Apple Watch. You can also now pay with gift cards or receive points with reward cards that you add in Apple Pay. In case your Apple Watch is lost or stolen, you can now activate Activation Lock, which locks the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch’s battery life has been improved upon, with various optimizations. It now has a battery life of 18 hours, and requires daily charging. Power Saving Mode can increase those 18 hours to 2 days if you are unable to charge. Siri has new Watch-specific functions now, such as starting a workout and calculate tip.