The Apple March Event: Four Takeaways

Photo courtesy of MacRumors; The new iPad Pro 9.7″ (left), and the 4″ iPhone SE (right)

 

 

The ‘Let’s loop you in’ March Event has introduced both new and vastly familiar, yet improved devices and software to the Apple Family. Here’s the breakdown:

  1. iPhone SE

Yes  you’re clearly seeing a seemingly familiar 4-incher right there. Apple has introduced the iPhone SE with the familiar iPhone 5s externals which they tagged as “the beloved design” which is I can agree to, but wait, it has the powerful iPhone 6s internals. That is why it is tagged as the iPhone ‘Special Edition’, yes that’s the meaning of the acronym ‘SE’ according to their senior vice president for marketing Phil Schiller. Why special edition? That’s because it has the 64-bit A9 chip with the M9 coprocessor onboard, 12MP rear camera with 4K recording and Live Photos, though it only has a 1.2MP FaceTime front camera. It is available in four finishes: Space Grey, Silver, Gold and the introduction of Rose Gold in a 4-inch device. Price starts at $399 for the inevitable 16GB and add $100 for the 64GB storage, yes only two storage variations are available, unfortunately 16GB is still the base. Note that Apple utilized the first-generation Touch ID on this iPhone. Yes, the phone is good for the people who insist that phablets or larger phones isn’t for them. This is not their take against the newly-launched flagships like the Galaxy S7 or the G5. Apple is still expected to launch their next flagship on September, as usual.

2. The 9.7″ iPad Pro
No, it does not precede the iPad Air 2. It has the same power of the 12.9″ iPad Pro in a 9.7″ screen. The differences? Aside from the screen size, the 9.7″ iPad Pro has a 2GB RAM compared to the 12.9″ iPad Pro’s 4GB; it has a 12MP rear camera with a bump at the back and 5MP FaceTime HD front camera while the latter has an 8MP rear camera and a 1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera; it has a 2048×1536 resolution to the latter’s 2732×1048 (and it has something to do with the difference in their screen sizes); it has a faster LTE connection with support on 23 LTE bands, up to 300Mbps compared to latter’s 20 LTE bands and up to 150Mbps. Another hot feature would be the Four Speaker audio, and those speaker grills are placed in the four different corners of the 9.7″ tablet for immersive audio experience. And for storage options, it has the same as the first iPad Pro with 32GB, 128GB and 256GB variations. Price starts at $599 for the 32GB Wi-Fi variant. It’s available in four finishes too: Space Grey, Silver, Gold and yes, the introduction of the Rose Gold finish on the iPad.
3. iOS 9.3
The update came live shortly after the keynote event with the new features:
a. Night-shift. Adjusts the display to a warmer spectrum when it automatically detects if it’s sunset through your geolocation and time and automatically shifts to regular settings in the morning
b. Secured Notes. You can now use Touch ID or encrypt your private notes such as the most important ones including website logins, financial info or medical records.
c. The brand new ‘News’ app. The For You articles are arranged based on your interests, editor’s choice and trending topics, you can now easily play video right from your feed and for iPhone users, you can now view the app in landscape.
d. The new Health dashboard. Where you can easily find third-party apps for tracking plus there is now a dedicated data for your move, exercise, stand, and goals. For categories such as Sleep, Weight and Workout, there are app recommendations on which you can easily add them to your dashboard.
e. More features on CarPlay. The New and For You section of the Apple Music app, the Nearby section of the Maps app to find places such as nearby restaurants, gas stations,  the best places to stop, whether you’re in daily commute or in road trip, in one tap
f. Education. Preview of new features for the iPad for the students and teachers to use for new and engaging ways of learning through the device.
g. Hebrew, Finnish & Malay Language added to Siri. Making Siri’s total languages support to 37.
4. New Apple Watch bands and new Watch starting price
The Apple Watch now starts at $299. The new woven nylon bands in addition to the new “spring collection” with 7 colors to choose from: Gold / Red, Gold / Royal Blue, Royal Blue, Pink, Pearl, Scuba Blue and Black; each costs $49.  Other new bands included are Red and Marine Blue Classic Buckles, Marigold and Blue Jay Modern Buckles, White and Storm Gray Leather Loops, Space Black Milanese Loop, and Yellow, Apricot and Royal Blue Sport Bands.
To wrap it up, those are just the preview of what to expect in the September event which is yet to be unveiled.
Sources:

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