With yet another announcement from Apple concerning changes to its iPhone and iPad products, buzz has been building about tech updates for a hot second. Will we finally see those headphone jack-less iPhones make their grand debut? Are those rumors about a 4-inch screen, a la the 2013 iPhone 5, coming to fruition? Today's Apple press announcement, which you can live stream here, means all our burning product questions are about to be answered. We'll be updating this post throughout and live-tweeting here, so be sure to follow along for all your Apple-related news from today's event.
As we previously reported, the newest iPhone will run like an iPhone 6 with a body similar to that of its smaller predecessor. The Verge points out that this will kill the "bigger is better" theme that's been trending among smart tech developers for a minute now. Hop into the tech version of the "Does size really matter?" debate with us below, as we'll be providing live updates as the event unfolds.
"We are about to celebrate Apple's 40th birthday on April 1," Tim Cook said when walking out to the usual applause. "Recently we passed a major milestone that no one could have ever imagined. There are now more than one billion Apple devices in use around the world." Referencing the company’s ongoing fight against the FBI regarding the proposed development of a "backdoor," Cook insisted that Apple remains dedicated to all customers' basic right of privacy. "We will not shrink from this responsibility."
After a presentation on the company’s continued adherence to ensuring a reliance on renewable energy, a clip showing the so-called "Liam" device that deconstructs old iPhones for reuse in the future was unveiled. According to Apple, there is no other device in the world that's able to do what Liam does.
"With the launch of Research Kit last year, we've seen that Apple technology can help progress in the field of health," Cook said when discussing one of the company's other major initiatives for the years ahead: health. Referencing studies of Parkinson's and diabetes greatly assisted with recently launched iOS abilities, Apple expressed confidence in the company's ability to continue pushing medical advances forward with the assistance of apps and the participation of Apple-armed medical professionals.
Apple then unveiled CareKit, a new feature aiming to help users better understand their own health. The first CareKit app, launched today, is geared toward Parkinson's patients. "We think empowering people with data about their health is incredibly important, so today we're launching CareKit," Apple COO Jeff Williams said when introducing the "limitless" possibilities of CareKit.
"The Apple Watch has become the top-selling smartwatch in the world," Tim Cook said when addressing the future of the device. Cook then unveiled the new woven nylon band, adding that a large number of watch lovers regularly change their bands. "Beginning today, Apple Watch will start at just $299."
Giving a quick update on the shape of Apple TV to come, Cook teased a Folders feature and the ability to use Siri within the App Store. As a free update launching this week, Apple TV users will be able to explore many of these fresh features as soon as Monday afternoon.
"We’re here today to talk about a smaller iPhone," Greg Joswiak said when switching the event to the main attractions. "Why are people buying 4-inch iPhones? There’s two reasons." According to Joswiak, some people "simply love" smaller phones. However, Joswiak notes, a smaller size often helps a non-Apple customer easily transition to the far more glorious iPhone life. Introducing the iPhone SE, Apple is swiftly answering requests for a more powerful 4-inch device:
The SE will arrive armed with a 12MP iSight camera, True Tone, panorama abilities up to 63MP, and many other features not generally associated with a significantly smaller device. The price starts at just $399.
After taking a quick shot at Android users, Joswiak teased the latest iOS update (9.3) with a demonstration of the Night Shift feature. Citing Notes as one of the most-used apps in iOS 9, Joswiak announced the app will now be fingerprint-enabled. "Next up is iPad," Cook said, returning to the stage. "Many people are telling us that the iPad Pro has become their primary computing device."
"I couldn’t be more excited," Phil Schiller said after taking the stage to unveil the latest take on the iPad. Citing the Apple Pencil's widely accepted adoption in the animation industry, Schiller emphasized the "revolutionary aspects" of the inaugural iPad Pro. Featuring a 9.7-inch retina display, Schiller then introduced the new iPad Pro:
Schiller then took aim at Windows users, citing that most of the iPad Pro's early adopters were transitioning from the Windows life and were simply attracted to the Pro's ease of use. According to Schiller, the newest iPad Pro has the lowest reflectivity "of any tablet" on the market. "In so many ways, this is the best display we've ever built for an iPad," Schiller said.
In comparison to the Air 2, the new iPad Pro’s four speakers boasts more than double the volume. Fittingly, Schiller made this declaration against the backdrop of a Mad Max: Fury Road still. Speaking carefully to not trigger the mass of iPhones in the room, Schiller also pointed out the new Pro's ability to really take advantage of Siri's services by going through your annoying emails for you, adding something equally annoying to your calendar, and other tasks too boring for a human. A 32GB Pro will run a reasonable $599.
"We're always pushing forward and innovating," Cook said in closing. "We've had a lot of important announcements here. The iPod was announced in this room." According to Cook, 2017 will see the Apple events moving to their new campus and theater facilities. "We're looking forward to moving and we can’t wait to see what's in store for the next 40 years and share it with you."