Today, March 21st, Apple with their annual keynote for the season announced a slew of new enhancements and products for their customers. Read on to find out what’s new with Apple this spring.
- Recyclable products and CareKit
Occupying a significant portion of the keynote, Apple informed its customers of how extensively they utilize renewable energy to produce and package their latest offerings in technology around the world. The depletion of resources is a growing concern worldwide and Apple ensured that all their products cause more benefit than harm to the environment.
Speaking of growing concern, health may be for some. Building on Apple’s ReasearchKit success last year, they introduced CareKit. While ResearchKit allowed scientists to monitor and study the health of customers voluntarily, CareKit is an open-source software platform allowing individuals to develop their own health applications. Apple’s COO Jeff Williams demoed an application made specifically for Parkinson’s disease patients allowing them to monitor the effectiveness of their medication, while also displaying Texas Medical Center’s development of a post-operation checklist monitoring the symptoms and movements of a patient.
With the iPhone’s global footprint, the application may make communication with a doctor seamless in real time and with so many research institutions and developers already in favor of CareKit, the future looks promising for when it releases for the public in April.
2. Apple Watch and OS Updates
As expected, the Apple Watch lineup did not see a refresh, not on the product itself, but rather strap upgrades as far as a new black Milanese Loop and colorful new additions that look rather weak. On a brighter note, the Apple Watch lineup starts at $299, the lowest they’ve ever been maybe suggesting an imminent Apple Watch 2 release.
3. OS Updates
The Apple TV operating system was also graced with some much needed features including voice dictation, ability to arrange content in folders like on any other iDevice and the synchronization of your iCloud Photo gallery, enabling you to view photos and LivePhotos on your television wirelessly. The added support for a bluetooth keyboard also means you do not have to pair up your iPhone or iPad to the Apple TV in order to search for content.
While on the topic of updates, iOS also saw a few functional updates in TouchID integration for the Notes application, a Night Shift mode making color tones easier to the eye at night and a more effective suggestions tab for better HealthKit integration. The latest El Capitan, 10.11.4 is also out of Beta today. along with iOS9.3 and Apple TV updates that have already began rolling out via OTA.
4. iPhone SE
Arguably the most anticipated announcement of the entire keynote, the iPhone SE. It looks to replace the current iPhone 5S, packing exactly the same design as the 5S, but with internals from the iPhone 6S and an additional rose gold offering. This is a true hybrid high end smartphone and although Apple are keen on recycling, I wish they would’ve changed the design a little bit at least. As for cost, the new iPhone SE is going to set you back $399 for the 16GB variant – I don’t know why these exist, or $499 for the 64GB variant. Definitely cheaper, but Apple still has a long way to go before they can call themselves “budget friendly.”
5. iPad Pro (9.7″)
From the title, this might not seem like a very new announcement but it is. The new iPad Pro is the 9.7″ iPad packing the 12.9″ iPad Pro’s internals and hardware. Aiming to improve portability, the new iPad Pro is aimed towards current PC users looking to upgrade to a more seamless and powerful experience – like that’s ever really going to happen. The new iPad Pro features a TruTone dsplay, which means the display is capable of adjusting to ambient light in your surroundings for a less strenuous experience and also brings in the functionality of the Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard, making this device truly a smaller brother to the original iPad Pro. The new iPad Pro retails for $599 for the 32GB variant and for the first time ever, Apple has included a 256GB variant for $899.
6. One More Thing!
Expecting a refresh to the current MacBook lineup, I was disappointed not to see one. The least they could have done is introduced a rose gold MacBook. Alas, we can only hope for it this Fall.
That is all for Apple’s Spring event for 2016. Has the event tempted you to consider buying any of Apple’s new offerings? Or are you disappointed in their lineup? Let us know in the comments below!