Apple has scheduled its biggest unveiling event ever for 1 p.m. Eastern time today, probably to unveil the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, and possibly one or two other products. We’ll be live blogging this event, but here’s a preview of what you can expect.
Expectations for the iPhone 6S
The main focuses of today’s event is expected to be the iPhone 6S and its larger counterpart, the iPhone 6S Plus. Apple usually only makes minor improvements to the S iPhone models, and we aren’t expecting anything unusual this year.
One of the biggest improvements is expected to be the addition of Apple’s Force Touch technology to the displays on both phones. This technology debuted in the Apple Watch and was later added to the MacBook. It enables devices to tell the difference between a tap and a press. Apple is also expected to include a better processor and some meaningful camera improvements.
We’ve also hear rumors that the company will unveil an upgrade to its less expensive iPhone 5C, which would probably be called the iPhone 6C, if Apple goes in this direction.
Will Apple unveil iPad Pro or Apple TV?
It’s also possible Apple will unveil that 12.9-inch iPad we’ve been hearing so much about for some time. The device is believed to be a sort of hybrid tablet-laptop that will be targeted at enterprise users. Rumors about this so-called “iPad Pro” have been going around for quite some time now. If there really is an iPad Pro, it’s expected to help Apple boost iPad sales, which have been lagging over the last year or so. Among the possible specs of this bigger iPad is a display that has a resolution that’s either nearly 4K or otherwise only 2,560 x 1,440 QHD. The iPad Pro is also expected to have Force Touch
Rumors about a refresh of the Apple TV set-top box also keep rearing their ugly heads. This time it seems like those rumors might be more serious, but of course we won’t actually know until Apple’s event. If the company finally refreshes the set-top box, it could have 8GB or 16 GB of storage, an A8 chip, and its own dedicated App Store.
One persistent rumor that’s linked to the Apple TV box is the idea that the company is also working on its own over-the-top streaming TV and video service. However, this service isn’t expected to make an appearance, as media reports have suggested that Apple is having a lot of problems striking deals with video content providers.
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1:55 p.m. – Tim Cook talking up Apple TV apps.
1:58 p.m. – NOW we’re getting to the new Apple TV set-top box. Don’t know why we skipped around but whatever. He talked about cutting price for Apple TV at the beginning of the keynote.
Remote for new Apple TV has a touchpad as expected. Now there are games on the Apple TV. Remote becomes a controller for it.
2:00 p.m. – Touch surface is glass, has a menu and display button, also SIri, pause, play, volume buttons, etc. Siri is the main navigation feature
2:05 p.m. – Apple was really thorough with Siri integration. Asking “What did she say?” will skip the video back. Other demos. Can even find TV shows when you ask for them.
2:07 p.m. – Siri will also answer questions like, “Who stars in this?” and provide other information about what you’re watching on the Apple TV. Swipe up for more details. Ask for information on the weather while watching any video.
2:10 p.m. – Now Eddy Cue is demoing Apple Music on the Apple TV. There’s a touchscreen to navigate the streaming music platform. Apple TV runs on its own operating system: tvOS, which is “based on iOS and built for the living room.” New apps for Netflix, HBO, Hulu.
2:11 p.m. – Long list of other apps for Apple TV being demoed, including games like Crossy Road. Disney Infinity and other console-exclusive games to be available on Apple TV. Guitar Hero, Zillow, exercise app that works with iPhone HealthKit apps.
2:16 p.m, – iPhone or iPod touch can also be used as game controllers for the Apple TV. Gilt now going to Apple TV too. Demo for Gilt.
2:20 p.m. – MLB also partnering with Apple for live sports on Apple TV. See games, highlights, split screens to watch more than one game at a time. When a game gets exciting, go split screen. Games become interactive, view charts. Look at a grid of games and click any one to stream it.
2:23 p.m. – 32GB Apple TV sells for $149, 64GB model for $199. Availability late next month.
2:24 p.m. – FINALLY, the iPhone.
2:25 p.m. – Tim Cook highlighting rapid growth of iPhone, growing faster than the rest of the industry. 3.5 times faster than rest of industry in the last quarter, actually, Cook says. iPhone grew 75% in China as rest of industry declined there. Now a video about the iPhone.
2:28 p.m. – Rumors about a rose gold model are correct. Body looks the same. Of course called the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. Cook says they changed everything about the iPhone this year though.
2:30 p.m. – Casing is a new proprietary aluminum alloy made by Apple. Available in silver, gold, space gray, rose gold. New glass display cover, the hardest of any smartphone. iPhone 6S, 6S Plus getting multi-touch. Force Touch but it’s called 3D Touch on the iPhone. Time for another video.
2:35 p.m. – Both iPhones getting two new gestures called Pop and Peek. Peek for emails and 3D Touch offers peek of content in apps.
2:35 p.m. – More new sensors, Taptic Engine, which debuted in the Apple Watch, 3D touch an advanced system for greatly improved multi-touch experience. 3D Touch goes beyond Force Touch.
2:40 p.m. – 3D Touch demo. Pressing deeper to read, press lightly on email to peek quickly. Peek at other items for a quick look without opening the full app. How funny: an “emergency selfie” function in the iPhone camera now. Really??
2:45 p.m. – iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus now have 12-megapixel iSight camera. TouchID fingerprint scanner much faster now. Auto-focus is faster too. Something called “deep trench isolation”? Very techie term. makes diodes more accurate by separating them. Better color.
2:50 p.m. – FaceTime camera is 5 megapixels, now with TrueTone flash.
2:55 p.m. – Pressing on photos turns them into video or a GIF. Feature called Live Photos. They have sound too. Live Photos is defaulted to on. It just extends the moment captured in the photo by a couple seconds before and after.
3 p.m. – WiFi double the speed of last year’s model. Apple also has a Google Play app to help Android users move over to iOS and then recycle their Android phone “free” at an Apple Store. More ways for Apple to take money out of their customers’ pockets. You might be able to get money for that Android phone if you sold it.
3:03 p.m. – Lowest model is 16 GB. Insanity. How are you supposed to take photos that turn into GIFs? 16 GB won’t hold many of those. Photo files sure to be bigger than regular photos on other phones. iPhone 6S prices from $199 to $399, iPhone 6S Plus priced at $299 and up for two-year contracts. Also installment plans available with carriers, and Apple offering its own upgrade plan for $32 a month to get a new unlocked iPhone every year and choose your carrier.
Preorders start Sept. 12. New iPhones available Sept. 25 in the U.S., the U.K., China, France, Japan, Australia. Apple will push out iOS 9 on Sept. 16.
Now an ad for the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.
And that’s a wrap.