The Apple Event was once again a huge deal in the tech world today. While this year’s event didn’t have the Wow factor that we have seen in years past, there were a few highlights. Perhaps the most innovative product is the new iPad Pro. Basically it is an iPad that now has a massive 12.9 inch screen. This is not really that exciting but the new stylus that is available called, in typical Apple fashion, #ApplePencil seems like it is really going to a game changer for the creative field. The artistic work that they demonstrated using it was very impressive.
Another new innovation that stood out was Live Photo. This makes your photos more interactive as they become not only still photos but also like 3 second GIF files. This is especially interesting for action shots or photos with movement in the background. It is not going to add much to every picture you take but will really bring some of your shots to life in a new way.
The other item that seems to be creating the most buzz is the new #3DTouch that will be available on the iPhone 6 and 6S. This now allows the phone to sensor how hard you are pushing the screen down and can create new options that will be available. It is almost like a right click button on Windows computers. It will allow all sorts of new ways to interact with games and certain apps.
Lastly, the new Apple TV seems much more focused on gaming and other apps and now includes SIRI to make interaction much easier and more in depth.
Not really much news on the Apple Watch. This will be an interesting year for that device to see if it really can catch on….. or not. So far reviews have been somewhat mixed. The new iPhone has some relatively minor hardware improvements but nothing that screams “I MUST OWN YOU IMMEDIATELY” and a lot of people seem a bit put off by Apple’s love affair with “high prices give the impression of high quality. Who cares if we have Huge margins on all of our products. “This is especially true with the optional Apple Pencil which costs an eye opening additional $99. This is even more true when considering the entry level iPad Pro, with only 32 GB of memory costs $799. Add in the new keyboard/case which costs $169 and you’re at over $1100.00 after tax for this device.
They also have a new plan available through the Apple Stores that will allow you to pay $32 a month for the latest version of the iPhone with Apple Care+ and then turn in your phone and upgrade every year. Some might argue that $384 annually is a lot for your phone, but there will certainly be people who line up to do it.
Overall, the event had a bit of the feel that the luster has somewhat left the room on these events. The smartphone/tablet market has matured significantly over the past 2 years where now there really is not the same excitement about relatively minor upgrades and people already have good devices so they do not need something new. This is probably what the new norm will be for these kind of events. Sure, there were some True iBelievers who hung on every word, and cheered wildly about features that have been available in other devices for years, but overall the responses in the social media worlds seemed fairly muted. While the term “It Changes Everything” seems to be tossed around pretty easily these days, people seem less interested in hardware and more interested in cool new software/apps that will change the way that they interact with the world. That seems to be where the real interest lies in “The Next Big Thing.”