By Sid Pranke
I live tweeted via the stream from Apple’s Big Event in San Francisco Sept. 9 — 27 tweets, 4 retweets and a few “Favorites” later, the 2-hour brand extravaganza was over, wrapping up with performances of “Counting Stars” and “Good Life” by pop rock band OneRepublic.
I love OneRepublic songs, so I didn’t understand all the fuss from haters who whined about the band — not sure if these were from the invitation-only tweeters, but here’s a few samples of what was said as OneRepublic took the stage:
One Republic is/are the antithesis of all things Apple. Boring, me too and totally lacking innovation. Poor choice. #AppleEvent
— William Poel (@wpoel) September 9, 2015
Steve Jobs launched iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and played U2. Tim Cook launches multiple versions of every product and plays One Republic.
— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) September 9, 2015
You can see the band’s performances for yourself here:
Part of my point of bringing up the public complaints about the entertainment portion of Apple’s event is that I suspect that many of the same live tweeters who complained about the music also complained about everything else throughout the two hours. But they were watching.
Apple is so important in our world that the Big Event is treated almost on the same scale, albeit online, as the Oscars. A big lead-up, rumors surface, speculation ensues, play-by-play analysis, those are all similar. But the added derision directed toward the Apple announcement spectacle comes partly, I suppose, because tech writers are just naturally a skeptical bunch who enjoy complaining?
Or because it’s cool not to care too much about a big company that makes products almost everyone on the planet wants and think they absolutely need? Or because Steve Jobs is no longer with us — and he was at the helm when the technological breakthroughs really meant something?
Bloggers who bragged they wouldn’t be watching at all alluded to all sorts of reasons why. But that they had to alert everyone that they would NOT be watching is a non sequitur —if the announcements truly were not important to them, they wouldn’t have blogged about it. Otherwise, it’s passive-aggressive blogging.
In the hours leading up to 10 a.m. Pacific Time September 9, here’s what Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted:
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) September 9, 2015
In Android world, @androidheadline was smart enough to know that most of techie Twitterverse would be watching the noon event, so they tweeted at about 11:59 a.m. about a giveaway promotion: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!
The presentation of all the new products and features was well-coordinated by a variety of speakers, including one surprising moment when a *gasp* Microsoft employee was introduced to show Office software worked on the new iPad Pro. (Later, bloggers & tweeters would grumble that the new iPad Pro was REALLY similar to Microsoft’s Surface Pro released a few years back.) Here’s a recap of the new product announcements in no particular order — let’s dig in.
Pink, er, Rose Gold iPhone
All the cool kids are talking about the new pink iPhone — I mean rose gold, excuse me. Those awesome headline-writing fools over at Buzzfeed came up with this one in exactly this point size:
There were lots of tweets about coveting the new pink object and about giving Apple all their money to have it. Yes, people seriously got that excited.
The Apple Pencil
This is a product that almost distracts me away from my obsession with getting Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 5. But who’s to say that I can’t get the iPad Pro, too, so I may also use the Apple Pencil. Because that is the only device that the Apple Pencil works on, according to several reputable sources (it wasn’t stated during the announcement.) The Apple Pencil charges via Lightning port, and comes only in plastic.
Too bad I don’t know how to do calligraphy, but if I got the $99 Apple Pencil, I could always learn, right? Apple’s version of the stylus has touch sensors and needs to be paired with the iPad Pro via Bluetooth.
The iPad Pro
Presenters of the iPad Pro at the event made note of the 5.6 million pixels, 10 hours of battery life, new Adobe design apps, medical uses of the iPad Pro with the Pencil, and the prices. The iPad Pro will be available in November for $799 @32GB; $949 @128GB WiFi; $1079 @128GB WiFi + cellular.
Features, Pricing of the new iPhones
The new iPhones can be pre-ordered on Sept. 12 and will be available Sept. 25 — iOS 9 is coming Sept. 16. The four finishes offered on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are Silver, Gold, Space Gray and, as mentioned previously, Rose Gold.
The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus start at $199 and $299, respectively, but for more GB, the prices are higher.
Highlights of new features of the two phones include:
- Photos that offer sound and movement when you press on the image
- optical image stabilization (available only on the 6s Plus model)
- 3D touch that allows users to peek under messages, apps, emails, without losing your place on tasks.
- 12 megapixel camera that can shoot/edit 4K video – has great color & depth of field, Apple says.
- Plus, customers can now do payment plans to buy iPhones directly from Apple instead of only from third-party carriers.
Apple has some sample videos to preview the new 4K video.
Overall, it was a pretty good showcase, a great way for a top company to get the world’s attention. Though some analysts pontificated that the Revolution was over after they saw the new rollouts on Sept. 9, let’s not forget that 2 billion people have smartphones in what is still a very young industry.
SF Planet will roll out accessories to go with the new Apple products in coming days, and we will keep you informed.