At its press-only media event Monday morning, which is currently underway in Cupertino, California, Apple has formally announced a smaller iPad Pro alongside the iPhone SE, new Apple Watch bands and more. As previously suspected, the new device is a smaller 9.7-inch iPad Pro model that shares the same powerful internals with its bigger brother rather than it being a third-generation iPad Air.
These include Apple’s most advanced A9X processor, a 2,048-by-1,536 pixel resolution screen with pixel support for the Apple Pencil, the Smart Connector that allows accessories to attach magnetically and provides power and data, and other perks—and it weighs less than a pound, which is the same wight as the iPad Air 2.
True Tone Display
The screen of the new iPad Pro, compared to that on the iPad Air 2, has the lowest reflectivity of any tablet, 25 percent greater color saturation, deeper blacks, higher refresh rates and more.
More important than that, the screen of the new iPad Pro has a brand new technology called True Tone Display which uses two four-channel ambient light sensors to measure the color temperature of ambient light and adjust the display to match the environment.
Like the bigger iPad Pro, the new 9.7-inch device has four speakers that deliver two times more powerful audio volume compared to the iPad Air 2.
There’s also a smaller Smart Keyboard that attaches to the new iPad Pro via the built-in Smart Connector and—as you heard already—it supports the Apple Pencil, Apple’s optional $99 stylus accessory with palm rejection, pressure, tilt, virtually no lag and other highly advanced features.
Like with the new four-inch iPhone SE, Apple has basically brought the camera subsystem on the new iPad Pro on par with the iPhone 6s. Resolution of the front-facing FaceTime camera has been bumped to five megapixels and it now features True Tone Flash, a technology that flashes the display at three times the normal intensity to give your skin in low-light situations natural colors.
As for the rear iSight camera, the iPad Pro has the same twelve megapixel shooter with Focus Pixels, Live Photos support and other advanced technology as the latest-generation iPhone 6s. Oh, and it captures video in 4K.
Thus far, Apple has sold more than 200 million 9.7-inch iPads and said there are more than one million apps in the App Store designed specifically for iPads.
The new iPad Pro is available in Silver, Gold, Space Grey and—a first for the iPad—Rose Gold. The entry-level version with 32 gigabytes of storage is priced at $599, or a cool $200 less than the bigger 12.9-inch iPad Pro model.
The mid-range model with 128 gigabytes of storage is $749, like the entry-level 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
However, now there’s another model with a whopping 256 gigabytes of storage for $899. To better reflect the new models, the existing iPad mini and Air models have been discounted.
Apple will start taking pre-orders for the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro this Thursday, March 24 ahead of its release the following Friday, March 31.
Apple has just revealed at its ‘Let us loop you in’ media event when customers around the world will be able to download and install iOS 9.3. The third major update to iOS 9.0 since its September 2015 debut, iOS 9.3 will release later today, Apple has said.
The free software update for any iOS 9-compatible iPhone, iPod touch and iPad includes features like Night Shift Mode, which reduces blue light to avoid disrupting your sleep cycles, and the ability to pair multiple watches to a single iPhone.
In iOS 9.3, users can protect their notes with a passcode or Touch ID, enjoy an even more personalized News, take advantage of an enhanced Health app that integrates move, exercise and stand data, along with goals from Apple Watch apps, to mention just a few highlights.
CarPlay in iOS 9.3 includes Apple’s Nearby feature to help you find gas, parking, restaurants, coffee and other points of interest along with a much-enhanced Music app with your personalized New feed and a For You section with songs, artists, and albums handpicked by experts.
It also provide support for the Wi-Fi Calling feature to Verizon customers, unbricks devices affected by the January 1, 1970 bug, lets you see data usage numbers for Wi-Fi Assist feature, allows third-party iPad Pro accessories to update their firmwares through the Smart Connector and much more.
Last but not least, iOS 9.3 sports pretty big new features for the classroom such as managed Apple IDs, multi-user support on iPads and more.
Apple took the stage on Monday at the ‘Let us loop you in’ event to discuss some new Apple statistics and services, but it was soon followed by new information regarding the Apple Watch.
Along with a notable price drop, Apple Watch users are getting access to new Apple Watch bands with not only new materials, but even some new colors for existing wrist bands.
A new price point and new customization
Apple is officially dropping the retail price of the Apple Watch. Although there are no new models of the Apple Watch, the current models will now begin at $299 for the 38mm Apple Watch Sport rather than $349. The lower price point puts the Apple Watch Sport in reach of many new potential consumers.
The price drop may hint stalled sales, or the interest in ridding of current supplies to make room for developing a new generation in the future.
Apple also talked about some new wrist bands for the wearable device including:
- An all-new woven nylon band, which has a durable four-layer construction
- A new Space Black stainless steel Milanese Loop band to match the black stainless steel Apple Watch
- New colors for the popular and affordable Sport band
The new woven nylon band is made with a rigid material that is known for its durability in the workplace, and has a metal buckle with adjustment slots to change the tightness on your wrist. The band comes in various color options as well, giving users an array of customization options to choose from. Pictured is a variance of Aqua and Yellow, although a full list of colors has not yet been revealed.
The Black Stainless Steel Milanese Loop is finally giving those who want a darker Milanese Loop a product that they can buy and be proud to wear. Until today, users of the Apple Watch had nowhere to go for colored stainless steel bands except for third-party stores like Amazon.
The Sport band is getting an array of new colors. Although the material will stay the same, as will the price point, a Yellow band is among one of the numerous new colors to pick from. We’ll have more on the full list of colors shortly.
Apple’s Sport bands start at $49 and will begin delivering from online orders March 23rd
Apple has said at today’s ‘Let us loop you in’ media event that the tvOS 9.2 software update for the fourth-generation Apple TV will launch for public consumption later today.
tvOS 9.2 is the most significant software update for Apple’s new set-top box since its release in October 2015, bringing many features missing from the original release to the table.
tvOS 9.2 enables such new features as support for wireless keyboards, dictation, Siri support for App Store searches, app folders on the Home screen, a revamped app switcher, Siri Remote improvements, support for Live Photos and iCloud Photo Library, as well as a bunch of refinements that improve the experience.