Apple unveils smaller iPad Pro, new Watch Bands, iOS 9.3 and TvOS updates arriving Today!

iPad Pro 9.7inch

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.9.7-inch iPad Pro

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.

Cameras

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.

New iPad Pro camera

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.

New ipad pro pricing

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.

Availability

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.

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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.

iOS 9.3 Night Shift mode teaser 001

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.

iOS 9.3 Classroom app teaser 001

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 Watch Let Us Loop You In Event

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

Apple Watch woven nylon 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

tv apple

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.

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Apple unveils the 4-inch iPhone SE!

iPhone SE

At today’s invite-only media event at the Town Hall on its Cupertino, California headquarters, Apple has officially unveiled its latest four-inch smartphone, the iPhone SE. With one-third of iPhone buyers still preferring four inch phones and two and a half years having passed since the introduction of the iPhone 5s, its last four-inch phone and the world’s first smartphone with a 64-bit processor, the iPhone SE picks up right where its predecessor left off.Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 18.33.03

The rumors were true: the iPhone SE takes Apple’s latest and greatest technology like a third-generation 64-bit A9 processor with an embedded M9 motion coprocessor, upgraded cameras, faster wireless, NFC for Apple Pay and more (but without 3D Touch), and packs it inside a four-inch form factor.

The iPhone SE has has a twelve-megapixel camera on the back, just like the iPhone 6S. The front-facing camera has gained Retina Flash function from the iPhone 6s, which flashes the display three times the normal to illuminate your face as you take selfies.

iPhone SE specs

The iSight camera includes the latest features like Focus Pixels and True Tone Flash, while the A9 chip’s image single processor allows for panoramas up to 63 megapixels, improvements to video, Slo-Mo and other features.

LTE speeds on the iPhone SE are fifty percent faster than the iPhone 5s and there’s three times faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 18.37.40

And because it has the power-efficient M9 motion coprocessor that can monitor mic input, the iPhone SE include a tetherless ‘Hey Siri’ function. And last but not least, the iPhone SE has Apple’s latest-generation Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

By the way, Apple sold over thirty million four-inch iPhones in 2015 and for a lot of customers it’s their first iPhone, said Apple’s SVP of iPhone marketing, Greg Joswiak.

iPhone SE Price

Apple unveils smaller iPad Pro, new Watch Bands, iOS 9.3 and TvOS updates arriving Today!

Availability

It starts at only $399 for a contract-free version, making it the most affordable iPhone. There’s also a higher-priced $499 iPhone SE with 64 gigabytes of storage

Apple will begin taking pre-orders for the iPhone SE this Thursday, March 24 ahead of its release the following Friday, March 31. The new phone will be in about 110 countries by the end of May, said Apple.

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iPhone 7 Leaked with Dual-Lens Camera and a Smart Connector!

iPhone 7 leaked

The iPhone 7 may come with a Smart Connector if photos of what appears to be an early iPhone 7 Plus unit can be believed.

Photos of the alleged iPhone 7, leaked by a Chinese website, show Apple integrating a dual-lens camera into the design of the rear case. If the case is accurate, it looks like Apple won’t be ditching its protruding camera lens this year.

It’s unclear if Apple will use the dual-lens camera on the iPhone 7 as well as the 7 Plus. Early rumors have suggested Apple will make the feature exclusive to the iPhone 7 Plus due to supply constraints in late 2016.

Russian design firm Feld & Volk — famous for its gaudy iPhone modifications — has already created renderings of what the iPhone 7 Plus would look like if the leaked case above is genuine. Feld & Volk also has a reputation for getting its hands on iPhone parts before launch, but their sources haven’t confirmed whether the leaked iPhone 7 case is authentic.

iphone-7-feld-volk

iPhone 7 leak shows Smart Connector

The addition of a Smart Connector on the iPhone 7 hasn’t been mentioned by previous rumors. Apple debuted the new connector, which can power devices and transmit data, on the iPad Pro. (The upcoming 9.7-inch iPad Pro is also expected to get the feature.)

Adding a Smart Connector to the iPhone 7 could alleviate some fans’ concerns about charging and listening to headphones at the same time if Apple kills the headphone jack as expected.

iphone-7-smart-connector

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iPhone 6s Plus crushes Galaxy S7 edge in side-by-side speed test

iPhone 6s Rose Gold

The Galaxy S7 is Samsung’s best smartphone to date and it’s performed well in stress tests, including water resistance tests and extensive drop tests. Now for the first time, someone has done a side-by-side speed test of the Galaxy S7 and the iPhone 6s and it shows that Apple’s flagship phone is still king when it comes to real-world performance.

Specifically, YouTube user Jerome Ortega ran a performance test across various top devices, including the Moto X Pure Edition, the Nexus 6P, the Galaxy S7 edge, and the iPhone 6s Plus.

All devices are running freshly installed operating systems, have no SIM cards, and all have the same apps installed. The point of the test is to see how fast each phone runs a sequence of apps. We’ve seen this sort of comparison done before between iPhones and other Samsung phones and the iPhone has traditionally come out on top despite having inferior hardware specifications.

In this case, the iPhone 6S Plus has 2GB of RAM and a dual-core A9 chip, while the Galaxy S7 edge has 4GB of RAM and an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. Recent tests have shown that the new Snapdragon 820 CPU barely outperforms the A9.

galaxy-s7-edge-iphone-6s-plus-performance-test

Those of you expecting the Galaxy S7 edge to come out the faster device will be surprised to see the iPhone beating its new rival quite easily, as you can see in the scores in the image above. The iPhone 6s Plus ran through the test cycle with 17 seconds to spare compared to the Galaxy S7 edge.

The iPhone 6s is snappier than the Galaxy S7 edge, which is impressive. For the sake of the argument, we’ll note that the Nexus 6P almost matches the Galaxy S7 edge in speed, with the Moto X Pure coming in the last spot.

Check out the full video below

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