Tech Monday – Apple Sept 9th Announcements

By now most of you are aware that Apple announced a whole slew of products last Wednesday, some for immediate release, others for later. At one time I was trying to write a weekly post about Apple but got sidetracked. As a long time Apple customer I’ve always been impressed with their products and the manner in which they run their company, especially over the last decade and a half. We’ll see how it goes this time.

On Wednesday, Sept 9, Apple introduced the following products:

  • Apple Watch, watch bands, rose titanium and gold titanium watches, watchOS 2.0
  • iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, Apple Keyboard
  • Apple TV
  • iPhone 6s and 6s+
  • Mac OS X 10.10 El Capitan

Apple TV

Apple TV and remoteThe most interesting item to me is an updated Apple TV. I’ve been using one since the first version and my version 2 was getting a bit long in the tooth, so I’m very happy to see this release. It seems to have all the features necessary to make it truly a nice addition to you screen viewing habits.

I think the killer feature here is universal search. The ability to search across all the installed app channels for shows and movies and sporting events you want to watch is the best feature I can think of. The fact that it return a list of everywhere the show is found, allowing you to select the app channel you want to watch, makes it even better.

Now, add in more speed, more memory, and a slicker interface, using Siri to perform searches and other chores, game apps, an app store, and you’ve got a winning product in my mind. I expect to see support for Apple’s rumored TV service early next year as well as an announcement of HomeKit activation as well.

iPhone 6s and 6s+

iPhone 6sNext up, the new iPhones are of particular interest to me as next spring I’m going to have to replace my current iPhone 5s with a new one. Basically, I’m planning to move to an area that doesn’t support T-Mobile that well and will be looking to change carriers. That means a new phone as the unlocked version I have probably won’t work on a different carrier. I’ll be sure to check that before I invest money in a new one.

If by chance I can retain the current 5s the only thing I’ll lose is access to Apple Pay, which I’m not really expecting to find much support for in the area I’m moving too. We’ll just say, too rural, and let it go at that.

New internal hardware, new colors, new capabilities in iOS 9.0 like 3D Touch, there’s a lot to like in these phones.

iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, Apple Keyboard

iPad Pro PencilIts nice to see Apple expanding their reach with iPads. Lots of professionals will love a new larger screen iPad just for the sheer wonder of using such a large screen. At nearly 13″ in size it provides almost twice the viewing space as the iPad Air and with the dual-app capability in iOS 9.0, it will be very handy to anyone who uses them.

I believe businesses will be the main target with this device, especially IBM, who is busy transforming American businesses to Apple products via a partnership with Apple. And Cisco can’t be far behind. I suspect in 2016 to see one or more other partnerships announced as Apple makes its presence known more and more within the former PC stronghold.

The Apple Pencil appears to be the stylus everyone has dreamed about. Because of the tight integration between hardware and software teams at Apple it appears to be the closest thing to using a real pen/pencil/brush on an electronic screen. I’m definitely going to try one out the next time I’m in an Apple store.

Will be even better when the same pencil capable screen comes to the iPad Airs, something I expect in the next release of those products. There’s no reason not to let everyone with an iPad experience the same drawing accuracy. Right now, let it remain an iPad Pro exclusive, but not too long.

Apple Watch

Apple Watch imageStill no real interest here for an Apple Watch. All the variety is nice but since I have no need for instant notifications, mail, and even calls on my wrist, and I hate wearing jewelry of any kind, it’s just a non issue for me. If I was still in the tech industry, on the go, and needing access to all of those things then it would probably be much more appealing to me. But since that’s not the case, meh!

The fact that within 3 months Apple captured over 60% of the smartwatch market seems to imply they’re on the right track but I’ll wait until version 3 or later before I evaluate its usefulness for me again. It’ll probably still be no, but then again, maybe not.

Mac OS X 10.10

El Capitan HomescreenAm eagerly awaiting the next release of Mac OS X, El Capitan, on Sept 30. The date was slyly slipped into the presentation via an email screen shot during a demo of the new 3D Touch features. Nothing really big to look forward to I can remember but lots of under the hood improvements that should make using my Macs even more fun and stable.

So that’s it. I’ll order the Apple TV the first day its available, install Mac OS X when its ready to download, and sometime next year determine if I need a new iPhone or not.

As Tim Cook modestly said, 2015 would be a big year for Apple, and with not everything we know that’s in the works revealed yet, it implies 2016 will be as big a year as 2015.

Meanwhile, I’ve got some fiction writing to do.

About lfrank

Forced to write dry technical material day after day for an ever changing industry. I now seek to escape into my personal fantasy world and tell its stories to all who will listen.
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