Article in brief: Apple launched its latest hardware last night, mainly the iPad Pro. Is it truly the “biggest news in iPad since the iPad”?
Last night’s Apple event brought with it a bevy of news about their latest black squares and rectangles that you’ll be able to buy soon. As usual, the company introduced their latest iPhone iteration, the 6s and 6s Plus. They come in a new Rose Gold color that, to my eyes, looks like pale pink. Their new feature is the inclusion of 3D Touch – a rebranded Force Touch that was introduced on the Apple Watch and the 2015 MacBook line – that’s essentially a right-click since it brings up context menus or other actions. Similarly, the Apple Watch comes in new colors, materials and has a wider variety of bands to choose from.
In the event, the Apple TV did not receive a refresh but an actual upgrade. It comes with improved hardware and better software. The user interface is polished, friendly and incorporates voice commands using Siri with the new remote. Next, two new iPads were introduced, the iPad mini 4, which puts the iPad Air 2’s internal hardware in a smaller form factor, and the much rumored and hyped iPad Pro. Finally, Apple announced that iOS 9 and watch OS 2 will be released on September 16, followed by OSX El Capitan on September 30.
The iPad Pro was clearly the flagship product at yesterday’s event. It is 12.9 inches, which is about the size of a MacBook Air, it has four speakers, 10 hours battery life and its screen displays 5.6 million pixels. You’ll recall that Steve Jobs famously mocked styli as an input device when he introduced the iPhone in 2007. At the time, the iPhone’s capacitive touchscreen that worked perfectly with fingers was a game changer, compared to the number of other devices that used resistive screens with a stylus. Eight years later – yes, it’s been eight years – capacitive touchscreens are the norm and even the resistive ones have improved. They’re commonly found on the Nintendo 3DS handheld consoles now.
Therefore, the next step was to make the iPad the tool that a lot of people want by giving it a stylus: the Apple Pencil. At the event, Apple invited people from Microsoft and Adobe, to demonstrate various uses of the iPad Pro in a professional environment. Apple was clearly pushing the idea that this was the iPad’s moment of maturing into a full-fledged productivity device.
Did Apple succeed? Personally, I use a Livescribe 3 SmartPen which scans my handwriting and syncs it to my Evernote account. I have an iPad mini 2 that I use for reading, watching and annotating documents with my finger. The iPad Pro looks like a great choice to bring all that together but is it really worth it? The device itself starts at a 32GB model for $799, with the Apple Pencil priced at $99, and Smart Keyboard priced at $169. All sold separately, totaling to $1,067, which is around AED 3916 for the base model.
Rather than sell it separately to give the device a cheap and marketable price, Apple should have bundled Pencil with it like the Microsoft Surface Pro. The truth is, like the iPad mini 2 I own, it looks like a really good media consumption device. Based on my current impressions, I don’t think the iPad Pro will take the world by storm – not yet anyway.
For more, you can watch the event here*: http://www.apple.com/apple-events/september-2015/
*The link only works through Safari or Microsoft Edge