The Apple Event was held September 9, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. -3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, CA. I watched the live stream and was interested to find out to what extent, if any, video games would be discussed during the event. Here is my breakdown of some of the highlights.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, Inc. as well as others provided information on the Apple watch, including colors and the different style bands available. According to Tim Cook, customers are 97% satisfied with the device. New Apple watch features include a wider face. The audience applauded when it was announced that Facebook messenger is coming to the Apple watch. Other features include itranslate, a GoPro camera and AirStrip.
Dr. Cameron Powell explained that AirStrip is a game changer for health care since it enables the Apple watch to show vitals as well as lab results real-time. Doctors can communicate with as well as monitor patients while they are at home. He discussed an example of a pregnant woman whose doctor for the first time will be able to distinquish between the mother's heart beat and the unborn infant by using the Apple watch.
Some Apple watches will ship on September 9, 2015 while others that use IOS 2 will ship on September 16, 2015.
Tim Cook said the iPad is the future of personal computing and mentioned Apple has partnered with IBM and Cisco. He deferred to Phil Schiller of Apple to discuss the next generation iPad which is the iPad Pro. The iPad Pro will have the largest screen, biggest display and more power than other devices of its type.
Video games were first mentioned during the iPad Pro segment of the Apple Event. Phil Schiller stated video games would be more immersive when played using the iPad Pro which has a 10 hour battery life, a 12.9" screen measured diagonally, with 5.6 million pixels. The pixel count is more than the Mac Book Pro with retina display. The iPad Pro will also be faster since it will be using an A9X chip which is 1.8 times faster than the A8X chip used previously. The sound system will use 4 speakers which will balance sound automatically based on how the iPad is being held.
Details followed on the software embedded keyboard on the iPad Pro, as well as a new accessory called the smart keyboard which is a separate keyboard that can be attached magnetically to the iPAD Pro.
Another accessory introduced and demonstrated was the Apple Pencil which will retail for $99.00.
I thought it was interesting when a representative from Microsoft, Kirk Koenigsbauer, came on stage and showed some of the iPad Pro features using Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. I did not think Microsoft usually attended Apple events.
Other iPad Pro capabilities discussed dealt with how it can be used to visualize the human anatomy which could be useful for doctors and others in the medical field.
The iPad Pro is expected to be available November, 2015.
During my previous Mom's Minute Video Game Show broadcast, available at http://www.allgames.com/mm/item/11301-moms-minute-9-7-2015, I shared news the Apple Event would reveal that the revamped Apple TV will change its focus from just music streaming and videos, to video games. I expected more coverage of video games that would be playable using the Apple TV. However, in my opinion, more emphasis and information were provided on apps for the Apple TV as well as the features of the remote control, instead of moving Apple TV more aggressively towards the video game market. During the Apple TV presentation, it was also announced a new app TvOS used by developers to create apps is available now.
A video was shown of people watching television browsing the different programs available as well using apps such as itunes, NetFlix, Hulu and others. The Apple TV demonstration on stage showed how one can talk to Siri and ask questions about television programs, etc. In my opinion, this is really nothing new since there are other devices that have this feature i.e., Amazon's Echo. Of note is the Apple TV remote control has a glass surface to enable easy gliding of your fingers across the remote control screen. Additionally, Apple TV uses bluetooth technology.
Video Games for Apple TV
Video games available for play using Apple TV include Rayman Legends, Disney Infinity, Guitar Hero, Beat Sports as well as Crossy Road. Crossy Road video game was demonstrated on stage. An announcement was made that for the first time there will be a multi-player mode for Crossy Road, exclusively for Apple TV.
A new shopping venue available called Gilt was discussed, followed by Chad Evans of Major League Baseball Advanced media talking about the MLB app. He announced the MLB.TV app is available now and for hockey fans, NHL will be available in 2016.
iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus
The iPhone 6S measures 4.7" while the iPhone 6S Plus is 5.2" in length. In addition to being multi-touch, the iphones will have 3D touch technology where you can control content viewed by the amount of pressure you use when touching the screen. A demonstration was done showing the features of the iphones, including the selfie option. Another use of the 3D touch technology involved changing a still photo to a video by activating the appropriate button and pressing your finger on a still image. For example, by pressing your fingers on a still photo of a lake, it ripples as if a video is being watched, even though the image is a photo.
Discussion continued on the iphone features while a video game, Vain Glory was played on stage using the iphone. Information followed on the new camera that is purported to have 50% more pixels than the previous generation iPhone. The term "deep trench isolation" was used to describe how even better pictures can be taken using the camera which will provide more precise colors.
Preorders for the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus start September 12, 2015, and will be available beginning September 25, 2015.
Apple Event Assessment
In my opinion, the highlight of the Apple Event was the introduction of the physical keyboard for the iPad Pro as well as the larger size screen. It was surprising to me that Apple introduced a stylus (Apple Pencil) since Apple has never used this type device before. I believe the Apple Event would have been newsworthy and made a bigger splash if the Apple TV segment was turned into a video game discussion and presentation session. Emphasis on the video game aspect of Apple TV would have gotten people talking and would have probably caused more buzz. I think the Apple TV is on its way to obsolescence unless Apple does something truly innovative, unique and different to make it stand out from other similar competing devices. A plus for the Apple TV is the cost is relatively low, in my opinion, at around $150.00