When Apple speaks, everyone listens, and this week the world stopped for Apple's annual iPhone event. This year's one had something for everyone: new iPhones, new Apple TV, the iPad Pro, and a regrettable bit of sexism during a demo. But Apple wasn't the only firm making the news. Samsung and Amazon are up to interesting things as well. But first: what's cooking in Cupertino?
New iPhones and no surprises
The days when Apple could keep secrets are long gone: we knew almost everything about the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus before Tim Cook took the stage. There's a new Rose Gold colour option, 3D Touch for extra tappy-ness, a much better camera and 4K video recording to render 16GB models useless. The processors are faster, the graphics better, the wireless speedier and the aluminium stiffer. Prices are unchanged and pre-orders commence 12 September for delivery a fortnight later.
iPad Pro: yes or no?
The iPad Pro was another not-so-secret secret that Apple unveiled this week, and it's essentially an iPad Air 2 with a 12.9-inch screen and four speakers. It also supports a Surface-style keyboard and a tilt and pressure sensitive stylus, the Apple Pencil. Is it any cop? Gareth Beavis says yes, it is. "This thing has got a massive screen with impressive resolution and a bunch of fancy new tricks that, combined with Apple's iOS abilities, offer a really compelling experience." We really want one.
Is the "future of TV" too little too late?
The future of TV, says Apple, is apps. If you've used a smart TV, console, tablet or computer in the last few years you probably knew that already, but here comes Apple with innovations including Full HD (Full HD!) and animated screensavers (animated screensavers!) and apps (apps!) and controlling the TV set's volume (OMG CONTROLLING THE TV SET VOLUME!), apparently unaware that it's 2015.
There's no doubt that the new Apple TV is a lovely bit of hardware with a nice version of iOS, but in the TV stakes it doesn't feel particularly innovative and Amazon already showed us a smart, voice-controlled remote. Wii-style gaming and multiplayer could be fun, but we suspect that US Apple TV owners will love the device a lot more than UK ones will. The new Apple TV ships in October.
Hashtag AppleEvent, hashtag EverydaySexism
Woeful musical guests aside, the Apple Event was a great success – but it also featured a rare wrong note in an event run by one of the tech world's more enlightened organisations. It wasn't Apple but its partner Adobe, whose iPad Pro demo showed how you could digitally cheer up a female model. You didn't need to check Twitter to know how that went down, and while the sexism was unintended that's the point: somebody should have noticed.
Has the Fire Phone burned out?
Remember the Amazon Fire Phone, which would do to smartphones what the Kindle did to other e-readers? That plan didn't quite pan out, and the Fire hardly set the smartphone world on, er, fire. Now it looks like the Fire has gone out permanently: Amazon has run out of stock and it doesn't look like it plans to make any more. The Fire Phone isn't officially dead, though, or at least it isn't according to Amazon. It's just pining for the fjords.
The mystery of the mysterious Samsung S7 leaks
Funny how Samsung leaks turn up just as Apple announces new iPhones, isn't it? We're sure it's just a coincidence EVERY SINGLE YEAR. Ahem. But now the iPhone 6S is in the wild, the next big smartphone release will come from Samsung, so it's hardly a surprise that everybody's attention is turning towards Korea and the Samsung Galaxy S7. Rumours so far suggest 5.2 and 5.8-inch versions, at least one 4K display, 4GB of RAM and a microSD slot.
Pokémon just got real
Fancy playing Pokémon in the real world? Now you can: Pokémon is coming to augmented reality apps in iOS and Android. James Peckham explains: "You use the app to explore the real world and discover Pokémon as you go – it'll track where you are and then you'll get opportunities to catch, fight and even trade your monsters with others. There's even a watch-like wearable called the Pokémon Go Plus that sits on your wrist and looks like a friendship bracelet with a Pokéball attached."
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