Erich Sullivan – South Burlington Service Writer
The new Apple TV is what really has my attention, I’m already sold on the $200.00 64GB version.
I don’t know what has me most sold, Siri? The App Store and what that will mean? I know that anything we’re thinking today will be dramatically upset with what will come from it. A simple unified search that lets me know if it’s in showtime, HBO, netflix or Hulu or in iTunes is going to be unreal. No more painfully typing in on that arcade style grid keyboard several times to find out no one has it. More time watching TV, less time struggling with an interface and search limitations.
The App Store intends to turn the Apple TV into a casual gaming console, and the new remote gives it a change of being a decent experience.The new remote is exciting, the lightning connector for charging has me pondering things. They could have made it charge through micro USB, or run off batteries, or inductively charge on the top of the Apple TV box, but they went with lighting. It comes with the Lightning Cable to charge your remote, or your other Apple devices with a lightning port.
Another interesting decision was the USB type C on the back of the new Apple TV for restores. Very forward thinking, and just another display that Apple is really pushing for USB type C to be the next ubiquitous connector.
I have said many more things about the new Apple TV, but in short, I’m already sold.
Morgan Aldridge – Waitsfield IT
I wasn’t all that thrilled about the Watch additions (I’m still on the fence as to how useful I’d find the watch to be), but the iPad Pro announcement was cool. I know a lot of customers have been eagerly awaiting a larger iPad and—as a heavy iPad user myself—I know how useful they can be for work & play, so with iOS 9’s side-by-side apps support, it’ll be great. It’ll be especially useful for artists with the Pencil (which itself is a great improvement since stylus support is pretty poor on the iPad) and may turn out to be a strong competitor to the expensive Wacom Cintiq line of drawing tablets with built-in displays. And, can I say one thing about the four speakers on the iPad Pro… FINALLY!
The new TV looks great & fun, but doesn’t seem entirely groundbreaking, just exactly what the next step of its evolution needed to be. That’s not to say I don’t want one, it definitely looks like a great product, just that it’s what I’d expect a new TV to be. The remote looks very useful and fun for games, and I think that supporting iPhones & iPod touches as additional controllers is an absolutely brilliant idea.
As usual, the iPhone 6S & 6S+ look like excellent upgrades to an already great phone. Bringing Force Touch to the iPhone will be a nice addition and I can’t help but geeking out about how they implemented it (Apple is really becoming quite ingenious on their technical solutions to difficult problems which actually make a bigger difference than most people think). And, they just keep making an excellent camera even better (the Live Photos are neat, esp. if they really don’t increase the photo size by much).
Jim Overman – Waitsfield Phone Sales
Siri On The Apple TV!
There are many new exciting features to the Apple TV which make me think that it is time for an upgrade, but my favorite has to be the addition of Siri. In fact, the whole remote is pretty darn cool. It features a new glass touch surface remote that allows for easy maneuvering around the screen, just like an an iPhone or iPad. Back to Siri though, Siri is now able to do universal searches across iTunes, Netflix, Hulu and more for you favorite actor, director or genre. My very favorite part though is that if you ask Siri ‘What did they say?’, the Apple TV will automatically scroll back fifteen seconds and turn on closed captioning. I am particulary excited because when I watch Doctor Who I am doing this manually myself at least six or seven times per episode. No joke. It will be nice to just be able to ‘ask and receive’ as they say. The new Apple TV will actually come with two sizes of built-in storage, there will be a 32GB model for $149.99 and a 64GB for $199.99. Apple plans to start shipping in late October. I would say it is going to be on my holiday wish list but I am not sure I can I hold out that long!
Joe Lytton – Key West Store Manager
Just as we expected, Apple announced the next versions of its best-selling smartphones, the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus at its annual launch event in San Francisco. Also as we expected, the iPhone 6S looks identical to last year’s 4.7-inch iPhone 6S, reserving its most important changes for the hardware interior.
True, there is a new color now, called rose gold (it basically looks like a blush pink, same as the new Apple Watch color option that the company announced). But as far as looks go, this extra shade is the extent of the the changes you’ll be able to visually detect between this year’s and last year’s phones.
Apple says that its phone may look the same as last year’s model, but its iPhone 6S duo has achieved more inner strength. This time it uses a different grade of aluminum for its chassis, one that’s also used in the aerospace industry. They call it Series 7,000, and it’s the same aluminum alloy Apple puts into its Apple Watch Sport.
A new type of chemically strengthened glass also tops the iPhone 6S, though the company hasn’t confirmed if this is cover material from Corning’s Gorilla Glass line or not.
Apple has included a variation of Force Touch, which you find in different capacities on the Apple Watch and on some Mac trackpads. Called 3D Touch here, the iPhone 6S phones will adopt the same pressure-sensitive capability that calls up secondary menus and actions when you press and hold the screen. Press down and you can pull up context-sensitive menus, switch apps, or examine photos. But it’s a subtle riff on what already exists on iPhones: tapping and holding. Another use is to access shortcuts from the home screen for your most frequent actions, say messaging a friend. And if you’re in your email inbox, applying fingertip pressure to an element in the message will surface more information, like maybe the flight number on an emailed travel itinerary, for instance. (Apple called this concept “peeking in” during the live demo.) Pressing harder on an app will likewise generate more options, like viewing all the photos of a contact’s Instagram photo stream. In the context of a game, pressing harder could zoom you in to get closer to the action.
A 12-megapixel camera is a huge jump for Apple, which has been holding onto its 8-megapixel sensors in its iPhone for years. Autofocus will pick up the pace, according to Apple, and color accuracy is a point of pride.
The 5-megapixel front-facing camera now brings the iPhone 6S on par with a lot of today’s competing handsets. Of course, it includes the company’s proprietary voice chat feature, FaceTime video. Here’s something wildly different, though. Instead of including a dedicated flash for the front-facing camera, which only a few phones do, Apple is using the home screen to light up instead. This is meant to increase the brightness of those selfies even in low-light situations.
A new feature you’ll see in the camera, Live Photos is a default mode that turns stills into a video or GIF, basically, images that move. It’s an automatic thing; all you have to do is take the picture like normal. When we took some shots, it seamlessly added Live Photo motion and sound. The Live Photo motion came out more like stop-motion or time lapse, however, than true video. It’s also important to note that one Live Photo is about twice the file size as a regular photo. Couple that with the 4K video capabilities (more on that later), and you’ll definitely need more storage space to accommodate.
Apple also announced 4K video recording, at 3,840×2,160-pixel resolution. You’ll be able to take 8-megapixel camera photos while recording at this ultrahigh resolution. (The immediate benefit of shooting 4K video would be watching them later on a 4K TV.) Just like last year’s phones, the iPhone 6S Plus is the only model here with optical image stabilization, which helps correct blur from shaking hands.
Under the hood, we have an upgraded, proprietary A9 processor that continues Apple’s theme of mystery when it comes to exactly what’s going on in there. Though it’s impossible to appreciate during our quick demo, what we do know is that this is Apple’s third-generation 64-bit chip. Apple claims that the A9 is 70 percent faster than last year’s A8 when it comes to the usual computing tasks (like opening an app, for example), and 90 percent faster at graphical tasks, like gaming.
Apple says it’ll have the fastest forms of LTE Advanced, if that’s supported where you live, and will also include support for the latest, greatest Wi-Fi networks.
The two new iPhones will run on iOS 9, mining all of those software enhancements, like a smarter Siri and up to three hours longer battery life, plus a new Low Power Mode. The updated operating system, which is currently in public beta, will arrive for phones on September 16.