iPhone 6s, iPad Pro Star At Apple Event - InformationWeek

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Mobile // Mobile Devices
05:05 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman

iPhone 6s, iPad Pro Star At Apple Event

The new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, along with a larger iPad, dominated Apple's fall event, which also heralded a new Apple TV and revised mobile and wearable operating systems.

Apple's Swift Programming Language: 10 Fascinating Facts
Apple's Swift Programming Language: 10 Fascinating Facts
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Apple's annual fall event was one for the record books. Not only did the company show off its smartest iPhone yet -- the iPhone 6s -- but it also broke new ground in the tablet market, updated its streaming video box, and promised more powerful smartwatches.

As expected, the new handsets are called the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. The smartphones carry over the screen sizes and resolutions from last year's devices. They stand at 4.7-inches and 1344 by 750 pixels for the 6s, and 5.5 inches and 1920 by 1080 pixels for the 6s Plus.

The hallmark addition to the iPhone is something called 3D Touch.

With 3D Touch, the new iPhones can differentiate between light touches and firm presses. The feature can be used to call up secondary actions or menu screens, such as email previews, based on how hard users press the screen. Apple demonstrated how simple tapping and swiping gestures can be used to control the user interface, as in multitasking and dismissing content. Apple completely re-thought the touch screen technology in order to make 3D touch a reality.

Serious Improvements

The company is giving developers access to APIs so they can add 3D Touch to their own apps.

The iPhones look a lot like last year's handsets, but they have stronger frames. The new devices use 7000 Series aluminum to ward off the Bendgate phenomenon that had Apple fans crying foul last year when their expensive i-devices bent under pressure.

(Image: Apple)

(Image: Apple)

Apple updated several core components of the devices, including the camera and processor. Apple improved the camera's sensor to 12 megapixels. It has twice as many focusing elements, in order to create sharper images. More importantly, Apple worked to reduce crosstalk and image noise that can cloud color. The main camera can now capture 4K video. The user-facing camera captures 5-megapixel images, and the new iPhones can pop the display to act as a selfie flash. The 6s and 6s Plus use Apple's new A9 processor, which offers significant performance and power efficiency gains over the previous A8 chip. The M9 motion coprocessor is built directly into the A9. It is always on to track motion and other fitness data.

In a move sure to rile some, Apple is keeping the storage options at 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB, each of which costs $100 more than the last. Apple said it worked hard to reduce the size of iOS 9, the operating system that ships on the new iPhones. Many people will find 16GB a pathetic amount of storage. The entry-level storage capacity should be 32GB, which is what nearly all competing flagship handsets include. Apple usually doesn't say how much RAM is in its devices.

[Read more about the Apple Watch and the wearables market.]

The new operating system brings a lot of features to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, such as a dramatically improved Siri voice assistant, better battery life, wireless CarPlay, mass transit maps, a newsreader app, and support for loyalty and store-based credit cards in Apple Pay.

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will be available for pre-order on Sept. 12. They reach Apple Stores Sept. 25. The 16GB 6s starts at $649 and the 16GB 6s Plus starts at $749. They come in silver, space gray, gold, and rose gold.

Apple today finally put to rest rumors of an enterprise-focused tablet and announced the iPad Pro, a 12.9-inch slate that is sure to convince some mobile professionals to leave their laptops in the office. The LCD screen includes with 2,723 by 2,048 pixels. The iPad Pro and takes full advantage of 

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Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio
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Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
9/10/2015 | 4:51:17 PM
Re: replacing laptops?
iOS devices are likely Disneyland. Nice to visit, but I wouldn't want to live or work there. I'm sticking with my MacBook Pro.
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