Recap of Apple's 'Hey Siri' Event (September 2015)

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

New Everything

It's September again, and that means another media event from Apple. Apple usually uses these to announce the newest iPhones, the release date of the next major versions of iOS and OS X, and any other big secrets it's been hiding. Normally, the iPad gets either a silent update or a smaller event later in the year, but this time, Apple broke with tradition.

Today, at an event entitled "Hey Siri", Tim Cook and friends delightedly showed off a whole range of new products: the iPhone we all expected, but also an updated iPad Mini, an entirely new category of iPad (the 12.9-inch Pro), a new Apple TV, gold and rose gold versions of the Apple Watch Sport, and a set of new Apple Watch bands. Each of these items is a big deal on its own--the Apple Watch color and band choices perhaps less than the rest--and Apple has a great holiday shopping season in store. Let's have a look at everything and see why your wallet may soon be lighter than you'd planned. I know mine will be!

Speaking of looking, here are a few video links for you, if you want to experience the announcements for yourself:

iPhone 6S

The new iPhone is probably the most highly-anticipated portion of these fall events, so I'll start here; oddly, though, Apple waited until the end of the announcements to introduce it. In summary: faster, stronger, better cameras, 3D Touch, and still compatible with most of the iPhone 6 accessories/cases you already have.

This is an S year, meaning that Apple kept the iPhone 6 design and just added or upgraded bits. On the outside it looks the same, but on the inside, it sports major changes. Before we go past the metal body, though, there's one thing to know about that metal. In the iPhone 6, some reports surfaced that the aluminum frames of the phone would bend very easily. Apple downplayed the problem, but it seems to have taken notice all the same. This year's iPhones are made of the same "7,000 series aluminum" from which the Apple Watch Sport is constructed. Apple claims that this alloy is sixty percent stronger than regular aluminum and is used in aircraft manufacturing, thus making it far harder to bend your new phone. They also use the same toughened, ion glass for the 6S screen that the Apple Watch Sport uses.

The big feature of the 6S is 3D Touch, a variant of the Force Touch technology we've talked about in the past. ForceTouch debuted on the Apple Watch, and then came to some MacBook trackpads. The system essentially adds a sense of depth, plus physical feedback, to an otherwise flat and unmoving touch screen. It does this by letting you push on the screen, and feel a click under your fingers. The intensity of the click can be varied, and the amount of pressure you use can make different things happen. On a trackpad, for instance, it can make you feel exactly like you've clicked a regular mouse, but you can keep pushing down to get to a second, more forceful click (known, somewhat confusingly, as performing a "force touch"). Since the device knows how hard you push, it can do things like vary the boldness or width of a line you're drawing, based on how firmly you press, or make the rewind button in a media player seek faster or slower according to how hard you push on the screen.

The feedback mechanism in ForceTouch allows for haptic feedback for more than just clicks. While we don't yet know what the iPhone will do with it, some apps on Mac have already used it to give a series of taps if the user tries to go beyond a boundary on the screen. Imagine feeling a very soft click each time you slid your finger from one key to the next on the on-screen keyboard, or touched a different icon or button. Essentially, ForceTouch's haptic feedback and pressure-sensing will open up a whole new dimension in the way you interact with iOS.

For some reason, Apple has branded the implementation on the 6S "3D Touch", rather than Force Touch. This may be due to how it works; instead of pressure sensors under the glass, the system on the iPhone relies on sensors to measure the distance between the screen and the backlight. It combines that data with input from the accelerometer and screen touches to figure out how hard you're pressing.

What we do know about iOS and 3D Touch is that you think of things as windows, and of touch as how far you want to look in. For instance, if you lightly touch a link on a webpage, you get shown a preview of what's on the page being linked to. If you press down harder, the preview expands and the full page loads. You can also switch apps, by lightly pressing on the edge of your screen and then sliding your finger across. Apple will undoubtedly expand this capability as time goes on, but for a first implementation, this seems like a great place to start.

Some of the demos we saw on stage today looked quite interesting. Lightly press an icon on your home screen, and, if the app supports it, you'll get a list of "quick options". The Phone app, for instance, offers a list of your favorite contacts, while Facebook lets you compose a status update without opening the app. Lightly pressing a link inside Safari will, as mentioned, show a preview of the page to which that link will take you, letting you quickly look at information without having to actually open the new page. Lightly press an email, and the email is previewed but doesn't open. You can quickly look at what an email says in this way, without opening it and then having to go back to your inbox. Lightly pressing a time will present a calendar view; if you get a text asking if you're free at 5:00, lightly touch the 5:00 to check your calendar, then reply to the text without actually opening the Calendar app at all. Developers will have full access to the 3D Touch APIs starting soon, letting apps go crazy with drawing, pressure-sensing, and other fun interface designs.

The other major upgrade in the 6S is in the cameras. The rear camera now has a 12-megapixel sensor with advanced features to give you the best possible images, plus speedier auto focus. The front-facing camera, meanwhile, is now five megapixels, and is capable of taking panoramic shots, recording video at 1080P, and providing a makeshift flash by making the screen of your device turn bright for a split second when the picture is taken. The screen flash can even adjust its color according to the scene, offering Apple's True Tone flash without needing to use a second set of LEDs. Compare all this to the eight and 1.2 megapixels of the iPhone 6's rear and front cameras, and the improvement is clear (pun most definitely intended).

There's a new aspect to pictures coming with the iPhone 6S: Live Pictures. Essentially, you get a picture, plus 1.5 seconds of video on either side of the shot, including audio. Apple says this feature takes up very little extra space, and will offer a way for pictures to be more than just snapshots in time. There's even an API, letting non-Apple apps support playback of Live Pictures. On the 6S, you press in on a picture to play the live version. Yes, you can disable the feature if you want to, just like you can disable automatic HDR on other iPhone models.

Apple has made changes to many of the internals of the 6S, using less power while offering greater speeds. Wifi and LTE, for instance, can now support speeds twice as fast as before, while the A9 processor runs seventy percent faster than the iPhone 6 even as it uses less battery.

The battery in the 6S will, as a happy consequence of all this careful engineering, last longer than that of the 6, and allow for more power-hungry features. For instance, Apple is so confident in the 6S battery that they've made one feature exclusive to the new phone: Hey Siri will work all the time. Currently, if your iOS device is plugged into AC power, you can say "Hey Siri [some command]" and Siri will do what you said. Leaving this on all the time, though, would be too much of a battery drain, so Apple doesn't offer the option… until now. If you have an iPhone 6S, you'll never again need to press and hold the home button to activate Siri. In addition, Your motion coprocessor is now always on, whereas that of the iPhone 5S or 6 is only powered up every few seconds unless you're actively tracking a workout. This lets step counting and other health information on the 6S be more accurate than ever

Other under-the-hood changes between the 6 and the 6S include:

  • An upgraded processor--the A9--capable of even more performance than the blazing fast chip in the iPhone 6. Apple promises more power for you to use, while using less power from your battery.
  • There's an improved LTE radio that consumes less power and can provide faster speeds, though such a speed increase will depend on your cell carrier to deliver.
  • Similarly, the wifi chip has been updated. It still uses the 802.11AC standard, as far as we know, but Apple has made it potentially faster. Only real-world tests will tell if there actually is a difference.
  • TouchID is now twice as fast as before, making unlocking your phone that much more convenient.

Not surprisingly, the 6S will come in the same flavors as the 6, and for the same prices. The three storage options are 16, 64, and 128GB, and the two screen sizes are 4.7 and 5.5 inches. The available colors will also stay the same, but will gain an additional option--rose gold. You can preorder a 6S starting Saturday, September 12, and shipping begins on September 25. Apple will also start selling accessories for the 6S--its full range of silicone and leather cases, charging docks, and so on.

Yes, if you were hoping for a smaller iPhone 6C, or that Apple would start at 32GB instead of 16, I'm sorry to say you'll be disappointed by today's announcements (possibly until November, possibly much longer). However, Apple will be making the iPhone 5S its free-on-contract option, so if you really want that smaller screen, you can still get a phone that supports TouchID, a 64-bit processor, motion processor, and more.

To pay for your new phone, you can go the usual route and get it through your carrier, or you can consider Apple's new iPhone Upgrade Program. Essentially, you pay Apple a monthly fee instead of paying your carrier. You get an unlocked phone for the carrier of your choice, and use it as normal. The price for this is higher than most carriers would charge--starting at $32.41--but the advantages are that you can upgrade every year even though your phone isn't paid off, and you get Apple Care Plus included in the price.

Apple did offer one consolation to people wanting more data: iCloud storage has increased. The 5GB option is still what everyone gets for free, but Apple now offers more competitively priced paid storage options:

  • 50GB for $0.99 per month--two and a half times what that price used to get you
  • 200GB for $2.99 per month, a dollar less that the previous price for this tier
  • 1TB for $9.99 per month, which is double what $9.99 got you in the past

While this isn't the larger storage capacity iPhone many were hoping for, it still lets you offload a lot of data to the cloud for very little money. Of course, now that the new iPhones can shoot 4K video, you may find your storage filling up faster than before.


Upgraded iPad Mini

The previous iPad Mini update--from the second to the third generation--was widely regarded as a disappointment. The internals were practically untouched, the screen was the same, and the only big change was the addition of Touch ID. This year, though, Apple has pulled out all the stops. The newest iPad Mini includes specs that bring it in line with the iPad Air 2, once again making the Mini a true competitor in the market of smaller tablets. It also got an upgraded camera, and now sports the same shooter found in the iPhone 6 or iPod Touch 6. While Apple didn't say it, I feel it fair to speculate that some of the video-intensive features of iOS9 will now run on the latest Mini. It will be interesting to see what happens as people get ahold of these devices and start putting them through their paces.

Not surprisingly, the Mini 4 will be priced the same, and offer the same storage capacity choices, as the previous generation. Specifically, prices will start at $399 for 16GB, plus more if you want to add cellular support. You can choose either space gray, black, or gold; no rose gold option here, at least not yet. No word on what will happen to the Mini 3; Apple usually leaves the previous generation of a device in circulation as a cheaper alternative, but that isn't always the case.

The iPad Pro

Rumors have swirled for years that Apple was pondering a super-sized iPad. Today, they were proven correct.

The iPad Pro is a 12.9-inch iPad, which you may recognize as being huge for a tablet. For productivity, though, it can't be beat: it can run two apps side by side--with far more space for each than on an iPad Air--and it can do it in landscape or portrait. The screen is nearly as large as that of a 13-inch MacBook, yet the entire device is barely thicker than that screen (6.9mm) and is touch-capable. The screen even packs in more pixels than the retina display on a MacBook--5.6 million of them--and sports advanced features like a custom controller and variable refresh rates to save power. All this is packed into a device weighing just 1.5 pounds.

The Pro sports an A9X processor, which puts the iPad Air 2 to shame in terms of CPU and graphics performance: it is 1.8 times faster in CPU power, and twice as fast at graphics tasks. It also includes something never before seen in an iOS device--four speakers! For those of you who want to really hear your audio, the Pro seems a great choice. It sports two speakers on the top, and two on the bottom, which Apple claims can pump out three times the sound of the Air 2. The Pro can even balance the sound based on how it's tilted, so that audio always sounds centered both vertically and horizontally. Despite its capabilities, it still boasts a ten-hour battery life.

Apple will be selling two new accessories for the iPad Pro: an external keyboard named the Smart Keyboard, and a stylus called the Apple Pencil, used for drawing and handwriting. The keyboard will attach magnetically, and will sit over the bottom part of the iPad Pro. When it's attached, iOS detects it and adjusts accordingly, though we didn't get much detail on just what such adjusting entails. The keyboard is powered by, and sends data through, the magnetic connection, so there's no need to charge it or connect to it through bluetooth. It uses the same switches as are found in the new MacBook's keyboard, and is covered in a special woven cloth. No word on what that feels like under the fingers for now.

As a side note, the on-screen keyboard is extended, and can customize itself to the app you're using. Numbers, more punctuation, editing buttons, and more are all displayed with the extra space the Pro offers. It isn't yet known if this customization is available to developers, or if Apple supplies a set of pre-defined keyboards from which apps can choose, or if an entirely different mechanism is in use.

The Apple Pencil is a way of drawing on your iPad's screen with pinpoint precision. It includes pressure sensitivity, letting it tell iOS how hard you're pressing, and can also differentiate between your using the tip versus the side as you draw. Use it to sketch in Notes, add annotations or sign documents sent to you in Mail, write in the margins of Word documents, draw shapes, and more. Developers will have access to all this, letting them build stylus support into their own apps. The Pencil runs on battery power, and can be charged directly from the iPad Pro's Lightning connector, or by normal charging.

Unfortunately, you can't get your hands on one of these giant iPads just yet. Apple won't be shipping anything until sometime in November, and there's nothing yet about when preorders might open. The Pro will start at $799 for 32GB and go up from there; add $150 to increase to 128GB, and add even more for cellular connectivity. As mentioned, the Smart Keyboard and Pencil are sold separately: the keyboard is $169, the Pencil is $99.

Apple TV

When Apple discounted the then current-generation Apple TV by $30 back in March, many people wondered if a newer model was on the way. When WWDC 2015 came and went with no such update, everyones' sights switched to the fall event… And here it is at last!

The new Apple TV runs a variant of iOS9, dubbed "tvOS", and developers are finally able to make apps for it. It also supports Handoff, so someday soon, you could walk into your house while listening to music on your iPhone, and tell your Apple TV to keep playing the tunes. Or, you could be browsing the web on your TV, then open Safari on your iPad and pick up right where you left off. Third-party apps will be able to offer similar experiences, making your home a connected part of your iOS ecosystem like never before. Most exciting for me, tvOS includes a wide array of accessibility features, from Voiceover to Zoom and a lot more.

This generation Apple TV is a radical redesign in terms of software, but the hardware looks similar to the device we already know and love. It has a similar shape--albeit ten millimeters thicker--and the same ports and connectors. An A8 chip (the same one found in the iPhone 5S, and years ahead of the chip in the now outdated Apple TV) powers all this, offering hugely improved performance and efficiency.

Why would anyone browse the web on their TV, though, and how exactly would you "tell" the Apple TV to play music? Apple has two exciting answers: Siri, and a super-advanced remote. With Siri, you can say what you want your TV to do, and it will do it. The experience seems to be very similar to Siri on iOS; you hold down a button on the remote, say your command into the built-in microphone, and watch what happens. Unlike Siri, though, commands for your Apple TV include things like "search Youtube for cat videos". You can also run a general search, and results will be pulled from any app or video source your Apple TV can access (a small list for now, but expected to grow as time goes on). Siri can also filter results; one demo had it find "action movies", and then the command "only the James Bond ones" was issued. Siri dutifully removed all movies except the James Bond ones from the list. Filtering is supported for actors, genres, dates, and other criteria.

The updated remote includes not only the microphone, but a touch surface as well. You can swipe through results, tap the one you want, flick up for additional details, and more. I got the impression that this remote offers you a trackpad for moving through your Apple TV's interface, essentially. The touch surface also offers a way to quickly scrub through shows and movies, and even issue VoiceOver gestures. Paired with Siri searching and the deep integration with your other iOS devices, this is looking like quite the upgrade.

What else can powerful internals, a connection to a TV, support for third-party apps, and bluetooth support offer? Games! Apple is touting this Apple TV as a potential gaming console, and even offering game controller support. Developers will find it easy to port their games made for iPhone or iPad over to Apple TV, since everything runs the same under the hood, such as using the same Metal graphics engine. Pair that with the new remote's motion-sensing abilities (oh yeah, the remote can do that, too!), controller support, and you have a winning combination.

The $69 Apple TV is still available, for those who don't care about all these new features. The new box will cost $149 for 32GB, or $199 for 64GB, and includes one remote along with the Apple TV itself. Apple says that shipping will start in October, and that developers will be able to start building apps for tvOS much sooner.

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch is getting a software update soon, which will bring a ton of new features. Before that, though, the hardware is getting some attention: a set of new bands has been announced, including special leather ones from Hermes, and a new color option--rose gold--will be coming to the aluminum Sport model. If you were hoping for hints about the next Apple Watch, you're out of luck this time.

Software Updates

As usual, Apple took a moment to tell us when the next major versions of all its operating systems would be rolling out to the public; fortunately, it's very soon. OS X 10.11 El Capitan will be here on September 30, and--as has become the norm--will be a free upgrade. Any Mac capable of running Yosemite will handle El Cap just fine, and older devices should even see some performance improvements. iOS9 will be arriving next Wednesday (September 16); similar to El Capitan, it will run on any device that can support iOS8, and should boost older devices some. Finally, watchOS 2.0 will be coming to your wrist on the same day as iOS9, ready to bring native apps, better performance, and a whole host of other improvements.

That's Everything

This event was one of Apple's biggest yet. We saw the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, sporting 3D Touch displays and vastly improved cameras; the iPad Mini 4, a major overhaul to Apple's smaller tablet; the iPad Pro, a first-in-class large tablet from Apple; a new Apple TV which brings third-party apps--especially games--to the living room, as well as a Siri-powered universal search; release dates for watch OS2, iOS9, and OS X 10.11; vastly increased iCloud storage plans; a new iPhone Upgrade Program; and new Apple Watch bands and color options. It was a busy couple hours, but was very much worth the wait.

Now, let us know your plans. Will you upgrade your iPhone? Finally get an Apple Watch, now that the software is being updated? Did the new Apple TV or iPad Pro interest you at all? Will you switch to iCloud storage, given the new pricing structure? If you didn't plan to upgrade your iPhone before, maybe the new Upgrade Program has changed your mind? Hit the comments section!



Submitted by Ken Downey on Thursday, September 10, 2015

Yes, I have to admit it... The idea of 3d touch has me hokked. You can bet I'll be upgrading as soon as I can! Woohoo!

Submitted by John Lipsey on Thursday, September 10, 2015

I wasn't as taken with the iPad as I thought I would be. The iPhone sounds amazing, and I really want to get my hands on a demo one in the store so I can play with the 3-D touch, but my contract prohibits me from upgrading until next year. however, you'd better believe I'm going to be buying this new Apple TV as soon as possible! I want to play with it in the store a bit first, to see the integration between VO and the new remote, but I'm crazy excited! The question now is what do I do with my current Apple TV?

Submitted by Clare Page on Thursday, September 10, 2015

Hi! Like the previous poster, I can't yet upgrade my iPhone 6, and I have no plans to buy an iPad or Apple Watch or Apple TV. Although I'm naturally curious about how 3D Touch will work with VoiceOver on the new iPhones, 6S and 6S Plus, I feel I have to express one little worry for those of us who are not upgrading; It's possible that 3D Touch gestures could be added to apps, and to IOS 9 itself, so, unless developers still allow us to work with our touch-screens in the old way as well as letting people use 3D Touch gestures if they can, there may be some things we can't do if we have older devices, and I fear that might put those of us who don't upgrade at a disadvantage when it comes to using IOS 9 or some apps. I very much hope I'm not worrying unnecessarily, but the thoughts expressed above have been in my head ever since I heard about 3D Touch during the Apple event yesterday.

Submitted by David on Thursday, September 10, 2015

What? No mention of what Watch OS 2.0 wil bring? If not, then there's nothing to encourage anyone to upgrade, let alone buy a new one. I know there have been suggestions of native apps and performance improvements, but a bit more detail would have been nice.

Submitted by Mike Fulton on Thursday, September 10, 2015

I'm considering getting the 6S when it comes out. I currently have a 6. Just not sure if it's worth the upgrade or if I should keep what I have.

Submitted by Deborah Armstrong on Thursday, September 10, 2015

This is either going to improve or ruin OCR.

Some background: I used to be lead tech support for OmniPage, a commercial OCR package, whose engine is still used in both OpenBook and Kurzweil.

One important thing I learned about OCR is character recognition is based on how the characters appear to the computer. To us, with our analog view, more pixels means a clearer picture. But a computer reduces everything to 1s and 0s. That's why with the lower sampling rate of phone conversations, vs live conversations, voice recognition is sometimes better over a phone line.

Take for example the E and The R. In lower-case they are often run together (the technical word is Kerning) which is why "Modern" is sometimes mis-recognized as "modem". Luckily that happens much less than it used to and not just because modems are now obsolete!

Anyway, the various artificial intelligence components of an OCR engine "vote" on whether a character looks like "EM" or "ER" or just a badly formed A, G or H. In doing so, they have a database of what similar characters look like, based on the most common occurrence after they were scanned at 300 DPI. That's why you still get the best results from scanners if you use black-and-white, 300 DPI and 100% scaling. It kind of evens out the curly-qs in letters called serifs and copes as well with ligatures, which if too much detail is exposed will actually worsen OCR results.

Anyway, as cameras become able to take more and more detailed pics, the OCR engines need to cope with all these slight variations in the characters' appearance.

So if you used your phone heavily for OCR, you'd want to go to the Apple Store, have the nice sales rep take some pics of Apple brochures for you on the new phone/iPAD and send them to your cloud storage. Then you'd want the same pics taken on your existing phone.

I might be dead wrong, but I'm guessing that if you can't drop down to a lower megapixel setting, you are going to have poorer OCR until the apps catch up. It's possible of course that the API app developers use lets them do this already.

Submitted by Bingo Little on Thursday, September 10, 2015

Well, I was out yesterday evening, at a choir practice. For the record, we are doing Faure's Requiem (edited by John Rutter) and our own commissioned work entitled A Day At the Fair, to celebrate our 75th anniversary. Anyway it looks as though apple took the opportunity of my not watching really to push the boat out! I have a 5S, and the pull of the 6S seems pretty irresistible. I love the idea of the iPad Pro as well, though I think I would need to see one to be sure. I don't have an Apple TV, but goodness me they sure know how to make me want to get one! And I got through that whole comment without mentioning my favourite point about no tactile way of telling the time on the Apple Watch.....oops!

Submitted by Devin Prater on Thursday, September 10, 2015

Clare, I think apps will know that you're on an older device, and devs won't leave the plenty that have not upgraded yet, until everyone has had time to upgrade, that is.

Submitted by Ro on Thursday, September 10, 2015

My plan has always allowed for the S upgrade so yay I'm getting the new iPhone. The iPad Pro with its four speakers sounds amazing and if I had disposable income, I'd snatch that up. I've never had an Apple TV but they sure are peaking my interest. I'm no longer interested in the watch.

Submitted by Louise on Thursday, September 10, 2015

I use the iphone 6, and when I bought my plan, I could pay a little extra so that I could upgrade every year. I really really want the 6 s.
The 3 d touch is intreaguing.
I have the watch, but will still likely buy third party bands because there is more choice for less money.
Finally, I wish a whole bunch of money would fall from the sky so I could buy the ipad pro. I'd also like to buy one for my husband since it looks way too fun to share.

Submitted by Ekaj on Thursday, September 10, 2015

Hello. This is an excellent recap, just like I've come to expect from AppleVis. Count me among those who didn't tune in yesterday. But a downstairs neighbor came knocking on my front door inviting me to have a chat with her. So I couldn't resist, and another neighbor joined us after he came back from work and did some other stuff. But anyway, I *hope* my disk drive issue is resolved by the end of the month, if not sooner so that I can upgrade. The next version of OS X sounds pretty sweet. I think I just might be close to figuring out what the heck's been eating up space on my hard drive. But it's been a bit of work, given that I'm a novice in terms of some of this more advanced techie stuff. But thanks to VoiceOver I think I have a bit of a better grasp on the issue at hand. But here's a question. Will I be able to directly upgrade to El Capitan, or do I have to install the software update to Yosemite first?

Submitted by nano junky on Thursday, September 10, 2015

The IPad pro is the best of them all. Really that is what we need. I'm going to trate in my IPad air 2 and add to it, then I should be able to get it. Just a pity to wait so long til its available. The keyboard is really what we need. Know Bluetooth connectivity? That can just get better. Then you can connect speakers or something else wirelessly and use the keyboard with the magnet or however they want to do it. Isn't the charging thing also more like the mac, or is it still lightning connector? There was a roomer of a USBC port, is that confirmed?

Submitted by mehgcap on Thursday, September 10, 2015

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hi all,
I'll respond in no particular order.

Yes, you can install 10.11 directly without needing to first install 10.10.

No, apps won't make 3D Touch only gestures. There will nearly always be another way to do whatever you're trying to do, because only the 6S series will have 3D Touch. Developers who fail to take that into account will miss out on iPad, iPad Mini, iPod Touch, and any non-6S iPhone users. Developers need users, so they won't risk that. In five years, I can imagine some apps relying on 3D Touch and not offering any other way to activate something, but even then they'll likely be rare.

No, there was not much about watchOS 2, but that's because the focus was more on the bands and color options. I've now added links to every software and hardware product mentioned, so you can look at all the information on Apple's website if you want to.

Yes, I think we're all very much hoping for money to fall from the sky. <grin> I know I am; I'd love to get one of the new iPad Minis, plus, of course, a new iPhone 6S to replace my current iPhone 5. The Pro doesn't interest me too much, since I already have a MacBook, but the Apple TV is something else I'd love to have.

Submitted by Nickus on Thursday, September 10, 2015

Very interesting, as usual with Apple all new devices looks great with inavation everyware across the board. As for iPhone I'm on a 6 and would love to upgrade, however I'm on a contract which is only due for upgrade in a year so I'll probably be getting the iPhone 7 next. I'm not convinced yet by the Apple watch, I'll probably only consider it when the second generation of the watch arives next year or whenever. The new iPad looks great, however I never seen a real need to get a iPad for myself apart from it being a glorified toy, a tablet doesn't really fit in to my workflow, I'll rather get myself a Macbook air than a iPad. As for the new Apple TV it looks very cool especially with the Siri stuff and in terms of accessibility, however I currently have no use for one. As I usually do with all software updates, I'll get iOS 9 and OSX 10.11 on my iPhone 6 and iMac as soon as it hits, I'm quite excited about iOS 9, from what I heard so far Siri will be a lot smarter, moving in the direction of Google Now. Should this happen I'll probably have to get in to the habit of using Apple Maps, way back when I had a iPhone 4 maps didn't offer spoken navigation on the older devices so I started using Google Maps and have ever since.

Submitted by Paul on Thursday, September 10, 2015

I've been on the look out for the iPad Pro ever since I heard rumors about it, and now that it has finally been announced, I have been pleasantly surprised. I had thought that maybe the iPad Pro would be too heavy to hold, as I do with my iPad 4th generation now, but the Pro is apparently around the same weight. As someone who bought an iPad for the primary purpose of watching TV shows and movies, the iPad Pro is a wonderful addition to the Apple product line up. Finally, a screen I can hold in my hands that approaches the size of a small laptop monitor without a keyboard to get in my way. The stereo audio also sounds rather interesting. I've been using a Bose bluetooth headset to hear stereo audio for a while now, but it will be nice to have a stereo option built into the iPad Pro itself.

It would have been nice if the iPad Pro could run OS X, and with it being such a large device, I thought that may have been a possibility, but evidently not. I can only hope that as developers create apps that can take advantage of the processing power in the iPad Pro, blind users won't be completely ignored, especially in the area of audio production.

I definitely plan to preorder the iPad Pro ASAP. There has been no other device I had looked forward to more than this and I can easily afford to buy it.

Yes, you so write. My hope with this model of IPad is that the screen will now be big enough that you can in GarageBand be able to have more room on the top to work with buttons and sliders, and that the keyboard wich take most of the bottom of the screen will be a little out of the way since I always struggle to press buttons and instead press musical notes. I wish they added another microphone, but even so, its stil great.

Submitted by kool_turk on Friday, September 11, 2015

This may be an odd question, but I'm going to ask it anyway, after all, if you don't ask, how else will you learn?

Instead of getting an apple tv, why not just hook your phone up to the TV using a lightning to HDMI cable?

Wouldn't it be the same?

I suppose if you're going to play games then the apple tv would be the way to go. I'm not even sure if this method will even work.

It's not as if the apple tv can do all that much.

It sounds like they're just playing catchup with the chromecast.

I have an apple tv, but I think I'll wait and see what this new one has to offer before I decide on whether or not I want to get one.

Submitted by mehgcap on Friday, September 11, 2015

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

No, a phone with a Lightning connector won't hook to the TV, you need a special dongle for that. Even then, you can't be on your couch with a remote, you have to be close enough for the cable to reach. Plus, you'd have to hook things up every time, whereas the Apple TV or other boxes can remain in place all the time, and can even use ethernet if you need that option. This lets other people use the device while you're away, and lets you keep your phone with you all the time. Sure, you could get a dedicated iPod Touch for the purpose, but you again run into controlling it. Even then, you won't have the same Siri searches the Apple TV includes, since iOS devices aren't meant to look up, filter, and play media in the same way that Apple TVs are. Finally, newer Apple TVs can act as hubs for HomeKit devices, allowing you to access such devices even when you're away from your home wifi network.

Submitted by Larry on Friday, September 11, 2015

I really like the concept of 3D-touch and the iPhone 6s sounds like a really great phone, but it is to big for my taste. I'll hold on to my trusted iPhone 5s for now in hopes that Apple will release a new smaller iPhone :)

I hope everyone will enjoy their new toys :)

Go ahead and try Apple Maps rather than what you're using. If you have the settings correct, you'll be pleasantly surprised. One cool thing that you can do with Siri is to say something like, "Take me to 1432 Franklin Pike Circle." It will start Apple Maps and give you your route directions. If set correctly, you will get turn by turn directions whether walking or driving. And, with IOS 9, I see it only getting better, because you can also get mass transit info, if I understand correctly.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Friday, September 11, 2015

Yes, mass transit is coming to iOS9 Maps. Sadly, Atlanta is not one of the cities where it is coming to right away.

Submitted by Daniel on Saturday, September 12, 2015

Hello. In the article, you mentioned the iPad Pro being available for preorder on September 12. I'd like to politely point out that this isn't the case. Apple didn't provide a date on when preorders would start for that device, or even if they'd be available.

Submitted by mehgcap on Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Daniel, thanks for pointing that out. I've made that change.