Here at iCloud login we always look forward to what Apple reveals at their bi yearly events.
The big thing for them is reaching the magic figure of 1,000,000,000 ‘iDevice’ users globally.
That’s quite an achievement, and a big responsibility too. Which is something they are seriously addressing, especially with all the security problems recently (hacks – as well as the FBI demanding access).
But on the product/hardware front there’s nothing majorly new that Apple announced this year, more of an update to existing products ranges.
Here at the office we were expecting the new Apple watch (please!!!) and a faster Apple TV but I guess we will have to wait for the next round to see these come on the market. So let’s take a look at what was introduced yesterday.
The iPhone SE
Apple seems to have reversed the trend of making larger smartphones with a return to a handset that’s the same size as the iPhone 5. This new, smaller iPhone has a 4-inch screen, and will be available from Thursday March 24, priced at $399.
It has all the workings of the latest iPhones and has a 12-megapixel camera that can shoot 4K video, a new A9 processor, and a Touch ID sensor with support for Apple Pay.
Just like the iPhone 5S, it has an aluminium body and not the plastic body of the iPhone 5C and comes in the same metallic colours as the iPhone 6S, silver, space grey, gold and rose gold.
Unfortunately it doesn’t support 3D Touch, but will support Live Photos and Apple Pay, making it almost the same machine as the flagship 6S.
If you preferred the size of your old iPhone 5, then your prayers have been answered This is mighty and based on the specs, users should see a marked difference between your older four incher and the new iPhone SE.
A New Smaller iPad Pro
The tech spec of the iPad Pro is impressive to say the least. I’ve yet to get my hands on the one that has been around the office, but have already noticed the apps that have been developed will no longer run on my iPad 3. I definitely need an upgrade and maybe this one suits my budget.
This new smaller iPad Pro has a 9.7-inch screen which makes it the same size as the iPad Air 2. This model goes on sale Thursday March 24, and prices start at $599 for the basic model. It has everything its big brother has, including support for Apple Pencil, keyboard cases, and two awesome cameras, a 12-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera, both of which offer flash, plus there’s much improved sound from four speakers.
The screen has the same resolution as the iPad Air 2 with new technologies called a True Tone and wide colour display. Excellent for the artists among you.
In essence this will be the default high-end standard size iPad for some time to come although the earlier models remain available.
iOS 9.3 Is Now Available – Get It!
The new iOS 9.3 brings a number of much needed updates to the system including some great new features, and quite possibly the best of them is the new Night Shift mode.
Have you wondered why you cant sleep because you’ve been reading your iDevice in bed? Well, we’ve been told it’s the colour of the light the screen emits. Which is predominately a blue light. This tricks you into thinking it’s daytime.
So you can now adjust the phone’s display setting to use a more pleasurable and relaxing color temperature which will help you relax while you read and gently doze off!
This feature is not on by default so you need to turn it on, so go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift.
Here you set when you want it scheduled to run or “Manually enable it until tomorrow”.
You can also set the “warmth” of the display from “Less warm” to “More warm”. You can just leave it set up so the setting is activated from sunset till sunrise. I would probably leave it like that then forget about it.
Touch ID for Notes
There’s another layer of security regarding your Notes. You may have a lot of critical information there and this new update introduces the need of a password, and if you have it also Touch ID to access your Notes app.
Apple News Update
If you are an Apple News user then they have added new swipe options to article headlines. If you now swipe left you will reveal the new Like, Save, and Share options without going into the story. A quick and easy way to remove or save articles.
Live Photos Update
For the Live Photo users among you, then once you’ve taken a Live Photo you can now create a full resolution still photo from it as a duplicate. A simple process, just find the Live picture you want to duplicate, then press the share button and then select Duplicate. The next menu gives you the option to choose Duplicate or Duplicate as Still Photo.
CarPlay Updates For Music And Maps
I wish my Volvo had CarPlay instead of the bluetooth connection I’m currently using! It’s very frustrating as CarPlay is a seamless integration for the iPhone user.
The CarPlay display renders from the iOS device itself, so any updates to iOS improve the CarPlay experience in tandem. So now with the new iOS 9.3 update, CarPlay users will see ‘For You’ and ‘New’ tabs in the Apple Music app and in the Maps app you can see an option for Nearby. (See here for our ultimate guide to the Apple Music service).
This informs the user of local points-of-interest and businesses, restaurants, coffee shops etc, all just one tap away – a very useful feature.
Multi-User Mode For iPads In Education
This is a boon for iPads used in education. Apple has introduced a multi-user shared iPad mode. This must be similar to the multi user mode you get in OSX.
But the difference here is that the user information is stored in the iCloud. So, one device can be used by multiple students in the classroom.
The iOS will automatically download the logged-in user’s data as necessary, including apps, books and documents. The data of previous users is intelligently deleted when and if the iPad starts to run low on space. We certainly hope to see this as a major update to iOS for all users when iOS 10 is released. This will help and keep secure individual family members setups and information safe.
Full Screen Video In Podcasts And Apple Music For the iPad
One of the things that was bugging me in previous versions of iOS is the lack of full-screen video podcasts and music videos.
This issue has finally been addressed with this latest update. In the top right corner there’s a double arrow button to give you full-screen control. Tap it and it will open the usual full-screen iOS video player.
More Intuitive Health App
In this latest update, iOS 9.3 has tidied up and made it easier to navigate your personal use of the Health app. the system now provides a built-in list of available apps that will work with the Health app. Many users had previously been confused on how to properly get the best out of the app.
For ease of use it is now broken down into categories like, Sleep, Weight, and Workouts that each have their own list of third-party apps for you to use.
Integration with the Apple Watch is improved making it much easier for you to consume and monitor all your health-based information at a glance.
These are just a few of the new features included in the update that has also addressed various security issues that were in the last update. Hopefully we have tighter software now. Check out the following video for more info.
Yes we were really hoping for the new model to be released this spring, but it looks like we’ll have to wait ’til the autumn. The price drop is a big hint that they’re trying to clear out the stock of the mark 1 model. Apple announced that the 38mm Apple Watch Sport is now down to $300. That’s $50 off the price they were introduced at.
Realising that their product is a fashion item, Apple have also introduced a new range of wristbands for the Apple Watch. The new range includes colorful woven nylon straps, and a new Space Black version of the their Milanese Loop.
Another update for Apple tvOS
We were hoping the rumours of the faster Apple TV being released soon were true. Again, we wait in anticipation. But this free update is not to be sniffed at. Available from today, it has some very useful new features.
The tvOS version of Siri now supports voice dictation. you can now use spoken commands for your passwords, and voice-enabled App Store searches, which is all marvelous. The use of folders to clean up your home screen is a boon and you can also view your iCloud photos on the big screen.
All in all there’s a lot of useful updates and additions here, but just not quite what we expected.