Update on Apple Press Event- New Devices:

Apple held a press event last week to introduce a number of new gadgets- here is a quick summary of what they announced:

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus:
The new iPhones come in the same shape and form as the previous iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. These models are aimed at people who are still using an iPhone 5s or earlier. Most users sign up for a two year contract and this is why iPhone 5s (or earlier) users are the target as they are now coming off those contracts. iPhone 6 users will only find marginal differences to lure them away from their current phone.
The main changes in the iPhone 6s models are as follows –
- comes with a brand-new A9 processor meaning that it is a lot faster (up to 70%) than last year's iPhones
- new 3D Touch technology which means if you press slightly harder on the screen it will bring up a pop-up menu with some different options to choose from. This is a great way to access features inside an application without having to tap through a number of screens.
- there are a number of improvements to the camera including an upgrade to a 12-megapixel sensor
- new colour- rose gold!
- faster WiFi.

- The storage options remain the same – 16, 64 and 128 GB. very few people should consider a 16 GB model as this is too small for most users.
- the new iPhones are available to order in the US and UK, but not in Ireland for another few weeks.
- in the US, Apple have launched an upgrade program in their Retail Stores. This means you can pay a monthly fee and always be on the newest iPhone- it costs around $40 per month and users get to upgrade each year to the latest equivalent model. It also comes with AppleCare+ and so gives a complete solution in a monthly fee:

iPad Pro:
The iPad Pro will be available later this year, starting in the US in November. This is a new model of iPad which is placed at the top end of the range, and will be useful for certain people who need larger screen space. The new screen is almost 13” and gives almost the same space as two iPad Airs. This is unlikely to become the mainstream model of iPad, but instead a device which will be used by professionals who need multiple applications and lots of space.

The iPad Pro can also be used with a new stylus (Apple Pencil) which will be helpful to designers and artists. The other accessory introduced is a keyboard which is built into a screen cover. This will make the iPad Pro a strong alternative to a laptop.

Apple seem to be aiming this iPad at the enterprise market. The iPad Air and iPad mini models are still available and remain unchanged.

Apple TV:
The new Apple TV opens up a whole range of new features, most notably apps and games. There will be an App Store available on the Apple TV where developers can sell a range of new apps. The look and design of the Apple TV interface has also been updated.
This positions the Apple TV as a living room multimedia device and not just for TV/Films and Music. The new remote control also acts as a game console controller.

Siri (voice-recognition) is built-in so you can ask your Apple TV questions, such as for movie suggestions, information about who stars in the film you’re watching or command it to open an app for you.
The new Apple TV will go on sale later this year.

Two other snippets:
- iOS 9 will be released this Wednesday, and will be available as a free download on your iPad and iPhone:
- the next version of OS X, "El Capitan", will be released on September 30th:

WWDC 2015- What to Expect

Apple's developer conference, WWDC, is coming up next week with the keynote address on June 8th. Everyone should note that this event is geared towards developers and so some of the announcements are not focussed on consumers. Instead this event normally sets out the Apple agenda for the coming year, especially in terms of software. 

One of the main parts of this will be the announcements on iOS 9 and OS X 10.11. Apple have committed themselves to a yearly upgrade schedule, and assuming this does not change, we will be introduced to a preview of the next versions. Expect to see information on items like CarPlay and HomeKit too, both aimed at the developer community. Showing off the new operating systems is key to working with the developer community. 

However we are also likely to see the launch of two other item- the first is the revised iTunes and Beats Music service. Ever since Apple purchased Beats in 2014 it has been expected that we would see a revised service from Apple, including a music streaming service. It may be that we see this announced at WWDC but this could also come later in the year, which was traditionally the event when iPods, iPads or iPhones are launched. I expect to see an announcement at WWDC if Apple can get agreements in place with the record labels. 

Apple TV will also be updated- the announcement earlier this year that the price of the current Apple TVs had dropped to a new low seemed to be a very strong hint of new hardware to come. A new Apple TV would also sit nicely next to a Beats music announcement, with a deal with other TV network operators likely. Apple announced a deal with HBO in March. 

Don't expect much change in terms of Macs; the laptops have been updated recently. I expect the iMacs to be revised later this year and so one possibility is news on revised Mac Pros, something which might be appreciated by some developers. 

Another intriguing piece of info would be the Watch OS- will Apple show off changes to Watch OS and announce new features? I expect to see Apple announce changes to attract high quality Watch apps and because this is the year of the Watch and Apple will be promoting these new features in the Christmas buying season. 

Overall is is likely to be a tech-heavy keynote, setting out the software and a few hardware bits for the rest of 2015. 

Bid to Buy BBC3

Seems like a completely odd proposal, with no prospect of success in its current form. "BBC3" cannot be sold off. They could sell off some of the shows and possibly some of the infrastructure, but by its nature, the brand "BBC" cannot be sold to a company outside the main BBC? Right?

Simon Spence/2015

Show more posts ->