Friday Morning News
Like some kind of day-after hangover, my RSS reader is a sprawling wasteland of Apple articles that will probably take me the weekend to clean up. But there’s still plenty of news, so we’ll start with some bits and pieces that perhaps didn’t get as much airtime as they deserved. Starting with the guy that’s already camped outside the Sydney Apple Store, who has set up a full-blown tent and everything. What’s more, CNET editor Seamus Byrne says he was there before Apple even announced anything, so if that’s not dedication, I’m not sure what is. Is he homeless? Or just a serious Apple fan? You be the judge.
This is probably going to come up a lot over the next couple of weeks, so let’s just get it out of the way now: yes, Steve Jobs once was a strong advocate against styluses. At the original iPhone introduction in 2007, he said “no one wants a stylus”, because he was referring to the resistive touchscreens of the time, which required a stylus to use at the time due to their flawed touch sensitivity. We’ve since learnt that capacitive screens are the way to go, and in 2010, Jobs said it again: “if you see a stylus, they blew it”. But things are different now, and digitiser technology on tablets are at the point where a stylus can actually offer a more precise method of input than your finger.
Anandtech’s hands-on with the iPad Pro and iPad Mini 4 (more on the latter in a sec) confirms what I was hoping for: palm and wrist rejection works as intended for the Apple Pencil, which instantly makes it a better option than the myriad of styluses on the market that have tried (and more or less failed) to do the same thing. If pen input is as good as Apple and everyone says it is, people might actually want to use the Apple Pencil with the iPad Pro after all.
Over at Macworld, Jason Snell checks out the Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro. It pays homage to Microsoft’s Type Cover for the Surface and Surface Pro, doubling as a cover for when the iPad isn’t in use and a stand when it is. There’s no batteries in the keyboard, as power is supplied via the magnetic connector on the base of the iPad, and typing on it is pretty good thanks to Apple’s new keyboard tech, too.
The new iPad mini 4 was given only a few seconds of screen time, but the thinner and lighter revision to Apple’s smallest iPad means it’s more like a mini iPad Air 2. The only difference is the CPU: the iPad mini 4 comes with the A8 SoC instead of the A8X found in the Air 2, but then again, the mini 4 doesn’t need as much processing power as the larger iPad Air 2. The iPad mini 4 is available to ship within the next week, and pricing for the iPad mini 4 in Australia starts at $569 for the 16GB model in Wi-Fi only, jumping up to $729 for the same capacity with LTE. If the iPad mini is a better choice for you, feel free to grab one via the AppleTalk affiliate link for the Apple Online Store.
Release dates for iOS 9 and watchOS 2 are still the same, with us Aussies seeing the new software on September 17th. The launch date for OS X El Capitan was relegated to a single email during an iPhone demo, and that should be out on October 1. GM release candidates of iOS 9, watchOS 2, and OS X El Capitan are also now available from Apple.
Friend of the site Anthony Agius had a look at Apple’s intriguing iPhone upgrade program, which launched in the US and should be coming to other countries “soon”. The only thing missing from his look at the total costs was a comparison to upgrade schemes from carriers, similar to the one Ars Technica did: Telstra’s New Phone Feeling, for example, lets you get a new phone under a recontract term for an additional $149 fee. But there are certain caveats to that scheme too — besides returning the phone in fully working order, you’re also stuck on a Telstra contract.
Apple TV tidbits from MacStories tell the story about size limits on apps, parallax icons, and accessories for the new Apple TV. Games can’t be over 200MB, at least to begin with, and you’ll be able to buy third-party game controllers, if you really want to get serious about your Crossy Road high score.
Jim Dalrymple of The Loop has posted up his thoughts on yesterday’s event, covering the new iPhone models, the new Apple TV, and the biggest iPad yet, the iPad Pro.
And in case you missed them during the keynote (which is available for streaming via Apple’s website), Apple has posted up the new intro videos and ads to its YouTube channel. The new iPhone ad telling us “the only thing that’s changed is everything” is really cool.