Wednesday Morning News
The Apple Online Store went down overnight, and when it came back up, there were a bunch of new things. For starters, there’s a new 9.7-inch iPad, which replaces the old iPad Air 2. It has very similar dimensions as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but comes without the pro-features such as Apple Pencil support, the A9X processor, the laminated display, True Tone, or wide colour. It’s also not compatible with the Smart Keyboard, comes in 32GB or 128GB capacities, and starts at $469 for Wi-Fi, or $669 for Wi-Fi and cellular. Order one from 2:01AM AEDT on Saturday.
Apple also wanted to keep the “new” tag on the iPhone 7 for a little longer, so they’ve gone and introduced a Product(RED) iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The special edition Product(RED) iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are only available in 128GB and 256GB capacities, for the same starting prices of $1229 and $1419 that you’d pay for the regular iPhone 7 models. Like the iPad, you can order one online starting this Saturday.
It wouldn’t be an Apple product update without some new Apple Watch bands. For the first time, Apple will now be selling Nike+ bands separately in three distinctive colours for $79, and there are also new models and colours of Hermès bands starting at $749, along with a few new colours to the Sport, Woven Nylon, and Classic Buckle styles.
The penultimate thing Apple announced overnight was Clips, a fun video creation app. The cool feature of Clips is undoubtedly Live Titles, which let users create animated captions on their short video clips using their voice. You can add effects to your videos, check out the real-time previews of filters, and then share with other users over iMessage or your favourite social network. Clips isn’t due out until April, and you’ll need to be running iOS 10.3 to use it.
Apple’s final announcement was the announcement of Swift Playgrounds being available in five additional languages, including Simplified Chinese, Japanese, French, German, and Latin American Spanish.
Six Colors points out the new 9.7-iPad is slightly heavier and thicker than the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, even though it’s the same height and width. Other changes to the iPad lineup include the fact that the iPad mini 4 is now only available in a 128GB capacity, with Apple dropping the previous 32GB model.
A minor update to the iPhone SE lineup doubles the storage capacity to 32 and 128GB, for $679 and $829, respectively. Like all of Apple’s other announcements, you’ll be able to pick one up starting Saturday.
There are also a bunch of new silicon and leather cases for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, available with the Apple Watch bands that have matching colours.
Speaking of Apple Watch bands, Apple appears to have cut back the number of Apple Watch SKUs that they sell. Now, Apple Watch combinations only come with a Sport band, Milanese loop, or Hermès band in the box, forcing you to buy additional bands if you want something different. It’s probably not a bad thing, but eventually we’ll get to the point where you buy everything separately.
A minor update to iTunes now lets you rent once and watch anywhere. Watching content rentals between your Apple TV or iOS device has never been easier.