Apple has kicked off its annual fall press event with a few major announcements.
CEO Tim Cook took to the stage at the Bill Graham Auditorium in San Francisco Wednesday promising to make some “monster announcements” across many of the tech giant’s product categories.
First, Apple unveiled a new batch of Apple Watch models, including new gold and rose gold Sport edition models and a mid-range Apple Watch black body with a Sport band.
Apple is also adding new colour options to the Apple Watch Sport bands, including a special Product RED edition.
The company also announced it has teamed up with luxury fashion brand Hermes to release a special line of Apple Watch bands dubbed the Single Tour, Double Tour and Cuff. Of course, the luxury watch bands will cost quite a bit – the Apple Watch Hermès starts at US$1,100 for the 38 mm stainless steel case with the Single Tour, US$1,150 for the 42 mm stainless steel case with the Single Tour, US$1,250 for the 38 mm stainless steel case with the Double Tour and US$1,500 for the 42 mm stainless steel case with the Cuff.
All of the new Apple Watch models and bands will be available at Apple Stores and online starting Wednesday.
Apple also promised its upcoming software update for the Apple Watch is allowing outsider developers to write more sophisticated apps. With the update, outside developers can make apps specifically for the watch and interact directly with its sensors and controls.That will enable apps that analyze golf swings or record audio.
Before, third-party apps have been limited to being extensions of apps that run on the iPhone.
According to Apple, there are now 10,000 apps designed for the watch, including new apps from Facebook and GoPro.
Apple also showed off the new iPad Pro – what Cook referred to as “the biggest news in iPad since the iPad.”
The new device is the largest, most powerful tablet the company has ever created, with a screen measuring 12.9 inches diagonally and full-sized software keyboard for more capable typing. The device includes Apple’s new A9X chip, which promises more powerful computing power, and a 10-hour battery life.
In a move that might have been unthinkable a few years ago, Apple even invited an executive from once-bitter rival Microsoft to come on stage and demonstrate his company’s Office productivity software on the iPad Pro.
The iPad Pro will also get its own line of accessories, including the Smart Keyboard cover (US$169), which folds out to reveal a full keyboard, and the Apple Pencil (US$99) that will allow users to draw and write on the screen.
The iPad Pro will start at US$799 for a 32 gigabyte Wi-Fi model and will be available in November. The 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model will start at US$1,079. Apple has not yet released an exact release date for the iPad Pro.
After three years without a major update, the Apple TV is finally getting a big upgrade with completely redesigned software and hardware, including a new remote.
“Our vision for TV is simple and perhaps a little provocative. We believe the future of TV is apps,” said Cook. “When you experience TV through an app, you realize how much better it can be. You can search for what you want, watch it where you want.”
Apple TV’s new remote will house the biggest changes to the set-top box. The remote features a new glass touch surface and a Siri button that allows users to use voice search on their Apple TV. The remote also connects to Apple TV via BlueTooth – which means the days of having to point the remote at your TV are over.
Siri on Apple TV remote is able to search through iTunes, HBO, Netflix, Hulu and Showtime in U.S., as well searching within a show or movie using specific commands. For example, users can say “what did she say?” or “skip ahead 7 mins” to have Siri scrub back and forth through the video.
– With files from The Associated Press