In typical Apple fashion, we’ve been waiting for months after the cryptic announcement of “Hey Siri, give us a hint” made its way onto the net. Apple’s September keynotes reliably announce a new version of the iPhone, iOS, and other mobile products. This time around, announcements were expected for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch. The keynote also promised updates about iOS 9 and watchOS 2.
For music junkies there were a number of big announcements. We’ve detailed the most notable below.
One of the many expected announcements was a larger iPad aimed at the portables market. Apple delivered with the iPad Pro, sporting a whopping 12.9 inch screen which includes a full-size virtual keyboard…or keyboard. With CPU and graphics performance better than 80% of portable PCs, this new iPad will likely able to power full-on audio applications—or act as a studio-grade, touch enabled software synthesizer.
For consumers, movie watching should be a pleasure with 5.6 million pixels on screen. Four speakers power the iPad Pro audio experience, with auto-balanced stereo and frequency information depending on how the iPad is held. “We thought this display deserves a great sound system.” In addition, the iPad Pro can now be controlled using Apple’s new stylus, Apple Pencil. Funny enough, the new Apple Pencil flies firmly in the face of the late Steve Jobs, who notably was once quoted as saying “God gave us 10 styluses, let’s not invent another…nobody wants a stylus.”
Apple TV has always been the red-headed stepchild of the Apple line. All of that changed today as Apple announced the new Apple TV. Rengineered to be based on iOS, the new system revolves around apps just like your favorite mobile devices. These apps can be controlled by touchscreen remote, or by an updated Siri who can be asked things like “Show me that Modern Family episode with Edward Norton.”
For music lovers, the new Apple TV has a full Apple Music interface that can be controlled using the remote, as well as using Siri. You can even ask for sports and weather updates while watching or listening. The Apple TV remote can also be turned sideways to be used as a gaming controller. Guitar Hero is on board.
iPhone 6S and 6S Plus
It wouldn’t be a September keynote without a new iPhone. One of the primary new features is 3D Touch, a combination of the Macbook’s Force Touch capability and taptic feedback. Whether this technology will have implications for music has yet to be seen, but there are a number of possible scenarios in which pressure-sensitive touch could be useful.
4K video recording could help the iPhone continue its entrance into music video and festival production.
Worth mentioning, Apple also announced a new iPhone Upgrade Program. This program allows you to pay a monthly fee rather than purchasing your unit, much like carrier installment plans. The program will allow you to choose your carrier, provides unlocked yearly phone upgrades, and includes the Applecare+ warranty plan. Plans start at $32/month.
Yep. OneRepublic played the “Hey, Siri” event. Music is still clearly an integral part of Apple’s DNA. If you’re into that kind of thing.
Notably missing from the “Hey, Siri” event? Any formal updates about Siri. Here is the link to the not-yet-updated Siri page.