iPhone 6s: Apple launches iPad Pro and new app-based Apple TV alongside its new handsets

There was also a product the company's late founder swore it wouldn't release

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The Independent Tech

Apple launched a huge range of new products at perhaps the biggest event in its history, including one that its late founder swore the company would never release.

“If you see a stylus, they blew it,” Steve Jobs said when he launched the first iPhone in 2007. Now, Apple has launched its Pencil — a new product that looks a lot like a stylus.

The Pencil was launched as a way of interacting with the iPad Pro, the company’s huge new business-focused tablet. As well as the new iPad, Apple showed off the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, a new Apple TV and new accessories for the Apple Watch.

“We’re gonna use a stylus?” Mr Jobs joked on stage in 2007. “No. Who wants a stylus? You have to get them and put them away. Yuk! Nobody wants a stylus.”

Apple tried at its event to prove that somebody did. During demonstrations from Microsoft and Adobe — both companies that have had high-profile spats with Apple — the company sought to show sell the big tablet and its stylus to businesses and professionals.

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Accessories for the the iPad Pro include the Apple Pencil (Reuters)

Its pitch relied largely on the success of the existing iPads, the look of which has been heavily borrowed in the new iPad Pro. But the new screen is much bigger — at 12.9-inches, it is the same size as Apple’s MacBooks and almost twice the size of its smaller iPads.

On-stage demonstrations used the extra screen space to show apps including those for retouching photos and examining the human body. On the latter, a person was shown using the Apple Pencil to remove and add bits of muscle and bone from a virtual human body, using an app that is intended for medical students.

The iPad Pro is also packed with new processors and memory that make it more powerful than most desktop PCs, according to Apple.

The new tablet was introduced first, and Apple opted to leave its most popular product — the iPhones — until the end of the event.

Apple’s pitch for the new phone — which looks almost identical on the outside save for a new “rose gold” colour option — was based mostly around a pressure-sensitive display and a vastly improved camera.

The new phones’ 3D Touch display uses pressure-sensitive technology to allow people to press hard for extra information. It works mostly by bringing up shortcuts — so hard pressing on the Maps app would bring up the option to navigate home, for instance, and a deep tap on the Camera icon would bring up the option to go straight into the front-facing camera.

The back camera was upgraded to 12-megapixels, allowing for much more detailed pictures. And new software enables for the creation of “Live Pictures”, where the camera takes moving video before and after the picture, allowing them to become animated.

 

Other Jobs comments hung over other parts of the launch, too. The Apple founder told his biographer that he had “finally cracked” the solution to a smart TV — and since then many of the company’s fans have been hoping that the company would reveal the results.

Apple released an updated version of its Apple TV at the event, based around apps, a new remote control and its voice-powered digital assistant, Siri.

Jobs said that his television set would be “integrated” and “completely easy to use”. The new TV box fulfils some of that vision, allowing users to access “universal search” — asking the digital assistant for a film, for instance, and having it scan through all of the streaming apps on the box to see where it is available.

The new Apple TV will be released in late October. The cheaper version will cost $149 (£97), Apple said.

Apple also introduced new bands and colours for its Apple Watch. Those included gold and rose gold version of its aluminium model, to match the colouring of the phone.

They were also joined by a new watch that the Cupertino company has created in partnership with luxury brand Hermès. That comes with a specially-designed leather strap and a new digital watchface that sports the latter’s branding.

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