— -- Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) introduced the giant iPad Pro, plus updates to the Apple Watch and software, including the date of the watch's OS 2 software update, and new accessories.
The iPad Pro in silver, gold and space gray, the largest iPad yet, was introduced on stage in San Francisco by Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing. Schiller showed the pros of a larger iPad that measures 12.9-inches diagonally with a retina display. The width of the iPad Pro is the same of the height of the iPad Air, with 5.6 million pixels. The product has 10 hours of battery life, Schiller said.
The new iPad Pro and its accessories will be available in November.
The iPad Pro starts at $799 for the 32 GB Wi-Fi model; $949 for the 128 GB Wi-Fi model; and $1,079 for the 128 GB model, which comes with Wi-Fi and cellular capabilities.
For the first time, there is a four-speaker audio system on the iPad with the new product.
"It puts up three times the audio volume of an iPad Air 2," Schiller said, while touting its thin width of 6.9 mm and weight of about 1.5 pounds.
Schiller said Microsoft was one of the groups that tested productivity on the new iPad Pro, drawing some near gasps from the audience.
"Yeah, these guys know productivity," Schiller said.
Apple also unveiled the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, showing off new devices that at first glance may look no different than their predecessors but boast several internal tweaks.
The company introduced new gestures, including "3D Touch," allowing the devices to distinguish between a quick tap and a long press, opening up a new way to give commands. The new gestures can work on the home screen by giving users short cuts to the things they do most often. An on-stage demo showed that a "little bit of pressure" allows users to get a preview of an email, then return to the inbox. The new devices also have a faster A9 processor and an even sharper camera.
Schiller introduced a new accessory specifically for the iPad Pro, the $169 "Smart Keyboard," that connects to the iPad Pro with three new circles along the side of the iPad Pro: the smart connector. It carries power and data to the keyboard. The software in iOS 9 helps the two adapt to each other.
The $99 Apple Pencil is a new accessory that works with the iPad Pro. Apple chief design officer Jony Ive said in a video that the iPad display senses the pencil's force and angle to vary the appearance of the lines a user draws.
The Apple Watch OS 2 will be available Sept. 16. The event kicked off with a demo by AirStrip, a mobile healthcare company, which can use the Apple Watch to help doctors monitor the health and heartbeat of a pregnant patient and her baby.
Available in select stores in October, Apple introduced a new luxury Apple Watch Hermès collection, starting at $1,100 for the 38 mm stainless steel case. The company also introduced new Apple Watch models and bands, gold and rose gold aluminum, available at the same price as the rest of the Apple Watch Sports lineup. The Apple Watch Sport silver aluminum comes with a new orange or blue sport band. The pricier Apple Watch Edition now offers an 18-karat rose gold case.
Apple is updating the watch's classic leather in new brown and black shades, plus a stainless steel case for the Product(red) brand, with some proceeds going to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said the future of television is apps.
Customers can get the new Apple TV, which is twice as expensive as the previous model, starting in October, and the Apple tvOS is available to developers today. The device starts at $149 for 32 GB and $199 for 64 GB. Among its features is the Siri remote which simplifies how users navigate and select through content. It features a glass touch surface for you to control with your hand, or you can use your voice to search shows and movies by cast, title genre or popularity. You can speak search commands such as, “Find the best funny movies from the ‘80s” and “Find movies with Jason Bateman.”
The remote battery lasts three months, charged with a lightening connector. Demonstrations of gaming and shopping capability showcased the Apple TV's capabilities with Siri and re-designed apps like Gilt.
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