Apple’s September 2015 event: iPhone and TV event liveblog

Apple’s September 2015 event: iPhone and TV event liveblog

It’s time; all the speculation is about to be laid to rest as Apple sets the groundwork for its new products and services. We’re almost assuredly getting new iPhones, but what of the Apple TV?

Apple is expected to give us new hardware for the living room, as well as that massive new iPad that’s been in the rumor mill for years now. Be sure to keep this tab open on your desktop or mobile device for the next few hours — not just for the news, but we’ve integrated this post with Genius.

As I’m writing, Mic Wright will be annotating the liveblog with his clever takes and important links. You’re also invited to annotate the post! Sign up for your own Genius account and feel free to add your own comments and insight to the mix.

It all kicks off at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 6pm BST / 10.30pm IST Be sure to refresh this page for updates!


[9:55am PDT] Apple’s livestream is live for those at home. The music is… Zane Lowe’s Beats1 show. At least it’s not normal pre-event fodder. Gotta say, I enjoyed Google’s I/O lead-in music much more.


[10:01am PDT] Event is starting now. Beck’s ‘Dreams’ wrapped, so we’re into the show. Who thinks Taylor Swift will close this show out?!


[10:04am PDT] Tim Cook takes the stage. Gives a specials shout-out to Apple employees in attendance. Cook says Apple is “firing on all cylinders”, and Apple is making some “monster announcements” today. We’re right into Apple Watch — no updates on App Store!


[10:10am PDT] Tim Cook is talking Apple Watch up, saying it changes users’ lives. I will say, using Apple Pay on a wearable is pretty amazing. Ever bought coffee with a watch?! It’s insane. Apple Watch has a 97% approval rating, according to Apple.

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Jeff Williams, Apple Watch lead, takes the stage to talk watchOS 2 (I’m running the beta, and it’s awesome). He’s going over some of the highlights like third-party complications and Apple Maps integration. There are now over 10,000 Apple Watch apps in the app store, and Facebook Messenger is coming soon.


[10:12am PDT] Airstrip in onstage to talk about how Apple Watch will change healthcare. They’re discussing how doctors and nurses can scan ahead and see their patient load for the day, and see relevant data about patient data like heartbeat in real-time. Impressive stuff!

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Users of Airstrip are authenticated on their system, and it’s HIPPA compliant. Doctors can also message patients, and ask them to monitor their vital signs using other devices if necessary. The demo was a mother listening to an unborn child’s heartbeat on Apple Watch, then forwarding the data to her doctor. The aim here is to show just how powerful Apple Watch apps can be, even though the device is incredibly small.


[10:16am PDT] Williams is back on stage, and is talking about new Apple Watch bands. They’ve partnered with Hermes on some high-end bands. They look nice! There are also new Apple Watch models and bands! There’s a new rose gold version of Apple Watch, which looks a bit strange to me (I wear a Space Grey). There’s also a gold version, both in aluminum. You’ll be able to look the part without spending $10k. Both new models are available today.

Apple also has a Product Red watch band. Proceeds go to fight AIDS. Apple Watch will have new, more subtle band colors this Fall. No specific release date were given. Apple’s watchOS 2 is available September 16.


[10:22am PDT] Cook is back on stage, and says iPad is how Apple envisions personal computing. He’s discussing Apple’s IBM and Cisco partnerships in enterprise. The iPad Pro — it’s real! Three years of rumors, and we’ve finally got the iPad Pro. Cook calls it “the most capable and powerful iPad we’ve ever created.” A 12.9-inch screen fronts some “amazing” technology. Phil Schiller is on-stage to talk up the iPad Pro, now.

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[10:26am PDT] That screen has 5.6 million pixels (more than my Macbook Pro Retina!). The width of the iPad Pro is equal tot he height of the iPad Air, so you can run two full-size apps.

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It’s “the most advanced display” Apple has ever created, and has a new driver to power those pixels. For the first time, an iPad has a variable refresh rate. Apple has a A9x chip powering the iPad Pro. It’s 64-bit, has 2x memory bandwidth of the A8x. Schiller say’s it’s desktop-class. He says it has 2x graphic performance vs the A8x, too. Combined with Metal, it should scream pixels into your face. A9x is also faster than 80% of portable PC chips, says Schiller.


[10:30am PDT] Schiller says the iPad Pro will have a 10-hour battery life. The big, new tablet also has a four-speaker system, and they’re placed on the corners — in landscape, they’d point up and down. The iPad Pro is 6.9mm thin, and 1.57 lbs. iPad Pro has a new cover with a keyboard built in, which is covered in a woven fabric. The keyboard has the new mechanism found on the Macbook.

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To connect, Apple has a new magnetic port that can transfer data and power. Schiller glossed over that a bit, but probably to get to the new stylus. Because Apple imagines new apps and more accuracy needed, they’ve created a stylus. It’s called Apple Pencil.


[10:35am PDT] It seems as though Apple’s tech in Apple Pencil is limited to the iPad Pro. How the screen identifies your press or stylus touch has been changed for iPad Pro, so Apple Pencil is likely fairly useless on legacy iPads. Schiller says it’s great for the new Notes app, or annotating emails in Mail.

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  Schiller is also talking up third-party integration, and is inviting Microsoft onto the stage. Wut. Looks like iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and Microsoft Office are best pals. I wonder how the next Surface event will go.


[10:45am PDT] Adobe will also have new apps that will be great for iPad Pro. A new app for layout lets users add fonts, copy style and photos. It’s the first time Adobe has packed all that into a mobile app. With multitasking, you can use Adobe’s layout app and Adobe Photoshop Fix (a new app) side-by-side to edit pics and add them to your magazine. Pretty amazing stuff, really. Adobe will be shipping these apps in October.

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[10:50am PDT] iPad Pro will also be useful for doctors (Apple, the medical device supplier?) An on-stage demo of an anatomy app is meant to show the graphics performance, and it’s snappy. You can scroll through layers of a knee, for instance, to help patients understand what’s wrong with their appendage and how it’s damaged. Apple Pencil lets doctors draw on a knee using different colors or line widths.

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Be honest — if your doctor told you your meniscus was torn, you’d likely say “whatever, just fix me,” but if you understood specifically what was going on with your body, you’d be much more in-tune to your recovery. The Apple Pencil is $99. The iPad Pro comes in silver, gold, and space grey and will start at $799. Both will arrive in November.


[10:51am PDT] The iPad Pro has the A9x chip — so we should probably look forward to a new A9 in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. If Apple keeps any of its graphics performance, we’re definitely interested.


[11:03am PDT] iPad Air now starts at $399, and the iPad mini 2 is $269. The iPad Mini 4 is also new, and is basically a small iPad Air.


[11:00am PDT] Cook has introduced a new Apple TV. Finally. Apple says the future of TV is apps, like Netflix and Hulu.

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Apple TV is basically brand new, with better hardware and a new platform. Developers can also create experiences for Apple TV, and it’s got the App Store built in. Siri is also powering things along, with universal search that includes the App Store.


[11:05am PDT] Eddy Cue is talking the remote, which has a glass touchpad up top. the idea is to let you slide across apps or movie icons and select the one you want. It’s much more natural in this iPhone world we live in.

Apple has also created some content for Apple TV, which is exclusive. It’s moving photos, and meant to be like moving backgrounds for your screen when you’re not watching anything.

The new remote touch interface is really snappy, too. You can scroll through apps and movies really quickly, which makes Roku look downright archaic.


[11:07am PDT] Siri is pretty solid on the new Apple TV, too. You can use your voice to skip ahead or scroll back. Now, you can just bark “skip ahead two minutes” if a show has commercials. You can also do granular searches; you can tell Siri you only want to watch Bond films that have Sean Connery (go away, Roger Moore).


[11:10am PDT] Apple TV’s new remote is pretty full-featured. You can rest a finger on the touch screen to see where you are in the show, and swipe down to get more info.

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Apps look great on the TV, too. Apple has scaled icons and such up, and uses the same background animations from apps like Weather.

Apple TV runs tvOS, which is based on iOS. Developers can use all the iOS kits and features like Metal.


[11:14am PDT] Gaming is also a big angle for Apple TV. Eddy Cue says we’ll even see console games (nothing too diverse, I’m sure).

Andy Sum from Hipster Whale is announcing Crossy Road is coming to Apple TV. Exciting!

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Just swipe on the remote left, right, up or down to control the chicken. It’s literally just like the mobile game. On the big screen, it’ll shine in a big way. Crossy Road will have multiplayer, too — exclusively on Apple TV.


[11:20am PDT] Gilt is bringing shopping to Apple TV, but it doesn’t look too different from a mobile experience.

MLB is also bringing an app for watching baseball, which brings HD video at 60fps. It also packs in stats for players and game updates as well as box scores.

The interesting thing with MLB is that it gets us away from that two-screen system we’ve edged into; you can use your Apple TV to see stats, scores and watch a game. That’s pretty neat.


[11:28am PDT] Developers can create universal apps for iOS and tvOS! Apple also says tvOS is available today.

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It’s got a 64-bit chip, 10mm tall, and has a power, HDMI and ethernet ports. The remote uses Bluetooth, and can control your TV’s simpler functions like volume and power. It lasts three months, and charges via a lightning connector.

Apple TV will cost $149 for the 32GB model, and $199 for the 64GB. The old Apple TV will remain on sale for $69.


[11:27am PDT] Tim Cook is back to introduce the next iPhone.


[11:33am PDT] The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are now official. Apple says “everything” about them has changed.

Phil Schiller comes back on stage, and again says the team worked really hard to bring this device to us. He starts by saying it has a new aluminum — the same in the Apple Watch, and introduces a rose gold color.

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The display has new glass using a dual ion-exchange process.

Multi Touch is also growing up, which is 3D Touch. It’s like Force Touch and Multi Touch had a baby.


[11:33am PDT] 3D Touch, like Force touch on the Apple Watch, lets you dive a bit deeper into content. Long, forceful presses on a picture, for instance, pops it open on-screen. It helps prevent you from having to jump around in apps; if someone sends you an address in iMessage, 3D Touch shows you the location on a map without having to get into the Maps app.

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[11:38am PDT] This may sound like small potatoes, but consider the rest of what’s Apple is doing. As app code gets smaller via Swift, it can also get better without being bulkier. With 3D Touch, you can use a bit of an app inside another app, so developers can build better apps and let you dip in as needed, when needed. It’s like poking your head in the door of an app to say ‘got that map for me?’ without having to deal with a startup animation.

Better apps, less interaction with stuff you don’t need or want, contextually. That’s special.


[11:40am PDT] Apple is also talking up how good Dropbox interaction is with 3D Touch… because nobody is using iCloud, I assume.


[11:42am PDT] The iPhone has a new A9 chipset, just as we imagined it would.

It’s 70% faster than the A8, and 90% faster for graphics.


[11:46am PDT] Remember when Amazon tried to get all 3D about mobile gaming? Apple just stepped on its throat with 3D Touch.

The gaming experience showed on-stage uses 3D Touch to allow better, more natural control. It’s not gimmicky — it’s dynamic, and awesome. The A9 processor keeps up with graphics in a big way, and can stream dynamic graphics at 60fps. Wow.

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Apple says A9 also has M9 directly on the chip — no more dual-chip shenanigans. ‘Hey Siri’ also works when you’re unplugged, too! Touch I.D. is faster, too.

The camera is also better, at 12 megapixels. That’s a 50% pixel upgrade. Apple is also promising its new sensor won’t degrade pixels.


[11:52am PDT] Don’t believe the iPhone 6s camera is really better? Here are some examples! Pretty amazing stuff.


[11:55am PDT] Hey, the new iPhone shoots 4K video, too — the leaks were right (sadly).

That means your video will have 8 million pixels per frame. Stellar.

Your front-facing cam is now 5 megapixels. It uses the display as a flash, and can identify the best tone based on its sensor; you don’t need a bright white light in some circumstances, you know?


[11:58am PDT] Remember those live photos Apple TV has? You can take them with the new iPhone.

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Using 3D Touch, your photos pop to life. Water in streams moves, and kids laugh. It’s context to your life, and makes moments come to life (yes, that’s corny as hell, but it’s true).

You also don’t need to do a thing — it happens with all the pics you take. Facebook is also going to support your live photos.


[11:59am PDT] The new iPhone also has better Wi-Fi, and new silicon and leather cases. Those stands (that look flimsy) are also color-coded to your phone.

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The phones are available September 25 (pre-orders start September 12), and both the 6s and 6s Plus cost the same (starting at $199, on contract). The iPhone 6 and 6 plus cost $100 less.

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You can also pay in installment plans, starting at $32 per month. A new iPhone upgrade program lets you upgrade each year, with an unlocked phone. Basically, Apple is taking the play away from carriers — you pay it, not the carriers.

iOS 9 arrives September 16. New iCloud pricing is also available is also available — it’s (mostly) cut in half. 50GB is $0.99 per month, 200GB is $2.99, and 1TB is $9.99.

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[12:10am PDT] That’s a wrap! Thanks for joining us, and I hope you had fun with our Genius integration. We sure did!

Don’t miss: Everything Apple announced at its September 2015 event

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