21st March 2016: Apple Conference Summary

The Apple Event at 5pm today looked for smaller changes rather than the huge amount of technological advances often expected at these conferences. In this hour-long event, Apple focused on their environmentally friendly stance, cosmetic additions to the Apple Watch range, improvements in healthcare, slight updates for the Apple TV, a new iPhone and iPad Pro, along with the newest iOS 9.

So, didn’t catch the event? Not to worry. Check out our summary below. 

Environmentally Friendly

Apple’s VP of Environment Lisa Jackson announced that 93% of its facilities worldwide run on renewable energy. The company also now uses 99% recycled paper in their packaging, and places a great focus on using eco-friendly technology such as solar panels to harness power in their stores, offices and factories. It’s also carbon neutral in 23 countries, which is pretty good going.

In a brief video, Apple introduced Liam, a robot designed to deconstruct old iPhones to reuse materials. 

Improvements in Healthcare

Continuing on their welfare stance, Apple also announced CareKit, a new research tool for people to better understand data for various health condition. An example shown was for Parkinson’s Disease. Through CareKit, iPhone users can now track vitals such as their temperature, heart rate and motion. Users then have the option to share this data with family and friends to give them an update on their health, or with their doctors to help tweak their treatments. 

Apple Watch Updates

Nothing major was announced for the Apple Watch, but consumers should expect some slight cosmetic additions. New watch bands, such as the woven nylon bands in various colours and new variations of sport and leather bands were announced.

Apple TV Updates

Again, nothing of huge significance, but the Apple TV wasn’t forgotten entirely in this Apple Event. With more than 5,000 Apps available on it, new updates will be arriving. This includes folders for better organising of apps and channels, and voice dictation so you can say your password to sign in. 

iPhone SE

So, the rumours were true! The iPhone SE is on its way. This 4-inch phone is aimed at people who loved the size of the iPhone 5s but wants the power of the iPhone 6s. That’s 50% faster than the iPhone 5s, in fact. In short, it’s a more compact version of their latest phones. The SE includes64-bit A9 chip and M9 motion coprocessor, 12 megapixel camera, Touch ID and Apple Pay. 

You can pre-order an iPhone SE from 24th March 2016 for £349 with a release date of 31st March.  Also, this is actually the cheapest iPhone to date! 

iOS 9.3 Released

Released straight after the end of the event, iOS 9.3 includes some subtle changes. This update includes password protection on notes, Night Shift mode to shift th≥e light during the nighttime to aid a better sleep, app suggestions for Health apps and Top Stories on Apple News. CarPlay also includes song and nearby location suggestions. The Education app also allows for better use in classrooms, including the ability to set more than one account to an iPad - great for students who are sharing devices in class. 

New iPad Pro

Rumours had been circling about a new iPad Pro, and Apple confirmed it tonight. Weighing less than a pound, the new iPad Pro includes a 9.7 inch Retina display that is 47% less reflective than the iPad 2. The colours, brightness and display have all been improved, as well as including four audio speakers, A9X chip, M9 motion coprocessor, a graphics drive as powerful as an Xbox 360 and an improved Siri function.

Now available in the companies’ latest Rose Gold colour, the new iPad Pro also includes a 5mp front facing camera and 12MP rear camera, which can also shoot high quality videos. 

Accessories were also shown, such as a new smart keyboard, Lightning SD card reader, USB camera adapter and the Apple Pencil. Also, the iPad Pro also goes up to a larger 256GB storage now.

Like the iPhone SE will be released on the 31st March 2016.