Apple’s 2016 keynote: Five things we learned

Missed out on our live blog, or don’t think you need to know every minute detail about Apple’s latest plans? I hear you. That’s why I’ve distilled tonight’s Apple event into five essential details to take away with you.

1) Apple is going big on positive PR

There was a time when Apple didn’t seem too bothered about bad publicity. If tonight’s keynote is anything to go by, then these days are behind the company as they launched with a strong defence of privacy, tacitly referring to their battle with the FBI without directly referring to it. They followed that up with their commitment to renewable energy and being more green, and then their work with Health Kit and improving the sum of human knowledge. In all, it was about 25 minutes before products were even mentioned. This is a company that wants you to care that they care.

But as I said during the event on Twitter, this message didn’t always permeate every part of the keynote:

2) Spring cleaning for the Apple Watch and Apple TV

Bundled in between the good PR and the meat of the hardware was a touch of spring cleaning for the Apple Watch and Apple TV. More bands for Apple Watch (people ‘love changing the band’ according to Tim Cook) along with a price cut to $299, while Apple TV is getting a big update which adds folders and lets you search for content – even on the App Store – using Siri’s voice control.

3) 4in phones are back. And how
Apple iPhone SE colour options

We had a sneaky feeling the iPhone SE was going to be launched today, and Apple didn’t disappoint. Apple boasted that the new handset is the fastest 4in phone in the world… which to be fair, it should be, given other handsets already exist, and technology gets faster as time goes on, but the details are promising.

It features the same A9 chip as in the iPhone 6s, so has a lot more grunt than the iPhone 5s – the only current smaller iPhone on offer. Touch ID, Apple Pay and an A9 processor… yet the price is low (for an iPhone) – starting at $399 for a 16GB model that looks on paper to be a similar proposition to the 6s. That’s around £277 in our money. Impressive.

4) iOS 9.3 is getting some nice tweaks too

If you use Flux for Mac, you may recognise the feature Apple led with on this: Night Shift. iOS version 9.3 reduces blue light based on the time of day to try and help you sleep better. On top of that, the Notes app now gets fingerprint security, and Health, News and Car Play all get boosts of their own. It’s out today as well.

5) Hello new iPad Pro

The iPad Pro was by far the biggest member of the iPad family, but it’s getting a familiar sized baby brother with a 9.7in version. 9.7in is still Apple’s most popular version, apparently, and they’re specifically targeting Windows users. 32GB starts at $599, with the 128GB model coming in at $749. There’s also a 256GB version for $899. The original 12.9in version doesn’t miss out on the fun, either, but the 256GB isn’t cheap at $1,099.

The new iPad Pro is 25% brighter than the previous model and comes with a ‘True Tone’ display, which adapts the colour of the screen to suit the conditions it’s being used in.

Both models are coming on 31 March.

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