Last night, Apple's held its annual spring event. The news? That new, smaller iPhone is real, and there's also a smaller iPad Pro. Here are more details on that, plus the rest of the big news.
A smaller iPhone
Yes, a new smaller iPhone is finally here: the iPhone SE.
In size, the iPhone SE is four inches, which makes it the size of the iPhone 5, but it's got plenty of updates on the inside that make it much closer to more modern-day iPhone. With an A9 chip inside, the iPhone SE has effectively the same brain as an iPhone 6S — which not only means better performance, but you can also use "Hey Siri" hands-free commands.
Along with that better brain comes a better camera, which will allow the iPhone SE to capture 4K video and perform the same "Live Photo" tricks that the iPhone 6S can. The iPhone SE also has TouchID (much like the iPhone 5S), but it also has a NFC chip, which means it can use Apple Pay as well.
And the price starts at Dhs1,470 for the 16GB version (which, is very very small — in fact it is too small and you should not buy that one). The more reasonable 64GB version is Dhs1,835.
A smaller iPad Pro
Sensing a theme here? The new iPad Pro — like the new iPhone SE — harkens back to a previous age. The new iPad Pro is 9.7-inches, which is the same size as your regular iPad or iPad Air.
Like the larger iPad Pro, the new smaller version is aimed primarily at professionals. It supports the expensive Apple Pencil stylus — "The greatest accessory Apple has ever made" according to Apple's Phil Schiller on stage — and has a display that's concerned with lowering reflection and displaying accurate colours. All features for artists and design nerds; a tablet that's trying to be paper.
Inside it has a A9x processor, the same as the one inside the normal sized iPad Pro. It's a chip that offers performance that isn't quite as good as modern mid-range laptop chips (this is no Surface Pro or even Surface 3), but it is comparable to laptops from a few years ago, easy.
The 32GB model starts at Dhs,2,205, with steps up at to 128GB at Dhs2,755 and a whopping 256GB at Dhs3,305.
Just under a year after its introduction, the Apple Watch is the "best-selling smartwatch in the world," according to Tim Cook. So good, in fact, that Apple will be lowering the starting price to Dhs1,102. If you were interested, there's never been a better time, but the price drop kind of makes you wonder how little the "best-selling smartwatch in the world" could actually be selling.
Also, new bands. Woven nylon!
One of Apple's cooler announcements of the day isn't a consumer product, but rather a robot that'll be put to use in warehouses. Apple's "Liam" bot is a robotic arm specially designed to automatically take apart iPhones and pull out all the important, rare, and toxic bits for recycling. It's a big deal because these generally hard-to-remove materials are what contribute to the worst of the planet's e-waste, and with a (relatively) simple way to recycle them, Apple could go a long way to making a dent in the current endless cycle of gadget upgrades not completely ruin the planet.
Other odds and ends
· The Apple TV is getting voice dictation for typing in passwords so you won't have to fiddle with horrible typing on that remote anymore! The update is rolling out today.
· iOS 9.3 will let you password protect notes in the Notes app
Prices approximate. Via Harper's Bazaar US