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Article from news.com.au

APPLE has showed off two new iPhones, a bigger iPad and an updated Apple TV during its biggest day of product announcements this year.

“We are about to make some monster announcements across several of our product lines,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the start of proceedings. He wasn’t lying.

The new iPad Pro boasts more power and better performance than any other before it, and features a super sharp 12.9-inch screen that can fit a full-size virtual keyboard.

While the new iPhones may look almost identical to last year’s models, practically everything else about them has been changed drastically.

A new Apple TV has finally been announced too, with a focus on apps, powerful new hardware and a new user interface.

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

Priced from $1079, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have both been unveiled as follow-up devices to last year’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Their appearance is almost identical to last year’s gadgets, although a new Rose Gold colour has been added.

“While they look familiar, we have changed everything about these new iPhones,” Cook said.

The new aluminium is said to be much stronger than before, as is the new glass that covers the display which is the same Ion-X that’s used on the Apple Watch Sport. Hopefully this means less scratches, screen shattering and no more bending.

Apple CEO Tim Cook shows off the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

Apple CEO Tim Cook shows off the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Source: AP

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus have a new type of screen technology called 3D touch, which incorporates both multi-touch and Force Touch. This means it can detect gestures and open new menus based on how hard you press the display. So, if you press lightly it will do one thing, and if you press harder it will do something else.

“This is a dynamic system, deeply integrated into iOS 9,” Apple’s chief design officer Jony Ive said. “You can dip in and out of where you are without losing sense of your context.”

Pressing hard on the screen will allow you to zoom in on certain details. For instance, when someone asks you whether you’re free on a certain date, you can press on the date in question and a “snapview” of your calender on that day will pop up.

It works on the homescreen too. Apps like Facebook give you the option of updating your status or taking a photo just by pressing firmly on the app’s icon.

This is what happens when you press down on the Safari icon.

This is what happens when you press down on the Safari icon. Source: Supplied

Both new phones have received big internal updates, with a new A9 chip that’s 80 per cent faster than the iPhone 6 and has 90 per cent more graphics power. TouchID has been updated to work twice as fast too.

The other big iPhone announcement was a brand new 12-megapixel iSight camera, up from 8-megapixels, that can record video in 4K resolution. That’s four times clearer than full high-definition.

Apple’s presentation included photos that were taken using the iPhone 6s. There were portraits, landscape views and low-light photos. All of them looked sufficiently impressive.

Selfies are going to look better than ever, with a new 5-megapixel sensor and Apple now allowing you to use the screen as a front-facing camera flash. Hooray.

A new type of image called a “live photo” was also shown off. It’s a photo which plays a four-second video, complete with sound, when you press hard on it. If you’ve used a Nokia Lumia or HTC One device, they’ve both had very similar features in the past.

A new yearly upgrade system was announced for the United States, though Apple promised it will be coming to other markets as well. Essentially, the scheme will allow customers to lease their phones, paying $US32 per month for an unlocked and then picking their carrier. After 12 months, they will be able to trade in for a new model.

This is the new Rose Gold iPhone 6s colour.

This is the new Rose Gold iPhone 6s colour. Source: Supplied

The higher quality photos, along with all the apps, will take up more space, but the entry level model still has just 16GB of memory. Pricing is as follows:

iPhone 6s

16GB: $1079

64GB: $1229

128GB: $1379

iPhone 6s Plus

16GB: $1229

64GB: $1379

128GB: $1529

Both models will go on sale on September 25, with pre-orders starting on September 12. iOS 9 will be available on September 16 for existing iPhones.

The iPad Pro on the right next to the old iPad Air on the left.

The iPad Pro on the right next to the old iPad Air on the left. Source: Supplied

THE IPAD PRO

The iPad Pro’s screen is big enough to run full-sized iPad apps side-by-side when it is in landscape mode. Apple demonstrated that ability with the Microsoft Office suite, showing how you can edit and use data from both Word and Excel at the same time, and copy and past information from one document to the other.

Apple’s new A9X processor has “desktop class performance” with graphics twice as good as on last year’s iPad Air. It also boasts 1.8-times the processor speed with a 10-hour battery life.

“It can do things that a smartphone doesn’t do because it doesn’t have to sit in your pocket,” said Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller.

The specs for the new iPad Pro.

The specs for the new iPad Pro. Source: AFP

The capacity for sound has been upgraded as well. The new device has a four-speaker stereo system, even though the iPad Pro is just 6.9mm thick.

Apple also announced a physical keyboard case, much like Microsoft’s Surface series, with a special “woven fabric” that creates the structure of the keys. It uses a smart connector to power the keyboard and carry data to it, again like Microsoft’s Surface.

An Apple Pencil stylus will be available as an optional extra too, which can tilt and stroke and sense pressure. There will be a new Notes app update allowing you to draw and create diagrams with the pencil. It can be recharged using a built-in lightning connector that plugs directly into the bottom of the iPad Pro.

The iPad Pro starts at $US799, the Pencil at $US99 and keyboard at $US169 with Australian pricing expected later today. The release date is in November.

Apple has reinvented... the pencil?

Apple has reinvented… the pencil? Source: Supplied

THE APPLE TV

The Apple TV has finally received an update, with a big emphasis on apps and a new operating system. It will finally support games, with a touchpad packed into the remote control, which will include motion sensors – yes, like a Wii remote.

Siri has been included, and Apple appears to want you to use her to navigate through the TV. You could, for instance, say “show me funny TV shows” to find the latest comedy hits, through the iTunes store, Netflix and other streaming services.

Siri is also clever enough to search for a specific episode of a TV show which features a cameo appearance. Or, if you ask “what did he say”, she can even rewind 15 seconds and replay the grab with subtitles.

Apple is trying to bring big games to the Apple TV to help it to become the go-to system for casual gamers. Guitar Hero will be included, as will the new Disney Infinity game and a Wii Sports-esque family game called Beat Sports. The Aussie developers behind the acclaimed iPhone game CrossyRoad were brought on stage to show off their game on the Apple TV.

As long as you own an iPhone or an iPod Touch, you won’t need to buy any more remotes when playing multiplayer either, because both devices can be used as game controllers. However, if you do want to a few extra buttons, the Apple TV will support third party controllers for gaming.

THE APPLE WATCH

The Apple Watch, which was announced at last year’s iPhone event, received an update at this year’s. The new watchOS2 software will allow app data to be installed directly, cutting down loading speeds and giving app developers more tools with which to work.

New apps such as Facebook Messenger and a new iTranslate app, which can translate 90 languages on your wrist, also got a plug.

New watch bands have been announced, including a much needed Hermes leather band and new rubber sports bands. Rose Gold and Gold Watch models will be available.

Cook also highlighted the fitness potential of the Apple Watch, which he said had been “life changing” for many users.

watchOS2 will be available on September 16 for existing users, with the new Watch models available to buy from Apple stores today.

The new Hermes leather watch bands look great.

The new Hermes leather watch bands look great. Source: AFP