This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 17 °C Saturday 21 September, 2019
Advertisement

Why the iPad Pro gives the middle finger to everyone, including Apple itself

And other things that happened during Apple’s keynote event.

Image: Eric Risberg/Press Association Images

IN WHAT WAS probably one of Apple’s busier events in a long time, we got three major product launches last night.

Alongside the standard upgrade to the iPhone, now the 6S and 6S Plus, we got a new version of Apple TV and a signficant iPad upgrade in the form of the iPad Pro.

But while the products themselves take up the most attention, there are a number of other points that should be noted.

3D Touch could solve one of iOS’s biggest problems

Compared to other rival OSs like Android and Windows Phone, iOS can feel rather rigid and stodgy at times. It’s hard not to feel that way when the likes of Android is able to move between apps fluidly and allows more customisation.

Apple tried to solve this a little with widgets and while that didn’t quite work out (to be honest, it was the least of iOS 8′s problems), 3D Touch could be the way it solves this without messing up the simplicity that iOS is famed for.

By including a right-click like interface to iOS, it not only gives users more options, but it speeds up the process in which actions are completed. That might seem like a roundabout way of solving the problems, but for Apple, it could be the perfect compromise for users who might want to switch over.

Source: Apple/YouTube

The big iPhone changes are under the hood

As mentioned many times before, the S series of iPhones usually focus on refinement rather than introduce major changes and this time is no different. Yet while the cosmetic changes are tiny at best, it’s the software and hardware that gets the biggest upgrade.

3D touch will get the headlines, but it’s the A9 processor and M9 co-processor, the 12MP camera with 4K video, a faster Touch ID and WiFi that’s two times faster will show it’s more than just a slightly improved iPhone 6.

On paper anyway. How this will all add up in practice remains to be seen, but these changes look more significant than they appear to be at first glance.

There’s still one huge problem with the iPhone

For all the nice features introduced like 4K video, 12MP camera, live photos and the likes, the minimum storage space you can get is 16GB.

It doesn’t need repeating that 4K video, while nice to look at on the big screen, takes up a lot of space and you can see a situation where you will run out of space relatively quickly when you factor in apps, games and other downloads.

iOS 9 does have ways to save space with apps, and says that live photos won’t take up much space, but it’s hard to see this being the case from first look.

Apple You when you realise you ran out of space on your 16GB iPhone. Source: Eric Risberg/Press Association Images

The iPad Pro is basically Apple giving the middle finger to everyone, including itself

Yes, Microsoft was there first with the Surface Pro – and it should be mentioned that both the 3 and Pro 3 are genuinely fantastic devices – and many Android tablets have included keyboards as well, but it was hard to watch the iPad Pro announcement and not think back to past moments featuring Apple and its rivals.

A few years ago, the late Steve Jobs said “If you see a stylus, they blew it” back at an iOS 4 event in 2010 and while it’s not exactly fair to hold a company accountable to something a former-CEO said five years ago, it does highlight the approach Apple takes.

It doesn’t care about the past, what was said or done or what rules it created, it only sees the direction it needs to go and makes no apologies for it when it does so. Even when you bring it up, the company justifies why this is the right time for said features. This is one of Apple’s biggest strengths and why it’s able to dominate certain areas.

Although if you really wanted to be anal about it, you could argue that by naming the stylus Pencil, it doesn’t exactly break its own rule. On a related note, Microsoft was one of the companies that featured during the iPad Pro demos, showing off Office so even they broke rules.

Apple still has a long way to go when it comes to diversity

Compared to its developer event, Apple’s launch was a disappointment if you were expecting it to follow up from June.

All but three speakers during the event were white and male and while three women featured, a major faux-pas came during Adobe’s demo which fixed a female model’s neutral expression to a smile because they “weren’t happy with it”.

It was tone-deaf on a number of levels – the audience applauding certainly didn’t help matters – and while Adobe’s demo was impressive as a whole, these little things don’t help when you’re trying to position the company – and the tech industry as a whole – as an inclusive and welcoming place.

There are those who will argue that it was small and there was no harm intended, but even if we accept that to be the case, little actions like these tend to have the biggest effect since they accumulate alongside bigger ones like speaker diversity.

If we’re really thinking of making the industry inclusive and diverse where everyone works to their strengths, highlighting things like these is worth it in the long run. There is certainly no shortage of great people from different backgrounds within Apple’s own ranks – or tech in general – so why not make more of an effort to reflect that?

There were some positives though. Apple TV’s Jennifer Folds did a great job in showcasing Apple TV’s new features and there is another person and an Irish startup that warrants attention.

Apple Source: Eric Risberg/Press Association Images

It took an Irish startup to show what the iPad Pro could really do

Of the demos that featured during Apple’s event, the best one came from the Dublin-startup 3D4Medical.

A medical company that develops a range of apps for professionals, patients and students, its head of design, Irene Walsh showed the world just what could be done with the iPad Pro when it’s put in the right hands.

Apple Irene Walsh demonstrates some of the health monitoring features at work on the iPad Pro during the Apple event. Source: Eric Risberg/Press Association Images

The app itself adds a layer of detail that allows users to properly illustrate the human body, and it was a technically impressive demo. When you get a chance to showcase your product to a global audience, you should take it with both hands and Walsh did just that.

Source: 3D4Medical/YouTube

Apple TV is not the gaming device you’re looking for

When rumours about Apple making gaming a major part of its revamped set-top box, some wondered if it would signal the beginning of the end with consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One.

While such questions weren’t exactly unfounded, it was unlikely that Apple TV would become a solid gaming device on its own and that is still the case now.

What it does right is use its vast catalogue of iPhone/iPad games and rely on multiplayer for its TV experiences but that creates its own problems. If you want to play a game at home, playing it on your phone is easier, and how often will you have two or more people playing together?

Source: Apple/YouTube

And then there are the controls. A motion sensor remote with trackpad does give these games an element of simplicity, but it’s an uneasy alliance between the features that made gaming on the iPhone and Wii a success. There are specialised controllers in the works for it, but realistically, how many will bother?

If you’re into casual gaming, you have your phone for it, and if you’re more serious, you’ll likely have a console or PC. Either way, it’s a good thing it has other features like TV to fall back on.

Apple TV controllers Source: Apple

There’s finally an Apple app on Google Play…

But it’s not Apple Music. Instead, it’s an app that allows you to quickly transfer your data from your old Android phone to your new iPhone should you make the switch. Cheeky or smart? The answer, as always, lies somewhere in the middle.

Read: Apple has announced two new iPhones >

Read: If you use WhatsApp on your computer, you should update it as soon as you get the chance >

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

Read next:

COMMENTS (56)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel