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Another year, another Apple keynote and this one could be one of its biggest in years. Much is expected at this two-hour event (starting 6pm Irish time) from the standard iPhone announcements to the possibility of a new Apple TV, iPad and a foray into gaming.

There’s a livestream of the event which you can watch through Safari on iPhone/iPad/Mac or Apple TV. And for the first time ever, you can watch it through Microsoft Edge on Windows 10.

If you want to get in touch, send an email to quinton@thejournal.ie, tweet @TheJournalTech, or leave a comment.

Good evening and welcome to our liveblog of Apple’s keynote event.

It’s that time of year again where we gather round, see what one of the most profitable companies in the world has in store for us and either get really excited or say stuff like it’s terrible and Android/Windows Phone/Blackberry/your old Nokia 3210/Zack Morris’ phone from Saved By The Bell/a string with two cups is far better.

What we’re trying to say here is you’ll likely have an opinion on Apple. We’re just covering everything that happens between now and 8pm.

We did a roundup of what we should likely expect from the event (and you can read it here), but just a quick recap of what we’re likely to expect tonight.

iPhones - Likely to be named the 6S and be a continuation of last year’s models with a standard iPhone 6S and a 6S Plus. Will come with Force Touch and a much improved camera.
iOS 9 - It’s normally been released around the 18th/19th September so at the very least, expect a launch date to be announced. Features with watchOS 2, the OS for Apple Watch, will also be covered briefly.
Apple TV - Expected to be a vastly upgraded device with better hardware and software. Will get its own App Store and gaming is said to be a key feature although think current iPhone games and not PS4/Xbox One.
iPad Pro -  A large 12.9-inch screen, mulittasking and splitscreen apps will be touted if Apple decides to reveal this. There’s an outside chance of it being announced here but you’ll never know.
Other - Will likely mention stats and other info about Apple Music – it’s only three months old but with much to prove – Apple Pay, HealthKit, Research Kit, and HomeKit. Usually Apple starts with this to show how far it’s progressed in the last year so expect Tim Cook to kick things off this way.

Like all buildups, there isn’t a whole lot happening at the moment. People are in their seats, some are still making their way in. Still we can think about what’s could happen like will there be a equivalent of Keynote Scarf Guy this year?

These are important questions that need to be answered, ok?

So about Apple moving into gaming with Apple TV. While the initial thought is to say it’s competing against current consoles like the PS4, Xbox One and Wii U, the likelihood is it won’t aim towards those audiences. And it shouldn’t as those audiences have no reason to jump down to a device that (likely) won’t have the same specs as established consoles.

A more likely possibility is to link it up with current App Store games and use the iPhone/iPad as a second screen. There’s also the problem that such set-top box aren’t exactly successful (look at Android Fire TV and Ouya as examples) so it’s not clear cut.

And it begins. Tim Cook takes the stage

“We could not be more excited to be here this morning… it’s been an incredible year for Apple. WE are really firing on all cylinders and we’re about to make monster announcements across a number of products.”

Cook says he isn’t messing with updates and starts off with Apple Watch.

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Cook says that “for many people, the Apple Watch has been lifechanging” and fires out a a customer satisfaction rate of 97%. He invites Jeff Williams to the stage to talk more about Apple Watch.

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Williams goes through the features already on for WatchOS and says are 10,000 watch apps on the watch app store so far which is nice, but now goes through the new apps.

Facebook Messenger, iTranslate, GoPro and Airstrip are some examples given of native apps. We’re getting a demo of Airstrip which is a medical app, which its founder calls a “game-changer” for healthcare. We’re going through the different features like reading a heart rate in real-time and pregnancy care.

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A short example of listening to a fetal’s heartbeat through the watch gets applause.

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Now we’re back to Williams who is talking about the Apple Watch collection which is now offering more choice. He announces a deal with Hermes which “shares our commitment to craftsmanship.  Now we’re treated to a video showing off the new looks and customisable straps for Apple Watch.

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They’re basically gold rose and gold editions. There’s a lot of talk about watch bands right now. “It’s really nice” says Williams who finishes up.

WatchOS 2 will be launched on 16th Sept which could be the same date for iOS 9. Tim Cook is back on stage to talk about the iPad.

“iPad is the clearest expression of the future of personal computing. A simple multitouch piece of glass that virtually transforms into anything you want it to be.” Cook mentions its partnerships with the likes of IBM to help bring the iPad to work. You can see where this is going.

“So we asked ourselves how could we take iPad even further. Today, we have the biggest news in iPad since the iPad and I am thrilled to show it to you.”

Roll video!

Phil Schiller comes on stage, saying the iPad Pro is  ”the biggest we ever built on an iOS device… more power and performance.” It has a full sized keyboard and split-screen capabilities and it’s 12.9-inches. Why that size? Schiller says the width is the same height as the iPad Air so it’s like two iPad Air devices stitched together.

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Schiller goes through the various features that it boasts, praises the display a lot and the chip the powers it. the AX9 is a 64-bit chip that is “so fast” saying it’s “desktop class performance”

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Schiller is really comparing it to desktop computers, pretty much saying it’s on par or better. The tablet has 10 hours of battery life and has a four speaker audio system and balances it depending on how you’re holding it.

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“The keyboard dynamically changes” and unveils a smart keyboard which is “unlike any keyboard you’ve ever seen before.” Remind you of anything?

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The iPad (Surface) Pro keyboard has three grooves on the sides which connects the keyboard. Now we’ve moved onto the inclusion of the stylus, another “brand new accessory”.

It’s called the Apple Pencil (Just calling it a stylus wasn’t good enough, eh?) and it gets its own video with Jony Ive narrative.

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The video talks about how it can recognise the weight of the writing/drawing which feels like a true writing experience, says the Ive narrative. You can recharge the pencil by connecting it to the iPad’s lightning connector.

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TWIST: Microsoft Office’s Kirk Koenigsbauer takes the stage to talk about Office on iPad Pro. There was a silence before Schiller says “yeah, really” (That’s not Koenigsbauer in the screenshot by the way). They’re going through the multitasking capabilities of the iPad Pro at a blistering pace.

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Really hoping I spelt Konigsbauer’s (now in image) name right in the last update. He finishes and now Schiller is back to introduce Adobe’s Eric Snowden on stage.

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The actual presentation about the iPad Pro was really consumer based (gaming, film, multimedia) but the demos are more on the professional side. The Adobe presentation is focusing on editing text and images with multitasking which is like “having two screens side-by-side”. Indeed.

Photoshop Fix and Photoshop Sketch are shown as the second app, and if you put three fingers down on the screen and swipe, it works as an undo/redo button. He finishes his presentation and Schiller presents the final demo.

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The actual presentation about the iPad Pro was really consumer based (gaming, film, multimedia) but the demos are more on the professional side. The Adobe presentation is focusing on editing text and images with multitasking which is like “having two screens side-by-side”. Indeed.

Photoshop Fix and Photoshop Sketch are shown as the second app, and if you put three fingers down on the screen and swipe, it works as an undo/redo button. He finishes his presentation and Schiller presents the final demo.

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The final demo is 3D4Medical which appears to be a human anatomy app. I’d tell you more about the company but their site seems to be down (likely because many others are doing the same).

Still, it’s a detailed app which allows doctors to show patients the effects of diseases and injuries through 3D models.

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Schiller returns to stage and wraps up the iPad Pro presentation. This is all the info you need to know in one image. Comes in silver, gold and space grey and costs $799 for 32GB, $99 for pencil and $169 for keyboard. It will be released in November and will likely be a straight swap in euros (€799 for 32GB)

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And now another Jony Ive video recapping everything said before but in a fancier way.

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“And that is the new iPad Pro” and this is what the cost of the other iPads. Treat it as a straight swap from dollars to euro. Now we’re talking about TVs.

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Cook is back on stage: “It really is the golden age of television. But as important as tv is, the experience hasn’t changed that much in decades…today, we’re going to do something about that and it starts with a vision. Our vision for tv is simple and a little provocative. we believe the future of TV is app”.

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Cook talks about the benefits of apps, that is doing things on demand and interacting it in ways that weren’t possible. Cook lists the things that will come with the new Apple TV before announcing it and App Store. “We’ve been working really hard and really long to bring these things together”. Cue bright, happy video with new Apple TV.

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Apple really likes the Jasons (Borne, Bateman) and shows gaming with the remote as part of its promo.

This is the new apple TV and we believe it’s the future of television. Eddy Cue takes the stage and says the new TV works with touch and voice. He goes through the different buttons.

One example is asking Siri for funny TV shows and it brings up comedies, showing all the places you can watch it like Apple, Netflix, Hulu (for US users) and a few others and the TV. The interface looks rather similar to Netflix to be honest.

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Now we’re onto a demo with live screensavers (which people applauded strangely enough) as one of the Apple TV team’s member goes through the different features. Click and swipe to fast forward/rewind through Modern Family (with Edward Norton cameo). You can use Siri to skip or skip back and temporarily turn on captions if you missed what someone said. That’s pretty useful in fairness.

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In essence, Siri is like that person you watch a movie with and ask him/her “what the hell is going on in this movie? Is he the bad guy” or “Isn’t that your man from American History X?” except it likely doesn’t get annoyed at your constant questioning.

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Jen leaves the stage and Cue is back on, talking about apps and the stuff developers have access to. He goes through the custom apps designed for it like Netflix, HBO, Hulu and games like Rayman Adventure. There are even console games like Disney Infinity and the new Guitar Hero coming to the set-top box.

Funnily enough AirBnB is an app available. Now Hipster Whale, the guys behind Crossy Road, are on stage to show the game on Apple TV. Tom, the guy playing it as a chicken, gets flattened by a train and introduces multiplayer where someone with an iPhone/iPad can join in.

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There’s co-op play but players can knock/block each other into traffic and other obstacles. Crossy Road is kinda like Frogger and Flappy Bird combined so this is a fun start.

Cue calls it a classic game on iOS despite it not being out for a year. Now Harmonix are out to chat about a family game called Beat Sports which uses motion controls to interact with.

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This is very much like the approach Nintendo took with the Wii. All these games are designed with family in mind, bringing in non-gamers into the mix with accessible games.

Now we’ve jumped from gaming to online shopping. Not the most obvious segway but Michelle Peluso of online fashion store Gilt takes the stage and goes through the features.

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Chad Evans from Major League Baseball is now on to talk about and goes through the app’s features at 90km/h. I don’t follow baseball so I’ve no idea if those features and stats are impressive or not, but Evans finishes there will be a hockey app in 2016 and exits. Cue is back again to wrap up Apple TV.

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The games use cloud saving so you so you can continue where you left off on iPad/iPhone. The remote lasts three months on a single charge and Apple TV will cost $149 for 32GB (again swap straight for euros and you get the idea).

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Tim Cook comes back on stage and now talks about the iPhone, says it’s growing in all corners of the globe from India to China to Spain. He talks about how much the iPhone grew compared to the rest of the industry saying it’s been “a phenomenal year…they are the most loved phones in the world.”

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“So how do you follow a success like this… I am thrilled to show the newest iPhones” Roll video.

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They’re similar but Cook says “We have changed everything about them… they are the most advanced phones in the world”. Phil Schiller returns to the stage to talk more about them.

Ok, so four colours: Silver, gold, space gray, rose gold and it has something called 3D Touch which is Force Touch with a different name. It’s right click for your phone and it recognises force.

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Peek and Pop are the two actions it carries out. Peek is for photos, bit like a fullscreen mode, while Pop brings up context-specific options for you to choose from.

In essence, press lightly and you get one thing while a heavy press gets you something else.

“This is unlike any experience you’ve ever seen on a smartphone” says Schiller who brings on Craig Federighi to carry out a demo. He starts off with Mail and uses 3D Touch to bring up a quick view of a message. Similar with Messages which uses a time in a message (6pm) to bring up your calendar and flight times if there’s a flight number.

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Navigating across apps is another inclusion, 3D Touch acts like a back button, returning to previous apps, or return to former apps. Tapping hard on apps on the home screen brings up quick options, speeding things up for users.

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Federighi wraps up and now Schiller is back, going through the specs. It has a A9 chip, which is 90% faster with graphics, and moves into games with Andy Wafer of Pixel Toys who shows off a demo of a 3D mecha game, using 3D touch to zoom in slightly or switch weapons when you do a long press.

The rest of his talk is about graphics (60fps) which look good for an iPhone game in fairness.

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Other features include the M9 motion coprocessor, 2nd gen Touch ID (“twice as fast”) and the camera, a 12MP iSight camera.

The sensor 50% more pixels (for autofocus) than before according to Schiller.

Schiller goes through the work done with the camera and says “all we have to know is we can take great photos with the iPhone 6S” He shows off some photos of Iceland, New York City and Italy, taken with the 6S of course.

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A photo of a Parrot zoomed-in, just in case you got tired of Apple’s holiday snaps.

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The camera brings with it 4K video which means 8 million pixels. In theory, it sounds great, but time will tell.

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The Facetime camera gets an upgrade with a 5MP camera. It also has Retina Flash which uses the screen to create flash photos from the front facing camera.

“What if we could do something more” says Schiller and introduces live photos (or to give them their more common name, videos). It uses 3D Touch to play a short video on any photo you take. It just saves a short clip anytime you take a photo when you turn it on.

They’re space efficient so they won’t take up much room. Again, another great in theory idea but how will it play out in reality.

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Facebook will be supporting live photos on iOS this year and we’ve no idea whether that will work on other devices.

Schiller introduces an Apple app on the Google Play to help you transfer your info from your old phone to your new iPhone (assuming you get one).

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What are they going to cost? Well we don’t know really since we’ve been given the two-year contract cost. Not the best indicator, really and will be more expensive on shorter plans, and definitely more expensive unlocked.

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When can you get it? You can pre-order on 12th Sept and will be released on 26th Sept in the usual countries like the US and UK. Ireland will get them in early Oct most likely.

On the other hand, iOS 9 will arrive next week on 16th September.

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Cook returns to stage and repeats that they’re the most advanced smartphones in the world, just in case you didn’t hear that mentioned the last twenty times. And now another TV ad going through the same features again.

And it’s wrapping up now with Cook going through everything mentioned. Apple Watch, iPad Pro, Apple TV and the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus and tells everyone at the venue that ‘you’ll miss something if you don’t go to both [aftershow demos]‘. Something oddly threatening about that.

And now it’s a band to close the show. Now on the stage, the band that isn’t U2: One Republic.

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This is probably a good time to say we’ve no real opinion on One Republic, so we can’t comment on their music. Its lead singer dedicates their next song to Tim Cook which sounds like something that will be making an appearance on a mobile carrier ad sometime soon.

You know, the ones where an couple run somewhere (likely a music festival) and they’re happy and you’re not and the only way to fix your unhappiness is to buy join up (You know the ones we’re talking about).

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Another One Direction song. The lead singer says “we didn’t even know we were playing until 10 mins ago”, which begs the question, what would have happened if they said no? Was there other bands in the mix.

He does make a few jokes, one about people knowing their next song simply because it’s played in supermarkets everywhere (and most likely phone ads).

And that is it. Thanks for joining us and stick with us as we will have a roundup and analysis of everything that happened later on this evening.

About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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