Today, Apple had their yearly keynote speech, and unlike years past, they decided to load this one up with new additions. Whenever Apple wants to unveil a new product they often have a special event in which they focus on only one new product or iteration of a former product, but this year Apple decided to announce upgrades to two of their most popular products, the iPhone and the iPad, as well as a long overdue update to the Apple TV. As I watched this keynote and saw the new 12.9 inch iPad pro I wondered, “who would ever want an iPad that big?” I never actually looked at an iPad as a device that needs a larger model, but Apple seems to know how to release an item that meets a niche need, without losing its appeal to the larger public. The major news from this keynote was the introduction of Apple’s “new” iPhone. When I first saw the unveiling, it seemed like Apple was just trying to sell a slightly updated iPhone 6 with a new color variation, a strategy Apple seems to use time and time again, but upon watching the event I saw that they added quite a few interesting features. Apple knows that people think they just keep releasing the same device, with a shiny new coat of paint, so they decided to attack that exact notion. The tag line Apple used for today’s iPhone event was “the only thing that’s changed is everything,” a line that harkens to what is commonly said by critics of Apple products, “the only thing that’s changed is…” While I wouldn’t say that everything about the iPhone has changed, I will say the new 3d touch feature and camera features have made this phone seem like more of an upgrade than some of the past versions of the phone. Apple seems to be on a war path to steal complete market share from all of their competitors, and while these new products are definitely more advanced, I think I will be sticking with last year’s models until the next update. The future is definitely looking bright for technology, hopefully these newly announced products by Apple will bring forth greater improvements from all of their competition, and a golden age for technology.
My year and a half old iPad Air died, it just stopped working, so instead of paying an arm and a leg for a replacement I upgraded to an iPad Air 2. The first thing I noticed about the iPad Air 2 is the lack of the mute/orientation lock switch, and while software additions have made the feature obsolete it is something that takes time getting used to when you realize it’s gone. The next difference is the weight, the iPad Air was extremely light, but Apple has somehow figured out how to trim it down even more. The chassis of the Air 2 is just slim enough that it no longer fits inside of the protective cases for the original, but I guess that’s all the more reason to buy new ones. Internally, the iPad Air 2 has an upgraded processor and a larger midrange storage size. The boost in processing power allows the iPad to run more applications and to work a bit more smoothly. The Air 2 is the first iPad to feature Apple’s Touch ID and Apple Pay. While the new features are welcomed additions, they seem somewhat useless on the platform. It is just as convenient to unlock an iPad with a code as it is to use your fingerprint. It also seems as though these features could have been part of the previous iPad release without adding to the cost, but I guess Apple has bigger plans for the future of the touch sensor. Overall I would say the iPad Air 2 is a great device if you are working with a 4th generation iPad or earlier, it is not much of a jump from the previous iPad Air, so wait for the Air 3 in October if you want an upgrade. The inexplicable hardware failure of my iPad Air has taught me one thing about Apple, and that is to wait on their first generation products, but as for the iPad Air 2 I am thoroughly pleased and happy with the purchase.