Encryption, an iPhone, an iPad, an Apple Watch, and a price drop!

In a surprising opening to Apple’s event on Monday, CEO Tim Cook chose to kick off the event with a talk about the ongoing court battle between Apple and the FBI, regarding the San Bernadino terrorists and the Encryption security of iOS. Cook stated “We did not expect to be in this position at odds with our own government.” adding “We believe strongly that we have a responsibility to help you protect your data and protect your privacy. We owe it to our customers, and we owe it to our country. This is an issue that impacts all of us, and we will not shrink from this responsibility.” Seemingly taking the position that they will not back down from their battle with the FBI or abandon the security & privacy rights of their customers.

The biggest announcement of the event was the much rumored iPhone SE. The new phone brings together the power of the 6s with the style of the 5, coming in Apple’s signature colours of Space Grey, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold, the powerful A9 CPU coupled with the M9 motion co-processor give the SE double the processing power and three times the graphical power of the 5s, camera wise we see the same 12-megapixel rear camera used in the 6s albeit without the camera bump. Apple has specifically targeted iPhone 5s owners with the SE as the new phone has more power, better battery life, faster 4G and Wi-Fi speeds and support for Apple Pay, essentially this is the design you love with the power you need. However a bad taste was left in our mouths after we learned that the £359 base model would only come with 16GB of storage, remarkably small for a modern phone, with 64GB available for £439. Pre-orders start on the 24th of March.

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The iPad Pro saw a size shrink from 12.9 to 9.7 inches, with the smaller version retaining the processor, Apple pencil support, quad speakers, and smart connector of its bigger brother, along with the 12-megapixel rear camera from the iPhone 6s including the signature camera bump and a 5-megapixel front facing camera. The True Tone display is arguably the most impressive thing with a resolution of 2048×1536 and 25% greater colour saturation compared to previous iPads. The new True Tone technology uses four-channel ambient light sensors to automatically change the colour and intensity of the display to match your environment, making reading more natural and comfortable as well as reducing eye strain. The new iPad is 6.1mm thick and weighs in at just 437 grams even coming with its own version of the pro’s keyboard case, it is available in Space Grey, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold, with prices starting at £499 for the 32GB Wi-Fi only base model, increasing to £619 for 128GB and £739 for 256GB, pre-orders also start on the 24th of March with deliveries beginning on the 31st.

iPad pro

More minor announcements included the Apple watch seeing a price drop to £259 for the base model along with the release of new bands for their “Spring line up”, an Apple TV update to tvOS 9.2 which includes Siri dictation, allowing users to search for a specific movie or TV show using just their voice, the ability to create folders to organize apps on the home screen and the announcement of 5,000 apps in the tvOS app store. iOS got an update to 9.3 which included a new feature called Night Shift, which will reduce blue light wavelengths on the screen during night time to reduce eye strain and help users get to sleep more easily. It also included password protection for Notes, a security patch to prevent the decryption of photos and videos sent over iMessage, along with improvements to News recommendations.

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Apple’s next event is the World Wide Developers Conference on the 8th of June which we will be covering, please remember to check back at The Sphinx for your tech news and updates.