Copycat Stylus, Keyboard For iPad Pro And 3D Touch For iPhone 6S

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Sep 10 2015
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Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, once declared to the world that using a stylus with a computing device was a sign of passé – outdated and failure. He said that 5-years ago, and he’s now dead. His successor, Tim Cook, has no reason to follow a dead man’s rule when he’s under the pressure to deliver numbers, hence the introduction of Apple’s stylus.


Not to be laughed at by the industry, they call it Apple Pencil instead, and it’s yours for additional US$99. So, it’s an optional item and not required as you can still use the new iPad with your finger. Nonetheless, artists, designers and engineers would love it. The pencil has two sensors in the tip: to help the screen detect force and to calculate the tilt of your stylus.

Apple iPad Pro - Using Pencil

In a nutshell, you can actually create “shading effects” by tilting Apple Pencil the way you would a charcoal or conventional pencil. And that’s pretty brilliant. When you slip off the magnetic cap of the pencil, it reveals a Lighting connector that lets you  charge it by plugging it into iPad Pro. Apple claims a 15-seconds provide enough charge for half an hour of use.

Apple iPad Pro - Drawing with Pencil

So, the rumours were correct when Apple unleashed a bigger, meaner, crazier iPad Pro. It’s a matter of time before the new 12.9-inch retina display makes you wonder how small your existing 9.7-inch iPad is. It would be like comparing iPhone 4 to iPhone 6 Plus. Its 2732 x 2048 pixels adds up to 5.6 million pixels, which means more pixels than the 15-inch retina display MacBook Pro.

Apple iPad Pro - Tim Cook Showing

Weighing 1.57 pounds, obviously it’s not the lightest tablet to own. Under the hood, the iPad Pro is powered by a new 64-bit A9x processor, which is 1.8 times faster than its predecessor the A8X and double the graphic performance of iPad Air 2. There’s an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, and an HD FaceTime camera.


A new improvement which we like is the four speakers built into the iPad Pro, which automatically adjusts the orientation according to how you’re holding it. As for battery, Apple claims you will get 10 hours on a full charge. But there’s one more thing which haters would laugh at the new iPad Pro – the Smart Keyboard.

Apple iPad Pro - Keyboard Revealed

Heck, isn’t this looks and sounds like a Microsoft Surface? Well, in a way, the new Smart Keyboard works very much like the Surface keyboard – as a keyboard as well as a cover. Not only Apple copies Samsung’s stylus concept, it also copies Microsoft’s approach. Yeah, Apple is a copycat now but so what. This is Apple and anything under its brand sells. Perhaps they will reintroduce mouse later (*grin*).


Okay, how about its flagship product – iPhone – which accounts for 56% of Apple’s profits? As usual and expected, iPhone 6S and 6S Plus were revealed. Most of the external designs are the same as their predecessor. But the new iPhones are slightly heavier and thicker. The reason – they pump in a new A9 processor hence 70% faster CPU and 90% faster GPU performances.

Apple iPhone 6S and 6S Plus - Tim Cook Showing

Just like the iPad Pro, both iPhone 6S and 6S Plus allow you to do 4K video recording. But there isn’t any wireless charging being mentioned, unlike Samsung Galaxy S6. In fact, there isn’t much incentive to upgrade to the new iPhone if not for a new capability called 3D Touch, and to a certain extent an improved 12-megapixel camera, and “rose gold” colour.

Apple iPhone 6S and 6S Plus - Cover Glass

Unlike normal touch, it can sense how hard a user is pressing a button, allowing for easier access to different menus and information. So, it knows between a tap, a normal press, and a deep press. It doesn’t add much new functionality, but essentially, one deep press replaces two or three normal taps. It helps you navigate quicker.

Apple iPhone 6S and 6S Plus - 3D Touch

Fundamentally, a light push lets you “peek” at things, a deep press causes it to “pop” out for further action. Example: a light press allows you “Peek” at each mail in your inbox. And when you want to open one, press a little deeper to “Pop” into it. Actually, pressure-sensitive touch screens are already available on the Apple Watch and in the trackpad of the new MacBook.


Mr. Cook also presented a new, enhanced Apple TV, offering video games, shopping and travel tools through an expanded array of apps, on top of existing video and music streaming. The new Apple TV which includes a remote control that could be used as a video game controller has a higher price tag starting at US$149, up from US$69.

Apple Watch with Facebook Messenger

As for Apple Watch, Facebook Messenger is finally coming so you can use it to send texts, audio messages and share your location. There’s also AirStrip, a health care app that lets doctors coordinate patient care and monitor health data. Of course, there’s always the new iOS and the new iOS9 offers ability to split screen.


How about pricing? The new iPad Pro is US$799 and US$949 a pop for 32GB and 128GB WiFi version respectively. There’s only one option for Wifi and Cellular – US$1,079 for 128GB. The Smart Keyboard costs US$169 while the Pencil is yours for US$99. All of these products will be available in November.

Apple iPad Pro - Pricing

Apple iPad Pro - Pencil and Keyboard Pricing

As for iPhone, the base for iPhone 6S starts at US$199 (16GB), US$299 (64GB), US$399 (128GB) on a two-year contract. The iPhone 6S Plus 16GB model starts at $299, and costs $399 for 64GB and $499 for 128GB, all on the same two-year contract. However, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T have largely moved away from the on-contract discounts.


Off-contract, the iPhone 6S starts at a scary price of US$649 for 16GB, US$749 for 32GB and US$849 for 128GB; whereas the 6S Plus starts at US$749, US$849 and US$949 for the 16GB, 64GB and 128GB respectively. Apple has dropped prices by US$100 on all older iPhone models – US$99 for iPhone 6 and US$199 for iPhone 6 Plus while iPhone 5S is free on 2-year-contract.

Apple iPhone 6S and 6S Plus - Pricing

Alternatively, for US$32.45 a month (16GB 6S) or US$ 37.45 a month (16GB 6S Plus) you can choose something new and different: the iPhone Upgrade Program which gives you a new “unlocked” iPhone every single year on the carrier of your choice, plus AppleCare+. The new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are available for preorder on September 12, and Apple says they will ship on September 25.


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