Does the iPad Pro signal the end for MacBook Air?

10 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple breaks its own taboos to keep winning customers.

Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, once announced that using a stylus with a computing device was passé. SAN FRANCISCO: Loyal Apple fans likely shuddered as longtime nemesis Microsoft was welcomed at a high-profile media event to show off software tailored for a new iPad. The US software titan had been mocked at previous Apple events as not just an entrenched adversary but as a copycat waiting to duplicate the company’s innovations. Apple staked a new claim to the living room on Wednesday, as the maker of iPhones and other hand-held gadgets unveiled an Internet TV system that’s designed as a beachhead for the tech giant’s broader ambitions to deliver a wide range of information, games, music and video to the home.

The iPad Pro, as it is called, features a 12.9-inch Retina display with a very powerful specification sheet—the latest A9X processor, 2,732 x 2,048 pixel display resolution, support for more 4G LTE networks and claimed 10-hour battery life. AP Photo SAN FRANCISCO, United States—Apple is bolstering its money-pumping iPhone line while looking to dive deep into businesses with iPads and dominate living rooms with Apple TV hardware tuned to app-loving lifestyles. And in a move sure to make Apple old-timers squirm, the newest version of the iPad, which has an optional keyboard that attaches to the tablet, is even imitating some of the features of Microsoft’s Surface. Late Apple co-founder Jobs unabashedly fired barbs at Microsoft, which was portrayed as an evil empire overlord while the iconic California was a rebel force.

Apple says that “advanced sensors in Apple Pencil measure both pressure and tilt for a fast and fluid drawing experience, while a built-in Lightning connector makes for quick and easy pairing and charging.” Apple Pencil will work with apps like Mail, Notes, Procreate and Office 365 for iPad, presumably to boost productivity on the tablet. Microsoft’s unprecedented appearance on an Apple event stage left those fans to now argue whether it was a sign of Microsoft’s defeat in the long-running war or whether Apple needed them as an ally to push iPads deeper into the business world.

Apple introduced two updated iPhones to build on the success of large-screen handsets introduced last year that have dominated the high-end smartphone market. One of the key new features is called “3D touch,” which responds to pressure exerted on the screen to allow users to look inside messages and applications. “Apple has performed the ultimate conjuring trick: Change everything about the iPhone, but make it look almost identical to the old model,” IHS Technology said in a posted analysis. Apple will hit this holiday shopping season with the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, which include an upgraded, 12-megapixel camera and a new capability called 3D Touch. Apple will take pre-orders starting Saturday and deliver the phones September 25 in the US, Britain, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico and Singapore.

The new A9X processor has doubled the memory bandwidth compared with the processor used in the iPad Air, and the graphics performance is 360 times faster—yes, 360 times. According to Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller, the device features “desktop-class performance” and operates faster than 80 percent of portable PCs that shipped in the last 12 months. Samsung has had the S-Pen stylus for its big screen phones and tablets for many years now, and we aren’t entirely sure if anyone really uses it, apart from those who work on graphics.

Last year, a Microsoft representative told us that we will soon start to see the “new Microsoft”, which is happy to offer its software and services to users on rival platforms. That’s a long sales cycle, but could finally stop (the tablet market’s) sales slide.” Apple released a software kit for outside developers, and showed off early versions of Apple TV applications already being crafted by show streaming services Netflix and Hulu, as well as HBO. Apple TV has the potential to take the kinds of “casual game” apps popular on mobile devices and put them on television screens, according to analysts. Siri virtual assistant software newly built into Apple TV will allow for natural language searches for shows—for example, by asking for something funny or a certain actor by name. According to the research firm Parks Associates, Roku leads the US market with a 37 percent market share, to 19 percent for Google Chromecast and 17 percent for Apple TV.

The company offered no sales figures but Cook said customers “love using Apple Watch,” and that user satisfaction “is an incredible 97 percent.” Disclaimer: Comments do not represent the views of INQUIRER.net. Apple has refrained from updating the Air with the Retina display in the past couple of models, and instead launched the new thin and light MacBook in the meantime.

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