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Deep Trench what?

Apple loves to unearth technical phrases no one has heard before. So exotic-sounding are these collections of seemingly incompatible words, they do make you wonder if they weren’t simply dreamt up by Phil Schiller and co.

Some time ago, they excelled themselves when, during the announcement of a new line of iMacs, we were informed that the screens boasted lots of ‘nits’. Three-hundred, to be exact. Now, nits, in my mind, are little creatures which live in your hair and make you unpopular at school. Not any more, it seems – they’ve gone tech. And, of course, no one knows what a nit is when it comes to computer screens, but that doesn’t matter. Apple’s offering three-hundred of the suckers, so you’d better start whooping and hollering.

Yesterday, at their much-anticipated September 9th event, we learned that the new iPhone camera sported ‘deep trench isolation’. Again, it wasn’t entirely made clear if anyone at Apple knew what it meant, but that really doesn’t matter. Get over it. This thing takes brilliant photos.

As always, there was so much hype leading up to the event yesterday. So many predictions (many of which were wrong). And, while I will delve into my thoughts on each announcement in a little more detail soon, here’s my initial, straight off the bat thoughts on each topic:

Apple Watch

New bands for the coming festive season. A couple of new colours (hey – if you want a gold Apple Watch, you no longer have to spend £678,990). Completely predictable and entirely understandable; Apple have bleated on since launch about this being their ‘most personal device ever’, and it can now be customised so.

A couple of watchOS 2 demos followed which focused on some admittedly impressive health benefits. I’m looking forward to the new OS, which we’ll see next week, but there wasn’t anything earth shattering on display yesterday.

iPad Pro

Crikey. That caught us off guard. I didn’t think they’d slip this one in either. But slip it in they did. And, most rumours were on target (its very existence, screen size), while others were a little wide of the mark (a stylus included as standard).

iPads fascinate me, for all the talk of innovation with each new edition, they are simply bigger or smaller screens. The OS is the same. The way in which you interact is always the same. It comes down to how big you need that piece of glass to be, and the iPad Pro will be an intriguing option in business, creative industries and for those who just love massive toys.

It’s Apple’s answer to the Microsoft’s Surface, and there’s no doubting the iPad Pro – nor the Apple Pencil stylus – would have been seen the light of day if Microsoft hadn’t done such a fabulous job with their mega-tablet.

A couple of things bother me:

  • Does it feature 3D Touch (the iPhone 6S flagship feature)? If not (there’s no mention I can find on Apple’s website), why not?
  • How immensely irritating will the need to charge the Apple Pencil become?
  • Why has the iPad lost its own dedicated event? Has it been relegated in Apple’s mind?

Apple TV

We all expected it. However, what we expected was something more evolutionary. On first glance, it features a polished UI and an App Store. Oh, and the Siri Remote.

This is clearly a stepping stone. My guess is that Apple would far rather have launched the new device with their rumoured TV service, but simply couldn’t afford to wait with the raft of competing hardware flooding the market.

Can they bring back casual gaming to the big screen? I’m not sure. It’s far easier to pick up an iPhone or iPad.

We’ll see. As far as I’m concerned, it is still just another box I’d need to switch to on my home entertainment system. A reason for doing so regularly is desperately needed.

iPhone 6S

Calling this an ‘iPhone event’ seems a little daft now. However, with the absence of a ‘just one more thing’ item, the stage was clearly reserved for Apple’s favoured and most lucrative device.

Every rumour was spot on, but there were two announcements which got me excited:

  • 3D Touch looks like the next leap forward in user interaction. We’ll only know for sure when we get it in our hands, but it looks intuitive and – crucially – instinctive. Will it have the same seismic impact on the world multi touch has enjoyed?
  • Live Photos. This is genuinely innovative. Take a photo, and the iPhone can record a couple of seconds of live footage either side of it. The result is a photo which literally comes to life when you press it. Brilliant thinking. Let’s hope it’s a feature which doesn’t remain hidden – we want people using this stuff if it is to become the new way in which we enjoy the moments we capture.

I shall return with further thoughts soon. In the meantime, I’m warming up for my first iPhone pre-order ever. Wish me luck.

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