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Apple iPhone 6S Announcement: Everything You Need To Know

What does the "S" stand for this year?

Today (September 9) at 1 p.m. EDT/10 a.m. PDT, Apple CEO Tim Cook arrived on the scene in Cupertino, California to give us our Apple news fix during their annual fall event. Most rumors theorized that this year we'd be learning about the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, a new iPad with a larger screen, and possibly even an update to the Apple TV. And they were all totally right, with some added bonuses.

Apple Watch


Aside from some cosmetic changes the new Apple Watch Sport doesn't appear to be all that much different from the version we all own already. But oh, what cosmetic changes there are -- like new gold and rose gold finishes, finally!

New software features are also coming to the Apple Watch, including Facebook Messenger, a GoPro app that let’s you see what the watch’s camera sees, and a language translator. A new medical app, Airstrip, will also be to track your vital signs in real time, which will be especially revolutionary for healthcare providers. It can even monitor fetal heart rates and send that information to doctors.

In case you're already tired of how the Apple Watch looks on your wrist, never fear -- the band now comes in all kinds of different colors, and if you've got the money you'll soon be able to buy a custom watch face and double-looped leather band designed by Hermes. Of course, it'll be pretty expensive -- the rose-gold finish can cost anywhere from $349 to $17,000.

The new Apple Watch is shipping today in 24 different countries, and a new Watch OS will be available on September 16th next week.

iPad Pro


The iPad Pro boasts the biggest tablet screen in Apple's product line at 12.9 inches – it’s width is the same height as the iPad air.

It's also only 6.9 millimeters thick, which is pretty dang close to the recent iPad Air 2, and 1.57 lbs, which isn't that much heavier than the first iPad.

The display features an impressive 5.6 million pixels, which is more than a Retina MacBook pro, and the new A9X chip inside means you’ll have twice the memory and twice the storage performance. There's also a four-speaker audio sequence and 10 hours of battery life.

And finally, the iPad is compatible with a physical keyboard case -- kind of like the one that the Surface has -- and a stylus, which they're calling a "pencil." You can even use it to draw shapes in apps like the new Notes, Microsoft Word, and Adobe Sketch.


Apple even did what tech enthusiasts would have considered utterly unthinkable only a few hours ago -- they brought on two of their competitors, Microsoft and Adobe, to talk about their upcoming iPad apps and how they'll be compatible with the pencil.

Of course, the iPad Pro will cost you for all of this advancement when it arrives in stores in November. Prices start at $799 for the 32GB model, $949 for 128GB and $1,079 with 128GB and LTE. The Pencil is another added $99, and the Smart Keyboard is $169.

On the more affordable side, the iPad Mini is also getting a 4th update at $399, so you'll be able to pick up an iPad Mini 2 for $269.

Apple TV


We live in a golden age of television, but are still stifled by the technology that brings our favorite shows to us, says CEO Tim Cook. That’s why the “future of television is apps,” and the latest model of the Apple TV will come with an app store – as well as some pretty impressive voice control capabilities with Siri.

The remote control for the new Apple TV will also double as a game controller if you turn it sideways, and comes complete with a touch surface that lets you use the control without looking at it. But the voice search with Siri is truly the most impressive way of browsing the TV -- it's got universal search across all kinds of different apps, so if you say the name of a TV show you'll get results for iTunes, Netflix and Hulu. You can even rewind 15 seconds while you're watching by saying something like, "What did she say?" and you can check the weather or sports scores while watching something else.

Even if you're not planning to buy a new Apple TV, you'll be able to download a new operating system for your current TV called, aptly, tvOS. The standards like Netflix and Hulu will be there, but you'll also be able to play games that previously were only available on consoles, like "Disney Infinity" and "Guitar Hero," shop from your living room with the help of the fashion app Gilt, and watch full-screen sports highlights and synced baseball statistics in the app.

The new Apple TV comes with Ethernet and HDMI capability, and the remote control is controlled via Bluetooth, so you won't need to point it at the screen. The 32GB model starts at $149 and the 64 GB starts at $199. You'll also be able to purchase the existing Apple TV for $69. tvOS is currently in beta for developers starting today (September 9), and customers can purchase the new TV in 80 different countries in October.

iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus


iPhone 6 is the most popular iPhone ever, says Tim Cook, but the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are going to be completely different than the current model -- and not just because of their gold, silver, space grey and rose gold finishes and their stronger-glass displays.

The biggest change coming to the 6S series is the use of 3D Touch, which allows the phone to recognize pressure sensitivity. Touching the screen lightly or more hard will allow you to "peek" at messages and other items before you interact with them, swipe back and forth between apps, and explore options with each app with new menus that look sort of like the stuff you get when you right click on a computer.


The rest of the new hardware on the 6S is pretty impressive, too. A new generation of Touch ID fingerprint sensor will recognize your identity much faster than its predecessor, and a new 12-megapixel iSight camera lets you capture 50 percent more pixels than before and 4K ultra-HD videos. At 5 megapixels, your front-facing camera pictures will be clearer than ever, and the retina display can light up three times brighter as a "retina flash" for low-lit selfies.

But who wants pictures and videos to be different? We're of the "Harry Potter" generation and we want our pictures to be able to move, right? To address that, the 6S can "capture the moment just before and after" for something called a "Live Photo." Or, basically, a fancy HD Vine that you don't need to hold down your finger to capture. Soon you'll be able to set these Live Photos as your Apple Watch face or even upload them to Youtube.

iPhone 6S and 6S Plus will cost the same as 6 and 6 Plus did when they were both released last year, and the rest of the current iPhone line will get a price bump. iPhone 5S is now the free model; iPhone 6S starts at $199 for 16GB and the iPhone 6S Plus starts at $299 for 16GB (If 16GB isn't enough space for you, Apple is also lowering the cost of its iCloud storage starting at 50 GB for 99 cents a month).

Apple also announced a new program called the iPhone Upgrade Program in the U.S., which allows you to lease a new unlocked iPhone each year and choose your carrier starting at $32 a month. And if you're switching over from an Android, there's now an official migration app that makes the transition easier for you.

So when will you get to buy this new generation of phones for yourself? Preorders start on September 12, and the phones themselves will hit stores on September 25 -- although you'll be able to test out a hands-on model for yourself at the Apple store starting today. The new iOS9 will arrive a week before, on September 16.