September 10, 2015

Apple: Updates and Endeavors, Including the Pencil

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By Lauren C.

Apple has made quite a name for itself over the years. Many would argue their largest successes have been the iPhone, iPad, and other “i” products, which have significantly revolutionized the way we communicate.

Apple released several bombshells at the Apple iPhone 6S event which demonstrates their commitment to innovation beyond software development. One noteworthy update was the Apple Pencil, which is a stylus made for graphic designers and editors. Other news from this conference include the new and improved Apple TV, and the iPhone 6 which allows users to make music playlists and create libraries.

Let’s take a look at a few of these in detail:

Apple Pencil: Stylus

The stylus, or the Apple Pencil, sells for $99.00 and allows artists to draw more precisely. The pen will be released in November sometime, and have been marketed as an important accessory to iPads.

Reaction to the stylus has been mixed. Steve Jobs famously mocked styluses when the first iPad came out. In fact, Jobs said, “Who wants a stylus? You have to get em,’ and put em’ away, and you lose them. Yuck.” One tweeter reacted sarcastically yesterday, asserting “Why would I buy an expensive Apple pencil when I can buy a .99 stylus pen at the dollar general?”
However, not all reactions were quite so negative. A commenter who watched the conference wrote, “Apple Pencil, a game changer for creating artwork on the iPad.” Another tweeter wrote, “iOS has amazing art apps and now with the new iPad Pro and Apple pencil things are going to get very interesting. Very happy about this.”

Apple TV

The Apple TV has been in the works for some time now, and many view its release announcement as long overdue. Highlights of the new TV include the universal search feature, which allows you to search across different apps like iTunes, Netflix, and Hulu. If you want to navigate, you utilize Siri, or voice search. The Apple TV will launch in October, and will cost between $149 and $199.

Reaction to the Apple TV was much more enthusiastic than the reaction to the Apple Pencil. Jason Kingsley, a video game developer and co-founder of Rebellion stated that, “Apple excels at making tech products for non-tech people. This is no exception. It is a developer’s dream to have your work (video game) played by an expanding class of consumers.”

Apple Music App and More

Included within the new Apple TV will be the Apple Music app, which lets users create playlists and music libraries. On the TV itself, users will be able to search through iTunes TV, iTunes movies, and other music apps in order to make their unique playlists.
Not only can you stream music through your television, you can also use it to shop straight from the living room. Included in the television is the Gilt app, which lets users shop directly for a variety of items from the comfort of their own homes. It will be interesting to see how popular this feature is, considering the prevalence of online shopping.

What’s the Ploy, Apple?

There were quite a few other announcements made at the conference, but these certainly caught the attention of both serious and casual critics. Will Apple’s endeavors succeed? Certain innovations such as the stylus Apple Pencil are risky, but the shock value generated from the announcement is certainly a great way for the tech giant to market itself. Only the future will tell how successful these products will be!

What do you think about these new updates that were announced at the Apple conference? Do you think they will be successful or a bust? Let us know in your comments!

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