Apple has announced a new Apple TV streaming box with a new range of apps for gaming and smarthome use.
The device, which will continue to stream services such as Netflix to televisions, also has a new remote control that is voice controlled.
The new remote has a touch pad and motion sensors built in to make it more compatible with video game apps. A number of video games have also been announced for the machine.
Apple has also announced a new operating system for the Apple TV called tvOS.
Commands such as “show me the episode of Modern Family with Edward Norton in it” will correctly retrieve the correct episode for viewing. It also has an auto-rewind feature.
The gadget is seen as a staging post in Apple’s bid to take on TV giants such as Netflix, Comcast and Sky.
Apple’s long term ambition is to try and enter the TV streaming market in some way. However, film and television studios are very wary of loosening control on their content. Many say that they do not want TV to become commoditised in the same way music was 10 years ago. That means that Apple has struggled to strike deals with premium studios and TV companies like HBO.
Other functions for the Apple TV, such as home shopping, were also touted.
The Apple TV will cost between €150 and €200 and is expected to be available in Ireland in October.
This evening's much anticipated Apple launch also saw the unveiling of the company's latest smartphones - the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.
The new handsets have the same screen size as current iPhone 6 models, but feature better cameras and a new screen control system called ‘3D Touch’. The system allows users to vary the functions they use according to how much pressure they put on a given ‘tap’ or ‘press’. It is currently used on the Apple Watch.
In a bid to challenge higher end cameras, the new iPhone cameras come with 12-megapixel sensors and 5-megapixel ‘selfie’ sensors. The cameras come with 4K video resolution and a feature called ‘live photos’ where the camera takes three seconds of video footage and audio recording when a photo is taken. The company is positioning the phone as a rival to more serious cameras.
Apple has also toughened up the metal used for the phones, partially in a bid to avoid any new accusations of bending.
The phones also come in a new colour, rose gold.
The new models come in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB versions. The phones have new 64-bit processors that are claimed to be 70pc faster than previous iPhones. The company is hoping that the device will be used for more graphically intense gaming.
The company is discontinuing the iPhone 5C and the 5S model now becomes the bse model.
Availability is expected in Ireland in October. The new iPhone 6S will cost from €700 and the iPhone 6S Plus will cost from €800.
Earlier this evening, Apple launched a new large iPad called the iPad Pro.
The 13-inch tablet is being pitched at business users and graphic arts, as well as movie-streaming users.
An accompanying stylus, called Apple Pencil, has also been launched.
The tablet screen’s width is the same size as the height of an existing iPad Air.
To put the screen size into context, 13 inches is the same size as a large MacBook Air or a standard MacBook Pro.
It has four speakers and a 64-bit processor and will come in three different colours.
The thinking here is that iPads — and all tablets — have fallen off significantly in sales as larger-screen phones steal much of their functionality. At the same time, Apple has been doing deals with companies like IBM and Cisco to try and embed the iPad deeper into corporate and enterprise computing.
Apple hosted a demonstration by Microsoft to show off Office software on the iPad Pro.
The device is set to cost from €800 to €1,100 and will be available in November. It will come in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB versions.
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