Latest from Apple
March was an exciting year for Apple as well as for Apple fans. They’ve silently launched new products and conducted a press meet inside the underground Steve Jobs theatre at its Cupertino, California, headquarters to unveil four major Apple services.
Apple iPad Air
Apple re-introduced the iPad Air that packs a 10.5-inch laminated IPS retina display, 20 per cent larger than the 9.7-inch panel on the last-gen model. It is also compatible with Apple Smart keyboard. While it loses the 120Hz ProMotion feature of the Pro, the iPad Air offers smaller bezels and continues to support the Lightning-based original Apple Pencil. It includes a powerful processor, the A12 which is what powers the latest iPhones. However, the new iPad Air stuck with Touch ID rather than Face ID.
Apple iPad Mini
Apple iPad Mini has been upgraded after four years. It has been highly appreciated for its size and capability. It features the A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine and has a 7.9‑inch retina display with True Tone. The biggest add-on is the Apple Pencil but supports the original Apple Pencil. It also has the Touch ID that makes unlocking the iPad Mini simple and secure.
Apple AirPods come with either a standard charging case or a new wireless charging case. The new AirPods also have improved charging features as they support wireless charging through its case, also works as a power bank. It boasts more battery life, improved connectivity, a better mic and “Hey Siri” capability without the need of a button.
Watching Google’s immense success of its YouTube platform and the recent emergence of subscription-based video streaming services like Netflix. Apple, too, has ventured into this area. Apple TV+ is a new streaming platform similar to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. The main focus of this product would be on producing quality content.
Recently Google launched gaming platform Stadia, soon after a week, Apple decided to unveil their own subscription-based gaming service – Apple Arcade. The platform will feature new and exclusive games, including releases from popular creators. Arcade subscribers will be able to play games offline, as well as switch between Apple devices seamlessly. There is no subscription fee announced as of now. The service will be available in 150 countries, including India.
Apple is serious about its News services and has implemented News+ which will be the first subscription-based news service by Apple which will bring more than 300 magazines, newspapers and digital publishers on a single platform. Subscribers will be able to read multiple articles from renowned publications on this platform and new issues of publications will be automatically downloaded to their devices, provided they have added these publications to their subscription list. Currently, the News+ app will be available in the US and Canada at a subscription fee of $9.99.s
The much bigger surprise was Apple’s entry to the world of finance by launching its own credit card. Apple Card will be available in all iPhones through the Apple Wallet app and the Apple Pay service. The principle is simple, it establishes a link between banking with smartphone technology which is somewhat similar to Samsung Pay. While Apple Card is a digital transaction service, there will be a physical avatar as well. Apple is also providing physical cards which are secure to use and have a prestige value to own. Apple Card will be available in the US this summer onwards. It is not yet clear if they will be launching this service in India.