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Home / News / 9 things we learnt from Apple’s iPhone 6s event

9 things we learnt from Apple’s iPhone 6s event

Such as Apple *hearts* Microsoft, dad humour is out and big hands are in

So you’ve read our guide to everything you need to know about the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, devoured our feature about the iPad Pro and absorbed the info about iOS 9, Apple TV and all the rest. Surely there’s nothing more for you to learn? Oh but there is.

After sitting through the entire two-hour gadget marathon, we realised there were loads of other choice tech morsels that we wanted to share with you. So we’re doing that here.

1) Apple’s ditched the wacky humour

The last few Apple events have been so stuffed full of dad humour that they might as well have taken place in a Top Gear casting session. We got side-splittingly amusing phone calls, devastatingly witty in-joke iMessages appearing on screens, "hilarious" intro videos and lame digs at Google. Most of the gags fell flat, none of them were in any way necessary and really, all they did was annoy us.

Last night Apple wisely said goodbye to (almost) all of that, instead concentrating on the real business: unveiling products.

That might partly be due to the fact that with so much to say, they didn’t want to run past the two-hour mark. But more likely, Tim Cook and chums realised somewhere between June and September that a) they’re not natural entertainers, b) nobody wants or expects them to be that and c) we’re really quite happy just being wowed by shiny gadgets.

2) Live Photos show Apple still has a human side

It was perhaps hard to tell, given the sheer amount of hyperbole swimming about Apple’s event, but the company still has the human touch. Live Photos capture moments just before and after a photo is taken. Press the resulting digital image and it springs to life, playing audio and jogging the memory more than any still.

Live Photos can be set as wallpaper, viewed on other Apple devices, and apparently aren’t video and so won’t eat too much into your iPhone’s storage. Now that is almost magical. (Although cynics might argue it was just as magical when the Lumia line debuted similar tech in 2014.)

3) No, we’re never going to see an Apple TV set

3) No, we

It only lasted for about three seconds, but there was a point last night when Tim Cook almost shocked us stupid.

"I’d like to talk about an even bigger screen," Cook said after rounding off the iPad Pro segment, and just for a moment Stuff’s collective heart leapt into its throat at the thought that he was about to reveal an actual Apple television set.

Of course he didn’t do that – he revealed an upgraded Apple TV box instead. Nor did we really think it was possible – there would have been leaks, for starters.

But just imagine if he had. The new Apple TV is lovely and all that, but it’s not going to change the world and it certainly didn’t shock us. A proper Apple TV set would have done both those things. Will we ever see one? Nah. Not now. Apple’s clearly putting its efforts into owning the smart TV apps space in the way it does mobile apps. But it was a nice thought while it lasted.

4) Apple hates people with small hands

Apple revealed two new iPhones, bumped last year’s new iPhones one rung down the ladder, and left the 5s languishing in the ignominious ‘free’ spot.

The sole option for any Apple fan who doesn’t want a ginormophone still isn’t a bad device, but it’s knocking on a bit now. We’re keen to see what happens next summer. Will the iPhone 6 take the free spot, banishing four-inch iPhones forever? Will Apple offer to glue a second-hand Nokia 3310 to an iPod touch? Or will Apple relent and finally give us an iPhone mini? (Our money’s on option one.)

5) Siri is morphing into Google Now

It’s always a bit weird when you see tech giants playing feature tennis and trying to position catching up as innovation. So perhaps fortunately, Apple didn’t spend half an hour going on about Siri now always being on.

Yes, Siri no longer needs your iPhone to be plugged in should you want to ask something without pressing a button. We’re sure this will be welcomed by everyone who’s noticed how over-eager Siri is to respond to phrases and words far beyond ‘Hey, Siri!’ And it’ll probably be less widely welcomed by those of you using Android, where Google Now has worked like that for yonks.

6) Apple still reckons 16GB is enough space

Apple merrily demoed new iPhones taking beautiful 4K videos, and banged on about high-end iPad games, and yet the company still bafflingly believes 16GB is suitable entry-level storage.

Only the iPad Pro wriggles free, starting out at 32GB, forcing Apple to get its upsell kicks by skipping a 64GB unit entirely and urging you to part with an extra US$150 for 128GB. Still, at least the entry-level 8GB iPhone is finally history — even the low-end 5s boasts 16GB of storage.

7) Your health is really important to Apple

7) Your health is really important to Apple

Apple talks about health at every opportunity these days – and with good reason. Namely that it’s really good at it.

HealthKit promises to be a revolutionary bit of software, the Apple Watch has some useful health-tracking talents and now there’s an iPad Pro app which can display 3D models of the human body for people to slice up with an Apple Pencil.

We presume the app in question – called 3D4Medical – will be mainly used by doctors and medical students rather than letting the average person perform virtual surgery on themselves, but it underlines once more Apple’s committment to the area. And that can only be a good thing for us all.

8) Apple LOVES Microsoft

"Apple and Microsoft / Sitting in a tree / K-I-S-S-I-N-G…" We’ve previously reported on Apple’s seeming antipathy towards Google, but its attitude towards Microsoft these days sits at the other extreme.

We first got inkling that a love affair was brewing when we noticed that last night’s event would be streamed on iOS, Apple TV, Macs running Safari AND Windows 10 PCs running Microsoft’s new Edge browser. Not Google Chrome though, obviously.

Then, we met the iPad Pro – a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tribute if ever we’ve seen one, complete with foldable Smart Keyboard and pressure-sensitive Pencil stylus. But the real clincher was when Kirk Konigsbauer from Microsoft’s Office division came onstage to demo Office for the iPad Pro. What are the odds on Sergey Brin making an appearance next year?

9) Tim Cook’s taste in music doesn’t quite match ours

9) Tim Cook

Come back, U2, all is forgiven! Yes, Apple managed the seemingly impossible last night by making us wish that Bono and co. had reprised their antics of last year. How? By ending the event with a set by OneRepublic.

We shouldn’t really be that surprised. OneRepublic have previously played at a Mac party in Cupertino and Tim Cook has mentioned his love for them on more than one occasion. But if you ask us, following the launch of four exciting new products with a set of bland dad-rock is something of a mistake. As with the bad jokes, Apple might want to stop trying to be something it isn’t and just concentrate on doing what it does best: making shiny gadgets.

Profile image of Marc McLaren Marc McLaren Contributor


Marc was until fairly recently Editor of Stuff.tv, but now edits a site about cars instead. He has been a committed geek since getting a Tomytronic 3D aged seven, and a journalist since the week that Google was founded (really). He spends much of his free time taking photos of really small things (bugs, flowers, his daughters) or really big things (galaxies and the like through a telescope) and losing games of FIFA and Pro Evo online. You can email Marc at [email protected]

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