Skip to main content

Apple Unveils iPhone 6s with 3D Touch, New Apple TV and iPad Pro

The new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus promise to make smartphones smarter with a new 3D Touch display that should save you time. For example, you can long press on apps on the home screen to access various shortcuts. The phones also feature a powerful new A9 chip, which promises class-leading performance, as well as a sharper 12-MP camera that shoots 4K video.

Apple also wants to change the future of television with the new Apple TV, which offers a new interface, a built-in app store and deep Siri integration.

Targeting mobile pros, Apple announced a supersized iPad Pro, which pairs a 12.9-inch display with a powerful A9X processor. There's a new $99 Apple Pencil and $169 keyboard accessory. (Think potential Surface Pro killer.) The Apple Watch got a brief mention at the beginning of the event, which will be getting native apps and new design options.

Here's an overview of all the latest news.

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

Available Sept. 26, the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus look similar to their predecessors, other than a new rose gold option, but Apple says they're the most advanced smartphones in the world. The new 6s use a new aluminum that's designed to be stronger and add more durable displays. But it's the new 3D Touch capability of the displays that set these phones apart.

MORE: Apple Unveils iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

The 3D Touch display enables new gestures, such as giving you shortcuts directly from app icons. In an app, you can get a peek at content, such as what's inside a email or text message. If you long press on an address, you'll be able to peek at the intersection on the Maps app.

Using a new haptic engine, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus offer force feedback while minimizing power output.

Lots of apps are getting in on the 3D Touch act, including Facebook and Instagram. For example, if you force touch the Facebook icon you can update your status.

The new iPhones pack an A9 chip with up to 90 percent better performance than the last chip. In the upcoming Freeblade game, you can use the 3D Touch screen to zoom in or out just by pressing a little bit longer on the display.

Other new features include a TouchID sensor that's supposed to be twice as fast. The new iSight camera brings the resolution up to 12 megapixels from 8-MP. In addition to more detail, Apple promises true-to-life colors and better exposure in challenging lighting conditions. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus can both shoot 4K video.

In a clever trick, the front display will light up brighter when you take selfies in low light, so you don't need a dedicated flash. The cooler feature is Live Photos, which captures 1.5 seconds of video with sound before and after photos, which make your pics more animated.

The new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will be priced similarly to the last generation models, starting at $199 for the 6s. That's about $27 per month if you're on a payment plan. It's $100 more for the Plus.

New Apple TV

Apple CEO Tim Cook promises to change the way we experience TV by focusing on apps. Starting at $149, the new Apple TV aims to combine powerful hardware, a modern OS, a new user experience and an app store. Apple TV channels the power of Siri, letting you quickly do everything from search for family movies to launch games and apps.

The Apple TV comes with an all-new remote with a glass touchpad up top and a dedicated Siri button. There's a new interface that focuses more on the content. Siri will search across multiple content apps and give you all your options on a single screen. Options include Netflix, HBO, Showtime, Hulu and, of course, iTunes.

You can make very specific searches, such as "Show me that Modern Family episode with Edward Norton." From there, you just click to play. Siri is also aware of context, so you could say, "Show me Bond movies." and then say, "Just those with Sean Connery." No other set-top box does that.

The new Apple TV is powered by tvOS, which gives developers plenty of tools to create apps. Netflix, HBO and Hulu are already on board, and games will include Disney Infinity (for getting your Star Wars fix) and Guitar Hero. Zillow and Airbnb will be among the other apps you can access from the sofa.

Crossy Road is another game that's coming to Apple TV, which will have multiplayer capability for the first time. You can even fight your competitor in the middle of a match. Taking a page from the Nintendo Wii, Harmonix showed off Beat Sports, which leverages the new controller for timing your swing.

In case you want to buy a new shirt or dress from your couch, you'll be able to use Apple TV shopping apps like Gilt. You'll be able to preview items and buy items with a press of a button, but the app didn't seem more compelling than using a browser.

More exciting is the new MLB.TV app, which lets you stream games at 60 fps while pulling up stats and scores from other games.

iPad Pro

Sporting a large 12.9-inch screen, Apple says the iPad Pro makes entertainment more immersive and takes full advantage of iOS 9's new multitasking features. The screen delivers 5.6 million pixels, which is more than the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, and it has a variable refresh rate to save energy.

The iPad Pro packs an A9X processor, which is 1.8x faster than the A8X chip, which Apple says equates to desktop-class performance. The iPad Pro also boasts 10 hours of battery life, which would beat the Surface Pro. Other highlights include a four-speaker audio system, 8-MP back camera and FaceTime HD front camera.

MORE: Top Features of the New iPad Pro

The iPad Pro is just 1.57 pounds, which is only a little bit heavier than the original 1.54-pound iPad with a much smaller 9.7-nch display. Apple will sell a new Smart Keyboard accessory with the iPad Pro, which connects magnetically. The contacts on the iPad Pro relay power as well as data.

Another new accessory coming to the iPad Pro is Apple Pencil, which lets you sketch and draw directly on the screen. The iPad Pro can detect force and tilt, and you can use the pencil in tandem with your finger. The new Notes app supports the Pencil, and you can mark up emails. Third-party apps are also on the way, including Microsoft office.

Microsoft demoed its software on the iPad Pro, and the inking capabilities were quite impressive. Adobe showed off some apps of its own that work with the Apple Pencil, including Adobe Photoshop Fix for retouching images on the fly.

The iPad Pro will come in silver, gold and space gray and will start at $799 for 64GB. The 128GB version costs $949, and that price rises to $1,079 if you buy a model equipped with LTE networking capabilities. The Apple Pencil will cost $99 and the keyboard will run you an extra $169, which is more expensive than the Surface keyboard cover.

Apple has also announced the iPad mini 4, which takes the power of the iPad Air 2 and puts it into a smaller frame for $399.

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch already boasts 10,000 apps, but it's what coming that looks really exciting. Apps on the way include Facebook Messenger and AirStrip, an app that drastically improves messaging and communication between doctors in patients. During a demo, you could differentiate between a mother's heart rate and the baby's (using additional sensors).

For those more interested in style, the Apple Watch Hermes edition will be available in October. Gold and rose gold and anodized aluminum. Paried with brands in fresh new colors. Available at same price as other Sport models. A Product Red option will also be available, and a portion of the proceeds will help fight AIDS.