Tim Cook and Apple took over the Bill Graham Auditorium in downtown San Francisco this morning, using the venue to offer updates to the company’s platforms and product line.
The keynote kicked off with some details on the Apple Watch. Third-party complications, those little snippets of info that display on the Watch, are now being expanded to allow for more use cases. Third-party apps can now access the health sensor and microphone. New watchbands were also shown.
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iPad news followed. Said Cook, “How can we take iPad even further? Today we have the biggest news in iPad since the iPad.” A video then played showing off the contours of the new iPad Pro.
Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, then came on stage to discuss the iPad Pro. “You can touch the applications,” he said. “You can have a full-sized software keyboard. It can be an amazing musical instrument.”
The 12.9-inch screen, said Schiller, is the same width as the traditional iPad is tall. It includes 5.6 million pixels, which is more pixels than a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
“It’s made of the best Oxide [thin-film transistor] material, and for the first time it has a variable refresh rate,” said Schiller. “That means we can slow it down and save energy.” The new A9X chip offers desktop performance, he added.
“Over the last five years, they’ve driven performance of the iPad by 22x, doubled graphics performance for this device, and over the past five years graphics performance has gone up 360 times,” said Schiller.