Apple Confirms iPhone Event, Hints Deeper Siri Integration

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

One tech reporter said last week that the closer we get to an iPhone announcement, the more accurate the rumors seem to be, and that all starts off with the date of the event itself. The rumors had said that it would likely be in early September – which is not that much of a stretch considering it has been for the last two years.

Well, Apple has officially confirmed by invitation that September the 9th is the date for their Fall, presumably iPhone-centric, announcement event. And being that this even is like throwing out the first pitch for the holiday shopping season, will there be more? Of course! But Siri’s not talking. YET.

Hey Siri, give us a hint. – Apple’s Fall Announcement

Siri won’t give any hints (click for larger)

The event, being held on September 9th, will be wrapped around the unveiling of the next generation iPhone 6S and 6S+, if Apple’s current nomenclature holds. Being that the iPhone is on the “tock” of the tick-tock development cycle (tick – being major new features, while tock is refinements or “fins”), it’s expected that the iPhone 6S and 6S+ will likely get a modest boost in processor power through the A9 processor, maybe a larger, high res screen, a new 12 megapixel iSight camera, and integration of iOS 9 with more advanced Siri applications.

In fact, Apple’s coy digital assistant is getting in on the act by providing playful responses to anyone who asks “Siri, give us a hint.” Try it out! Go ahead, I’ll wait.

“You’re cute when you’re desperate for information.” – Siri, when you ask to give you a hint

I did it and Siri told me to “look deep into myself and you will find the answer, especially on September 9th.”  Pretty funny huh? Gotta love Apple’s marketing department, they leave no stone uncovered. So we’ll definitely get an iPhone update. So, if I’m looking “deep within myself,” I’m figuring that the rumors are true, and that in addition to that 12 MP iSight camera, the talk is that this will pave the way for the iPhone to finally go 4K (which, technically it can already do).

That’s all well and good, but I’d rather they didn’t. I’d prefer improved dynamic range, maybe some depth of field capability. Mobile filmmakers may want that feature but the iPhone’s hallmark is mobile video and nobody is really going to want to take a major hit on their bandwidth with shooting videos.

Additionally, most don’t have a 4K TV yet, and the videos wouldn’t even be able to be viewed on an Apple retina screen in full res. So unless you have one of those 5K iMacs, really, what would be the point at this juncture? So improving the image would go along with the tock development scale, and then bring on 4K with the next generation iPhone 7 when it swings back to the tic.  I am expecting that the front facing iSight camera will get a boost, maybe to 8MP?

And finally, finally, it may get a front facing LED flash mode for better illuminated selfies. The talk is that Apple may have worked some secret sauce to use the actual retina display as a flash when you take the image. That would be clever, and it would be a huge move.

11966-5441-force-touch-example-lOther features will include Force Touch, which will be used to access shortcuts, menus and activate functions. Force touch will tell the iPhone to do something based on how deep and long you touch the screen, so if you want to do maps, for instance, touching the screen for a few seconds may send it directly to step by step instructions, rather than having to follow prompts to enable it. Nice move there.

For music, users will be able to use Force Touch to add a song streaming to a playlist or buy it from iTunes.  Another “tocked” feature will be animated wallpaper, which is something that will get a collective yawn from Android users since they’ve been doing that for a few years. Frankly, I hate animated wallpapers because they’re a resource hog. But some just have to bring their aquarium fishies with them.

The new iPhone will also feature iOS 9 as it comes out of Beta, and you can bet that while the iPhone 6S will be available for pre-order a few days after the announcement, and Apple will probably push out iOS 9 the day of the event, if not the actual day it goes on sale (likely the following Friday, September 18, 2015). The new OS will feature deeper integrated Siri capabilities, including Siri taking over remote control duties. So you can tell Siri to start recording, or to take a picture.

But it may also mean that we’ll finally get a new Apple TV. I know, I know, we’ve been expecting that for over a year and the talk has been that while the hardware has been cooked for awhile, it was the live streaming capabilities of network television carry agreements that has been delaying it’s release.

So, either Apple has finally managed to convince broadcasters to give them the keys to the kingdom, or Apple is tired of waiting and is just moving on. I expect that along with the new Apple TV, we’ll see a new SDK which will enable third party apps for greater capabilities ala the Roku. And if I were to look way over the horizon and throw a cap over the fence, perhaps an Apple TV stick? Nah, that ain’t happening (or will it?).

Being the upcoming holidays, I’m also expecting refreshes for many of their Macs including the iMacs, Macbook Pros, maybe their entire line, iOS 2 for the Apple Watch, and also an outside shot at a larger iPad Pro, iPad Mini (Air maybe). Could there also be an upgrade of the Mac Pro? Because God knows it needs some attention … AGAIN (last update was nearly 2 years ago).

So we’re expecting a huge shopping list for the proverbial Santa. Why? Apple is using the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, with a seating capacity of 7,000. They are also requesting streets around the venue to be closed off with a massive amount of space in front. Last Spring, at WWDC, Apple had a large tented facility outside of the Flint Center filled with products. So if Apple has a lot to show off, that jibes.

Anyway, we’ll be there with coverage, so stay tuned. The event begins at 10 AM Pacific, and Apple will be streaming it.

About doddle 16509 Articles
Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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