You've probably heard by now that Apple introduced a budget iPhone as well as a more portable iPad Pro during its March event, but beyond those two new devices, it also announced software updates, an Apple Watch price drop, new accessories and programmes, and so much more.
To help you sort through all the noise, we've singled out 9 headlines you probably missed following the event, though they're tidbits you really should read up on, especially if you consider yourself an Apple fanboy/girl. The company has updated its entire product range with new software that brings a load of new features and functionality, and it's even shown off an iPhone-eating robot named Liam. Yeah, we're not kidding.
Browse the most interesting bits below and let us know in the comments what you thought was the most under-appreciated Apple news of the day.
New software releases
During its main keynote, Apple covered a few new software features coming to its devices, and then after the entire event concluded, the company actually released minor software updates that bring the very same features it highlighted. Here's what's now available:
- tvOS 9.2: Apple TV (4) added Siri Remote dictation, app folders, iCloud Photo Library, Bluetooth keyboard support, and more. Apple TV will update its software automatically by default, but you can go to the Settings channel, then the System section, and look for Software Updates under Maintenance in order to force the update now.
- watchOS 2.2: Apple Watch got an enhanced Maps app, while iPhones running iOS 9.3+ can now pair with multiple Apple Watch models. This software update is available through the Watch app on iPhone. Open the app, then tap the My Watch tab, and tap General>Software Update.
- OS X 10.11.4: Mac added Live Photos for Messages, ability to secure individual notes with a single secure password, and iTunes 12.3.3. To update your OS X software, open the App Store app on your Mac, then click Updates and the toolbar, and install all available updates.
- iOS 9.3: iOS devices got Night Shift so they can shift the colour temp of the screen throughout the day as well as Touch ID protection for notes. To update your iOS device, tap Settings>Genera>Software Update. From there, tap Download and Install.
Multi Apple Watch support
We mentioned this briefly above, but the watchOS 2.2 update adds the ability to pair multiple Apple Watches to a single iPhone - so long as you instal the update along with iOS 9.3 on an iPhone. This functionality is made possible thanks to a new feature called Auto Switch, which automatically connects to any paired Apple Watch, once the user slides it on and raises their wrist.
In the Watch app, Apple has included an image of your exact Apple Watch (style, colour, and even the watch face) to make it easier for you to distinguish between connected watches. The ability to pair multiple watches with a single iPhone will enable you to purchase multiple watches and swap them when desired, meaning you can have a watch for dressing up and one for workouts.
Apple TV Bluetooth keyboard support
This is another one we briefly mentioned above. The new Apple TV finally got a feature the old one has had for years: the ability to connect a Bluetooth keyboard. With tvOS 9.2, you can use a Bluetooth keyboard for text entry and UI navigation (ie, arrows, volume keys). To set up a keyboard go to Settings>Remotes and Devices>Bluetooth, and follow the Bluetooth pairing process.
Smart keyboard and accessories
Alongside the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, Apple introduced new accessories.
It announced a $149 smaller version of the Smart Keyboard accessory for the device (Apple originally introduced the Smart Keyboard with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro last November). It looks just like its larger sibling but in a smaller form factor. It connects via the Smart Connector on the side of the iPad Pro, charges via the three-port connector, and will be available in charcoal grey.
Apple also announced two Lightning adapters: a $39 USB Camera Adapter, which allows users to connect things like microphones and supports USB 3.0, and a Lightning SD Card Reader adapter for $29. There's even a new Polyurethane iPad Pro Smart Cover and new Silicone Cases, which will be available for $49 and $69, respectively.
Apple Watch price drop and new bands
Apple revealed it will now price the Apple Watch Sport edition at $299 and $349 for the 38mm and 42mm models, respectively. In addition to the $50 price drop for its year-old smartwatch, Apple showed off new watch bands, including vibrant colours for the Sport band, Classic Buckle, Modern Buckle, and Leather Loop. It also introduced a Space Black version of the MilaneseLoop and an entirely new category of bands called Woven Nylon.
The Woven Nylon bands are the same price as the Sport bands, which retail for $49 each, but the new bands offer a "durable nylon with a comfortable, fabric-like feel" and are made from over 500 threads. They'll also fit wrist sizes from 145mm to 215mm.
Check out this gallery to see all the colours, which include everything from Royal Blue to Black and even combination colours.
New CareKit framework
It’s been just over a year since Apple introduced ResearchKit, so Apple introduced a new framework called CareKit.
Where ResearchKit is all about collecting data for medical studies, CareKit helps people actively manage their own medical conditions and share information with their doctors and medical practitioners if they wish. Just like with ResearchKit, this will happen in the form of apps created by CareKit developers. The first app to use this new framework will focus on Parkinson’s.
You can read all about ResearchKit and CareKit from here.
Apple Renew trade-in and recycling programme
Apple is going extra green, with Apple Renew - the company's trade-in and recycling incentive programme. How does it work? Eligible devices (iPad, iPhone, Mac, even PC, or non-Apple smartphone) will be rewarded with instant store credit or a loaded Apple Store gift card, and you get peace of mind that any Apple device will be either responsibly recycled or completely dismantled by Liam (more on that later).
You can read all about Apple Renew from here.
Liam, the 29-arm robot
In an attempt to highlight how its going green, Apple unveiled a multi-armed robot called Liam. It destroys iPhones using 29 arms. It basically dismantles iPhones to bare parts so each section can be recycled and reused. This is part of the Apple Renew process that aims to help reduce the company's carbon footprint by avoiding waste, bringing it closer to its goal of being sustainable.
You can read all about Liam from here.
New USB-C cables
Apple has introduced a new way to charge the iPad Pro faster as well as a way to siphon power from a MacBook to charge up an iOS device. A new 29W USB-C power adapter for iPad is available for $49 and will allow you to fast charge the iPad Pro. You can also buy a Lightning to USB-C cable that allows iPad and iPhone owners to charge their devices directly from a 12-inch MacBook. The 3-foot version is $25, while the 6-is $35.
You can read all about these new cables from here.