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Looped! Our Favorite Bits from Apple’s March 21 Media Event

Smaller iPhone?  Check.  More powerful iPad Air?  Yup.  OS updates for all things Apple? Done. Melatonin-friendly color-shifting displays so you can play Monument Valley into the wee hours? Yes indeedy.

Whatever Apple news you care about most, Cupertino rarely disappoints. Today was no exception, as Apple beefed up its smallest iPhone, gave the iPad a lot more “grunt,” and much more.  Here are the highlights:

iPhone SE

Big things come in small packages. Apple’s packed its A9 and M9 processors, Apple Pay’s NFC chip, and a 12-MP camera into the familiar iPhone 5s chassis to create what it calls “the most powerful 4″ phone ever created.” It will ship with iOS 9.3, and starts at $399 off contract. Our designers are picking through the specs to confirm that our most popular cases and covers are ready to go the day you get your new iPhone SE.

9.7-inch iPad Pro

Continuing on a theme, Apple has built more power and features into its venerable iPad Air frame … more “grunt,” to paraphrase. A 25% brighter MultiTouch display that works with the Apple Pencil, and powered by Apple’s A9X chip, the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro compares quite favorably with its 12.9-inch sibling without the lunch-tray-sized form factor (and price tag) that may have kept many tablet buyers on the sidelines when the iPad Pro debuted in 2015.

Available in four colors (Space Grey, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold), the new iPad Pro debuts with its own Smart Keyboard and the iPad Pro’s four-speaker audio system.  The 9.7-inch iPad Pro will start at $599 (16GB) when it goes on pre-order on March 24.

We can’t wait to get our hands on the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro. And for what it’s worth, “grunt” was totally Phil Schiller’s term.

Apple Watch

New nylon bands and a sweet-looking jet-black Milanese Loop join new colors for Apple’s breakout smash smartwatch. And with a new starting price of $299, even the most devoted Pebble fanatics might be tempted to take a walk on the ‘Watch side.

Apple TV

tvOS adds, among other things, Dictation for any field including Passwords and Usernames.  Which may make some people rethink their passwords with more grownup themes.

Thing That Made Everyone Go Whoa.

Liam the iPhone Recycling Robot. Sure, tiny supercomputers that connect us with the world’s information are fine and all.  But robots that take apart iPhones?  That’s something else entirely.

 

We’ll have more details when we get our hands on the new iPad Pro and iPhone SE. Until then, what about the Keynote got you the most fired up?  Watch here if you missed it.

 

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