TECH TALK Latest Apple products offer some improvements, but leave much to be desired

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by Brendan O’Donnell ‘16

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus
Being an “s” year, the changes made to the iPhones are less focused on the exterior design and more on the features and power of the phone. Accordingly, not much has changed about the exterior design, except a slight increase in weight. Apple is known for high quality cameras and processors, and they did not disappoint this year. The back camera has improved significantly, going from 8 megapixels to 12 and supporting 4k video. The front-facing camera has also been given a significant power boost. The new A9 processor is a lot more powerful than the A8 processor from last year’s models. Disappointingly, Apple made no effort to increase the battery size and are still price gouging with storage space (It’s 2015, we shouldn’t have 16 gb of storage space on our flagships.) The major advertised addition, 3D touch, seems gimmicky, but it might be useful to simplify some menus. However, it feels like a excuse to force consumers to upgrade in the future when Apple decides to drop software support for older models without 3D touch. Overall, the new iPhones are still very good phones. I just would not recommend upgrading from the 6 to the 6s unless you are interested in the latest and greatest. As an upgrade from 2+ years, however, this is a solid phone for Apple fans.
Rating: Pass on this, use a laptop instead.

iPad Pro
The iPad Pro is Apple’s attempt to copy the Surface Pro by Microsoft. For the price, you get a pretty screen and a nice processing chip, the A9X. As an iPad, this is a great device – but not at this price. The iPad Pro is clearly meant to compete with the Surface Pro, and its fatal flaw is the operating system. While the Surface Pro runs full Windows 10, the iPad Pro only runs iOS – a mobile OS. The amount of limitations given to mobile OS’s, especially Apple’s, makes the iPad Pro much less useful than the Surface Pro. Also, you don’t have to pay $99 for a glorified stylus with the Surface Pro. Put OS X on the iPad Pro and it may be worth the money. Until then, go with the Surface or a laptop.
Rating: Go for it if upgrading from an old phone. Have a 6 already? Skip it.