Basic overview of this week’s Apple event

Q: Anything worth looking into from the Apple Event?

A: Apple’s “Hey Siri” media event consisted of announcements in four major categories — nothing revolutionary, mostly evolutionary.

The first was the announcement of watchOS 2.0, the first major update to the software that runs the Apple Watch.

The second announcement was for the new iPad Pro, which is the long-rumored 12.9-inch tablet (current iPads are 7.9 inches or 9.7 inches) designed for corporate users.

The larger display provides ample space to run apps side-by-side and an on-screen keyboard that is much closer to standard keys (in landscape mode), further blurring the line between tablets and laptops.

At prices that range from $799 to $1,079, with optional accessories such as a stylus that they call Pencil ($99) and a Smart Keyboard ($169), it’s definitely not for a casual user.

The third announcement was a long-overdue update to Apple TV, their set-top streaming box. The best way to describe the updated version is Apple TV meets Siri meets Nintendo Wii with apps.

One of the biggest frustrations with any of the streaming boxes is using the remote to slowly spell things out from an on-screen keyboard.  The new Apple TV remote has a built-in mic which allows Siri to be your primary navigation interface.

The updated remote also has a glass touch surface for more refined movements, uses Bluetooth so it no longer requires line of sight and has a built-in accelerometer and gyro so it can be used like the Nintendo Wii remote for action games.

The current Apple TV ($69) will remain in the line as a basic streaming device, while the new versions will come in 32GB ($149) and 64GB ($199) because they need room to store apps and games.

If you’re looking for a video streaming device and a basic video game box, this combo could be a solid option that saves you money over buying two separate boxes.

The last announcement was the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, which provided lots of incremental improvements, especially for camera buffs.

Both the rear- and front-facing cameras got a big bump — the rear camera went from 8MP to 12MP with a slightly smaller pixel size and 4K video, while the front-facing lens went from 1.2MP to 5MP.

For selfie fanatics, they introduced Retina Flash, which means the screen can now act as a flash for front-facing shots.

A new feature called Live Photo stores a couple seconds of motion before and after you take a picture, which allows you to press on the picture afterward and see a motion video.

Faster Wi-Fi and processors, an updated multi-touch screen that does different things depending upon how hard you press, a stronger enclosure and updated Touch ID round out the major updates.

If you’ve been holding out to upgrade your older iPhone, the 6s certainly has lots of new features, but you can also save $100 if you’re OK with an iPhone6.

Whatever you decide, think long and hard before settling for any iPhone with only 16GB of storage; it’s the number one regret I hear from current owners.

Editor’s note: Ken Colburn is founder and CEO of Data Doctors Computer Services. Ask any tech question you have on his Facebook Page.

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