Back in the day in NYC, when M Channel’s founder was involved with the beginning of R/G Greenberg as an associate, before he left New York for Hollywood, we were fans (and continue to be big-time supporters of the work of what has become one of the top digital agencies, R/G Greenberg).
Our M Channel founder, Steven Schmidt, moved on to become president of the interactive division of the largest privately held marketing agency in America, Aspen Marketing Services, and now as founder of M Channel continues to appreciate the multi-year track record of R/G Greenberg and its pioneering work.
Today, calling out our old friend, we look to the weekly R/G critique of the interactive/digital industry to paint a picture of digi-developments as the online/interactive space moves forward with digi-leaps and -programming:
Apple Event Recap
The Apple media event has wrapped, leaving the Internet to dissect all of the new product and service announcements for the weeks and months to come. While rumors about an announcement of Apple’s new OTT TV service were unfounded, the event saw significant updates to all of Apple’s mobile lineup (excluding iPod) as well as a major hardware and software refresh for the Apple TV.Read below for all of the major highlights from the event:
- iPhone: As expected, Apple used their media event on Wednesday to unveil updated versions of their iPhone line. The iPhone 6s and 6s+ feature an identical design to the previous line of iPhones but pack a series of new features. Most significant among them is 3D Touch – a hardware feature similar to Force Touch in MacBooks and Apple Watch that essentially provides users with a “right-click” functionality when they press down on the iPhone screen. The feature allows users to pull up shortcuts directly from app icons. Pressing on the Camera app, for example, offers the option to jump right into taking a selfie. A new Taptic Engine gives the new feature feedback that feels different than the phone’s standard vibrations. The phone runs on an updated processor and features a 12-megapixel camera, representing the first significant camera hardware upgrade since the iPhone 4s in 2011. The phone can now shoot 4K video as well as something Apple is calling “Live “Photos, which capture a short video clip of video (sort of like a gif) alongside every photo that’s taken. The new phones are built with upgraded materials to make it less prone to bending and will come in a new color: rose gold. Starting at $199, the phones will run iOS 9 (available to download on September 16th) and be available for pre-order starting this Saturday with a full launch on September 25th.
- Apple TV: The Apple TV saw perhaps the biggest upgrade of the show. The new Apple TV features an improved remote that features a touchpad, microphone, and built-in motion-sensing technology allowing for easier navigation. Apple TV now features Siri integration, allowing users to simply ask questions to help them find what to watch. Users can search for titles, actors, genres and even guest spots and cameos by particular actors. In addition, there is now a built-in app store that allows third-party developers to add to Apple’s software ecosystem, especially in the realm of gaming. The Apple TV will support many of the games already available on the App Store, allowing users to play via the new remote or by using their iPhones or iPads as controllers. The device will also be home to many popular games commonly reserved for home consoles, such as Disney Infinity 3.0 and Guitar Hero, showing that Apple is serious about attracting the casual gaming audience. Lastly, Apple showed how users can shop directly from their couch with the new Apple TV – showcasing an app by Gilt that allows people to easily shop for apparel using the device. It’s also been revealed that popular livestreaming service Periscope is developing an app for device which will let users watch livestreams directly from their television. The new Apple TV starts at $150 and will be available sometimes in late October.
- iPad Pro: Along with a refresh to its iPad Mini line, Apple unveiled its latest addition to the iPad tablet lineup. Featuring a 12.9-inch 5K display, the iPad Pro is a significantly larger version of the standard iPad. In fact, the iPad Pro’s width is the same height as the iPad Air 2. Apple showed off two new peripherals for the new iPad Pro: a Smart Keyboard and a stylus called Apple Pencil. The keyboard, which is covered in fabric, doubles as a screen protector and stand for the iPad Pro and connects to the device magnetically. The new Apple Pencil is a stylus that detects position, force, and tilt and may give iPad Pro adopters a reason to replace their Wacom tablets. In order to ensure increased precision with the stylus, the iPad Pro increases its screen sensitivity twofold when the device is in use. The iPad Pro will start at $799 be available in November.
- Apple Watch: Apple announced the next operating system for their Apple Watch, Watch OS 2. Launching on September 16th, the new software will introduce a number of new features, such as native third party apps, third party complications on watch faces (essentially widgets), and performance improvements. In addition, Apple is also introducing new watchbands and finishes for the Apple Watch, including the same rose gold finish that was announced for the iPhone 6s. Finally, the watch will see three new leather straps thanks to a partnership with fashion house Hermes.