Apple March Event: What We're Looking Forward To
Mark your calendars for Tuesday, 22 March 1 am Singapore time. It's that time of the year when Tim Cook goes up on stage and presents the new and updated line-up of Apple products to rapturous applause. There are lots of rumoured tech goodies to look forward to but here are the picks that are making us excited.
The 4-inch Screen Returns
Our managing editor Darren Ho will be pleased with this. He regularly laments over lunch ("I just want a phone that's smaller than my face") each time another smartphone comes out boasting a large screen. Apple must think that there's enough demand to produce a new iPhone, supposedly dubbed SE or Special Edition, with the same screen specifications as its old iPhone 5.
Insiders indicate that there won't be 3D Touch nor front facing flash in the iPhone SE. However Apple is supposedly boosting the internal hardware, putting in the new A9 chip found in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. That's good news. The A9 chip is one of the best in the market right now and on par with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 in independent testing.
Oh, and rumours say that there will be four colour options - the usual suspects space gray and silver as well as two returning accomplices, rose gold and gold. What's a surprising move though is that the iPhone SE supposedly won't have a 128GB variant.
NATO-style Straps and a Black Milanese Loop
Despite our less than favourable opinion about the Apple Watch, we must admit that the Cupertino giant's dedication to improving its flagship smartwatch is admirable.
While we still maintain that you shouldn't get an Apple Watch yet (at least until Apple releases the Watch 2, rumoured to be in September), those who own one will be pleased as punch that the company is releasing multiple variations of NATO-style straps that won't look out of place with your brunch outfit and a beautiful black Milanese loop, first leaked on the Czech Republic's online store and now found on the Portugal and Hungary websites.
This might sound frivolous but our associate editor is looking forward to the official iOS 9.3 update because of one thing - colour temperature displays. This is an option that allows you to tweak how much blue light your iPhone screen is emitting, particularly useful when you're in bed and about to head to sleep but still need to see that final Snapchat or double tap that gorgeous Instagram photo.
With an adjustable colour temperature display you can now actually lull yourself to sleep by adding more red to your iPhone screen instead of tossing and turning for hours on end. It's an underrated feature that many Android smartphones (thanks to the Flux app) have.
Other updates based on the six betas released the last few months:
More 3D Touch options
Upgraded Health, Activity and Workout panels
New CarPlay features
If you want to put the event in your calendar, head on over to the Apple site and it will schedule it for you and remind you once the time is near.