Katie's Week In Review: March 27, 2016

An Apple Event and the FBI backs down. It’s been a busy week for Apple. here’s a look at a few of the links of note for the week ending March 27, 2016.

  • Apple held a special event at their Cupertino campus on Monday, March 21st. As expected, the company announced the release of the iPhone SE, the 9.7" iPad Pro, as well as new watch bands and OS updates across the board. You can watch the event for yourself on Apple’s Web site or through their YouTube channel.
  • Jason Snell was on hand for the event and wrote a first look piece for Macworld calling 9.7" iPad Pro a worthy successor to the iPad Air 2. You can also hear Jason and Myke Hurley discuss Jason’s impressions of the event on this week’s Upgrade car-cast. If you want to see a little more, Rene Ritchie of iMore was one of the first to get their reviews of the 9.7" iPad Pro posted, there’s a written and video review available.
  • For those curious, yes, I ordered one. I have a 32GB Space Gray Wi-Fi version on order to be delivered on March 31st. I’ll let you know if it works out for me any better than the 12.9" iPad.
  • The iPhone SE is also receiving high praise. With a few exceptions, it’s essentially the power of an iPhone 6S in the body of an iPhone 5. For the significant minority of people who want a smaller phone, this may be just what they were waiting for. Jason Snell, again has some thoughts after his hands-on time with the iPhone SE over at Macworld. Lauren Goode, writing for The Verge , in her review calls the iPhone SE today’s tech with yesterday’s design.
  • The Apple Watch saw a price drop to $299 for the base 38mm sport edition along with the debut of new bands including a new nylon band styles for $49 each, and new color options for the Milanese Loop, Sport and leather bands. Apple has also added an interactive gallery to their site so you can mix and match styles to see what the combinations look like before you buy.
  • Apple opened the event with a "40 years in 40 Seconds" video. Long time Apple followers will probably be able to catch most of the references. Incase you didn’t give it a microscopic examination, Stephen Hackett has you covered with an annotated version.
  • Apple also issued a slew of software updates including OS X 10.11.4, watchOS 2.2, tvOS 9.2 and iOS 9.3. Probably the most notable update is OS 9.3 which includes features such as Night Shift that changes the tone of the display of your iOS device at night which may be shown to help improve sleep. Now’s a good time to backup your devices and check for updates.
  • Moving away from the special event, there was some surprising news on the Apple/FBI front. The FBI has asked, and was granted, a delay in the trial that was scheduled for Tuesday, March 22nd on Apple’s objection to being forced to assist in cracking the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone. T.C. Sottek, writing for the Verge, explains that the FBI has asked for a delay in the trial so it can try an alternate method for hacking the iPhone again. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Cellbrite, a provider of mobile forensic software, is the company that is allegedly helping the FBI in their attempt to unlock the iPhone.
  • My pal David Sparks has a nice writeup of Where the Apple v. FBI thing may be going.
  • With one legal battle put on hold, for now, Apple’s legal team will still be kept busy. Zac Hall of 9to5 Mac reports the Supreme Court has just granted cert and will hear Samsung’s appeal over Apple’s design patent case. The scope of the appeal is limited to whether when a patent is applied to only a component of a product, an award of the infringer’s profits should be limited to those profits attributable to the component. Previously, appeal and Samsung reached a $548 million settlement in the case, but Samsung reserved the right to reimbursement of any judgment in the event of a reversal.
  • The rumors that Apple is getting into the original TV business turns out it may be true, but perhaps not as originally expected. Emily Steel of the New York times reports that Apple’s first foray into an original TV series is about Apps. The series is said to feature Will.i.am and be non-scripted.
  • Turns out this week Mac OS X turns 15. It’s hard for me to believe that OS X was launched on March 24, 2001. Steven Hackett has a nice roundup of links about the new operating system, including this introductory video (Is that Marker felt on Steve’s slides - wow how things have changed!)