Here Are The Coolest New Updates From Apple You're About To Be Obsessed With

The inside scoop from the latest Apple event.

Nothing whips the tech world into a fervor quite like an Apple keynote event, where we see what updates and new products will be hitting the marketplace.

Apple CEO Tim Cook got the event rolling with some words on the company's battle with the FBI over privacy and encryption, reaffirming his decision to protect his customers' privacy. 

There was also talk of Apple's dedication to sustainability, as they are very near their goal of getting all of their factories, offices, and retail spaces using 100% renewable energy. Additionally, they have expanded efforts to recycle old iPhones, cutting down on e-waste and preventing heavy metals and other contaminants from entering the environment.

Of course, everyone was mostly curious to hear about the new goods coming out of Apple, and there was a lot worth talking about.

Here are some highlights from the Apple Keynote that we are extremely excited to get our hands on: 


1. ResearchKit

Apple via YouTube

People are pretty much glued to their smartphones all the time, so why not use that for the greater good?

Announced last year, ResearchKit allows scientists to develop programs that collect more data than is possible with traditional studies. Interactive programs give researchers the ability to gain insights into people with various diseases and disorders like autism, cardiovascular disease, postpartum depression, and asthma. 

Getting an adequate sample size that truly reflects the population as a whole is one of the biggest challenges in medical research. By reaching people through their phones, ResearchKit gets more participants who better reflect the community.

Since it was introduced, ResearchKit has helped create some of the largest medical studies to date, including a Parkinson's study that broke records in only 24 hours.

2. CareKit


Similar to ResearchKit, CareKit will allow for open development of health-related apps. 

One app that has already been developed, by Sage Bionetworks, is for patients with Parkinson's Disease. By tracking patients' symptoms, medication, and exercise, researchers can get a better understanding of the progression of the disease and the factors that affect it.

There are also apps in the works that allow people to track their recovery from surgery and their treatment of chronic conditions such as diabetes or fibromyalgia.

The CareKit platform will launch in April. 

3. Apple Watch


Apple Watch doesn't have many hardware updates this time around, but they have expanded the collection of interchangeable wristbands, making it a more versatile accessory compared to other wearables.

They introduced new woven nylon wristbands in a variety of colors to create trendy everyday looks while also expanding the color availability of their leather and sport wristbands as well.

The most exciting part of the announcement was that Apple Watch Sport will now start at only $299, down from $349.

4. Apple TV


Apple TV now boasts more than 5,000 apps that can be downloaded from the App Store, and the use of folders means they can be better organized on the home screen.

It's Siri-enabled, meaning users can request specific movies or ask for recommendations simply by speaking.

Apple also introduced a new way to enjoy March Madness by watching two games side-by-side, while keeping track of other scores at the bottom of the screen. 

5. iPhone SE


Smartphones have been trending toward larger screens in recent years, but not everyone wants something that doesn't fit nicely in their pocket. 

Citing high demand for a powerful phone with a smaller screen, Apple announced the iPhone SE that has a 4-inch retina display. It is available in silver, space gray, gold, and rose gold with a capacity of either 16 or 64 GB. 

The SE has a 12-megapixel camera, CPU on par with the iPhone 6S, 4k video recording capabilities, hands-free "Hey Siri" mode, and more.

The iPhone SE starts at only $399, making it an attractive option compared to the 4.7 inch iPhone 6S, which starts at $649. Pre-order begins March 24, and will be available March 31.

6. iOS 9.3


The newest incarnation of iOS 9 has some cool features, including one that could help people sleep better. Night Shift reduces the amount of blue light that comes from the phone and interferes with circadian rhythm. 

There are also added security features, including the ability to lock certain apps like Notes with the fingerprint sensor or a password. 

As iPads are becoming more commonplace in classrooms, Apple has upgraded how information is shared between devices. There are other educational benefits as well, including the ability to make the tablets more interactive with one another.

iOS 9.3 is available to download now.

7. iPad Pro


Just as the new iPhone regressed back to a smaller screen, the new iPad Pro has as well. While the old tablet had a 12.9-inch screen, the newest version will be 9.7 inches.

There are a number of improvements to the device, including a significant reduction in reflectivity of the screen, giving it the least amount of glare of any tablet on the market. However, it still boasts an improvement in both brightness and color saturation, making it extremely pleasing to the eye.

The iPad will also have Night Shift available as well as the ability to alter the display based on ambient light.

The new iPad Pro starts at $529. It's available for preorder on March 24 and will be released March 31.

All images: Apple


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