First Look: The iPhone SE, and the rest of Apple’s big announcements

A new iPhone for the small-handed among us, a new iPad for the hard of hearing, and a whole lot more were announced today at Apple’s last big show at its current HQ. Take a look.

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A step backwards, or a return to smartphone sanity?

The launch of the iPhone SE, the first new high-end phone in a while that retains the 4-inch form factor of old, will dominate most of the headlines about Apple’s announcement event today, but there was a lot more in there as well, including a new model iPad Pro, an iOS update, and even some wearable news. Here’s a first look.

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iPhone SE!

Finally, significant minority of online smartphone enthusiasts, you get your wish – Apple’s delivering a phone with flagship internals that ISN’T the size of a canoe paddle in the form of the iPhone SE. It packs the same horsepower as the iPhone 6S, thanks to an identical 64-bit A9X chipset.

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More about the iPhone SE

This new 4-inch model has an undersized price tag, too - $400 to start, for a 16GB model, and Apple said that it’ll be free on a two-year contract. You can order one Thursday, and they’ll start shipping the week after.

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iOS 9.3

Apple called iOS 9.3 one of the biggest updates to its mobile software yet – and there are certainly plenty of new features to be had. CarPlay got an update, you can now fingerprint-protect individual Notes for better privacy, News and Health got new features, and there’s even a f.lux-esque adaptive screen dimmer designed to save your eyes and help you sleep better at night. It’s available to download today.

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Apple TV software update

Apple TV saw several updates, including deeper integration with Siri – you can dictate your password to the remote instead of typing it in – better searchability, homescreen folders for better organization, and more as part of the tvOS 9.2 update. It also gets integration with iCloud’s photo library and new apps for things like podcasting.

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iPad Pro 9.7-inch

Well, it’s the size of an original iPad, only it weighs less than a pound, packs a Retina display and has hardware designed to make it a proper desktop replacement, even at its relatively diminutive 9.7-inch size. It also has new “Pro Sound” speakers, making it a lot louder than previous models. Availability dates are the same as for the iPhone SE and it’ll start at $600 for a 32GB model.

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New Apple Watch bands, price cut

Colorful new wristbands for Apple Watch are now available, and the company has cut the starting price of the devices to $300. Which makes sense, given that Apple introduced several new software frameworks for its wearable, including…

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CareKit is a new framework designed for the healthcare market, allowing providers to offer care instructions, scheduling and other services directly via Apple Watch. It’s the difference between, say, getting notifications that it’s time to take a dose of medication, rather than having to remember that schedule from a sheet of paper instructions.