iPhone 6s and Apple TV: 8 Questions Apple Needs to Answer

Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

At Apple’s jam-packed September 9 event, the company’s execs had a lot to say about many of the company’s different products. Though they managed to squeeze a ton of information into a (relatively) short presentation, we still have some questions that Apple has left unanswered. Here are the key questions about the iPhone 6s and the Apple TV for which we’re eagerly anticipating answers.

1. How difficult will it be to figure out 3D Touch gestures?

Many users of the Apple Watch have reported that Force Touch has a long learning curve on the Apple Watch. So will the next-generation version of the technology, 3D Touch on the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, take a similar amount of time to figure out? If you found the array of options presented during Apple’s keynote dizzying, then chances are pretty good that it’ll take you some time to get used to the new feature. But here’s what we know so far. A “peek” is a gesture that enables you to preview content without opening it with a light press. A “pop” is what happens when you press harder to open an app or a web page.

2. Why does the entry-level iPhone still have only 16GB of storage?

In recent weeks, the debate over the continued existence of the 16GB iPhone has intensified. The argument against the storage level is relevant given the wealth of apps available for iOS and the addition of the new 12MP camera, and many fans argue that there’s plenty of room in Apple’s margins to increase the storage of the base model from 16GB to 32GB. While Apple has already doubled the storage of the other iPhone models to 64GB and 128GB, the 16GB option remained the same. iOS 9 will bring some features that make software updates easier for users without much storage to spare, and for those who take issue with Apple’s choice to keep the entry-level option at 16GB, the simplest fix is just to purchase a model with more storage.

3. Will you notice that the iPhones’ batteries are smaller?

Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

While the official specifications that Apple offers on the battery life of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are exactly the same as what the company said last year for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, BGR’s Zach Epstein points out that the batteries in this year’s iPhones are actually smaller than those in last year’s iPhones. This seems counterintuitive, especially given the fact that this year’s iPhones are slightly thicker than last year’s models — an unusual departure for Apple, which usually unveils a thinner-than-ever iPhone instead of addressing consumer complaints about battery life. However, the question is whether you’ll really notice the change in battery size, since the A9 processor is more efficient than the chip it replaces, and both hardware and software have been optimized to be more power-efficient.

4. How much RAM do the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have?

A rumor ahead of the September 9 event indicated that Apple would upgrade its new iPhones with the addition of 2GB of RAM. But the presentation came and went, and the sheet of technical specifications went online, with no mention of the phones’ RAM at all. We’ll likely need to wait for a teardown to find out whether the new iPhones have 1GB or 2GB of RAM, and to determine whether the rumor was correct.

5. Why is optical image stabilization on the iPhone 6s Plus only?

In a repeat of last year’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus unveiling, the specs for Apple’s new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus reveal that optical image stabilization for still photography and video recording is still only available on the larger of the two smartphones. There’s not much else to be said on the matter except why? The larger phone is too big for many users — a number of whom would probably like to have the best camera features even if they go with the smaller iPhone 6s.

6. Can you control the new Apple TV with other Apple devices?

Stephen Lam/ Getty Images

Stephen Lam/ Getty Images

During the demonstration of several new games for the Apple TV, it was mentioned that additional players can join using an iPhone or an iPod Touch. But can you control the Apple TV with your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch?  Speaking of questions we still have about the Apple TV, it’s not clear yet exactly what developers can do with the SDK for the new Apple TV operating system, called tvOS. Apple also hasn’t said anything about how the new Apple TV will integrate with HomeKit.

7. What kinds of games will be possible on Apple TV?

The new Apple TV is offered in 32GB and 64GB storage options, but Benjamin Mayo reports for 9to5Mac that Apple has some strict rules about how apps can use that local storage — and that will impact which games developers can and will build for the Apple TV. The app binaries can’t use more than 200MB of static resources, and any necessary resources over that cap will need to be available to download on-demand. Additionally, all app data has to reside in iCloud. While those rules do limit what’s possible with the Apple TV, particularly when it comes to games, Mayo reports that many games able to run on A8 hardware will still be feasible, though it’s going to take a lot of work on the developer’s part to make the app compatible with Apple TV.

8. Where’s Touch ID for the Apple TV remote?

With the new Apple TV set-top box, Apple introduced a new remote that you can use to swipe through Apple TV content or ask Siri for recommendations for a movie to watch. Though the remote has a touchpad, a Lightning port, a built-in microphone, and support for Bluetooth 4.0, it doesn’t have a simple addition that seems like a logical thing to include: the Touch ID sensor. Just as you can use the sensor — which, by the way, Apple upgraded in its latest iPhones — to authenticate purchases on the iPhone or iPad, you could do the same with the new Apple TV remote if Apple had decided to include it.

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