Apple kicks it old school with latest reveal ... a pencil?

Apple's new product lineup features some suped-up versions of the iPhone and the iPad. The only truly new product is the Apple Pencil.

Beck Diefenbach/Reuters
The new Apple Pencil is displayed during an Apple media event in San Francisco, Calif., September 9, 2015.

Apple’s new product lineup unveiled Wednesday has a new iteration of the iPhone, a bigger version of the iPad, and in a technological throwback, a pencil.

No, you didn’t read that last part wrong. The new Apple Pencil, which will be released in November, functions as a stylus for concurrently released iPad Pro and works in a similar way to its leaded cousin. Choosing the “black pencil” setting comes out grey and when drawing with the pencil pressing down harder will lead to darker and thicker lines.

With the iPad Pro, Apple seems to be doubling down on the “bigger is better” direction they started going into with the iPhone 6 Plus and its 5.5 inch screen.

The 12.9 inch display dwarfs the current biggest tablet in the Apple lineup, the iPad Air 2, which has a 9.7 inch screen and also comes with a bigger price tag at $699.

With the introduction of the Apple Pencil and the physical keyboard cover, the tech company seems to be positioning itself to compete with Microsoft’s surface tablet range, which is set up as a cross between a notebook and a traditional tablet.

On the mobile end, the new Apple iPhone 6s looks pretty much the same as the previous version that came out last year, but as the old saying goes don’t judge a cell phone by its cover.

Inside the guts of the new iPhone there have been improvements to the camera, including increasing the megapixels to 12 and new sensors that enable quicker access to various functions.

Apple also introduced a new feature called 3D Touch, which basically allows users to create application shortcuts to directly access certain tasks. This is another dig at Microsoft’s Windows phone which has a similar shortcut feature, but without nearly the market control as Apple’s groundbreaking smartphone.

Also for selfie-lovers, the new iPhone lightens the screen as a kind of flash which isn’t as bright as the normal flash, but can provide lighting in low-visibility situations.

The new phones aren't coming out until Sept. 25, but advance orders begin Saturday.

A new version of Apple TV, the company’s set-top streaming device, is coming out on October replete with a new remote armed a touchpad that allows more control over scrubbing over video and music.

Even with all the shiny new toys, there was no big upswing in the company’s stock prices, with many commentators saying that Apple failed to unveil any breathtakingly visionary product.

This report contains materials from the Associated Press.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to