eXtensions - Tuesday 21 March 2017

Cassandra: iPhone Product (RED); Larger iPhone SE Models; iPad; iPad mini 4; New Watch Bands, Updated Swift Playground languages; and Clips, a new iOS video app

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


Apple has made a number of announcements in the last hours with updates to the iPhone range, new iPads, new bands for the Apple Watch and two changes to software releases: more languages for Swift Playgrounds and a new app for iOS to produce videos.


There had been some anticipation in the last day or so when Apple announced scheduled maintenance for the online stores. The site went offline a few hours ago and now Apple has issued four announcements concerning new products.

iPhone 7 Product Red The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are now available in a version that allows purchasers to contribute to the AIDS programs in Africa via the Product (RED) system. Apple annouced that both versions of the iPhone 7 are now to be made available in a "vibrant red aluminum finish, in recognition of more than 10 years of partnership between Apple and (RED)."

These will be available to order online worldwide and in stores beginning Friday, March 24 and will start shipping to customers by the end of March in the US and more than 40 countries and regions, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and United Arab Emirates. Other countries will follow later.

In addition, an updated iPhone SE is to be available beginning Friday, March 24, in 32GB and 128GB models, doubling the current capacity and replacing 16GB and 64GB models. These will have the same starting price of 16,800 baht.


New iPad models have also been released with a brighter 9.7-inch Retina display, starting at 12,500 baht. The device has the Apple-designed A9 chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture. The iPad comes in silver, gold and space gray and starts at 12,500 baht for the 32GB with Wi-Fi model and 17,500 baht for the 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

Also updated is the iPad mini, now the iPad mini 4. This is available in silver, gold and space gray and has more capacity starting at 14,900 baht for the 128GB Wi-Fi model and 19,900 baht for the 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

iPad - Image courtesy of Apple

Apple Watch bands

Apple has produced a new lineup of bright band colors enabling greater personalization and customization of the Apple Watch. The new bands include a wide stripe Woven Nylon band, standalone Nike Sport Bands and beautifully crafted Apple Watch Hermès bands in striking new colors. All of the new bands are available for order today.

Apple Watch bands - Image courtesy of Apple

The new bands are

  • Sport in Pebble, Azure and Camellia
  • Woven Nylon in Berry, Tahoe Blue, Orange, Red, Pollen and Midnight Blue
  • Classic Buckle with new buckle design in Sapphire, Berry and Taupe

In addition, the Nike Sport Bands will now be sold separately in:

  • Anthracite/Black
  • Pure Platinum/White
  • Volt/Black

The Sport and Woven Nylon bands are 1,900 baht and the Classic Buckle is 5,900 baht.

Swift Playgrounds

Along with the hardware releases Apple has updated Swift Playgrounds, the popular app for learning to code on the iPad. The app now supports simplified Chinese, Japanese, French, German and Latin American Spanish.

The Press Release information tells us that "The app includes Apple-developed programming lessons, puzzles and challenges that teach core coding concepts, as well as built-in templates to encourage users to express their creativity and create real programs. And it takes full advantage of the power, simplicity and Multi-Touch capabilities of iPad to deliver a first-of-its-kind learning experience. All programming lessons are now localized across five additional languages and are optimized to look even better and run faster than ever."


Apple has also introduced a new iOS app called Clips. The Press release outlines "a new app that makes it quick and fun for anyone to create expressive videos on iPhone and iPad. The app features a unique design for combining video clips, photos and music into great-looking videos to share with friends through the Messages app, or on Instagram, Facebook and other popular social networks."

"Clips also introduces Live Titles, a feature that lets users create animated captions and titles using just their voice. Fun effects including comic book filters, speech bubbles, shapes and full-screen animated posters help bring out the personality in videos made with Clips."

I would not expect that this is all and we are looking forward to some more announcements soon. . . .

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)



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