Australian tech leaders react to Apple’s latest product releases

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Apple revealed its latest improvements to products such as the iPhone, iPad and smartwatch overnight.

Business Insider asked a number of leading Australian tech entrepreneurs for their reaction to the news. Here’s what they said:

1. Christopher Lowe, lead developer at Kojai is most excited about 3D Touch for the iPhone 6S.

I’m really excited about the prospect of 3D Touch for the iPhone 6S for the added input dimension. In the past we have been limited by tap, long-tap, swipe and pinch gestures to handle all of our user interactions, but now the new ‘hard-tap’ gesture will open a lot of doors for increased functionality and easier to use apps.

Games and apps that integrate maps like Kojai will benefit a lot from this new hardware; for example, tapping a marker on a map could bring up information, whilst hard-tapping could initiate a movement of that feature. It’s like a right-click for mobile devices and I think apps will have a lot of fun adding in new features enabled by the hard tap.

Social media is showing no sign of slowing down so an improved camera will always be a welcome addition. The extra battery life and the hardened aluminium frame are also bonuses as we’re constantly using our phone.

2. Phil Morle, co-founder and CEO of Pollenizer thinks the new Apple TV will change the industry.

Phil Morle

The iPhone just gets better and better.

Apple raises the bar with each release to create a powerful interface with the internet that gets out of the way of the customer, senses their context and provides an experience that is delightful. But it wasn’t the release that I was most excited about.

The Apple TV really does look like the future of television and consolidates a number of trends that have partially realised by others in the past couple of years. We’ll now have an experience that we are familiar with from our phones on the big screen.

It is going to make truly multi-screen experiences possible that will finally dissolve the boundaries of what used to be called TV and the wave of new experiences that the web is bringing. Like the phone, I am excited that the TV can sense context and react to our voices and movements. Another interface that gets out of the way of what we want to do as humans. The inclusion of live TV, searching across video apps for content and gaming is going to shake up a few entertainment companies out there.

The Apple Watch is becoming a game-changer. There is a demo in the launch video for Airstrip that blew me a way because it connects a doctor with patients in a deeply human way, providing real-time access to the patients results including sensing what their body is doing in that moment. The app for doctors treating pregnant women even differentiates between the baby’s heart rate and the Mums. So this is not just about fun. This platform is driving itself deeper into every facet of our lives.

I don’t think the iPhone update is disruptive at all. Just better. The TV will change the industry.

3. Andrew Crawley, director of Jack Media is most interested in the new iOS 9 software.

Despite hype around the new iPhone, the most interesting thing about this launch is in fact the software. It clearly indicates that Apple is keen to push into new markets.

Expanding on the app capabilities of the Apple Watch and the Apple TV is a clear indicator of this. Apple’s changes to its TV line are telling. It’s a clear sign that they see this as the next hotbed of disruption.

For us however, the biggest business impact of this launch will be from iOS 9. Apple’s move to allow ad blocking software on its platform will rattle the mobile display advertising ecosystem. But it plays to our advantage, as it will see marketers turn to more direct advertising channels, like our platform, to compensate.

Meanwhile, punters may be fobbing off the new iPad Pro and the Pencil, but these are revolutionary products for niche industries.

People expect that all Apple products are targeted at the mass market, but this tech reveals that Apple is going after particular segments too. Along with the new iPad, the new Pencil product will be an amazing tool for designers and architects.

4. Avrill D’Costa, co-founder and head of data analytics and product design at BigDatr agrees.

Avrill D’Costa

For us, the revolutionary change here isn’t so much in the device as it is in the operating system. The changes in iOS9 are more likely to rattle the advertising industry more than the upgraded camera, processor and dual-touch features of the new iPhone 6s

The biggest positive change in iOS 9 is the addition of the News app that will be great at distributing content to the masses whilst helping increase audience accessibility and engagement. I expect this will continue to evolve by introducing easier ways for publishers to immerse their audiences into richer content such as live streaming video.

Sadly this is where the news stops and takes a turn. Publishers will have to face Apple’s decision, which now allows developers to distribute advertising blockers via the App Store. This change will deny publishers advertising revenue in the tune of millions whilst still allowing users to access their content ad-free.

It wouldn’t surprise me if those publishers running on tight margins and rely on advertising revenue as the sole income stream throw in the towel and call it quits.

5. Paul Chan, CEO of Pureprofile also welcomes the increase in user control that iOS 9 brings.

We truly support anything that puts the user in control and gives them the settings to exercise their right to choose how they consume content, including advertising. Ad blocking grew 41 per cent in the past year, which is a direct response to the very real issue of user dissatisfaction with irrelevant advertising.

But publishers need a practical way to monetise their content. And a far higher percentage of people would prefer not to pay for content (just like their taxes). So there’s a disconnect between people wanting to consume content for free but not wanting to see ads.

There should be other mechanisms that do not interrupt the content experience and provide high-value advertising interactions.

Content is the real currency of advertising at scale to a mass audience. Putting users in control does not mean publishers with great content can’t earn far more money using new forms of profile-driven targeting than they could with annoying banner ads.

6. Simon Kantor, CEO of IoT Group is tired of big launches for small upgrades.

Apple made a lot of announcements last night – of which the most notable may be a new iteration of the iPhone and iPad – but what caught my interest was the Apple Watch OS2.

Apple will now allow developers to install applications directly onto the watch – and have the watch do the hard work instead of the phone – which isn’t a bad idea, but makes me wonder how they are going to keep the watch performing and the battery life going. As with all Apple devices the watch doesn’t have a removable battery.

What I find more curious is that Apple didn’t make any hardware changes to the Watch. Unlike with every other product they make and its hardware upgrades, the only upgrade the Watch got was the promise of Hermes bands.

I’m getting so tired of all the big “launch” styled events to announce small incremental upgrades. Apple has a range of products that have been so well designed to lock users into the Apple world that every year they cheer for the small amount of attention their devices may get, while everyone else in the tech world is working towards providing useful innovative technology to propel us into the future.

Apple has once again fallen into its old habit of just playing “catch up and cash in”! Perhaps Apple needs to feel the grip of failure to bring out great products again, or maybe they just can’t do it without Jobs – but I don’t think Microsoft will be bailing them out again this time…

7. Dominic Bressan, co-founder and CEO of AirService liked that it wasn’t the iPhone show.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect is that this September event has moved beyond being just an iPhone launch. In the past it’s been “Apple’s September iPhone event”. This year it was “Apple’s September event”. It really showed Apple looking to move some of the focus beyond just the iPhone, and onto their other products.

For AirService, the Apple Watch update was particularly interesting. It allows us to implement the improvements we’ve had planned for our Apple Watch apps, and to really improve speed, functionality and usability.

Would we consider an app for the Apple TV? Well, that depends. If Apple realises its vision of turning the Apple TV into the tech-powered heart of the home then we would be certainly keen to place our software on there. If it remains as more of a peripheral entertainment platform, then it wouldn’t really work for us. We’ll keep a close eye on how it shapes up…

8. Chris Ridd, Xero MD, thinks the mobile office is finally here with the iPad Pro.

Chris Ridd.

The new iPad Pro could be a significant boost for mobile small businesses and accountants. Imagine being able to forget the laptop at home or work, and just do all your daily work on the iPad Pro, with your accounting software side–by–side with your inventory dashboard, or your task management apps. It could be a true productivity machine for those people who need mobility above all else.

The second version of watchOS for Apple Watches could be a big boon for software developers too. It’s like the transition between the first and second iPhones — we’re going from mini widgets that can’t do all that much, to full-blown apps that allow you to truly take advantage of the device.

With watchOS 2, it looks like you’ll be able to do so much more from your wrist — because apps run on the watch itself, and not tethered to your phone, they’ll be faster and more capable.

We should see some really interesting innovation in that area once watchOS is widely available.

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