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Apple?s app story gets bigger with universal reach across iPhone, iPad, Apple TV

In the latest reflection of how applications continue to gain influence, a series of announcements from Apple yesterday means that developers can create universal apps that save data across the new iPhone, iPad and Apple TV devices for a consistent and immersive user experience. 

Apple is clearly focused on providing unique app experiences with the introduction of the 3D Touch interface for the new iPhones. The new Apple TV has a number of partners for its launch of an app store, including Airbnb and Gilt, while Apple Watch already boasts 10,000 apps. 

?The most important new feature on the 6S is 3D Touch because it will increase the uniqueness of iPhone apps,? said Ian Fogg, an analyst at IHS. ?The new name for force touch will enable new user interface options in Apple's built-in apps and enable better control of mobile games. 

?As a distinct iPhone feature, games and apps which take advantage of 3D Touch will be harder to port to competing Android smartphones which will increase the differentiation of the iPhone and the wider iPhone ecosystem of third party apps,? he said. ?The 3D Touch improvements will give existing iPhone owners an important reason to upgrade. 

?As their existing apps are updated with 3D Touch, third party app developers will market the improvements to their apps which will help Apple communicate the benefits of the iPhone 6S, without Apple having spend anything on advertising or marketing.?

Rose gold iPhone
Recent research from Flurry/Yahoo shows that time spent in a mobile browser is declining - just 10 percent of all mobile time spent in the second quarter of 2015, down from 14 percent year-over-year. At the same time, apps are accounted for 90 percent of time spent on mobile in the second quarter, up from 86 percent. 

Apple?s roster of high-quality apps continues to grow, with Facebook Messenger coming to the Apple Watch while Major League Baseball is among the launch partners for Apple TV. 

At the Apple event yesterday, the company unveiled new iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs. 

The new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus will be available in four colors: silver, gold, space gray and rose gold.

The touch interface has been updated from previous iPhones with 3D Touch, which recognizes the force of a touch to enable new gestures. It will work on the home screen and in certain apps. 

Hey Siri
Other new features include enhancements to the voice activation capabilities for Siri. Previously, an iPhone had to be connect to a power source to use voice activation, but with the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, this will no longer be the case. The enhancement comes as Siri is being beefed up in other ways, including new ability around searching for music and other content online or in iTunes that will become available with iOS 9. 

The new iPhones will also be able to take ultra high-definition videos. The iPhone 6 will cost between $199 and $399 while the iPhone 6S Plus will go for between $299 and $499. The phones will be available beginning Sept. 25. 

Apple also introduced the iPhone Upgrade Program, enabling customers to get a new iPhone every year for $32 per month. 

Apple?s latest update to its mobile operating system, iOS 9, will be available across other devices on Sept. 16.

Big screens
Also introduced a new Apple TV with an app store and games. The TV?s remote has a touch surface similar to the interface of an iPhone. 

Apple TV will also come with Siri, so users can easily search for programming, and a music app. Developers will be able to build apps for Apple TV using a new operating system, tvOS, which is based on iOS. 

Merchants such as Gilt are partnering with Apple TV to enabling shopping straight from their apps. 

Major League Baseball has an app for Apple TV enabling viewers to see scoreboards, highlights and live games. 

At a time when tablet sales are slowing, Apple introduced a bigger iPad as it looks to gain a stronger foothold in enterprise. The IPad Pro measures 12.9 inches and comes with a full-sized keyboard. Prices start at $799.

?Apple TV joins the seamless ecosystem for users interacting with content across multiple screens,? said Emma Crowe, chief of client strategy at Somo. ?If you start playing a game on your phone on the way home, you can pick up where you left off on your Apple TV from your living room when you get home. 

?This seamless experience aimed at delighting consumers brings them deeper into the overall Apple ecosystem, with less need to access content in other ways,? she said. 

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York