Everything from the latest Apple Event (September 2021)

All the details and new announcements from Apple’s Special Event in September 2021.
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12 min read
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Apple has just shown off its new product and service updates at its September event called ‘California Streaming’. This article is a roundup of everything new that was announced at the event.

Apple TV+

Apple opened the event by announcing launch dates for some upcoming Apple TV+ series and movies:

  • The Morning Show season 2: 17/09/2021
  • Foundation: 24/09/2021
  • The problem with Jon Stewart: 30/09/2021
  • Invasion: 22/10/2021
  • Swagger: 29/10/2021
  • Finch: 05/11/2021
  • The Shrink Next Door: 11/12/2021

Apple TV+ has won and been nominated for many awards during the short period it’s been around. Apple is launching lots of new content and consistently, with no signs of slowing down.

iPad

Apple’s first new product announcement of the event was the next-generation iPad. It has a 10.2-inch Retina display.

Performance Boosts

The new iPad features a more powerful chip than its predecessor, the A13 Bionic. As a result, Apple says this iPad has 20% faster performance (in terms of CPU, GPU and Neural Engine) compared to the previous generation iPad, which had the A12 chip.

Camera Improvements

Apple says as a result of the enhanced image signal processor in the A13 chip, the rear camera is able to take better photos in low light conditions, as well as improved autofocus features.

The front camera on this iPad has seen a noticeable improvement. It now features a 12MP ultra-wide camera with a 122° field of view.

Center Stage

This iPad also includes a feature from the iPad Pro, called centre stage. Because of the ultra-wide camera and improved neural engine, the iPad can detect people when video calling and track their movements. The iPad will adjust the camera lens to follow people around, ensuring they are not cut out of the shot. It also adjusts when another person comes into the frame and ensures the lens is positioned in a way that allows you to see everyone. It works both in portrait and landscape mode, and is compatible with FaceTime, Zoom and even TikTok.

Display

The new iPad will also harness a True Tone display, adjusting the display colour temperature to that of the room. The iPad also supports past accessories such as the Smart Keyboard (including some third party keyboards) and the first generation Apple Pencil.

Pricing and Storage

This new iPad model starts at $329 (£319 in the UK), with 64GB internal storage. It is available in Space Gray and Silver colours, and cellular models are also available for those who wish to use mobile data when Wi-Fi is not available. You can order the iPad today, and it will be available next week.

iPad Mini

Apple also announced an update to its iPad Mini range, with a plethora of updates.

Display

The new iPad mini has a square face design with Touch ID, significantly reducing the bezels of the previous generation. It will come in four colours: Purple, Pink, Starlight and Space Gray.

It will have a 8.3-inch Liquid Retina Display, along with Wide Colour, True Tone, Anti Reflective coating and 500 nits brightness. Much like iPad Air, Touch ID is integrated into the power button.

Performance

Apple says the new iPad Mini has 40% faster CPU performance and 80% faster GPU performance compared to the previous generation. The neural engine also sees an improvement, with up to 2x faster machine learning.

Other Improvements

  • The iPad Mini will have a USB-C port rather than Lightning, in order to support faster data transfers, up to 10x faster than the previous iPad Mini. Cellular models of the iPad Mini will support 5G connectivity, enabling the device to reach internet speeds of up to 3.5 Gbps in optimal network conditions.

  • The rear camera is 12MP with focus pixels, as well as a larger aperture of f/1.8 and a True Tone flash for better low light photography. A new image signal processor allows better photos coupled with smart HDR technology, as well as the ability to record in 4K resolution.

  • The front camera is now ultra-wide, meaning it supports Center Stage like the new iPad model.

  • The speakers on the iPad Mini have also seen changes – the iPad now supports stereo speakers in landscape.

  • There are also new Smart Folio covers for this new iPad, in a range of colours.

  • The new iPad Mini also supports the 2nd generation Apple Pencil and can be magnetically attached to the side of the iPad to charge.

  • The new iPad Mini will start at $499 (£479 in the UK) and is available in Wi-Fi and Cellular configurations. It is available to order today and will ship next week.

iPad Mini Overview
Photo By: iPad Mini Overview

Apple Watch Series 7

Next, Apple announced the newest instalment into the Apple Watch lineup: the Apple Watch Series 7.

The Series 7 didn’t quite have as many changes as the rumours suggested, but it did have some minor improvements:

Screen size

The Apple Watch Series 7 comes in two new larger sizes, 41mm and 45mm. Previously the Series 6 had a 40mm and a 44mm size. The overall body size of the Apple Watch has remained roughly the same, but the bezels have been reduced to give a larger display.

Most durable Apple Watch ever

Apple claims that the Series 7 is the most crack-resistant Apple Watch so far. It has IP6X certification for dust resistance and the same water resistance as Series 6.

New Watch Faces

New Faces for the Series 7 include:

  • Modular Max.
  • World Timer.
  • Contour Face.
  • Nike Bounce (exclusive to Nike Edition).

Apple Watch Series 7 Face
Photo By: Apple Watch Series 7 Face

Fast charging

Charging speeds have been improved, with 33% faster-charging speeds. Apple claims 8 minutes of charging is enough for 8 hours of sleep tracking and the Series 7 can charge from 0% to 80% in only 45 minutes.

Other new features with the Series 7 include:

  • New watch faces taking advantage of the larger screens.
  • A new optimised UI with larger buttons.
  • Full keyboard, making it easier than ever to type on Apple Watch, made possible by the larger screens.
  • Increased outdoor brightness.

Like previous generations, the Apple Watch Series 7 has multiple colour choices.

Aluminium colours:

  • Midnight.
  • Starlight.
  • Green.
  • Blue.
  • Red.

Stainless steel colours:

  • Silver.
  • Graphite.

Titanium colours:

  • Natural.
  • Space black.

WatchOS 8 also is adding some new features such as automatic bike detection for workouts, cycling fall detection and better workout tracking for electric bike workouts.

The Series 7 will be available later this Fall with pricing starting at $399 (£379 in the UK).

Apple Watch Series 7 Overview
Photo By: Apple Watch Series 7 Overview

Apple Fitness+

Fitness+ is getting some new workouts, new features such as Group Workouts and is launching in more countries.

Apple Fitness+ has previously been available only in:

  • Australia.
  • Canada.
  • Ireland.
  • New Zealand.
  • The United Kingdom.
  • The United States.

Later this Fall, Fitness+ will also be available in the following countries:

  • Austria.
  • Brazil.
  • Colombia.
  • France.
  • Germany.
  • Indonesia.
  • Italy.
  • Mexico.
  • Portugal.
  • Russia.
  • Saudi Arabia.
  • Spain.
  • Switzerland.
  • UAE.

Workouts will be in English with subtitles as required.

Group Workouts, with SharePlay compatibility

A group workout can be initiated from a FaceTime call, metrics from your Apple Watch will still be displayed and it’s possible to see if whoever you are working out with overtakes you on the burn bar or if they close their activity rings. It is available on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV via AirPlay. It supports up to 32 people at the same time. The feature will launch later this fall.

New workouts

Fitness+ is introducing new Pilates workouts and Guided Meditation which will also be available as an audio-only version in the Meditation app on Apple Watch.

Seasonal Workouts

New workouts to get you ready for different seasons… The first workouts were designed with Gold Medalist Ted Ligety, designed to prepare you for the snow season.

Apple Fitness Overview
Photo By: Apple Fitness Overview

iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini

Apple’s flagship announcement of the event was the latest instalment in the iPhone range. Like before, there will be four new iPhones: the iPhone 13, the iPhone 13 Mini, the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Design

The new iPhone 13 and 13 Mini features a sleek flat edge design, with a Ceramic Shield front for tough glass and boasts IP68 water-resistant standards.

The camera lenses are arranged diagonally for an advanced dual-camera system. The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini will come in five colours: Pink, Blue, Midnight, Starlight and (PRODUCT) Red. The front-facing TrueDepth camera system (which integrates Face ID) has been changed to reduce the notch and increase the display area.

The internal architecture of the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini has been reengineered to allow better battery life.

Display

Both models feature a more advanced Super Retina XDR display, which is 28% brighter (up to 800 nits). The iPhone 13 has a 6.1-inch display, and the 13 Mini has a 5.4-inch display. The outside HDR peak brightness has been increased to 1200 nits, and the display’s improved power efficiency preserves battery life, allowing users to use a brighter display when needed for longer. This also allows for brighter and better colour depth on the OLED display, and Dolby Vision and HDR10 is also supported.

Performance

The new iPhones feature Apple’s new A15 Bionic Chip, which has 5-nanometer technology, allowing for 15 billion transistors. The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini has a 6-core CPU (2 high performance; 4 high efficiency). Apple says the chip is 50% faster compared to the competition. The processor also features a 4-core GPU which is 30% faster than the competition according to Apple. The new 16 core neural engine also improves tasks involving machine learning, making the iPhone capable of 15.8 trillion operations per second. The new A15 chip also features a new image signal processor, a new display engine and new video encoders and decoders.

A15 Chip Overview
Photo By: A15 Chip Overview

Camera

The new iPhone 13 and 13 Mini has a 12MP wide camera, with a new 1.7m sensor, 47% more light gathering in low light scenarios, with an f/1.6 aperture and 100% focus pixels. iPhone 13 and 13 Mini will also have Sensor-shift Optical Image Stabilization, a technology only previously available on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

The 12MP Ultra-Wide camera was also featured, with a new faster sensor, f/2.4 aperture and a 120° field of view. Night mode is available on all cameras.

Cinematic Mode

The iPhone 13 also has improvements in video. The iPhone 13 models have a feature called ‘Cinematic Mode’, which allows users to take professional-level videos straight from their iPhone. Cinematic Mode allows the camera to focus on particular subjects, even while they are moving, and can adapt the camera focus when the subject is looking away, for example. Focus transitions can automatically happen when a subject leaves the frame and another one enters – iPhone detects the new subject and focuses on them. Also, in Cinematic Mode, users can tap on subjects’ faces to shift and lock focus on them at any time.

Other Improvements and Changes

  • As expected, the new iPhones support 5G connectivity for lower latency and high internet speeds.

  • Apple says the iPhone 13 has 2.5 hours better battery life than the iPhone 12, and the iPhone 13 Mini has 1.5 hours better battery life than the iPhone 12 Mini. However, you should take these statistics with a pinch of salt.

  • The new iPhones are compatible with MagSafe accessories, as well as wallets and tripods, which now support Find My.

The iPhone 13 Mini starts at $699 (£679 for the UK) and the 13 starts at $799 (£779 for the UK). The starting storage capacity has been increased to 128GB, and a 512GB storage model is now available.

iPhone 13 Overview
Photo By: iPhone 13 Overview

iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

The iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max harnesses all of the features of iPhone 13, with some additional features and capabilities. They come in four colours: Space Gray, Starlight, Silver and an all-new colour, Sierra Blue.

Display

The 13 Pro has a 6.1 inch Super Retina XDR Display, with the 13 Pro Max having a 6.7-inch display. The edge of the phone is covered in stainless steel bands for a finished look. The display is more energy-efficient and supports up to 1000 nits peak outdoor brightness, up 25%.

ProMotion

The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max also feature a new technology called ProMotion, which allows the iPhone to have an adaptive refresh rate, up to 120Hz. The iPhone responds to the speed of the user input and adapts the refresh rate when they need it, further preserving battery life.

iPhone 13 Pro ProMotion
Photo By: iPhone 13 Pro ProMotion

Performance

The Pro models have the new A15 Bionic Chip, but with a 5 core GPU, enabling 50% faster graphics than competitors.

Camera

The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have three cameras: Wide, Ultra Wide and Telephoto.

The Telephoto lens has a 77mm focal length with 3x optical zoom, and the Ultra Wide lens has autofocus capabilities and up to 92% improvement in low light photography. The wide lens has a larger aperture and more focus pixels than its predecessor. Night mode is available on all three cameras.

The new camera system also boasts a new feature called ‘ProRes’, coming later this year. It increases colour fidelity in video editing, suitable for professional cinematographers. You can record in ProRes up to 4K at 30fps.

Other Improvements and Changes

  • Apple says battery life in the 13 Pro lasts 1.5 hours longer than the 12 Pro, and the 13 Pro Max lasts 2.5 hours longer than the 12 Pro Max, due to more efficient battery-saving measures.

  • iPhone 13 Pro now had dual eSIM support (nano-SIM card slot still exists too).

  • iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999 (£949 in UK), while the iPhone 13 Pro Max starts at $1099 (£1049 in the UK), with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and a new 1TB storage configuration available.

All four new iPhone models are available to pre-order this Friday (September 17) and will ship on September 24.

iPhone 13 Pro Overview
Photo By: iPhone 13 Pro Overview

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