We kicked things off today with the introduction of a new entry-level iPad, marking its ninth-generation update. The new iPad is powered by Apple’s A13 Bionic processor inside, which the company says provides a 20% boost in performance. With this update, the entry-level iPad is now 6x faster than the best-selling Android tablet and 3x faster than the best-selling Chromebook.
In terms of design, the new iPad is largely the same as its predecessor with a 10.2-inch design. One notable change, however, is that True Tone display technology is now available on the entry-level iPad. This feature adjusts screen content to the color temperature of a room. The iPad 9 has also added a new Ultra Wide front-facing with support for the Center Stage feature, which automatically pans the camera to keep users in view as they move around.
Apple has also doubled the base storage configuration from 32GB to 64GB for the same $329 starting price. The new ninth-generation iPad is available to order today, and the first shipments will begin arriving next Friday, September 24.
Next up, attention shifted to the iPad mini, which has gotten a complete and drastic redesign. The new iPad mini features an 8.3-inch display with slim bezels around the sides. The Home button has been removed in favor of a new Touch ID-equipped power button. On the bottom, you’ll find USB-C connectivity. There’s also support for the second-generation Apple Pencil.
The iPad mini is powered by Apple’s newest A15 Bionic processor. Apple says that the 6-core CPU delivers a 40% jump in performance, and the 5-core GPU delivers an 80% jump in graphics performance compared to the previous generation of iPad mini.
Just like the entry-level iPad, the new iPad mini also features an ultra-wide front-facing camera with Center Stage support. The back camera now features a 12MP sensor with Focus Pixels and a larger aperture. Finally, the iPad mini also packs support for 5G connectivity for the first time.
The new iPad mini is available to order today with prices starting at $499 for 64GB of storage. You can upgrade to 256GB and cellular connectivity for a higher price. The first orders will arrive next Friday, September 24.
Apple Watch Series 7
Following the iPad portion of today’s event, Apple moved to the Apple Watch and officially unveiled the Apple Watch Series 7. Unlike rumors had predicted, the Apple Watch Series 7 features a similar design to its predecessor, with rounded edges rather than flat edges. The Series 7 is compatible with all previous Apple Watch bands.
The Apple Watch Series 7 is, however, available in new 41mm and 45mm sizes, just as rumors had predicted. This means you get larger displays on both models, with Apple saying the bezels are 40% smaller, leading to a 20% increase in screen size.
Other notable improvements include 33% faster speeds for charging, with Apple saying it will now take 45 minutes to go from 0 to 80%. This new charging method will use USB-C and the current magnetic charging puck.
Finally, in terms of finishes, the Apple Watch Series 7 is available in five different aluminum colors: green, blue, red, starlight, and silver. Stainless steel and titanium colors are unchanged from Series 6: silver, graphite, gold, natural, and space black.
Sadly, there is no official release date for the new Apple Watch just yet. Apple Watch Series 7 will be available ‘later this fall’ according to Apple, which means it could become available sometime in October, November, or December.
Apple rounded out the event by officially announcing its new iPhone 13 lineup, which consists of the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max. In terms of design, things are quite similar here to the iPhone 12, but the notch is around 20% smaller in width.
The iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 feature improved Super Retina XDR OLED displays with a 28% increase in max outdoor brightness and a higher peak brightness for HDR content such as photos and videos. Apple also says that the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini include a “massive leap in camera design” with a new Wide camera that gathers 47% more light for less noise and brighter images. Apple has also added sensor-shift optical image stabilization to the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini, a feature that was previously exclusive to the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Apple says that this “stabilizes the sensor instead of the lens so shots are more steady, while the custom-designed Ultra-Wide camera with a new sensor captures images with more detail in the dark areas of photos and videos with less noise.”
The iPhone 13 also introduces a new Cinematic mode feature, which records videos of people, pets, and objects with a depth effect and automatic focus changes. This is similar to the Portrait mode feature that has been available for still images. Apple says that users can change the focus during and after capture, and adjust the level of bokeh in the Photos app and iMovie.
Apple is also introducing something it calls Photographic Styles, which it describes as customized preferences and filters that intelligently apply the right adjustments to different parts of the photo to ensure the important elements, like skin tones, are preserved.
The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini are both powered by Apple’s newest A15 Bionic processor, but more details on performance improvements compared to the iPhone 12 are unclear as of now. Efficiency improvements, however, have led to improved battery life, with the iPhone 13 offering up to two and a half more hours than iPhone 12, and iPhone 13 mini up to an hour and a half more than iPhone 12 mini.
Pricing for the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini is the same as their predecessors, but the base configuration storage has been doubled. The iPhone 13 mini starts at $699 for 128GB of storage, while the iPhone 13 starts at $799. Both devices will be available to pre-order on Friday in red, starlight, midnight, pink, and blue. The first orders will arrive on Friday, September 24.
iPhone 13 Pro
Finally, Apple introduced the new iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, its two flagship iPhones for the year. Similarly, there are few changes to the design with these devices, but you do get a slightly smaller notch and a much larger camera bump on the back.
The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are powered by the A15 Bionic processor and offer many of the same camera features as the non-Pro models, including Cinematic mode for video, Photographic Styles, and more.
The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max do have their share of exclusive features. Both models feature an Ultra-Wide camera with a 92% boost in low light performance, f/1.8 aperture, auto-focus, and 6-element lens. The Wide camera packs an f/1.5 aperture and up to 2.2x improvement in low light performance. Finally, the telephoto camera includes a new 3x optical zoom sensor for the first time.
Other camera features include:
- Macro photography – Users can capture sharp, stunning images where objects appear larger than life, magnifying subjects with a minimum focus distance of 2 centimeters
- Smart HDR 4
- ProRes video recording
- Night mode for all three cameras
In terms of battery life, the iPhone 13 Pro will last up to one and a half hours longer per charge than iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max will last up to two and a half hours longer per charge than iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Finally, and perhaps most notably, both the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max include new ProMotion displays for the first time. This brings an adaptive refresh rate display to the iPhone several years after it first came to the iPad Pro. The display supports an adaptive refresh rate from 10Hz to 120Hz.
The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are priced the same as their predecessors, starting at $999 and $1099 respectively. Notably, there is also a new 1TB storage configuration for the first time. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max will be available to pre-order on Friday in graphite, gold, silver, and sierra blue. The first orders will arrive on Friday, September 24.
Tidbits and wrap up
In addition to the new hardware, Apple today announced that it will release its next round of software updates, including iOS 15, watchOS 8, and iPadOS 15, on Monday, September 20. The company also announced new features for Apple Fitness+ and teased its upcoming TV shows and movies launching on Apple TV+.
What we didn’t get during today’s event, however, were AirPods 3 or new Macs. This means that Apple still has more up its sleeve to hold another special event sometime in October or November.
What was your favorite announcement from today’s event? Are you planning on buying any of Apple’s new hardware? Let us know down in the comments!
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