Updated: Sep 20
So, last Tuesday, the long awaited first autumn Apple event finally took place at Apple Park. And it seemed the leakers had a very bad day at the office....
There were a few things that were being ramped up beforehand which simply did not happen. Namely, a revised Apple Watch design, Air Pods 3 and a couple of other points such as low satellite call technology and astral shoot mode. So what did we get?
For me, the new iPad Mini was probably the highlight of the show. Now with the A15 bionic chip, 5G, new colours, support for Apple Pencil and a new screen design. It's all new 8.3" True Tone Liquid Retina display and Touch ID, all adds up to a gorgeous product. I am a user of a mini myself, mine being a 2018 model, but I love it. It seems folks forgot about this beauty in favour of the iPad Pros. Available to order now with either 64GB or 256GB and prices starting from £479. iPad 9 also had a makeover.
So, this was the biggest surprise of the event. It had been widely expected to be bigger, squarer and flatter in design with bigger speakers. Turns out it was a very minor make-over, actually making it more curved with the face wrapping around the edges of the face now and even with a qwerty keyboard (good luck typing on that!). There is faster charging and five new colours. Yes, it does have a larger display and the borders have been reduced by 40%, but it still looks a million miles from what we thought we were going to get. It is crack, dust and water resistant. But other than that, the watch had very few other new features to mention. Apple Watch 7 will not be available until later this autumn with prices to be confirmed at that point.
And so to the main event. Available all the way from the 13SE, regular 13 all the way up to the Pro and ProMax, with prices starting from £679 all the way through to an eye watering £1449 for the ProMax 1TB storage. Screens range from 4.7" up to 6.7" and are OLED finally with 120hz ProMotion (which has been on the iPads since 2017) and brighter too.
Battery life has been extended by 2.5 hours and there will be two processors available - a 4 core & 5 core chip. The much talked of notch is still ever present, but now 20% narrower and new colours are available including a lovely looking pink.
With a new ultra-wide camera to reveal more in the dark, larger apertures capturing up to 47% more light and new optical stabilising sensors. The big news is the all new Cinematic Mode. This will enable you to take video with that movie rack or bokeh effect giving you depth of field. For someone like me who knows nothing about cameras, but is now making YouTube videos, this is of great interest. I think I will wait until the first physical units are out in the wild though before making a decision. If it is as good as hoped, it could be enough to convince me to buy now (against many Apple influencers guidance)....but many are saying Apple are asking too much from just software. So maybe, I will yet have to buy a camera. You can also shoot in industry standard Pro Res now too. I think I have heard that 1 minute of 4K Pro Res video will equal 4GB of storage. Ouch...thus the need for the 1TB storage option. And finally there are new pro level style filters which rather than adding a filter all over, will sympathetically add warmth and colour to foreground and sky but preserving the skin tones etc.
Apple & the environment
Last year Apple dropped shipping phones with power bricks or chargers as they looked to make an environmental statement. This year they will no longer wrap the new phone boxes in plastic thus avoiding 600 metric tons of plastic waste. I'll be intrigued to see how they 'seal' the boxes so you are secure in the knowledge that your lovely new phone has not been tampered with. But I am guessing they are already ahead on that game.
So what will you be buying? Is the Cinematic mode enough to encourage you to buy the iPhone 13? Does the iPad mini take your fancy. I'd be interested to know.