Just watched the Apple Event, like many of you. I am not going to list every detail announced. Other people do a much better job at this. Instead I am going to comment on what stuck in my head.
If you followed all the leaks, you were mostly mis-lead. I don’t pretend I know what will happen and that’s good. I would have been very wrong. No, Apple Watch 7 will not have a boxier design.
For the easy part: new iPhone in the same fashion as last year. iPhone 13 and 13 mini, iPhone Pro 13 and 13 Max. They look very similar, with new camera modules. On the iPhone the lenses are now in opposing corners, not on one side. The cameras are also noticeably larger. Beautiful new colors to show you have a new one.
It’s the cameras that blow me away each year. The Pro models now have a 3x tele. Last year it was 2x for the Pro and 2.5x for the Pro Max. Very welcome change. The ultrawide gets a much-needed macro mode. Video recording now provides a new mode, where it automatically sets the focus bracket “intelligently” and you can change it in post. You have to see it to believe it. Insanely great.
Apple Watch 7 gets a larger display that is rounded into the body. Apple claims it is also much more durable. The display remains brighter in the off state. The body keeps compatibility with all bands, Watch gets a faster charger that connects to USB-C. I hope they maintain compatibility to old chargers. Apparently there are no new sensors.
iPad gets a small spec bump to A13 Bionic which was introduced with iPhone 11 and new cameras with a 12MP ultrawide front camera supporting automatic framing in video calls. The enclosure keeps the old almost iconic form with wide bezels at the top and bottom. It now looks seriously dated.
The new iPad mini was the secret star of the show. It’s actually more of an iPad Air mini than an iPad mini. TouchID in power button, same body design, now with Truetone flash. Best of all, it now has a USB-C port, unlike the new/old iPad. This is now the real iPad lineup: 12.9″ Pro, iPad Air, iPad mini. The smaller Pro and the iPad somehow don’t fit in this range anymore.
Fitness+ is coming to more countries and Apple just subtitles instead of dubbing the audio. I am not sure how well that will work with people who have to stare at the screen during workouts. 1 month free trial, and 3 months if you buy a new Watch 7.
Speaking of which: Apple isn’t ready to ship. While you can preorder the iPhone from this Friday to be shipped a week later, Watch does not yet have a release date. Later this fall. I guess there will be a run on Xmas gifts.
It’s always interesting what Apple does NOT say. No performance comparisons between A14 and A15 for instance. I also missed updates on availability for iOS and watchOS, assuming they are coming next week. (Update. next Monday)
And to end on a high note: the iPhone Pro models get displays with variable refresh rates all the way from 10 to 120 Hz. That is going to save a ton of battery. It made the always-on Watch 5 display possible.
What were your highlights?