A few thoughts on the Apple event

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.

Halide compares the iPhone 13 Pro camera to previous models

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?

20 thoughts on “A few thoughts on the Apple event”

  1. iOS 15 soll laut der Fußnote im Pressebericht auf apple.com am 20. September erscheinen. Der Release Candidate für iOS 15 ist heute erschienen.

  2. Überlege, vom xR auf 13Pro upzugraden. Primär für die Kamera. Scheint ein solides Update, wenn auch ohne großen Aha-Effekt.

    1. XR ist ziemlich gut und hat sicher noch ein langes Leben. Aber ein 13 Pro ist in jeder Beziehung außer Akku überlegen.

  3. Highlights? Längere Akkulaufzeit bei den iPhones. Und: das iPhone Mini bleibt im Lineup.

    Schade: keine zusätzlichen Sensoren in der Watch.

  4. Beim Akku ist es nicht besser? Das hätte ich jetzt nicht erwartet…

  5. Watch 7. As per announcement now more ready for my rides (series 5 died in harz mountains earlier this year…). More battery run time sounds promising. Automatic pause when you are not pedaling (as strava and others does since long time …)

    Just wondering if and when fitness+ will be enhanced with peoloton, by means of takeover. Guessing only!

    1. Really a moderate product update. The iPad was a bit of disappointment and looks outdated in the line up. It is clear that it is just there for the low entry price.

      iPad Mini is the real star. But i start wondering if this Mini still is a product for personal users. It has a high entry price and the iPad Air just gives more use cases. I see a good gap in business and industries, where size really matters.

      Watch just a larger display and better battery. So the battery might be a good argument, also the appeal of the new display. Now new sensors or use cases, they just come by OS. But having it start so late there is a run for Christmas, and it does not feel like a real update that is worth the run. After midnight we again wait for the Watch 8… i am not sure about that product.

      IPhone was clear about camera and some battery bump. Only seeing innovation at the camera it seems to be clear that also apple has understand that the iPhone evolution has come to an end and has reached now almost the state of perfection. I am wondering how they are going to sell new models for the upcoming years. Ok, ok, there is still some potential for the camera but that should not be the only area of innovation. So my guess we will see here are more luxury brand driven sales approach in future.

      There are areas where innovation is imminent. iPads still need a touch of magic so that they can evolve to devices that are as promising as their hardware already is. Pro Computers with Apple Silicon are missing as well, but we might see these in some weeks from now.

  6. My highlight: Series 7 watch. I’m now on Series 4 (first one with bigger display).
    As soon as the watch presentation started I knew this will be a purchase. I will get a lot of new features from 4 -> 7.

    And I will be trying Apple Fitness when available. (I don’t mind only subtitles as I will understand the most in english.) If sticking to Fitness then Apple One will look very interesting to me.

    The iPad mini is also veeerryy nice, but I have no real use case… and for a toy a bit expensive.

  7. Also ich war erstmalig von so einem Event ziemlich enttäuscht. Klar, man hat an allen Produkten gearbeitet (besser, schöner, schneller) … aber selbst die – sicherlich sehr interessanten – Neuerungen bei der Kamera reichen für mich nicht, mich von meinem 11pro zu trennen.

    Und die Watch? Meine Series 6 hat leider einen heftigen Kratzer im Display bekommen (hab ich noch nie geschafft), aber auch da ist der Anreiz auf die Series 7 nicht vorhanden.

    iPad Mini … nicht schlecht. Da gibt es sicher im Unternehmensumfeld interessante Anwendungsbereiche.

    Jetzt bleibt nur die Hoffnung auf die M1 Macs. Da im Gegensatz zu iOS15 noch kein Release Date für Monterey bekannt gegeben wurde spekuliere ich auf ein Mac Event im Oktober.

  8. I like the progress with the cameras and immediately fell in love with the new blue.
    My highlight is that there is no difference in the cameras between Pro and Pro Max. Relief not to have to go Max just for max camera.

    1. Same for me. I will pretty certainly go for the 13 Pro, would dislike the bigger size of the Max but would also dislike knowing that I would miss on a better camera by not getting the Max.

  9. Ipad mini finde ich auch an interessanten. Mal schauen was für Peripherie der usb-c nimmt.
    Wenn dann noch ein LiDAR Sensor hätte wäre es für mich perfekt.

  10. Ich finde es schade wenn Enttäuschung über fehlende Gründe zum Upgrade geäußert wird.
    Ich finde es gut, wie bestehendes weiterentwickelt wird und erlebe als iPad-pro-Jünger (seit 2 Jahren) die Einschränkungen des iPadOS immer wieder (wenn man sich überlegen muss wie man ein Foto/Video aus OneDrive in Dropbox oder umgekehrt schaufelt (da bin ich enttäuscht).
    Aber so sehr mich die neuen Kameras interessieren (insbesondere auch die neuen Videofunktionen) – mein XR ist seit langem der perfekte Begleiter, und ein Akku-Austausch steht an.
    Ich gebe zu, den Weg des jährlichen Verkaufs des aktuellen Modells und den Neukauf des aktuellen bin ich nie gegangen – ich bin sowieso gespannt wie die Migration mit den ganzen MFA Apps werden würde – das war damals beim Umzug zum XR schon ein ordentlicher Extraaufwand.

  11. Ach Gott ist das teuer. Aber dieses Jahr wird’s wohl ein neues werden.
    Lustig ist übrigens, dass Apple davor warnt, dass der Betrieb des IPhones auf bestimmten Zweirädern wegen des hochfrequenten Motors die kamera beschädigen kann, es aber werbewirksam auf einem Zweirad durch die Gehend fährt. Ok. Ein Moped Motor ist nicht hochfrequent. Aber lustig ist es schon.

    1. Ich glaube es geht um High Amplitude, also heftiges Schütteln. Manche Motorräder schütteln Gluhbirnen kaputt. Warum nicht bewegliche Sensoren?

      1. Ja, das meine ich auch. Ist halt so. Ich fand’s nur milde amüsant.

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