Talking the talk

Apple stage 'events' 3 or 4 times a year. They are inevitably, like all company shebangs a 'hurrah' for the brand, but beneath the hyperbole and corporate revving, there are always nuggets of interest for anyone that owns an Apple product - whether you're just interested or professionally invested. They are always a tell as to the future of the various product lines.

Everyone remembers Steve Jobs, always the consummate showman, pacing up and down brandishing this new wonder called the iPhone, but aside from the new product launches, we also get insight into hardware and software upgrades, how they've reached their new technological and design heights, and what benefits can be anticipated for all of us.

Whether you hyperventilate over the release of a new Apple Watch (not me) or are concerned about continuing Apple support for the 'pro' end of Apple essential for any creative professional in audio or video (me), it's worth keeping up with the news from these events. Social media and Reddit rumours always swirl around Apple releases, support and upgrades, but it's good to have it directly from the horse’s mouth.

As with every year, the traditional time for Apple to announce new product is September - called 'California Streaming' this year. See what they did there? These September events are naturally designed as marketing exercises, with lovely hi-res videos and technical data to hand streamed to us all in pandemic style, getting us ready to fill those Christmas stockings. Ding dong. This year’s one hour and twenty minutes was full of new goodies and launch dates, so here's a summary of it all direct from the Cupertino spaceship. In less time!

ET iPhone home

Apple iPhone 13 is released in four different versions, ranging from the top of the range Pro Max down to the (relatively) inexpensive Mini with its 5.4" screen. Visually, design differences from iPhone 12 are minimal (aside from that notch being slightly smaller).

The upgrade is on the inside, as these iPhones feature the new A15 Bionic chip (isn't 'Bionic Chip' a cartoon character?). This little beastie enables enhanced features such as advanced map animation, live text analysis and visual identification of plants and animals (and people?), all on board with no need for the cloud. Very clever indeed.

Storage is also upgraded - iPhone 13 starts at 128gb, with the Pro range maxing out at a staggering 1tb of space. That's a lot of plants and animals.

The Pro range have updated camera lenses - telephoto, wide and ultrawide, and Apple also announced a new video feature for iPhones called 'Cinematic Mode', as well as upgrades to post snap colour correction and picture enhancements.

Come over to my iPad

The iPad mini has had a major makeover, bringing it in line with the rest of the iPad range. It's now thinner and sleeker, has more softly rounded corners. The screen is also bigger, at 8.3" across, and the touch ID sensor on the outer rim has been removed to accommodate the increased real estate. There's a USB-C port at the bottom, and the Home button is history. With a 5G modem, cameras that can record up to 4k, it is now compatible with the 2nd gen Apple Pencil, which charges wirelessly on the side of the iPad. It's a giant iPhone, but not as we know it, Jim.

The new base model iPad is now in its ninth generation, and now sports an A13 Bionic chip enabling a 20% performance boost. The cameras have been upgraded - the front facing lens is now a 12mp 'Ultrawide' that supports Apple's Center Stage feature.

Don't watch that, watch this!

Apple Watch is now in it's seventh iteration, with a major upgrade to its display, but you'll have some time to wait for it. Manufacturing delays and technical issues have restricted the company from bringing it to the market until the next Autumn. But when they do...

...it will have a Retina display as well as a 20% bigger screen area. Apple say that the 7th gen will be 70% brighter indoors when 'shaded', be more dust resistant and charge quicker - although the battery life still won't get you through 24 hours. A bit disappointing as it's....a watch. Aside from the screen, more of an ugrade that a major new release?

Softly softly

 As far as software goes, Apple TV has also been upgraded with a better overall design and a Siri remote.

Apple's Fitness+ sunscription service has also been improved, now allowing for group workouts in line with software competitors. Fitness+ has also added new categories - guided meditations, Pilates and workouts for snow sports.


So what about me?

OK, this event hasn't given us much for our MacBooks or Mac Pros, but those iterative upgrades are always going on. Besides, the release of the M1 chip has given plenty for third party software developers to chew on.

 

I may be stuck in the dark ages with my iPhone 10, iPad Air and windup wristwatch but I do love a gadget. I'm only human.


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