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Apple announces Unleashed event for October 18
by Paul Hill
If you feel like there’s an Apple or Samsung event every other month, that’s because there basically is. Following on from an event in April, WWDC in June and an event in mid-September, Apple’s is now preparing to show off even more on October 18. While Apple is being incredibly vague about what it will show off, commentators expect there to be several new Macs shown off and possibly a refresh of its in-house processor.
Heading over to the Apple Events website, there’s a graphic of what looks like the Apple logo travelling at Hyperspace (which Star Wars fans will recognise) followed by the time and date of the event and where you can watch it. It’s set to take place at 10 a.m. PDT on October 18 and will be viewable from Apple.com or the Apple TV app, while not mentioned, it will likely be available on Apple’s YouTube channel too.
Speculators believe Apple will focus on the larger MacBook Pros and the Mac Pro at this event and grace them with Apple chips. This is because Apple said last June that it would move all its computers over to its own processors within the next two years and those aforementioned are still to get the new chips, therefore, it seems likely that they will be the focus.
The new MacBook Pros (possibly 14” and 16”) could re-introduce MagSafe charging, an HDMI port and an SD Card slot. These extra options should make them more suited to the needs of professionals.
Finally, rumours suggest that Apple may show off an upgraded version of the AirPods that borrow from the design of the AirPods Pro. We won’t know exactly what’s coming, however, until the event itself. Neowin will be covering the event so stay tuned for our coverage next Monday.
By Abhay V
iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max bring 120Hz high refresh rate displays and more
by Abhay V
Apple today announced its flagship iPhone models, the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max. The devices bring updates across the board in the form of a new display, upgraded cameras, improved computational photography capabilities thanks to the new A15 Bionic SoC, a 20 percent smaller notch that houses the FaceID sensors, and more. There is also a top-of-the-line 1TB storage option in the lineup.
The significant display upgrades come in the way of a new 120Hz adaptive refresh rate display that is touted to reach up to 1,000 nits in brightness. Just like Samsung's flagships, the refresh rate is adaptive, meaning it can range from 10Hz to 120Hz, depending on the content and the interactions on the screen, which saves battery. The firm calls it the "Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion". The screen sizes, however, remain the same at 6.1-inches for the iPhone 13 Pro and 6.7-inches for the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
The Cupertino giant is also boasting of massive improvements to the camera array on the iPhone 13 Pro lineup, thanks to larger sensors on the ultra-wide and wide-angle shooters, and a new telephoto lens that is capable of 3x lossless zoom. The company adds that the ultra-wide shooter can capture "92%" more light and also, for the first time, offers autofocus capabilities. The optics also allows for improved macro photography. The main camera, on the other hand, is said to offer a "2.2x" improvement over its predecessor, thanks to its f/1.5 aperture.
The phones also bring new computation photography improvements, including the Cinematic mode found in the iPhone 13 lineup for automatic focus shifting and improved depth of field. The cameras can also shoot in the ProRes codec to deliver higher color fidelity and lower compression, the firm adds, further touting the abilities of the shooters. The A15 Bionic also enabled Smart HDR4 and features such as Deep Fusion, Portrait Lighting, and Dolby Vision HDR recording. All three cameras now offer Night mode capabilities.
The A15 Bionic SoC in the iPhone 13 Pro series comes with the same six-core CPU as in the iPhone 13 series that houses two high-performance and four high-efficiency cores to make it 50 percent faster "than the leading competition". However, on the GPU side of things, the Pro series gets a five-core GPU, up from the four-core version in the iPhone 13 series. This, the firm says, makes it a GPU with the "fastest graphics performance in any smartphone". the SoC also sports a 16-core Neural Engine.
The efficiency gains in the A15 Bionic also bring battery improvements, with the company claiming that the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are said to last one and a half hours and two and a half hours longer than their predecessors, respectively. Like the iPhone 13 series, these devices are offered with a base storage of 128GB. As mentioned, the top-of-the-line model maxes out at 1TB. As for other features, there are additional 5G bands to make the device compatible in more markets, Ceramic Sheild glass on the front, and IP68 water and dust resistance rating.
The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max will be sold in graphite, gold, silver, and sierra blue colors for $999 and $1,099 respectively. Pre-orders for the devices start on September 17, with the phones becoming available on September 24.
Apple Watch Series 7 touted as company's “most durable” to date
by Paul Hill
Apple has unveiled its Apple Watch Series 7. The firm said that this iteration has 20% more screen area over the last iteration and that the borders are just 1.7mm thick – 40% less than on the Series 6. Customers will be glad to hear that the new Apple Watch Series 7 is 70% brighter when indoors meaning that it should be a bit easier to see outdoors too while you’re trying to track information while exercising.
With Apple Watch Series 7, you can charge up using fast charging via USB-C. If you plug the charger in for just eight minutes, you will have enough power to track eight hours worth of sleep; overall, it charges 33% quicker than the Series 6.
If you have an older Apple Watch, your existing bands will be compatible with the Series 7 which is nice if you’re environmentally conscious and don’t want to throw away your old bands. Speaking of being environmentally friendly, Apple said that its Watch cases are made with 100% recycled metals which should reduce its mining footprint.
The Series 7 starts at $399 in the United States and will go on sale later in the fall. At that price, you’ll likely be hoping that it can withstand a bit of wear and tear – it can, thankfully. Apple says this is its “most durable” Apple Watch to date as it is crack resistant to its improved geometrical design and it has IP6X and WR50 certification.
By Abhay V
Apple unveils iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini with a smaller notch and camera upgrades
by Abhay V
Apple took to the stage to announce a bunch of new devices and updates to services. This includes the new iPad and iPad mini, the Watch Series 7, updates to Fitness+, and more. However, the main focus of today's event was the iPhone. The first of the lot announced by the firm is the iPhone 13 series. Just like last year, there are two models - the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 mini.
The upgrades to the iPhone 13 series this year are modest. The Cupertino giant has reduced the width of the notch that houses the FaceID sensors, leaving more screen real estate at the top, thanks to a "redesigned" TrueDepth camera system. The phones retain the display sizes, with the iPhone 13 sporting a 6.1-inch display and the iPhone 13 mini housing a 5.4-inch panel. The firm says that it has improved the "Super Retina XDR OLED" display and made it 28 percent brighter.
The camera system is also seeing an upgrade in the form of a new sensor for the wide camera, which is the one that was used in the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The sensor is touted to be 47 percent larger than what was in the device's predecessor, bringing overall improvements to exposure. The camera system also houses the sensor-shift stabilization technology that debuted in the iPhone 12 Pro series. Both shooters now bring Night Mode. The device also adds a new Cinematic mode that features automatic changes to the depth of field and allows users to adjust focus after an image has been shot right from the Photos app on iOS.
As for the internals, the devices are equipped with the A15 Bionic SoC that helps improve image processing thanks to its new ISP, allowing for 'Smart HDR 4' that helps improve color, contrast, and lighting in post-processing. As for the chip itself, the firm claims that the six-core CPU is 50 percent faster and the four-core GPU is 30 percent "than the competition". Apple is also boasting of battery life improvements, with the iPhone 13 promising two and a half more hours over the iPhone 12, and the iPhone 13 mini bringing one and a half more hours on a change over the iPhone 12 mini.
Other features include support for 5G, IP68 water and dust resistance, and Apple's Ceramic Shield glass covering the front of the display. Another significant change in terms of specifications is that the base variant comes with 128GB of storage. There is no 64GB variant across the entire lineup.
The iPhone 13 series comes in five colors - pink, blue, midnight, starlight, and (PRODUCT)RED. The larger of the two devices, the iPhone 13, starts at $799 and the iPhone 13 mini will start at $699. The devices can be preordered starting September 17, with availability set for September 24.
Apple unveils all new iPad and iPad Mini with better processors
by Paul Hill
Apple has unveiled a new iPad and iPad Mini at its September 2021 event today. The new iPad and iPad Mini come with the new A13 Bionic and A15 Bionic processors respectively to boost the performance of the devices. The processors deliver a 20% speed boost for the iPad’s CPU, GPU, and Neural Engine processing while the iPad Mini’s CPU performance is increased by 40% and its GPU processing is 80% faster, ensuring you can run more demanding apps and games.
Aside from the improved processing power, the new iPad features a 10.2” Retina display with True Tone support which adjusts the display depending on the ambient lighting. This makes images appear more natural on the display and provides a more comfortable viewing experience.
Another big change with this iPad is that it includes a 12MP ultra-wide front camera with support for Center Stage. If you’ve never heard of it, Center Stage uses the ultra-wide camera and Neural Engine to automatically pan as the subject moves around the view. When more people step into view, Center Stage will detect them and smoothly zoom out to include them in the conversation. Center Stage works with FaceTime and third-party video calling apps to enhance your video calls.
The final thing worth mentioning is that the new iPad starts at 64GB of storage compared to 32GB of the previous generation. A 256GB version is also available for users who want to cram lots of apps, videos, and photos on their iPad. Apple says this increased storage will make the iPad more important to customers.
The iPad is now available for pre-order with the WiFi models starting at $329 and the WiFi + Cellular models starting at $459. Those who order won’t have to wait long as they're set to ship next week.
Apple also refreshed its iPad Mini to include an all-new design that features a larger 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display. Aside from the processing boosts we mentioned at the top of the article, the new iPad Mini comes with a USB-C port that allows you to connect a wider range of accessories and allows for speedier data transfers. For those downloading files wirelessly, the cellular editions of the iPad Mini offer 5G download speeds.
With the new design, Apple has narrowed the bezels around the display so that content is more engaging. Despite the larger screen, the iPad Mini retains its compact footprint that users have got used to in previous iterations. To make content look great, iPad Mini supports 500 nits of brightness, P3 wide color gamut, an anti-reflective screen coating, True Tone, and full lamination.
The new design also means users get landscape stereo speakers to provide a nice movie-viewing experience. Apple has also included Touch ID on the top button of the iPad which makes it easy to access.
Just like the iPad, the iPad Mini has an ultra-wide front camera and support for Center Stage. It also supports the second-generation Apple Pencil allowing you to do detailed work on the go – it supports wireless charging and pairing of the Apple Pencil plus support for double tap.
The new iPad Mini starts at $499 for the WiFi model and $649 for the WiFi + Cellular model. If you’d like extra protection for your new iPad Mini, you can get a new Smart Folio cover that supports open-to-wake and close-to-sleep functionality. They’re available in black, white, dark cherry, English lavender, and electric orange.