Apple’s “California Streaming” Event Recap

Apple's 'California Streaming' event invitation for September 14th, 2021

Today Apple had their ‘California Streaming’ event. There was a number of products announced including new iPads, new Apple Watch, and new iPhones. Let us go in event order, starting with the 10.2-inch iPad.

10.2-inch iPad

iPad 2021 in Silver and Space Gray

The entry-level iPad is the most popular iPad model. It is not only the most popular due to it being the successor of the original iPad but also because of its low entry price of $329. The new 10.2-inch iPad has the A13 Bionic which provides 20% faster processing over the previous model, for CPU, GPU, and neural engine.

Beyond the speed increases while using the iPad, you should also see some improvements when taking pictures and video, because the camera sensors have been improved as well. The back camera is still an 8MP sensor, but it now includes improved autofocus and better low light performance. The Face Time camera is a different story.

The FaceTime camera is now has a 12MP camera sensor that includes an ultra-wide sensor with a 122 degree field of view. This will work quite well with a feature called CenterStage. CenterStage is already available on the iPad Pro, but it is now available on the 10.2-inch iPad Air as well. CenterStage will automatically adjust the zoom when people enter the field of view.

The 10.2-inch iPad has the same design, is available in two colors, Silver and Space Gray, and comes in 64GB and 256GB sizes. The price is still the same at $329 for the 64GB, and $479 of the 256GB, with the cellular versions being $459 and $609 respectively. You can order it today and it will be available starting September 24th. 

There was another iPad that got an update, the iPad mini. Let us move onto that one next.

Source: Apple Newsroom – iPad

iPad mini

iPad mini 2021 color choices

The iPad mini is Apple’s smallest iPad. Even though it is the smallest that does not mean that it is the slowest. The iPad mini has received the biggest update. The iPad mini now has a similar design to that of the iPad Air. This means that there is a new edge to edge display, and the home button is no longer present. 

The removal of the Home button has two big impacts. The first is the size of the device hasn’t changed, that means the screen is now larger at 8.3-inches diagonally. Also like the iPad Air the iPad mini still has a Touch ID sensor, and the iPad mini’s TouchID sensor is located in the sleep/wake button.

The position of the sleep/wake button has moved from the side to the top of the device. The reason for this is to allow support of the 2nd generation Apple Pencil. Also like the iPad Air, the iPad mini now has USB-C.

The iPad mini has also seen a significant increase in speed due to the new A15 Bionic processor. tHis processor provides a 40% increase in CPU performance, 80% increase in Graphics performance, and up to 2x faster neural engine computations as compared to the previous version.

The iPad mini has two new sensor arrays, the FaceTime camera is the same as the one in the 10.2-inch iPad with the same features for Center Stage. The rear camera is a 12MP Wide camera with an ƒ/1.8 aperture, which is an improvement over the previous generation. To go along with this, there is a True Tone flash, to provide better lighting when taking photos. 

The iPad mini comes in four colors, Space Gray, Pink, Purple, and Starlight. The iPad mini comes in two sizes, 64GB and 256GB, for $499 and $649 respectively. The cellular models, which support 5G, are $649 for the 64GB, and $799 for the 256GB model.

The iPad mini is available to order today and will be available starting on September 24th. Now, onto the Apple Watch.

Source: Apple Newsroom – iPad mini

Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 7 color choices

Apple unveiled the Series 7 Apple Watch. This model of watch comes with a new design. The design includes smaller bezels, which means that the face of the Apple Watch Series 7 is slightly larger. This new design allows for some rethinking and redesign of the various Watch Faces. 

The glass of the Apple Watch Series 7 is stronger. According to Apple it should be more crack resistant. It is also dust resistant due to its IP6X rating, and remains water resistant with the WR50 rating.

The exterior is not the only changes coming to the Apple Watch. The Series 7 is also capable of ‘Fast charging’, up to 33% faster with a new Magnetic charging cable. And with a 15-minute charge you should be able to get an 8-hour charge, which is perfect for charging right before you go to sleep for sleep tracking.

The Apple Watch Series 7 comes in five colors, Midnight, Starlight, Green, Blue, and (PRODUCT)RED. The Apple Watch Series 7 will be priced starting at $399, and will be available “Later this Fall”. 

The Apple Watch Series 7 redesign means that the watch comes in 41mm and 45mm variations, but the good news is that all of your existing Watch bands will be compatible with the new watches. On the topic of watch bands, there are some new ones.

Watch Bands

There are a significant number of new Apple Watch Bands as well. The new watch bands are, as broken down by type:

Solo Loop

  • Abyss Blue
  • Chalk Pink
  • Clover
  • Dark Cherry
  • English Lavender
  • Marigold
  • Starlight

Braided Solo Loop

  • Abyss Blue
  • Dark Cherry
  • English Lavender
  • Maize
  • Pride Edition
  • (PRODUCT)RED

Sport Band

  • Abyss Blue
  • Clover
  • Dark Cherry
  • Marigold
  • Midnight
  • Starlight

Sport Loop

All of these are two-toned and aligned vertically.

  • Abyss Blue/Moss Green
  • Dark Cherry/Forest Green
  • Maize/White
  • Pink Pomelo/Tan
  • (PRODUCT)RED
  • Tornado/Gray

Nike Sport

  • Magic Ember/Crimson Bliss
  • Midnight Navy/Mystic Navy
  • Olive Gray/Cargo Khaki

Nike Sport

All of these now have the Nike “Swoosh” on them.

  • Black
  • Cargo Khaki
  • Summit White

Leather

  • Chalk Modern Buckle
  • Dark Cherry Leather Link
  • Golden Brown Leather Link
  • Midnight Leather Link
  • Midnight Modern Buckle
  • Sequoia Green Leather Link
  • Wisteria Modern Buckle

All of these watch bands are available to order today. Next, onto iPhones, starting with the iPhone 13.

Source: Apple Newsroom – Apple Watch

iPhone 13 Phones

The iPhone 13  is a big update over the iPhone 12 line. There are four total new iPhones, the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max. The physical sizes have not changed they are 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch respectively.

The entire iPhone 13 has the same A15 processor as the iPad mini, so all of the features and speed will apply to these devices as well. Additionally, there is a new 20% smaller notch on the iPhone 13, so you will be able to see more of the screen.

There is a new camera feature across the entire line called Cinematic Video mode. Cinematic Video is a technique that allows the focus of a video to shift from the foreground to the background. This typically takes a lot of setup in order to do, and was not necessarily easily achievable on the iPhone. With the iPhone 13 this can be done by simply tapping on the person to focus on, and then tapping on another person will change focus. The iPhone will even try to automatically detect changes when a person’s focus changes and adjust accordingly.

iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 Color Choices

The iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 are getting an ew Super Retina XDR Display, which is 28% brighter and provides 800 nits of brightness with a peak of 1200 nits. There is still the P3 color gamut, and HDR10. The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini also have 6-core CPUs, with 2 high performance and 4 high efficiency cores. The 16-core Neural Engine is capable of performing 15.8 trillion operations per second.

The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini are getting a re-worked camera system. The first change is that the two lenses are now diagonal from each other instead of vertically aligned. They have a new f/1.6 aperture wide lens, which will allow 47% more light, which should be better in most situations. A feature pioneered with the iPhone 12 Pro Max is making its way to the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13, sensor shift optical image stabilization. This means that there should be better optical image stabilization in all situations. 

All four iPhone 13 models are getting a new feature called “Photographic Styles”. These are preferences that you can set that will allow you to apply specific styles to all of your photos. You can use a combination of features to create your own stye. The best part is that you do not need to set it every time, you can just set it once and then it will be used for all of your photos, by default.

iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max color choices

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are designed to be the most advanced iPhones that Apple produces. They do not disappoint in that. Much like the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 the Pro are also getting a new display. The more efficient OLED display will be able to provide 1000 nits of peak brightness while outdoors. While this is a helpful change, there is a much bigger change, ProMotion.

ProMotion has been available on the iPad Pro models for a while, but it is coming to the iPhone 13 Pro models. ProMotion is the ability for the screen to automatically adjust its refresh rate. In the case of the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max it can go from 10Hz to 120Hz, and it can do this dynamically as needed. The lower refresh rate means that if the screen does not need to refresh it will reduce the rate in order to save battery, but when high refresh speeds are needed, they can make everything look much smoother and faster.

Beyond the screen, the entire rear camera system is getting an improvement. The first improvement is the telephoto lens which is now a 77mm lens. This larger sensor allows 3x optical zoom, which should allow for sharper photos. The Ultra Wide camera is an f/1.8, which allows for 92% better low light performance, and the wide lens is a f/1.5 aperture lens which has 2.2x better low light performance.

Battery life is an important part of any iPhone experience. All of the iPhone models are getting an improvement in battery. The iPhone mini and iPhone 13 Pro should see up to an extra 1.5 hours of battery life, while the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max should see an increase of up to 2.5 hours.

The iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 come in five colors, Blue, Midnight, Pink, (PRODUCT)RED, and Starlight. There are three sizes, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are available in four colors, Gold, Graphite, Sierra Blue, and Silver. There are four available storage sizes, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. Here is as complete breakdown of the pricing:

Device 128GB 256GB 512GB 1TB
iPhone 13 Mini $699 $799 $999
iPhone 13 $799 $899 $1099
iPhone 13 Pro $999 $1099 $1299 $1499
iPhone 13 Pro Max $1099 $1199 $1399 $1599

All of the iPhone 13 models will be available for pre-order on September 17th, with delivery or pickup on September 24th.

Source: Apple Newsroom – iPhone 13 Mini/iPhone 13, Apple Newsroom – iPhone 13 Pro/iPhone 13 Pro Max

Closing Thoughts

Today’s “California Streaming” event was a packed one. It included updates for the iPad, iPad mini, Apple Watch, and iPhones all in 75 minutes. 

The 10.2-inch iPad has seen a bump in processing power with the A13, the new camera system which supports Center Stage for better video conferencing. 

The iPad mini takes cues from the iPad Air with the new significantly reduced bezels, which results in a larger 8.3-inch screen. The iPad Air adds support for the 2nd Generation Apple Pencil, which is accomplished by moving the sleep/wake button to the top and includes Touch ID. The speed improvement on the iPad mini is significant with a 40% increase in CPU, and 80% in GPU performance. The new 10.2-inch iPad and 8.3 iPad mini are available to order today with availability starting on September 24th. 

The Apple Watch Series 7 has some improvement as well, including a new design that is more edge-to-edge. This has resulted in a slight increase in size to 41mm and 45mm, but the good news is that your existing Apple Watch Bands will continue to work with the new Apple Watches.

The screen is a more crack resistant glass, so you can be a bit more rough with it. There is also the new IP6X dust resistance and the WR50 water resistance rating. 

When you need to charge your Apple Watch, it can be done faster with the 33% faster charging, and you can get 8 hours of charge in just 15 minutes. 

The Series 7 Apple Watch will be available in five colors, Blue, Green, Midnight, (PRODUCT)RED, and Starlight and will be available “later this fall”. 

The iPhone 13 line of phones has a significant set of improvements with the new camera sensors which provide better low light photos, and sensor shift optical image stabilization across the entire line. This is all made possible with the 20% smaller FaceTime camera sensor array. Battery life is seeing an improvement of up to 1.5 hours on the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 Pro, and up to 2.5 hours on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max. 

The iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 are available in five colors, Blue, Midnight, Pink, (PRODUCT)RED, and Starlight. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are available in four colors, Gold, Graphite, Sierra Blue, and Silver.

The iPhone 13 lines of phones will be available for pre-order this Friday, September 17th and will begin arriving on September 24th. 

I will have a post about how well my predictions did later this week.