A mere 11 months passed between the release of Lover and its surprise follow-up, but it feels like a lifetime. Written and recorded remotely during the first few months of the global pandemic, folklore finds the 30-year-old singer-songwriter teaming up with The National’s Aaron Dessner and longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff for a set of ruminative and relatively lo-fi bedroom pop that’s worlds away from its predecessor. When Swift opens “the 1”—a sly hybrid of plaintive piano and her naturally bouncy delivery—with “I’m doing good, I’m on some new shit,” you’d be forgiven for thinking it was another update from quarantine, or a comment on her broadening sensibilities. But Swift’s channeled her considerable energies into writing songs here that double as short stories and character studies, from Proustian flashbacks (“cardigan,” which bears shades of Lana Del Rey) to outcast widows (“the last great american dynasty”) and doomed relationships (“exile,” a heavy-hearted duet with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon). It’s a work of great texture and imagination. “Your braids like a pattern/Love you to the moon and to Saturn,” she sings on “seven,” the tale of two friends plotting an escape. “Passed down like folk songs, the love lasts so long.” For a songwriter who has mined such rich detail from a life lived largely in public, it only makes sense that she’d eventually find inspiration in isolation.
Today Apple has their “Far Out” event at Steve Jobs Theatre in Cupertino. There were three products covered, AirPods, Apple Watch, and iPhone. Let us look at each of these starting with AirPods.
AirPods are a popular set of in-ear headphones that many people like to use. The AirPods Pro were last introduced in October of 2019 and today Apple introduced the 2nd generation AirPods Pro. The 2nd generation AirPods Pro has gained improved battery life with up to six hours of listening time on a single charge. This is up from 4.5 hours on the 1st generation AirPods Pro. The charging case also allows for up to 30 hours of total listening time. On the topic of the charging case that has seen some changes as well.
The AirPods Pro charging case can now be charged via lightning, using MagSafe, or any Qi-compatible charger, including the Apple Watch charger. The 2nd generation AirPods Pro case also includes a lanyard, so you can easily attach them to items like a bag, purse, or any other item.
AirPods Pro are still $249 and they will be available for pre-order on September 9th, and will be available starting on September 23rd. Next, let us look at the Apple Watch.
The largest part of today’s event was spent on the Apple Watch. There were three new models introduced, the Apple Watch Series 8, the Apple Watch SE (2nd generation), and the all new Apple Watch Ultra. Let us look at all of them in turn, starting with the 2nd Generation Apple Watch SE.
Apple Watch SE (2nd Generation)
The new Apple Watch SE is a redesigned Apple Watch. It still has the 40mm or 44mm size as the previous version. It now has an S8 SIP. The S8 system-in-package includes some new features like Crash Detection, which can be used to automatically contact emergency services and your emergency contacts should you get into a crash while wearing the Apple Watch SE.
There are variety of bands and styles, like the Solo Loop which comes in Sunglow, Succulent, Chalk Pink, Storm Blue, Midnight, and Starlight. There are Braided Solo Loops in Rainforest, Slate Blue, Beige, Midnight, Black Unity, Pride Edition, and (PRODUCT)RED. A Slew of Sport Bands, Sport Loops, and Nike Editions.
The Apple Watch SE also has a slightly lower price at $249 for the 40mm and $279 for the 44mm version. This is in comparison to its previous $279 price tag for the 40mm and $309 for the 44mm. The GPS + Cellular models are $299 for the 40mm, and $349 for the 44mm version. You can order the 2nd generation Apple Watch SE today in one of three colors, Midnight, Starlight, and Silver. It will begin delivering on September 16th.
Now, onto the Apple Watch Series 8.
Apple Watch Series 8
The Apple Watch Series 8 is an improvement over the Apple Watch Series 7 in a variety of ways. It still has the same 41mm and 45mm case options. The Apple Watch Series 8 has the same S8 SIP as the 2nd generation Apple Watch SE, which means that it has the same Crash Detection feature.
There is a new “Low Power Mode” on the Apple Watch Series 8. This can increase the battery life up to 36 hours from a full charge, when an iPhone is paired with the Apple Watch. This can be toggled on and off in the Control Center on the Apple Watch. When you enable Low Power Mode it will disable auto-workout detection, the Always-On display, and heart health notifications, amongst other items. You can This feature is available on all Apple Watches from Series 4 and later with watchOS 9.
The Apple Watch Series 8 also brings a new sensor, this time it is a temperature sensor. To quote Apple’s press release:
“Apple Watch Series 8 takes a unique approach to temperature sensing with a two-sensor design — one sensor on the back of the watch, nearest the skin, and another just under the display — reducing bias from the outside environment. Nighttime wrist temperature can be a good indicator of overall body temperature. The sensors in Apple Watch Series 8 sample the wrist temperature during sleep every five seconds and measure changes as small as 0.1° C. In the Health app, users can see nightly shifts in baseline temperature, which can be caused by exercise, jet lag, or even illness.”
The temperature sensor was designed for use for women’s health, specifically this is designed to allow women to keep a record of retrospective ovulation estimates, which can be useful in family planning. Along with this temperature sensing also enables improved period predictions.
Beyond family planning, iOS 16 and watchOS 9 also add additional features for Cycle Tracking. Now users can receive notifications if their logged cycle history shows any deviations, like irregular, prolonged, or spotty periods. Thees can be symptoms of an underlying health condition, which can be discussed with a woman’s physician.
As mentioned above, the Apple Watch Series 8 comes in two sizes, the 41mm and 45mm versions. You can choose from an aluminum case or a stainless steel case. The aluminum case comes in Starlight, Midnight, Silver, and (PRODUCT)RED. Pricing for the Aluminum is $399 for the 41mm GPS, $429 for the 45mm GPS, $499 for the 41mm GPS + Cellular, and $529 for the 45mm GPS + Cellular.
The Stainless Steel colors are Silver Graphite and Gold. The Stainless Steel are GPS + Cellular models. The 41mm is $699, and the 45mm GPS model is $749.
One thing to note is that there are no longer “Nike Editions” of the Apple Watch. There are still Nike Bands, but now you can use the Nike Watch faces on any of the Apple Watches. This is a big change from previous Apple Watches.
The Apple Watch Series 8 is available to order today and will be available starting September 16th. Now, onto the Apple Watch Ultra.
Apple Watch Ultra
The Apple Watch Ultra is a brand new model designed for extreme conditions, and its design is meant for this. The Apple Watch Ultra sports a 49mm watch face, which is 8.8% larger than the 45mm and 17% larger than the 41mm model. The screen is enclosed by the case of the Apple Watch to help protect it against damage when hit against surfaces. Beyond encasing the screen with the case of the Apple Watch, the case material is Titanium which should also help with protecting the Apple Watch Ultra.
The Apple Watch Ultra has the side button and Digital Crown, but it also includes a new Action button. The Action button can be configured to allow you to easily perform a quick action by clicking the Action button. The actions available can be customized in the Apple Watch Ultra’s settings.
The Apple Watch Ultra is designed for extreme sports, like ultra marathons, diving, hiking, and more. Since it was designed to be used in a variety of environments the screen is brighter, up to 2000 nits. There is a “Night mode”, which will remove any harsh lights and change the color to be a Red to make it easier for you.
Since it is possible that you will be out in extreme environments, if you do need help there is an 86-decibel alarm that you can enable that will travel up to 600 feet, or 180 meters, so others can help find you. There is a new Compass app that will allow you to mark waypoints so you can try and find your way back.
The larger screen on the Apple Watch Ultra allows for up to 36 hours of battery life while in full workout, or up to 60 hours with low power mode. This is very helpful if you do not have a charger with you, or if you are in an area where you cannot charge the Apple Watch.
There are three different watch bands designed with the Apple Watch Ultra in mind. These are Alpine Loop, Trail Loop, Ocean Band. The Alpine Loop comes in three different colors, Orange, Starlight, and Green. The Trail Loop comes in Yellow/Beige, Blue/Gray, and Black/Gray. The Ocean band comes in Yellow, White, and Midnight. There are also some bands that you find on the other Apple Watch models, like the Solo Loop, the Braided Solo Loop, Sport Band, and Sport Loop. The Alpine Loop, Trail Loop, and Ocean band are each $99.
The Apple Watch Ultra is available for order today for $799, and will be available beginning on September 23rd. Now, onto the iPhone
Apple introduced four new iPhone 14 models today. The iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max, as predicted there is no iPhone mini model. Let us look at each of the pairings, starting with iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. There are two physical sizes for devices, either 6.1-inch or a 6.7-inch screen. The entire iPhone 14 line up has some commonalities. This includes some camera improvements, Crash Detection, changes to Emergency SOS, and a change to SIM cards.
SIM Card Changes
There is a big change across all of the iPhone 14 models, at least in the United States. There are no longer any physical SIM slots. All devices will now have eSim. This means that you will need to transfer your number from your physical SIM to an eSim.
All of the iPhone 14 devices have new camera sensors, which will be discussed in each section, but one of the common items is a new feature called “Action Mode”. Action Mode is designed to allow you to be right in the action and still have stabilized photos and videos, without any third-party accessory, like a Gimbal stand for stabilization. This means that you can keep up with the action and have the video come out stabilized.
iPhone 14 Pro takes computational photography even further with Photonic Engine, offering a giant leap for mid- to low-light performance in photos across all cameras through a deep integration of hardware and software: up to 2x on the Main camera, up to 3x on the Ultra Wide camera, up to 2x on the Telephoto camera, and up to 2x on the TrueDepth camera. Photonic Engine enables this dramatic increase in quality by applying Deep Fusion earlier in the imaging process to deliver extraordinary detail, and preserve subtle textures, provide better color, and maintain more information in a photo.
Mentioned in the Apple Watch section is the Crash Detection. The iPhone 14 line also supports Crash Detection and can contact emergency services, if you do not cancel it in within 10 seconds.
There may be times when you are outside of cellular cover and you may need some emergency services. There is a new service called “Emergency SOS via Satellite”. This function will allow your iPhone 14 to connect to a satellite and contact emergency services via text message. The iPhone 14 will help you align your iPhone with the satellite to be able to connect. This feature will be free for two years when you buy an iPhone 14 device. There is no indication of how much it will cost after the first two years. This will be available starting in November.
Now, let us look at the iPhone 14 devices.
iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus are the non-pro models of the iPhone 14. The iPhone 14 has a 6.1-inch screen, while the iPhone 14 Plus has a 6.7-inch screen. The iPhone 14 Plus is a new model and matches the same 6.7-inch screen size as the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus have a 4 nanometer A15 Bionic processor. This is a slightly improved A15 Bionic that provides even better efficiency which results in better battery life.
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus have a total of three cameras, the front True Depth camera system, a 12MP Main Camera, and an Ultra Wide camera.The new camera has a larger ƒ/1.5 aperture and 1.9 µm pixels. This enables photo and video improvements in all lighting scenarios. The new front TrueDepth camera features an ƒ/1.9 aperture that now includes autofocus. This means that it can focus even faster than before, including with groups of people and it can make sure each one is focus.
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus come in five colors, Midnight, Purple, Starlight, PRODUCT(RED), and Blue. They come in storage sizes of 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. The iPhone 14 pricing is $799 for 128GB, $899 for 256GB, and $1099 for 512GB. The iPhone 14 Plus is $100 more, so it is $899 for 128GB, $999 for 256GB, and $1199 for 512GB. You can pre-order an iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Plus on Friday, September 9th. The iPhone 14 will begin delivering September 16th, and the iPhone 14 Plus will begin delivering on October 7th.
iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have the same screen size as the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max at 6.1-inches for the iPhone 14 Pro and 6.7-inches for the iPhone 14 Pro Max.This chip features a new 6-core CPU with an accelerated 5-core GPU. The GPU has 50 percent more memory bandwidth, which will make graphic intensive apps and games that much better. The new 16-core Neural Engine provides up to 17 trillion operations per second, which is great with the new Photonic Engine.
There is a new camera system for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. This system includes a 12MP Ultra Wide camera with 1.4 µm pixels, which delivers sharper images with more detail. The telephoto lens has an improved 3x optical zoom capability. The True Depth camera on the front is just like the one on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus and comes with an ƒ/1.9 aperture that, according to Apple, enables better low-light performance for photos and video. The new camera system also allows for a new Cinematic mode, which is 4K at 24 frames per second, which is the standard for many films. This is in addition to the existing 4K at 30 frames per second. There is one last big feature with the Main camera.
The Main camera is a new 48 Megapixel sensor with quad-pixel grouping. This means that each of the pixels is groups of four, which provides more light in low-light situations. Along with this, the 48 Megapixel sensor, with quad-pixel grouping, results in the standard 12 Megapixel images, with more details, and is optimized for professional workflows. The quad-pixel sensor also allows for a new 2x zoom, which will take a 12-megapixel image with the pixels that are in the center of the sensor. This results in a full 4K image with no digital zoom.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max has a completely new feature for the screen, an Always-On display. The Always-On display is similar to that on the Apple Watch, in that it can reduce the refresh rate down to 1Hz. This will be fantastic when you do not need the information on the screen to refresh that often. The screen is one of the biggest uses of battery on an iPhone, so being able to reduce it down to 1Hz should allow you to improved battery life.
The TrueDepth camera location has changed slightly, to be right inline with the status bar at the top of the screen, including screen around the sensor. This new sensor area is call the “Dynamic Island”. This area will dynamically change depending on usage. Things like notifications will adjust and appear out of the Dynamic Island. You can tap on a notification and interact with it. Similarly, the Face ID popup will appear around the Dynamic Island. If you have multiple items that could use attention, one of the items will be off to the right, so you can interact with it as necessary.
The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max come in four colors, Space Black, Silver, Gold, and Deep Purple. They also come in four different sizes, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. The iPhone 14 costs $999 for 128GB, $1099 for 256GB, $1299 for 512GB, and $1499 for the 1TB. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is $100 more for each, meaning $1099 for 128GB, $1199 for 256GB, $1399 for 512GB, and $1599 for the 1TB model. You can pre-order iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max on Friday September 9th, with delivery starting on on September 16th.
Today’s event was packed at just over 90 minutes. 40 minutes was dedicated to the Apple Watch, another 40 minutes to the iPhone, and the last 10 minutes to the AirPods Pro. The Apple Watch models are available for order today, with the AirPods Pro and iPhone 14 line of phones being available for pre-order this Friday, September 9th.
Today Apple sent out invitations to various people in the media about an event happening on September 7th. There were two different invitations sent out, one for an in-person event and another for streaming. The fact that there are two different invitations being sent out indicates that this might be a similar to the World Wide Developer Conference keynote where a selection of press and developers were able to attend the keynote in person.
This event will begin streaming at 10 am Pacific Time on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022. Typically, Apple has Tuesday events, but September 5th is Labor Day in the United States, so it will be on Wednesday the 7th.
As with all other events this one has a theme, “Far Out”. It has also become standard that there is an Augmented Reality experience when you visit the Apple Events page.
This event’s AR object is a star field that you can zoom in on and view. Music will also play if you zoom in far enough.
It is likely that Apple will announce the new line up of iPhones as well as any new Apple Watches. It is not likely that we will see any new iPads given that Apple confirmed that iPadOS will be released later in the fall.
As is the case with all Apple’s events I will have a recap of what was announced sometime after the event, as well as my predictions, sometime before the event.
Today Apple has announced an event for March 8th that they are calling “Peek Performance”. This event will start at 10 am Pacific Time. As has been the case for the last couple of years, this will be a digital event.
As usual, I will have my predictions for what we will see posted sometime before the event.
Just like many of the recent Apple events, if you go to the Apple Events page on your iPhone, you can tap on the icon and see an augmented reality presentation. It may look like something like the photo below.
Today Apple held their ‘Unleashed’ streaming event. Given that it was only 50 minutes, it was packed with a number of announcements. As anticipated it was an event that focused on two areas, Music and Macs. Let us go in order discussed with the event, starting with Apple Music.
Apple Music Voice
Apple announced their streaming service back in at WWDC 2015. At the time they indicated it would be available in July. Since the initial announcement there have been two plans, an individual plan for $9.99 a month and a family plan for $14.99. If you have an Apple One plan, it is included. Today Apple announced a whole new plan called the “Voice” for $4.99
The Voice Plan will allow you to use only your voice and ask Siri to play a playlist, an artist, or any song from the catalog of 90 million songs and even the playlists that Apple Music has to offer.
Apple Music Voice is limited in what it offers. For instance, you do not get Spatial Audio, Lossless Audio, Lyrics, or Music Videos. These require the Individual or Family plan.
Users can subscribe to the Apple Music Voice Plan through Siri by saying “Hey Siri, start my Apple Music Voice trial,” or by signing up through the Apple Music app. Once subscribed to Apple Music Voice, users can request music be played across all of their Siri-enabled devices, including HomePod mini, AirPods, iPhone, or any other Apple device, and when using CarPlay.
Apple Music Voice plan will be available later this fall in 17 countries. It will cost $4.99 per month. If you do sign up for an Apple Music Voice Plan you will need something to play it on, say a HomePod mini. That is the next item on the agenda.
The HomePod mini is a great device for being able to listen to music, audiobooks and podcasts. The HomePod mini can also be used
When introduced there were only two colors available, White and Space Gray. There are three new colors, Blue, Orange, and Yellow. These are functionally the same as the existing Space Gray and White HomePod mini, but these can add some additional pop and color to match your existing palette or style.
These HomePod minis will be available in November for $99 each. Next, is something else you can use to listen to music, AirPods.
Apple has been in the headphones market a long time, ever since the original iPod introduced 20 years ago in October of 2001. Apple’s first pair of Wireless headphones was the AirPods introduced in December of 2016. Two and a half years later the 2nd generation AirPods were introduced in March of 2019. Today, the 3rd generation of AirPods have been introduced.
The third generation AirPods have an all new design similar to those of the AirPods Pro with shorter stems. They also have force touch support on the stems instead of having to tap on your ear. There are two big changes for the 3rd generation AirPods, support for Spatial Audio, improved battery, and wireless charging.
The third-generation AirPods support Spatial audio, so you can be immersed in whatever audio you are listening to, whether it be a song, music, or a podcast. If you are watching a video that support spatial audio you will also become immersed in the audio. This is possible through a new contour design on the AirPods that allow the Spatial audio to be directed right towards your ear.
The battery life has improved to 6 hours on a single charge with the case being able to five full charges for a total of 30 hours of charge. When you need to charge the 3rd generation AirPods you have three options, wired, using the USB-C to lightning cable, using a Qi-compatible charger, or using MagSafe.
The MacBook Pro is the laptop designed for Pro Mac users and it just got a whole lot more pro. There are two all-new designed MacBook Pros, a 14-inch and a 16-inch. These are identical in their capabilities. We will get to those in a moment, but first we need to cover the chips that power these machines. These are the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.
M1 Pro and M1 Max
The M1 Pro and M1 Max chips take the features of the M1 and crank them up. The M1 Pro ranges from an 8 cores CPU and 14-Core GPU, to a 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU. The M1 Pro has a memory bandwidth of 200 Gigabytes per second. The M1 Pro has a hardware video decode engine, a dedicated video encode engine, and a dedicated ProRees encode and decode engine built right into the chip. The maximum amount of memory on the M1 Pro is 32GB.
Meanwhile, the M1 Max comes in a 10-core CPU and 24-core GPU or a 10-Core CPU and 32-Core GPU configuration. The M1 Max has double the memory bandwidth to 400 gigabytes per second, and also doubles the number of video encode engines and the number of ProRes encode and decode engines. The M1 Max can have up to 64GB of memory.
The M1 is a system on a chip and has a unified memory architecture. This means that the memory is shared, resulting in up to 64GB of video memory when you have an M1 Max with 64GB of memory. These chips also have a dedicated display engine. This display engine allows the M1 Pro to have up to two Pro Display XDRs connected at the same time. The M1 Max can support three Pro Display XDRs and 4K tv at the same time.
According to Apple, these chips are up 2x faster in CPU performance, and 4x faster in GPU performance than the standard M1. Apple states that the M1 Max uses 40% less power than a comparable Pro PC with laptop graphics, while using up to 100 watts less power.
The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros are entirely new designs that have a bunch of new features. These features includes new displays, new connectivity, and a new camera.
The displays on the new MacBook Pros are 14.2-inch and 16.2 inch respectively. This is possible because the area around the screen has been reduced to 3.5mm on all sides. These displays use the Mini-LED technology from the iPad Pro to create super thin, but bright displays with up to 1000 nits of standard brightness and a peak of 1600 nits. The new display provides a new resolution of 3024×1964 on the 14-inch, and 3456×2244 on the 16-inch.
Since these are the same technology as the iPad Pro displays, this means that the new MacBook Pros now also feature ProMotion, which can be up to 120Hz refresh. This should make everything super smooth when using macOS. While this adaptive refresh rate is on by default, it can be set if you need a specific refresh rate for what you are working on.
The MacBook Pros have a slew of connectivity. When the 2016 MacBook Pros were introduced they switched entirely to USB-C for everything. This mean that you would need a dongle to connect to have access to any port beside USB-C. That changes with these new models.
Both models feature 3 thunderbolt 4 ports, a headphone jack with support for high-impedance headphones, a dedicated SD card slot, a dedicated HDMI port, and, the best part of all, the return of MagSafe. MagSafe 3 also allows fast charging, meaning that you can get a 50% charge in 30 minutes. Battery life in the 14-inch is up to 17 hours, and the 16-inch will get you up to 21-hours of usage.
The FaceTime camera on the MacBook Pro is in a notch and has been upgraded to a 1080p camera with an f/2.0 lens, which means that it has even better low-light performance. macOS handles the notch by extending the Menu Bar and keeping all of your content visible.
The 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1999 for a machine with an M1 Pro that has an 8-Core CPU, 14-Core GPU, 16GB Unified Memory, and 512GB SSD Storage. There is a slightly better model that is $2499, and comes with a 10-Core CPU, 16-Core GPU, 16GB of Unified Memory, and 1TB SSD Storage.
The MacBook Pro no longer has a TouchBar. In its place are the standard function keys. Physical function keys are generally more usable for professionals as opposed to the Touch Bar. There is still the Touch ID sensor in upper right corner of the keyboard.
With either model you can configure up to 64GB of unified memory and up to 8TB of storage. There is also Apple Care available. There is a new option for Apple Care, an Annual payment for $149 or three years of coverage for $399. You can choose between Space Gray and Silver cases options.
The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro are available to order today with delivery starting next week. As of this writing, which is only a couple hours after the end of the end of the announcement, delivery dates have already slipped to early November for many configurations, and for some M1 Max models it is early December.
The things announced today are a definite improvement. The new Apple Music Voice plan is great for those who may only have a HomePod mini or only want to stream music without having to spend a lot.
The new colors of the HomePod mini can definitely spruce up ones place and the addition of colors is great to see. I hope to keep seeing new color options in the future.
The 3rd generation AirPods are a bit more at $179, instead of the $159 price of the 2nd generation, but they now include the wireless charging case and support for spacial audio. They should be a good improvement over the 2nd generation. I have purchased a pair of these for myself and will have a review of them sometime after I get them. The 2nd generation AirPods is still around at a new price of $129. You can order the 3rd generation AirPods today and they will begin delivery next week.
The star of the show are the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. These chips provide significant performance increases over the standard M1 and even more improvement over the previous Intel versions. The new Mini-LED displays allow for even better performance due to the capabilities of the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, but also due to the addition of ProMotion. The battery life has significantly improved to 17 hours for the 14-inch model and up to 21 hours on the 16-inch model. You can order these starting today and they will begin shipping next week.
While it is quite common, it is not 100% certain that Apple will hold an October event. However, they tend to hole one more often than not. Since 2008 they have held an October event every year except for 2009, 2010, 2015, and 2017. So, 69.2% of the time they do hold an October event.
September is generally reserved for iPhones, the is particular true for 2012 going forward. The October 2011 event was when they introduced the iPhone 4s, but the fact that the iPhone was not going to be available in June was announced in June of that year, at Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference.
The October event can usually include updates on the iPad and the Mac. Last year was an anomaly due to everything related to COVID. Apple had three fall events last year, the September event was iPads, October’s event focused on the iPhone, and the November event was the introduction of the first Apple Silicon Macs.
Since we have already had the iPhone and iPad event, this event will likely focus on Macs. We have already seen some Macs with Apple Silicon. These are the 24-inch iMac, 13-inch MacBook Air, lower-end 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the Mac mini. I think that this event will focus on Macs and there will be some Macs announced. Here are my predictions for the event, starting with the Higher-End MacBook Pro.
Higher-end MacBook Pro
Prior to Apple Silicon there was no simple differentiation that you could point to say one device is considered more of a “pro” machine. However, I think there will be a 14-inch MacBook Pro as that will be the higher-end MacBook Pro. Along with this I think there will be a replacement for the 16-inch MacBook Pro. I think that both of these models will be aimed at professionals.
14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros
The most professional MacBook Pro that Apple has is the 16-inch MacBook Pro. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is designed to be the best machine that Apple has to offer and also provide the greatest flexibility. If you were to get a laptop that could be a desktop replacement the you get a 16-inch MacBook Pro.
As an example, you can configure up to 8TB of storage and up to 64GB of memory. With the 16-inch MacBook Pro you can do just about everything. I think that this will continue to be the case. However, even though the 16-inch MacBook Pro is the highest of the high end, it is not always the most portable. Because of this, I think there will be a smaller 14-inch model.
I do not think that the two models will have many differences, excluding battery, screen, and weight differences. There are many rumors about what might be in these higher-end MacBook Pros.
The most notable of these rumors if the return of some ports, like an HDMI and an SD Card slot. I am not sure if we will actually see both of these. I could see the HDMI making a return, or even the SD Card slot. This would make the devices more similar to what many consider the “best” MacBook Pros, the models introduced before the butterfly keyboard.
I do not think the MacBook Pros are the only Macs to be introduced. I think there will also be a higher-end Mac mini.
Higher-end Mac mini
When Apple introduced the first devices with the Apple Silicon chip called the M1, the included the lower-end Mac mini. Even when they introduced the M1 Mac mini they kept the Intel version in the line up. If they were looking to have only model of Mac mini they would have removed the Intel version. Since they have not, I think as though there is still a newer Mac mini model left to be introduced.
I think it will use the same processor as the MacBook Pros. I think this Mac mini will have two additional USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports, bringing the total to four. If the MacBook Pros have an SD Card slot, my guess is the Mac mini will as well.
Macs require an operating system to run and that operating system will be macOS Monterey.
Given that this is likely to be a Mac-focused event, I think that Apple will announce the date for macOS Monterey at this event. It is already halfway through October and it is likely that macOS Monterey will be released later this month. Possibly on the 20th, 26th, or 27th. It is possible that macOS Monterey will not be released until November as well, given that macOS Big Sur was not released until November 12th.
There is one last possibility of a topic and that would be the AirPods.
It is possible that we might see some new AirPods being released, if they are ready and available in enough quantities. I would not be surprised if Apple wanted to have them out last month with the new line of iPhone 13s but they may not have been ready yet.
If they do introduced these, I think these will be more in the style of the AirPods Pro, but not have the noise cancelling features nor the silicone tips that insert into the ear canal. Instead, I think these will be like the second-generation AirPods and have less of a stem on each individual AirPod.
Here is a recap of what I think we will see at the “Unleashed” event.
New 14-inch MacBook Pro
New 16-inch MacBook Pro
New higher-end Mac mini
macOS Monterey release date
Overall I think
Apple’s “Unleashed” event streams on Monday, October 18th, 2021 at 10am pacific time. As always, I will have a recap of what was announced as well as a prediction results post later in the week.
Today Apple announced that they will be holding an event on Monday, October 18th, 2021 at 10 a.m. Pacific time. The theme for this event is ‘Unleashed’. Just like many of the recent Apple events, if you go to the Apple Events page on your phone, you can tap on the icon and see an augmented reality presentation.
As is the case with all of Apple’s events, I will post my predictions for the event prior to the event.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are a significant number of new Apple Watch Bands as well. The new watch bands are, as broken down by type:
Braided Solo Loop
All of these are two-toned and aligned vertically.
Abyss Blue/Moss Green
Dark Cherry/Forest Green
Magic Ember/Crimson Bliss
Midnight Navy/Mystic Navy
Olive Gray/Cargo Khaki
All of these now have the Nike “Swoosh” on them.
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.
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.
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.
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:
iPhone 13 Mini
iPhone 13 Pro
iPhone 13 Pro Max
All of the iPhone 13 models will be available for pre-order on September 17th, with delivery or pickup on September 24th.
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.
With each Apple event, I make some predictions of what I think will be shown at the event. The ‘California Streaming’ event is no exception. Normally I provide a percentage likelihood of a prediction coming true. I am not going to do that this time. It will just be the prediction itself. On that note, here is what I think we will see announced at the event.
Four New iPhones
I think that we will see the next set of iPhones be announced, specifically four new iPhones. These will be the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max, just like last year’s iPhone.
I think the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max will have a higher refresh-rate. The iPad Pro models have ProMotion, and I am thinking that the Pro iPhones will get it this year.
Apple announced the transition to Apple Silicon at their World Wide Developer Conference in 2020. In November of 2020 the first set of devices were announced, the 13-inch MacBook Air, the two-port 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the Mac mini. In April of this year Apple announced the 24-inch iMac with Apple Silicon.
Even though it would be a good time to release new Macs, I do not think we will see any announced at this event.
I think we will see two new iPads, the standard 10.2-inch iPad, and the iPad mini. There are indications that the 10.2-inch iPad is running low on inventory, which could indicate that there is a new version imminently.
The iPad mini has not been revised in nearly 2 1/2 years. It is likely time that we will see a new iPad mini, possibly with a design that mimics the iPad Pro line, with squared off edges, Face ID, and even possibly USB-C. Checking the Apple Store, there does not seem to be any issues with inventory on this model, but it probably sells fewer units than other models.
I think we will see the Series 7 Apple Watch. I suspect it will be a slight improvement over the Series 6, with two slightly larger sizes, 41mm and 45mm. This would be a 1mm increase over the previous models. Outside of this, I do not think there will be any new sensors, just a faster processor and a new design.
I think the ‘California Streaming’ event will be a bit more subdued. While there will be new hardware, I think it will fall more onto a smaller set of upgrades. Here is a recap of what I predicted.
Four new iPhones, same models as last year.
Higher Refresh Rate on ‘Pro’ models
No New Macs
Refreshed 10.2-inch iPad
Refreshed iPad mini
New Apple Watch with new design
New Apple Watch with new case sizes
As is the case with other events, I will have a full recap post on what Apple announces after the event.
Today Apple sent out invitations to attend an event titled ‘California Streaming’ for 10 am Pacific Time on September 14th, 2021. It will be available to stream on Apple TV or via the Apple Events website. It is likely that Apple will announce a new line of iPhones, but I will be publishing my predictions before Tuesday. What are you expecting to see?