Apple’s ‘California Streaming’ Event: The iPhone 13 Series and Watch Series 7 Update
As expected, Apple revealed the new iPhone 13 series at the “California Streaming” event yesterday. This includes a pair of premium Pro flagship models like iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Apple CEO Tim Cook named the series the “most Pro iPhone ever,”, and the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max have significantly faster screens, smaller notches and vibrant colors compared to iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max.
More importantly, Apple is introducing a new Super Retina XDR display with 1,000 nits of brightness for enhanced outdoor viewing. Tim Cook confirmed that this is the brightest iPhone screen ever, and it is twenty-five percent brighter than iPhone 12 series. It is the first time that Apple’s ProMotion is available on the iPhone, offering refresh rates of up to 120Hz to the Pro series. Most smartphones available with high refresh rates similarly have adaptive displays to increase speeds for smoother scrolling when you are performing certain tasks like playing games or watching videos. When you are simply looking at static images, the refresh rates will go as low as 10Hz.
Interestingly, Apple will conduct a second fall event in the following weeks to reveal another round of products. These products which are yet to be announced are MacBook Pro, a revamped iPad mini and possibly a new Mac mini. For now, let us shift our focus to the iPhone 13 series and the Apple Watch Series 7.
iPhone 13, Mini, Pro and Pro Max
Apple introduced a totally new line of iPhones. All the new iPhones will have an A15 Bionic chip, a six-core CPU with two high-performance cores, four high-efficiency cores and a quad-core GPU. The back cameras have definitely been upgraded with wider apertures and new video features. The coolest feature is Cinematic mode which enables phones to have a “rack-focus” where you can slide between focus subjects in a video. It is possible to choose the focus point by tapping on the screen or by holding it down to focus on a subject.
The camera comes with a macro lens, which allows you to capture images from less than an inch away. Apple has made enhancements to the software that identifies people’s skin tones, and you can now apply tone and warmth filters that the camera will remember. Even with a faster chip, 5G connectivity, powerful cameras etc, the iPhone 13 has a much longer battery life than iPhone 12. This is because it can automatically shift to LTE when 5G is not required.
Apple is looking forward to reducing internet dependency on its products. Siri requests will not stay on the device, independent of internet connection. It is the first time in ten years since the inception of Siri in Apple devices. The iPhone 13 Pro has a bigger battery, a Super Retina XDR display with 1,000 nits of brightness which is better than the previous phones. Again, the iPhone 13 series can change the frame rate to 120Hz when you need to play games and down to 10Hz when you don’t require it.
The prices remain the same as the iPhone 12 series. The iPhone 13 starts at $799, the iPhone 13 mini starts at $699 for 128GB. Now, you can get a 512GB variant which was only available on the Pro models. The iPhone 13 Pro will start from $999 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max starts from $1,099. You can pre-order the iPhone 13 series from Sept 17, and it will be available in stores from Sept 24.
Apple Watch Series 7
The all-new Apple Watch Series 7 has a larger display. It offers twenty percent more screen area than the Series 6 and fifty percent more screen area when compared with the Series 3 watch. The dimensions of the watch have not changed much according to Apple. It is just softer, with more rounded corners on the sides. They have redesigned the buttons to make it easier to tap and the watch can fit 50 percent more text on the screen than the Watch 6 series.
The latest Apple Watches have a “crack-resistant front screen, with a robust geometry and IP6X certification for extra dust resistance than the previous model. It comes in new vibrant colors, bands and a new faster charger. Apple confirmed that it is made from 100% recycled aluminium, just like the iPad.
The Apple Watch Series 7 is priced at $399, still waiting for international prices to drop. Though, it will not be coming out until later this year. Moreover, Apple will keep selling the Apple Watch Series 3 for $199 and 2020’s Apple Watch SE for $279.
Since last year, Apple dedicated a $10 per month Fitness Plus service to motivate you to work out. However, this year Apple is adding a meditation option which includes different types of meditations. Similar to other Apple classes, it will be updated weekly on your iPhone and Apple Watch.
Apple always had hidden features to compete with friends on activity and now they are adding group workouts too. Now, it is possible to initiate a workout with or against your friends from an iMessage chat. Apple confirmed that up to 32 people can join and you will also know when some friends are doing better than you.
iPad and iPad Mini
The new 10.2-inch iPad is powered by the A 13 Bionic chip. Apple confirmed that it is 20 percent faster than the previous A12 Bionic chip from the CPU and GPU to the neural engine. The home button has been excluded and has thinner screen bezels to fit a larger 8.3 inch True Tone screen. The screen has an anti-reflective coating and a brightness of 500 nits. It is available in dynamic colors including purple, pink, starlight and space grey.
Apple revealed that the iPad Mini upgrade means that all the iPads are now manufactured from 100% recycled aluminium along with 100% recycled tin. Apple also confirmed that it uses 100% rare earth elements in the enclosure magnets.
The iPads have always been focused on portrait mode. The front-facing camera is always at the top of the device when held vertically and the speakers at the bottom. With the introduction of the iPad Mini, Apple has shifted the selfie camera to the top of the landscape orientation and also included stereo speakers meant to be heard in the landscape too.
In 2020, Apple launched 5G super-fast wireless to the iPhone. In 2021, Apple has included this technology in all the iPads starting with the iPad Pro in April. The iPad Mini has 5G connectivity now, which Apple believes can pull 3.5 GB per second. It will also feature a USB similar to the iPad Pro. The iPad starts at $329, and the iPad Mini starts at $499.
Apart from the new devices, there will also be a public release of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15. Apple has been testing the latest operating system since the launch at WWDC in June. The new features in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 are FaceTime portrait mode and scheduling. Notification summaries, Focus modes, Live Text, and a redesigned Safari. There are some additional features that were not available at launch. It will be included in a future update like SharePlay, which is one of the best iOS 15 features. We are pumped with the new arrival of the iPhone 13 series, the Watch series 7 and the iPad Mini. What do you think about Apple’s latest offerings? Do you think these products will help Apple with customer retention? Do you think it will entice Android users to jump into the Apple ecosystem? Only time will tell. Or we will tell when we cover the next Fall event from Apple in a few weeks time. Stay tuned.
Keval Padia is the founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing mobile app development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lures him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.