Everything Apple announced at its iPhone 13 launch

Posted: 15 September 2021 5:06 am
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Apple launch event 2021_Supplied_1800x1000

From the iPhone 13 to the Apple Watch 7, here are all of Apple's shiny new gadgets unveiled at its "California Streaming" event.

Apple packed a lot of new gadgets into its California Streaming event held overnight. The Apple iPhone 13 was the star of the show, of course, but it also debuted new iPads, iPad Mini and the Apple Watch Series 7.

iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini

Apple didn't lead with the iPhone 13, but it was clearly what most got up early in the morning for.

In design terms, the new feature is a diagonally oriented rear camera array. The iPhone 13 features Apple's Ceramic Shield glass and like prior models is IP68 rated for water and dust resistance. The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini will ship in Pink, Blue, Midnight, Starlight and Product (RED) finishes.

The Super Retina XDR OLED display on the iPhone 13 has a redesigned true depth camera for FaceID capabilities with a 20% smaller notch.

The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini run on the Apple A15 Bionic chip, which Apple claims is built on a 5nm process. It uses a 6-core CPU with 2 high performance and 4 high efficiency cores. It's up to 50% faster "than the leading competition" according to Apple. The A15 Bionic on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini has a 4-core GPU which is up to 30% faster than its competition, although no figures were stated relative to older iPhone models. That'll be an important consideration for upgraders.

On the camera front, those dual cameras feature a 12MP wide standard camera f/1.6 with sensor shift image stabilisation, first seen on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. That's joined by a 12MP ultra-wide camera.

iPhone 13

Cinematic video mode is the iPhone 13's new video feature, adding focus shifting effects – rack focus if you want to be technical about it – and Apple demonstrated how it could be used for a more striking storytelling effect with a fancy "Whodunnit" themed video. The phone itself handles focus transitions in real time, using machine learning to shift focus as you shoot.

On the 5G front, Apple says it's redesigned its antennas and internal technologies across more countries… but wasn't entirely clear on whether Australians will see mmWave in this year's models. We'll have to wait and see on that score.

On the battery front, Apple's claims around its new phone are aggressive. It claims that most iPhone 13 Mini users should see 1.5 hours more battery life than on the iPhone 12 Mini. If you're an iPhone 13 buyer, you'll get on average 2.5 hours more battery endurance. However, Apple still talks about "all day" battery life for these phones, rather than multi-day battery life.

Here's the Australian pricing for every iPhone 13 model. Pre-orders will start from 10pm on Friday 17 September, with actual device availability from 24 September 2021.

iPhone 13 Australian pricing

ModelPrice
Apple iPhone 13 128GB$1,349.00
Apple iPhone 13 256GB$1,519.00
Apple iPhone 13 512GB$1,869.00
Apple iPhone 13 Mini 128GB$1,199.00
Apple iPhone 13 Mini 256GB$1,369.00
Apple iPhone 13 Mini 512GB$1,719.00

iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

iPhone 13 colours

Where the iPhone 13 gets a big redesign around those cameras, the differences are more subtle for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max line in an exterior sense. They do get that smaller TrueDepth camera notch, along with IP68 water resistance and Apple's Ceramic Shield glass.

We have tested all four iPhone 13 cameras and you can see the results here.

The Pro models typically get different colour schemes, and that's true for this year too, with 4 colours available. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max will sell in graphite, gold, silver and a new Sierra blue finishes.

While the iPhone 13 Pro models ship with the A15 Bionic chip, it gets a custom model with a 5-core GPU in the Pro models, 50% faster than competition.

On the display score, the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max feature 6.1- or 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED displays, with up to 1,000 nits peak outdoor brightness and ProMotion high refresh rates. That allows for shifts between 10Hz and 120Hz, managed dynamically by the phone itself in real time.

iPhone 13 Pro Max

Apple really sells the Pro models for camera enthusiasts, so that's where it showed off the most improvements. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max feature a 3-camera array with a 3x optical zoom lens, ultrawide and wide sensors. Apple's claim is that they're capable of up to 2.2x improvement in low light. With a tripod you'll get longer exposures again, still centrally managed by the iPhone.

While other apps have experimented with it, macro photography finally comes to iPhone via the ultrawide lens on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. You'll be able to shoot macro slow motion video as well. All lenses can handle night mode too and you get the same Cinematic mode focus shifting effects with the ability to change focus effects on already shot video.

On the video score, the iPhone 12 Pro/Max phones are capable of up to 4K 30fps ProRes shooting, and they can also capture video in DolbyVision if that's your preferred format.

On the battery life front, once again Apple didn't note actual battery capacity, but it claims that the efficiency of that A15 Bionic chip will still allow for better battery life. However, it's an interesting mix, with iPhone 13 Pro users set to get a 1.5-hour bump in battery life and iPhone 13 Pro Max users getting 2.5 hours more than on the comparable iPhone 12 models. That's a flip of what the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini offer

Here's the Australian pricing for every iPhone 13 Pro model. Pre-orders will start from 10pm on Friday 17 September, with actual device availability from 24 September 2021.

iPhone 13 Pro Australian pricing

ModelPrice
Apple iPhone 13 Pro 128GB$1,699.00
Apple iPhone 13 Pro 256GB$1,869.00
Apple iPhone 13 Pro 512GB$2,219.00
Apple iPhone 13 Pro 1TB$2,569.00
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max 256GB$1,849.00
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max 512GB$2,019.00
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max 512GB$2,369.00
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max 1TB$2,719.00

Apple TV+: New shows, new seasons

Apple TV

It wasn't all just an iPhone 13 show. Apple led with Apple TV+. While it didn't announce new Apple TV hardware, Tim Cook did announce that Ted Lasso has 20 Emmy nominations, before showing off trailers for new Apple TV+ series and seasons, including new Ted Lasso and The Morning Show Foundation, The Problem With Jon Stewart, Invasion, Swagger, Finch and more.

Apple's basic iPad refreshed

Apple iPad 2021

It wasn't clear if Apple would do much more than announce new iPhones or Apple Watches, but Apple actually kicked off with new iPad models. The Apple iPad Pro hit M1 earlier this year, but the freshly redesigned Apple iPad – still just called the "Apple iPad" – does get a processor bump. The new iPad runs on Apple's A13 Bionic CPU. It's got claimed 20% faster performance than last year's base model iPad.

Apple got somewhat specific here, claiming that it's 3x faster than the "best selling Chromebook" and up to 6x faster than "the best selling Android tablet". TouchID is still very much present if you're not a fan of FaceID as found on the iPad Pro. The use of the A13 Bionic means that it's (in some ways) a big iPhone 11.

The front-facing camera has been upgraded to a 12MP ultrawide camera, also adding Center Stage zooming, first seen on the iPad Pro. The new display is also TrueColor capable. Lightning connectivity is still the standard, which means peripherals such as the 1st gen Apple Pencil will still work. It'll ship with iPadOS 15 onboard.

The new iPad will be available with either 64GB or 256GB of storage with pricing from $499 for a Wi-Fi model in Australia, or from $699 in an LTE model. It's available to order today, and in stores from 24 September 2021.

Apple goes big with iPad Mini

iPad Mini 2021

Apple's smallest iPad also got a refresh, although it's also still called just the iPad Mini. It's been redesigned with an "all screen design" and new colours – purple, pink, starlight and space grey. It features an 8.3-inch display and a "liquid retina" 500 nit display. TouchID has been shifted to the power button, in a similar style to the iPad Air.

Like the new iPad, it runs on an upgraded processor, although Apple was a little coy about which one it was at the event. Interestingly, according to Apple's spec sheets for the iPad Mini, it's the A15 Bionic, the same chip found in the iPhone 13 family.

Apple claimed some 40% CPU and 80% GPU upgrade over prior iPad Mini models. Unlike the iPad, it gets USB C connectivity rather than Lightning, which means that it'll only work with the 2nd generation Apple Pencil.

The new iPad Mini also gets 5G with claimed download speeds of up to 3.5GB/s – which means that at least some models will be mmWave compatible, although we'll have to wait and see if that's true for Australian models.

On the camera front, the single rear camera has a 12MP f/1.8 sensor, while the front camera has a 12MP 122-degree-capable ultrawide camera.

The iPad Mini will be available to order with pricing starting from $749 from today, shipping from 24 September.

You can read our full review of the iPad Mini 6 here.

Apple Watch Series 7

Apple Watch Series 7

Apple is also upgrading its Apple Watch family, although this is the one new gadget you won't be able to get on 24 September. Instead, the Apple Watch Series 7 will launch "later this year", with local pricing to be determined. In the US, it'll cost from US$399.

Bigger and better was the tagline for the Apple Watch Series 7, with a new "retina" display that's 20% larger with 1.7mm bezels and a slight change to the shape with rounded corners. The larger screen size can accommodate larger app displays, as well as a full keyboard that can either be typed or used in a slide-around fashion.

Apple Watch 7

The Series 7 Watch also gets new watch faces exclusive to the new models. It's also a more durable Apple Watch. Apple says it's fitted a "crack resistant" crystal display and dust and water resistance, so it can be used for swimming. Battery life is still rated at 18 hours, although Apple claims that it'll charge faster than prior models.

There's a plethora of new colours and bands, as well as new Nike and Hermes models. Despite the design change, the band connector hasn't changed, so existing Apple Watch bands will work with the new models.

With new Apple Watch models inbound, old ones get removed, although Apple will keep the Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple Watch SE around as the lower cost models.

Apple Fitness+ gets even more physical

Apple Fitness Plus

Apple Fitness+ was also upgraded, and also announced for 15 new countries with workouts in English and subtitle availability. Pilates and guided meditation will be added to Apple Fitness+. The Apple Watch will also get a new mindfulness app to support the new meditation services.

If you have friends with an Apple Fitness+ subscription, you'll also be able to compete with group workouts with up to 30 of your friends. Although if they outpace you on the virtual track, will they still be your friends?

But wait! Was there one more thing?

No, there wasn't. Apple did pack quite a lot into the California Streaming event, but if you were hanging out for, say, a 16-inch M1 MacBook Pro or upgraded iPad Pro models, you'll just have to keep on waiting.

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