Apple hosted their annual September event last week, announcing a slew of new products, including iPads, iP- hones and Apple Watches, updates to their native services and announced release dates for the various fall software updates.
College students will be happy to hear that the iPad line- up got a major update during this event. For starters, the $329 student-oriented iPad, ($309 on student discount) got some needed updates like a bump to the A13 Bion- ic chip, which is all around 20% faster than the outgoing model which used the A12 Bionic chipset. Apple claims this processor bump makes this iPad 3 times faster than the leading competing Chromebook and up to six times faster than the best-selling Android tablet.
The budget iPad also got a seriously needed front-facing camera bump as well. This new model features a 12 me- ga-pixel, ultrawide camera with Apple’s Center Stage expe- rience. Center Stage detects the subject within the frame and dynamically adjusting the frame as the subject moves around, or as more people join the frame. This will be avail- able for video calling and video recording.
This iPad retains the design from the previous genera- tion so all accessories from the previous generation will be compatible. This iPad will also have double the base stor- age of the previous year starting at 64GBs, shipping Friday, Sept. 24.
Apple then moved on to the all-new iPad Mini. The new Mini features a new iPad Air-style design, deleting the home button and moving Touch ID to the power button. The allows for a larger screen to cover more of the front surface area so the display is now 8.3 inches instead of 7.9 inch- es all in a body that is slightly smaller than the outgoing model.
The new iPad Mini also ditched the Lightning port in lieu of the more standard USB-C and got the latest A15 Bionic chip making it 40% faster in the CPU department and 80% faster GPU department from the previous generation ac- cording to Apple. Also because of the A15 Bionic, the new Mini supports 5G.
The new Mini will ship Friday, Sept. 24 starting at $499 for the 64GB model and will have a 256GB option for $649 and will be available in four colors, Purple, Starlight, Space Gray and Pink. It will also support Apple Pencil 2nd Gener- ation.
Apple added some new features to Apple Fitness+. They
added two new workout types, Pilates and guided medita- tion and they also added group workouts which will allow friends and family to do the same workouts while seeing each other’s Burn Bars, using SharePlay, an update to FaceTime coming in iOS 15.
Apple rounded out their event by talking iPhone 13. It will come in four variants just like last year, iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. All variants will retain their screen sizes from the previous year however the Pro models will have Pro Motion displays which allows them to dynamically switch between refresh rates up to 120 Hz, twice what non- Pro Motion can achieve.
Not much changed this year, the iPhone 13 series also adopted the A15 Bionic chips, got smaller notches but re- tained the boxy design introduced last year. The non-Pro models got slight camera upgrades with wider fields of view and better night mode while the Pro models got night mode on all lenses and a new rack focus feature called Cinematic Mode as well as a macro photography option.
All iPhones in the 13 lineups retain their pricing from last year while the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini now start at 128GBs instead of the 64GBs that their iPhone 12 counterparts started with. They start shipping Friday, Sept. 24 in a wide variety of colors.