Apple announced four new handsets to its 13th iteration of iPhones this Tuesday at an online event. But while the new iPhones may have been the stars of the “California Streaming” event, Apple also announced the all-new iPad, the iPad mini, Apple Watch Series 7, and updated its Fitness+ subscription service with more features and services. Let’s take a closer look.
Apple announced the ninth generation of its most popular and entry-level standard iPad that first debuted in 2010. While the design has remained the same as we have seen in the previous generation’s iPad, this new device is powered by Apple’s very own A13 Bionic chipset. Apple, during the launch, claimed that this new chipset is 20 percent faster in terms of CPU performance than the existing iPad. Moreover, the company also claims that this new iPad is up to three times faster than the best Chromebook available in the market and up to six times faster than the best-selling Android tablet.
Speaking of the display, the device sports a 10.2-inch Retina display with a True Tone feature that automatically adjusts the screen’s color temperature to ambient lighting. This new device ships with the iPadOS 15, which was announced earlier this year. The new iPad also supports the first generation Apple Pen and comes with a bumped up 64GB of onboard base storage.
Another major improvement in this year’s iPad is its 12MP front camera with the Center Stage feature. Center Stage debuted in last year’s iPad Pro and is enabled by an ultrawide camera and neural engine. It helps you make video calls and record videos more efficiently where the camera can digitally pan and tilt to track the subjects in the frame in both landscape and portrait modes.
This new iPad will be available in space grey and silver color options and starts at $329 for the WiFi version and $459 for the WiFi+cellular version. It is up for pre-order now and will be available for users to buy starting Sept. 24.
Apple also announced the all-new iPad mini, which sports a larger 8.3-inch display and comes in an all-new enclosure with narrower bezels. Apple says the iPad mini can provide a full-fledged iPad experience in a smaller and more compact form factor. The device comes with a liquid retina display with only 1.8% screen reflectivity, which, according to Apple, is the best in the industry.
The iPad mini is powered by a Hexacore A15 Bionic chipset paired with 5-core graphics and a 6-core neural engine for powerful ML operations. Another major improvement on the new iPad mini is the USB Type-C port for connectivity for up to 10 times faster data transfer speeds. Imaging on the device is powered by a 12MP-wide camera on the rear and a 12MP-ultrawide camera on the front. The front camera will support Apple’s Center Stage feature and the second-generation Apple Pencil, which attaches magnetically to the iPad and charges wirelessly.
The iPad mini will be available in space grey, pink, purple, and starlight color editions and starts at $499 for the WiFi edition and $649 for the WiFi + cellular edition. The device is up for pre-order now and will be available starting Sept. 24.
Apple Watch Series 7
Apple also debuted its seventh-generation smartwatch, which the company said is its most durable Apple Watch yet. This new watch comes with 20 percent more screen than the previous generation Apple Watch with only 1.7mm borders to maximize the screen area. While there isn’t any evident change in the design, this new watch comes with a softer finish. The always-on display on the device is now 70% brighter, and Apple says it can cram 50 percent more text onto the display than the previous Series 6.
On the software front, Apple also said that this new watch has enlarged in-app buttons and a full keyboard for easy accessibility. This new keyboard supports swiping and is powered by machine learning to predict the words you are typing. The Apple Watch Series 7 comes with a bunch of new watch faces. The device houses a crack-resistant front crystal and it is also going to be the first Apple Watch to have an IP6X rating, making it dust-resistant.
Apple Watch Series 7 will be available in 41mm and 45mm, 1mm larger than the existing Series 6. This new watch is expected to offer up to 18 hours of battery life on a single charge and will be available later this fall. As far as the pricing, the new Series 7 will start at $399.
On top of these major announcements, Apple also announced a bunch of new updates to the already existing Apple Fitness+ subscription service. Apple announced a Group Workout feature that supports up to 32 people in a common group workout at once. Apple is also adding 15 more countries and subtitles in six more languages. Moreover, new workouts have been added to the service, such as guided meditation, Pilates, and other programs to prepare for winter sports such as snowboarding.