It’s that time of the year again: The time for us to nurse hangovers while watching a big, important Apple announcement event. (The hangovers and the event are not linked by way of causality, but it doesn’t not hurt to be in a twilight brain zone while watching Tim Cook bound across a virtual stage.)
Since last fall’s big Apple keynote, which was split into two for depressing pandemic reasons, there has been quite a lot of Apple tech to love, including Apple Fitness+, which lets you brutally compete with pals, the extremely good iPad Air, and the formidable AirPods Max. Plus, magnets (fuck yes, magnets) on iPhones. Alternatively, we still must contend with the whole “trillion dollar company attempting to run our lives” thing, which includes but is not limited to accepting its stranglehold on text messaging and its decidedly flimsier grasp on our security (update iOS, kids).
So what’s the big to-do of Apple’s fall 2021 Keynote? Are the iPhones bigger? Are they smaller? Do they, wonders of wonders, allow you to iMessage Android users? Do Apple Watches now have so many new health trackers that your insurance company will have to cover the cost of one in the name of preventative care? Read on to find out all the thrilling and none of the boring announcements with our recap of the September 2021 Apple Keynote.
This is the 17th iPad, probably, because Apple has to release a new one each year, and Apple is sticking to “new iPad” as a name too, it seems. As you’d expect, the new iPad’s camera is better, for all the dads who might want to take pics with a 12MP ultra wide camera. It’ll also feature Center Stage from iPad Pro, a feature that pans and zooms during video calls and also TikTok. But the biggest news is that the base model will have more storage, with the cheapest model coming with 64GB instead of 32GB.
The new iPad starts at $329 for 64GB (and $299 for schools).
We’re really excited to use the new iPad Mini as a giant smartphone. This latest generation follows the same design overhaul we’ve seen with the new iPhones, iPad Pro, and iPad Air—i.e. squared corners, magnetized sides, and magnetized keyboard support. Additionally, the Apple Pencil 2 is now compatible with the iPad Mini. The iPad Mini will get some CPU and GPU jumps—considerable, seeing as the last iPad Mini was released back in March 2019—along with the USB-C port and 5G connection.
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The new iPad Mini starts at $499.
Apple Watch Series 7
As iPhones become more square, the Apple Watch becomes more round. Soon, it will just be a circle, like a normal watch, and won’t that be revolutionary. Apple’s aggressive war against bezels continues, as these next-gen Watch bezels are almost non-existent. And the Apple Watch 7 can fast-charge now, letting it power up in 45 minutes, so that’s cool. This update also has better battery life in general, and better dust resistance, and new colors, and new faces and new bands. So basically, it’s the new yearly Apple Watch but with the number 7 and available in green.
The new Apple Watch 7 joins the more basic Apple Watch 3 and Apple Watch SE models, and it will start at the normal new watch price of $399.
iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini
The iPhone 13 is a better phone than the iPhone 12. Obviously. The screen is a bit brighter but no bigger or smaller, it comes in more colors, and the selfie camera takes up less space on the screen. It’ll still be fast, it’ll still have a good battery, and it’ll still run on 5G. Most notably, an iPhone 13 owner will get a camera on par with last generation’s iPhone 12 Pro. In fact, even a bit better than the iPhone 12 Pro’s camera, and those improvements extend to video, including a “Cinematic Mode” that lets you choose focal points even after shooting. (This is also a feature of the Pro models, below.) So that’s nice. But Apple didn’t reinvent the wheel here.
The base iPhone 13 starts at $799 and has 128GB, double the storage of the base iPhone 12. The iPhone 13 Mini starts at $699.
iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone Pro Max
Now with a DSLR lens canister attached! The most Pro design of all time! The new iPhone 13 Pro, known for its unmissable trio of cameras, will now have even more shit to play around with while you attempt to take pretty pictures and film enthralling videos. For instance, the camera has a new feature called “Photographic Styles,” which allows you to tweak settings before you shoot—ideal if you find yourself editing your photos in the same way every time. This phone also has a new Super Retina XDR screen (no screen size difference, though) and ProMotion software, previously only seen in the iPad Pro, for a faster refresh rate, which ought to make reading articles and playing video games and watching videos all the more engrossing.
The iPhone Pro starts at $999 and the iPhone Pro Max starts at $1,099. There’s now a 1TB storage option, too. Mega-storage.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.
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