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7 things you missed at Apple's iPhone 13 event
There was a lot of news at yesterday's show, to say the least. Here's a little catch-up of interesting announcements and factoids from Apple's presentation now that the dust has settled.
Yesterday was a very busy day for a lot of us in the tech media. Yesterday was Apple’s September keynote where the company unveiled a slew of new products like the iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7, a redesigned iPad mini, and a new baseline iPad.
The event was jammed into a 1-hour 18-minute runtime which, despite being an all-virtual event, is a bit unusual for iPhone-based keynotes given the significance of new generations of Apple’s smartphones. That being said, there wasn’t all that much to talk about since the iPhone 13, compared to the iPhone 12, isn’t all that much different.
Regardless, there was still a lot to report on, and I have articles up on the site covering all the major announcements for those of you craving details.
Speaking of details, there were a lot of things Apple didn’t go into detail about onstage or simply didn’t mention at all during the keynote. After the event ended, the internet went searching for these factoids and headline-grabbing news bits, and I’ve highlighted seven of the most interesting ones below.
1. iOS 15 drops September 20th
Apple didn’t mention any of its new software updates onstage during its keynote, but it did confirm later on its website (and in press materials) that a solid chunk of them will be rolling out soon. Notably, iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8 will all be released to the public on Monday, September 20th. Right now, it isn’t clear when macOS Monterey and tvOS 15 will be released.
2. iPhone 12 Pro and XR are officially dead
With new iPhones, we usually see Apple reduce the price of some of its older models and outright discontinue others. This year, the iPhone 12 Pro line and the iPhone XR are on the chopping block. No longer can you buy either device from Apple’s own website, whereas the iPhone 12 and 11 remain available at $100 less. It’s also worth noting that the 256GB version of the iPhone SE is no longer available as a result.
3. iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max’s cameras are identical
You might not think it given how Apple tried to separate the two devices last year with the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, but with the iPhone 13 Pro series, you’ll get the same cameras across both models. That means consumers will be left deciding whether they want the smaller iPhone Pro or the bigger one at checkout instead of debating whether they care about camera quality.
This is a good thing, by the way. Not everyone who cares about camera quality wants a big phone (like myself). There’s less diversity between the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max, sure, but decision making at the end of the day will be much simpler for customers.
4. Apple’s Cinematic mode and ProRes have weird limitations
One of Apple’s biggest new features on the iPhone 13 is Cinematic mode which utilizes rack focusing to draw focus to your subject and its background automatically. This makes videos you capture seem more cinematic, which is great until you realize what you’re locked into.
For some reason, Apple won’t let you use Cinematic mode with 4K video enabled. You have to capture these types of shots in 1080p at 30 frames per second.
Another weird limitation has to do with ProRes, a.k.a. the ability to capture high-fidelity color and other data in your video, on the iPhone 13 Pro. You can record ProRes in 4K, but you’re stuck with 1080p if you buy an iPhone 13 Pro with 128GB of storage.
Whether these are technical limitations or storage-saving matters, it should be interesting to see whether Apple ever addresses them.
5. iPhone 13 has dual eSIM support
For the first time ever, you’ll be able to utilize two eSIMs on your iPhone 13 and 13 Pro. This doesn’t mean you’ll be able to use three SIMs, however; Apple is only letting you pick two of the three slots onboard (two electronic, one physical). Still, if you’d rather use eSIMs for all of your cellular connection needs, you’ll appreciate what the iPhone 13 has to offer.
6. The MagSafe Wallet is now compatible with Find My
The MagSafe Wallet, a bit of a controversial accessory for the iPhone, has been updated to coincide with the iPhone 13 release with one new feature: the ability to track it in Find My. That way, if it falls off your iPhone (like it does for many people who bought it), it’ll be easy to locate. Obviously, the wallet still works with the iPhone 12.
7. The Apple Watch Series 7’s processor is the same as the Series 6
This little tidbit is interesting, given how boring the Apple Watch Series 7 seemed after it was revealed that it didn’t boast a redesign with flat edges. According to developer Steve Troughton-Smith, the Series 7 has the same S6 processor as the Series 6. This more than likely means you can expect the same performance from this watch as the previous generation.
Apple definitely seems to have taken a break on the Apple Watch this generation, but can you really blame them? They’re so far ahead of the competition in terms of quality and integration with your phone, they might as well have a year off from “innovating.” They’ll still sell lots of watches at the end of the day, so what does it matter?