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iPhone 13, iPad Mini and all the details of Apple's big announcements last week

Four new iPhones, the Apple Watch 7, new iPads and more were unveiled at Apple's event earlier this week. Here's everything in one place.

iPhone 13
Apple
This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple.

Update, Sept. 21: CNET reviewed the iPhone 13, Mini, Pro and Pro Max. Original story follows.


Apple's iPhone 13 event has been put to bed, and in it we got the expected iPhone 13 announcement, as well as a refreshed 10.2-inch iPad, a big upgrade for the iPad Mini and a new Apple Watch Series 7. There were a few small announcements, too. We saw some upcoming show previews for Apple TV Plus, including the new season of The Morning Show and fresh titles like Foundation, and a comedy series, The Problem With Jon Stewart. (Stewart joked they may need to add a comma to that title.) 

We also got an announcement date for the release of the new mobile operating systems, iOS 15 and iPadOS 15: Sept. 20. Get ready to download and install them on your iPhone and iPad.

Now playing: Watch this: The biggest announcements from Apple's fall 2021 event
12:01

iPhone 13, Mini, Pro and Pro Max

Apple showed off a complete new line of iPhones. They all get updated to a new A15 Bionic chip, a six-core CPU with two high-performance cores, four high-efficiency cores and a quad-core GPU. 

iPhone 13 Pro cameras

The iPhone 13 Pro has wide-angle, ultrawide and telephoto cameras.

Apple/Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

All the back cameras have been significantly upgraded with wider apertures and new video features. The buzziest is Cinematic mode, which will allow phones to have professional-level "rack focus" where you can slide between focus subjects gracefully in a video. You can also choose where to focus by tapping on the screen, or even holding down to lock focus on a subject.

The iPhone 13 Pro camera now has a macro lens, able to shoot a subject from less than an inch away. Apple says it's also made improvements to the software that recognizes people's skin tones, and you can now apply tone and warmth filters that the camera will remember.

Apple says that despite the faster chip, 5G, better cameras and other features, the iPhone 13 has longer battery life than its predecessor. One way it does this is by shifting to LTE "when 5G speeds aren't needed."

Apple Event new iPhone 13 cameras

The iPhone 13 Pro's camera lenses exploded.

Apple/Screenshot by James Martin/CNET

Apple is also getting its device to rely on the internet less. Many Siri requests for example will stay on the device, a first in the 10 years since the voice assistant was first introduced.

The iPhone 13 Pro has a bigger battery, a new Super Retina XDR display with 1,000 nits of peak outdoor brightness, 25% higher than last year. And it can change frame rate on the fly, increasing frame rate to 120Hz when you need to match games and some video, but ramping it down to 10Hz when you don't. 

Now playing: Watch this: Apple reveals iPhone 13
0:55

Prices remain the same as the last generation. The iPhone 13 starts at $799 (£779, AU$1,349). The iPhone 13 Mini starts with double the capacity, 128GB, at $699 (£679, AU$1,199). You can also get a 512GB version now, which used to only be available on the Pro models. The iPhone 13 Pro will keep its $999 (£949, AU$1,699) starting price and the iPhone 13 Pro Max will start at $1,099 (£1,049, AU$1,849). Preorders open this Friday, Sept. 17, and the phone will appear in stores on Sept. 24.

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Apple/Screenshot by Chris Pavey/CNET

Apple Watch Series 7

The new watch has a larger display, with 20% more screen area than the Series 6 and 50% more than Series 3. But the dimensions of the watch have barely changed, Apple says. And it has "softer, more rounded corners" with a "wraparound" feel on the sides.

Apple says it redesigned buttons in the software to make them easier to tap as well, and it can fit 50% more text on screen than last year's watch.

The newest Apple Watches now have a "crack-resistant front crystal," with a "more robust geometry" and IP6X certification for additional dust resistance over the earlier model.

It has a bunch of new colors, bands and even a new charger that's faster. Like the iPad, Apple says it's 100% recycled aluminum.

The Apple Watch Series 7 will be $399, with international prices yet to be announced. It's not coming until later this fall, though. Apple will also keep selling the Apple Watch Series 3 for $199 and last year's Apple Watch SE for $279. 

Now playing: Watch this: Apple Watch Series 7 gets larger display
1:20

Since launching last year, Apple's focused its $10 per month Fitness Plus service on getting you to sweat. But this year, it's adding a meditation option, which will include all sorts of different calmness, kindness and gratitude meditations. Just like Apple's other classes, it'll be updated weekly on your phone and watch.

Apple's always had hidden features to compete with friends in its motion and activity app, and now the company's adding group workouts too. In this case, you can start a workout with (or against) your friends from an iMessage chat conversation. Apple says up to 32 people can participate and you'll even know when friends are ahead of you in a bike class, for example.

Apple Event new iPad

The new iPad Mini.

Apple/Screenshot by James Martin/CNET

iPad and iPad Mini

The new 10.2-inch iPad incorporates the A13 Bionic chip, Apple says, which is 20% faster than the A12 "in every aspect of the chip from the CPU and GPU to the neural engine." (The iPhone 13 has the new A15 Bionic chip.) It has a larger display, with 20% more screen area than the Series 6 and 50% more than Series 3. The dimensions of the watch have barely changed, Apple says. And it has "softer, more rounded corners" with a "wraparound" feel on the sides. 

But the Mini is the bigger upgrade. 

It ditches the home button, and has thinner screen bezels to fit the larger 8.3-inch True Tone screen, which has an antireflective coating and a brightness of 500 nits. It also comes in an array of colors, including purple, pink, "starlight" (a light gray) and space gray.

It also has Touch ID built into the power button, just like last year's iPad Air.

Now playing: Watch this: Revamped iPad Mini revealed
0:43

Apple says that the iPad Mini upgrade means that all the company's iPads are now made from 100% recycled aluminum, as well as 100% recycled tin (for the solder). Apple says it uses 100% recycled rare earth elements in the enclosure magnets (though not everywhere).

Apple's iPads have always been portrait-oriented devices. The front-facing camera's always been at the top of the device when held vertically, and its speakers have always been at the bottom. With the iPad Mini, Apple's moved the selfie camera to the top of the landscape orientation, and added stereo speakers meant to be heard in landscape as well. 

Apple Event iPad mini

The new iPad Mini's colors.

Apple/Screenshot by James Martin/CNET

Last year, Apple introduced faster 5G wireless to the iPhone. This year, it's adding the technology to all its iPads, starting with the iPad Pro in April. Now, the iPad Mini gets 5G, which Apple said can pull down 3.5 gigabits of data per second. It also gets a USB-C port like its iPad Pro big brothers.

The iPad starts at $329 (£319, AU$499) and the iPad Mini starts at $499 (£479, AU$749).

Our liveblog archive follows.


And that's it

11:31 a.m. PT

Apple closes with another tour through California landmarks. Like in its previous videos, it includes production health and safety info, including daily health screenings, face coverings "worn by everyone."


So when can you get it?

11:18 a.m. PT

The iPhone 13 Pro will keep its $999 starting price, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max will start at $1,099.

Preorders start Sept. 17 and ship Sept. 24.


 iPhone 13 Pro as a video camera

11:12 a.m. PT

Apple pushed hard on the idea of using the iPhone 13 Pro as a professional-level video camera. It hired Oscar-winning film director Kathryn Bigelow to try it out, showing how well it handles low-light imagery. 


iPhone 13 Pro camera upgrades

11:09 a.m. PT

Apple's updates for its wide and ultrawide allow for better low light performance, Apple says, and can also do macro photography -- shooting a subject as close as 2 centimeters away. 

Apple says it's also made improvements to the software that recognizes people's skin tones, and you can now apply tone and warmth filters that the camera will remember.


iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max

11:05 a.m. PT

Apple says it's the "most pro design," which is probably the most Apple thing I've heard the company say in a while. 

It comes in four colors: silver, graphite, gold and "sierra blue."

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Apple

The iPhone 13 Pro has a bigger battery, Apple added. And it includes a better GPU than the iPhone 13.

Apple said it's announcing a new "Super Retina XDR display" which has 1000 nits of peak outdoor brightness, 25% higher than last year. And it can change frame rate on the fly, increasing frame rate to 120Hz when you need, but ramping it down when you don't. In its demo, Apple showed it going down to 10Hz.

Better battery life

10:58 a.m. PT

Apple says that despite the faster chip, 5G, better cameras and other features, the iPhone 13 has longer battery life than its predecessor. One way it does this is by shifting to LTE "when 5G speeds aren't needed," Apple said. And the company's A15 Bionic chip is more efficient, Apple said.

Apple is also getting its device to rely on the internet less. Many Siri requests for example will stay on the device, a first in the 10 years since the voice assistant was first introduced.

Apple said it's keeping prices the same this year. iPhone 13 Mini starts at $699, with double the starting capacity to 128GB. (You can also get a 512GB version now, which used to only be available on the Pro models.)


A new automatic focus

10:52 a.m. PT

Apple said Cinematic Mode follows where the subject of a video looks, changing focus when they look away, and again when they look back.

screen-shot-2021-09-14-at-1-51-52-pm-2.png
Apple

Apple said you can also choose where to focus by tapping on the screen, or even holding down to lock focus on a subject. It's all shot in Dolby Vision HDR, Apple says, which is fancy talk for high end video formats.


Camera upgrades and Cinematic Mode

10:50 a.m. PT

Apple says its back cameras have gotten serious upgrades with the iPhone 13. The 12 megapixel camera can take in 47% more light, Apple says, with an F1.6 aperture. 

The ultrawide camera has an F 2.4 aperture.

When it comes to video, Apple says it's adding "cinematic mode," which will allow phones to have professional-level "rack focus" where you can slide between focus subjects gracefully in a video. Apple of course created a demo "movie" to show it off. 


iPhones get new A15 Bionic chip

10:45 a.m. PT

"Frankly, the competition is still playing catchup to our chips," Apple says. This year, the iPhone 13 gets A15 Bionic. 

It has a 6-core CPU, with 2 high-performance cores and 4 high-efficiency cores. Apple says it's up to 50% faster than the leading competition. It also has a 4-core GPU, Apple says. It has 30% faster graphics than the competition.


iPhone 13 is here

10:40 a.m. PT

The new device has two rear lenses, arranged diagonally. It also comes in pink now, along with blue, "midnight," "starlight," and product red.

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Apple

The antennas are made with recycled plastic water bottles, Apple says. And they have a sensor notch that's 20% smaller.


Apple Fitness Plus gets into group workouts

10:36 a.m. PT

Apple's always had hidden features to compete with friends in its motion and activity app, and now Apple's adding group workouts too. In this case, you can start a workout with (or against) your friends from an iMessage chat conversation. 

Apple says up to 32 people can participate and you'll even know when friends are ahead of you in a bike class, for example.


Apple Fitness Plus adds meditation

10:35 a.m. PT

Since launching last year, Apple's focused its $10 per month Fitness Plus service on getting you to sweat. But this year, it's adding a meditation option, which will include all sorts of different calmness, kindness and gratitude meditations. Just like Apple's other classes, it'll be updated weekly on your phone and watch.


Apple Watch gets more durable

10:30 a.m. PT

Apple said its newest Apple Watches now have a "crack resistant front crystal," with a "more robust geometry."

It also has IP6X certification, which means it's duster resistant.

Of course, it has a bunch of new colors, bands and even a new charger that's faster.

Like the iPad, Apple says it's 100% recycled aluminum.

The Apple Watch Series 7 will be $399. Apple will also keep selling the Apple Watch Series 3 for $199, last year's Apple Watch SE for $279.

It's not coming until later this fall, though.

  1. Apple Watch Series 7: a whole new design
  2. Apple Watch 7 launches a full keyboard

Apple Watch Series 7 is real

10:27 a.m. PT

It has a larger display, with 20% more screen area than the Series 6 and 50% more than Series 3.

The dimensions of the watch have barely changed, Apple says. And it has "softer, more rounded corners" with a "wraparound" feel on the sides.

screen-shot-2021-09-14-at-1-24-47-pm-2.png
Apple

Apple says it redesigned buttons in the software to make them easier to tap as well, and it can fit 50% more text on screen than last year's watch.


100% Recycled Aluminum

10:23 a.m. PT

Apple said the iPad Mini upgrade means that all the company's iPads are now made from 100% recycled aluminum, as well as 100% recycled tin (for the solder). Apple says it uses 100% recycled rare earth elements in the enclosure magnets (not everywhere). 


Apple finds landscape

10:19 a.m. PT

Apple's iPads have always been portrait-oriented devices. The front-facing camera's always been at the top of the portrait-oriented device. And its speakers have always been at the bottom. 

With the iPad Mini, Apple's moved the selfie camera to the top of the landscape orientation, and adding stereo speakers meant to be heard in landscape as well. 

It'll start at $499, more expensive than the $399 starting price for the previous generation


iPad Mini gets USB-C, 5G

10:18 a.m. PT

Last year, Apple introduced 5G superfast wireless to the iPhone. This year, it's adding the technology to its iPads. First, with the iPad Mini, which Apple said can pull down 3.5 gigabits per second. It also gets USB like its iPad Pro big brothers.


iPad Mini gets a big upgrade

10:14 a.m. PT

Tim Cook announced the new iPad Mini, which ditches the home button, and has thinner borders. It also comes in an array of colors: purple, pink, "starlight" and space gray.

Apple says it's 8.3 inches, and offers true tone, anti reflective coating, and 500 nits of brightness.

It also has Touch ID built into the power button, just like last year's iPad Air.

The new iPad Mini has a 40% jump in CPU performance, and 80% "leap" in GPU, Apple says.

Apple iPad gets refreshed for 2021 with an A13 chip, 12-megapixel camera, True Tone display


iPad updates

10:09 a.m. PT

Cook starts by talking about how strong the iPad business has been growing, up 40% in the past year. 

"Today, it gets even better," he says.

The new iPad will include the A13 bionic chip, Apple says, which is 20% faster "in every aspect of the chip from the CPU and GPU to the neural engine."

Apple's Melody Kuna, a senior manager of iPad product design, says it's up to 3x faster than the best selling Chromebook and up to 6x faster than the best selling Android tablet. 

It'll also include a better rear and front camera, she said.


Apple TV Plus

10:07 a.m. PT

Apple started by discussing his company's $5 per month video service, Apple TV Plus, showing off a bunch of previews for hit shows like Ted Lasso and The Morning Show, as well as upcoming titles like Foundation, and a comedy series, The Problem With Jon Stewart. (Stewart joked they may need to add a comma to that title.)


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Apple

Love, California

10:04 a.m. PT

Tim Cook starts Apple's event with a video montage of all the things he says Apple loves about California. All its landmarks, singing people, it's definitely a fun place to start.

"California has always been a place for people with big ambitions and big dreams, a place where people are fueled with optimism to make things better, to make things that can change the world. It is such an important part of who we are at Apple, and inspires us in everything we create and do. We're proud to call California our home."


No more pop and rock

9:57 a.m. PT

Apple used to have a playlist prepared for its events with hit songs from hit groups like Coldplay all the way to little-known musicians who'd suddenly find fame in background of Apple ads and events. But ever since Apple started streaming its events amid the pandemic, it's switched to more artsy -- what I'll call corporate classical and pop music. 

For what it's worth, I checked on Apple-owned Shazam to see if maybe this was an artist I'd never heard of. Nope -- Shazam hasn't heard it either. At least it's kinda catchy.


Our show has started

9:50 a.m. PT

Apple's event is nearly ready to begin, and CNET's live pre-show is running now at the top of this page. You can watch live as we discuss all the rumors and expected products. Also, get some insight into the minds of our great reviewers.


Spyware scare

9:17 a.m. PT

While we're all waiting to see what Apple releases, make sure you take this moment to update your iPhones, iPads and other Apple devices. Like, now. Go. I'll wait.

Apple put out a surprise update Monday that closes a security hole in a reported "zero-click" hack. This attack, which is tied to the Pegasus spyware reportedly used to spy on dissidents, world leaders and journalists, can be delivered through a text message. Supposedly, you can't do anything to stop when it arrives -- the hack goes into effect as soon as your phone receives the message. Apple's update closes that hole.

By the way, you can find out if you've been hacked using a free tool available online.


Will there be enough?

9:03 a.m. PT

It used to be that when new iPhones came out, people lined up around the block outside Apple Stores to be among the first to get their hands on the device. It would then typically be promptly sold out and nearly impossible to find for days or even weeks. Apple's gotten better at managing demand, and so many people buy online now that the dramatic iPhone lines are largely a thing of the past. But what of supply?

In the pandemic, we've learned that our international supply chains are rather fragile, and our reliance on overseas manufacturing has led to shortages of all sorts of products, from cars to video game consoles to garlic. So far, indications are Apple's been able to avoid these issues, in part thanks to its aggressive long-term planning. That doesn't mean you'll have easy access to an iPhone at launch, but it shouldn't be as hard to find as, say, a PlayStation 5.

There are rumors the Apple Watch on the other hand may have limited supplies at launch. But that's because of a non-pandemic problem. According to rumors, Apple struggled to get production going smooth in order to produce at high volume


Unusual location

8:31 a.m. PT

Pretty much every virtual event Apple's held so far has been set on its multibillion dollar "spaceship" headquarters in Cupertino, California. But this time Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted out a picture of a different location the company will be holding at least part of its event from: The desert.

It's a good bet this may be a reference to the rumored satellite emergency call capabilities being built into the next iPhones. We'll have to see.