Apple generates a lot of news, and it can be hard to keep up. If your mind was on other things this week, our Saturday-morning roundup of Apple-related headlines will bring you up to date.
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13 reasons why
It’s going to be an oddly imbalanced Apple Breakfast this week, I’m afraid. More like an
iPhone 13 Breakfast, really.
But money talks, and for Apple – and therefore for all of us who follow the company – the yearly iPhone update outweighs all other considerations. September is the month when the big news breaks.
If we’re brutally honest the 13-series handsets, unveiled this week and now
available to pre-order, do not represent a startling step forward from the previous generation. The design is largely the same, with only minor tweaks to the formula established in 2020: the notch is
slightly smaller, the camera module is slightly bigger, the whole chassis has put on a tiny bit of weight.
Apple was weirdly coy about the precise speed improvements provided by the new A15 processor – although speed scores leaked since then suggest
startling graphical performance. ProMotion is a pleasing addition, albeit one that feels a little overdue. Cinematic mode is something Apple could have made more of if the event wasn’t so
ridiculously crowded. The terabyte storage option is nice to have, even if it’s overkill for most, and I am genuinely excited by the (claimed) increases to battery life. But overall it’s probably fair to say that the new phone is
an iPhone 12s in all but name.
Nevertheless we are keeping an open mind here at Macworld. We’ll be writing punishingly thorough reviews as soon as we can get our hands on samples – we’re pumping our contacts and emptying our bank accounts as I write – but until then, enjoy two ever so slightly contradictory articles:
five reasons to buy an iPhone 13, and
five reasons not to buy an iPhone 13. That really is keeping an open mind.
We’ve also got a detailed comparison of the
iPhone 13 and iPhone 12, and an in-depth guide helping you decide
which iPhone 13 model to buy. (Even our overall
iPhone buying guide has been updated to cover the new models.) It’s been quite a week, and frankly we’re pretty relieved that Apple only updates its iPhones once a year.
The iPhone 13’s support acts
iPad mini 6 and
Apple Watch Series 7, two worthwhile product updates that were comprehensively outshone by the iPhone announced on the same evening.
The new iPad mini in particular is a rather impressive bit of work. It’s been completely redesigned, and now offers a bigger screen, improved cameras, 5G, support for the Apple Pencil 2 and the same A15 Bionic chip in the new iPhones. Does that really deserve to be third on the bill? Here’s
where to buy the new iPad mini.
The Apple Watch Series 7 is perhaps less of a stunner, with the predicted ‘sharp-edged’ redesign conspicuous by its absence. The reality of a larger screen and thinner bezels is pretty appealing, however, and the faster charging could be highly significant: the main barrier to sleep tracking on the Apple Watch is the difficulty of finding time to charge in the day, rather than during the night.
For more information on the advances in this generation, read our in-depth comparison of the
Series 6 and Series 7. If you’re convinced that this is the model for you, take a look at our guide showing
where to buy the Apple Watch Series 7.
Last and realistically least comes the
new iPad 10.2in. And okay, it’s not terribly exciting, with an unchanged design (including a Home button!), Apple Pencil 1 rather than 2 support and a positively antique A13 processor. But the front-facing camera has jumped in quality, the screen gains True Tone (although it’s still not laminated, sadly), and the A13 is obviously an improvement on the A12 in the previous model.
Perhaps most importantly, the 9th-gen iPad is
just as affordable as ever, and now offers twice as much storage at the entry level. It’s a sensible choice. And sometimes the boring announcements are the ones that are most important to most people.
For a full run-down of the evening’s revelations, here’s
everything that was announced at Apple’s California Streaming event.
Video of the week
As discussed above, Apple announced its latest additions to its iPhone lineup, as well as a new iPad mini, at its “California Streaming” event on Tuesday. Both devices are powered by Apple’s new A15 Bionic processor.
In the video embedded below, Macworld executive editor Michael Simon and Computerworld executive editor Ken Mingis join Juliet Beauchamp to discuss how the A15 processor compares to its predecessor, the A14, and how Apple may use it in future products.
Plus: Michael, Ken and Juliet discuss Apple’s response to the Pegasus spyware flaw. More on that story in the
Bugs & problems section.
News in brief
At the very start of the week Apple claimed a
resounding victory in its legal dispute with Epic Games, and the fact that Epic promptly
appealed does indeed suggest that, overall, the verdict is favourable to Cupertino. But it’s not as straightforward as you might think, with Apple required to make one potentially significant concession: it must no longer prevent app developers from alerting users to alternative ways to pay.
Apple didn’t actually lose the Epic case –
but what if it had, wonders the Macalope.
Stephan Wiesend explains why the Apple leakers
got it so wrong this year.
Apple gives with one hand and takes away with the other. While announcing the launch of the iPhone 13 series, the company
killed off the iPhone XR, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max.
Has Apple run out of ideas, asks Michael Simon.
It’s time to
stop dreaming about the Apple Car, says Samuel Nyberg, before punching a clown and telling a child there’s no Easter bunny.
Apple continues to roll out
mysterious AirTags updates. We think this one is just designed to increase the number of users who can get future updates, which is a bit meta.
Software, bugs & problems
A momentous software update this week saw Apple (hopefully) slam the door shut on the much-publicised Pegasus spyware. On Monday the company
released iOS 14.8 and iPadOS 14.8, which appear to address the vulnerabilities that have been exploited by Pegasus for about half a year.
Needless to say, we recommend installing these updates at your earliest convenience. Here’s
how to check if your iPhone is infected by Pegasus, and we discuss
whether Apple is to blame for the situation in a separate article.
Moving away from Pegasus, a Swedish hacker this week discovered
serious flaws in iCloud via somewhat unorthodox means. Frans Rosén accidentally deleted the entire Shortcuts database, and instead of getting in trouble, he earned $64k! Next time I break the Macworld content management system I’m going to claim a ‘bug bounty’.
The rumour mill
We were all disappointed that new AirPods didn’t appear at the California Streaming event – one usually accurate analyst, indeed,
confidently predicted their launch the day before, adding breezily that Apple would carry on selling the AirPods 2 alongside the new models. But the third-gen AirPods will
launch later this autumn, according to industry sources.
And that’s not all! A new MacBook Pro with an M1X processor is coming
in a few weeks. That’s according to Mark Gurman, who generally knows his stuff.
These remaining products are likely to make their appearance at an
event in October. Based on some smart detective work and the dates of Apple’s Back to School campaign, Karen Haslam reckons the event
will be held on 12 October. Clear your diary.
Apple deals of the week
I’ve embedded a list of the best current Apple deals below, but other than that, we’re done for this week. See you next Saturday, enjoy your weekend, and stay Appley!
Top 10 Apple Deals
Apple 11in iPad Pro (2021, M1, 2TB) – Wi-Fi + Cellular
We’re not sure if Amazon will bring back the £639 discount we saw in October on this iPad Pro M1 variant, but almost £600 off is still an excellent deal. See our review of the 11in iPad Pro with M1.
Adobe Creative Cloud – All Apps (1 Year)
Was: £49.94 per month
£39.95 per month
Adobe’s slashed 20% off its Creative Cloud subscription prices. The offer ends 14 April.
Apple AirPods 3
The brand-new AirPods 3 offer better battery performance, an updated design, and support for Spatial Audio and Adaptive EQ. Save £10 from Amazon or Boots.
Smarty 12GB data SIM-Only
Was: £8 per month
£4 per month
(50% off for 3 months)
Grab three months of 12GB data for just £4 per month. If you’re after more data, you can see all its plans here. You can cancel anytime.
Apple iPad mini (2021, 6th gen, 64GB, Cellular)
This is the best deal we’ve seen on the iPad mini you can get the 64GB Cellular (RRP £619) for just £464 – which is less than the RRP for the Wi-Fi model!
Apple MacBook Air, M1, 8-core CPU, 7-core GPU, 256GB (2020)
From: John Lewis
For some time a gang of retailers have been offering the entry level MacBook Air for £889, but this month John Lewis has dropped the price to £887, RRP £999. Very has the same deal.
You can also get the £999 MacBook Air with 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU in gold for £889 from Currys or Amazon, and AO.
Apple Watch Series 6 (40mm)
Bag the last gen Watch 6 for under £300 at Amazon’s Spring Sale!
Apple Watch Series 6 (44mm, Cellular)
Amazon’s just slashed £160 off the Watch Series 6 with Cellular connectivity as a part of its Spring Sale.
Apple 10.2in iPad (2021, 256GB, Wi-Fi)
Save over £30 on the latest iPad in Amazon’s Spring Sale. This is the cheapest price around, and the lowest we’ve ever seen this model.
Logitech Combo Touch Keyboard for iPad Pro 11
Save an excellent £74 on this Logitech keyboard for the iPad Pro 11 – this is currently the best discount we can see. The Combo Touch works with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd gen models.
Grab this set of Apple AirTags for just under £80 – that’s a saving of roughly £9 per AirTag, which costs £29 separately.
Apple Watch Series 7 (GPS, 41 mm)
The latest Apple Watch also has a solid £50 discount in Amazon’s Spring Sale. The price did drop as low as £314 early last month but currently, this is the best price around.
Beats Solo 3 Headphones
Get £80 off the Beats Solo3 Wireless on-ear headphones (which we gave four stars in our review). They’re available in a range of colours.
Apple AirPods Pro with MagSafe charging case
From: John Lewis
Amazon’s excellent £64 saving on the AirPods Pro from March is no longer available. Multiple sites are selling for £189 (a £50 saving), including AO and Laptops Direct – but we’d go with John Lewis on account of its two-year guarantee.
Apple Watch SE (44mm, GPS)
Save a solid £20 on last year’s Apple Watch SE from Amazon.
Want a more affordable alternative to the Apple Pencil? Check out the Logitech Crayon, which works with all iPads from 2018 and later.
Apple iPhone 12 mini (256GB)
The 256GB iPhone 12 mini has over £100 off from Amazon.
Apple iPad mini (2021, 6th gen)
From: Currys PC World
A handy saving on Apple’s new iPad mini model for 2021, but note that this price applies to the Starlight colour finish only. eBuyer is matching the deal on certain colours.
Apple iPad Air (2022, 256GB, Wi-Fi + Cellular)
KRCS has knocked money off the 2022 iPad Air. You will find savings across the whole range.
Apple MacBook Air, M1, 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 512GB (2020)
An excellent deal, this. Save money on the MacBook Air with 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU from Very. The discount applies to the silver version only.
This deal is only slightly better than Currys who has the silver model for £1,099.97. John Lewis had the same deal, but it is currently out of stock there.