Apple Fall 2021 Event: California Streaming Notes

I think this event was generally lackluster. The focus was on incremental improvements to iPad, Apple Watch, and iPhone with a lot of time and focus on performance for the new devices.

iPad

Key descriptors: Versatility. Connectivity. Performance.
Use cases: Remote learning. Connecting with family.

Apple continues to move forward to develop the market and product for the iPad to be a general purpose computing device for most people. Notice Apple’s emphasis on versatility of the iPad and how the marketing is directed for use with kids/family.

iPad Mini

Key descriptors: Performance. Connectivity.
Use cases: Pilots. Doctors.

I previously had a Mini but it ended up sitting on my desk, never to be used. I don’t think this device makes sense for my lifestyle, but it looks like Apple sees use cases in professionals who could a larger screen than an iPhone but without the bulk of a full iPad or a laptop. Basically: if you need an iPad that fits in your pocket for work, the Mini seems like the right fit for you.

Also: USB-C.

Apple Watch/watchOS

Key descriptors: Connectivity. Encourages you to be active.
Use cases: Cycling.

New detection of when you start bicycling and when you stop. Sounds like some new machine learning models have been churned out.

Apple Watch: Series 7

Key descriptors: Large display. Bright. Durability.
Use cases: Sports. Heart health. Mindfulness.

A larger display for more screen real estate on the Apple Watch. I bet they’re going to keep going and continue getting more packed into that tiny screen space. What are they planning where they need so much (and such bright) text on screen? Hmm?

Apple Fitness+

Oh, look, it’s got Guided Meditation now. More mindfulness! We’re a Peloton house right now, but I can see Apple creeping into the space more and more.

iPhone 13/iOS

Key descriptors: Durable. Performance. Camera.

A fancy new Cinematic Mode. It’s what Portrait Mode did for still photos: capturing things more dramatically with your iPhone camera without much more effort. “I just want to take a video and for it to look good.”

Oh, and hey! Siri is now on-device. I think this is my favorite announcement of the day.

iPhone 13 Pro

Key descriptors: Performance. Brightness. Camera.
Use cases: Professional photographers. Professional filmmakers.

A whole lot of time was spent on the camera. It’s clear that the iPhone Pro is aimed for professionals (it’s named the Pro, after all). It remains the testbed for Apple to bring new features to market–much like how automotive manufacturers would try new features on the race track until they trickled them down to consumer passenger vehicles.

New features/capabilities of note to me were: Macro Photography and Photographic Styles.

I don’t think there’s much here for the general consumer, but I’m still going to continue upgrading with the iPhone Upgrade Program like I do every year.


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