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Apple event hits big with iPhone 13 but misses out AirPods 3

A photo of three new iPhone 13's.
(Image credit: Apple)

If you've been living under a rock, you may have missed the highly anticipated Apple event that happened last night. Well we watched it, and took notes so you don't have to, and below you'll find our breakdown of the main announcements and what we think about them – including the iPhone 13, the new iPad, new iPad mini, Apple Watch 7 and the (lack of ) AirPods 3. 

The 'California Streaming' event gave us all the details on Apple's newest products, and we were also introduced to an entire spectrum of new Apple workouts and Apple TV shows and movies. (If that inspires you to get an Apple fix, then check out our best Apple deals.)

The tech giants warmed up the crowd by discussing the success of Apple TV+ as well as some of the shows and movies due to be released in the upcoming months. And though Apple were happy to gloat about the number of awards its shows like Ted Lasso and The Morning Show won/were nominated for, that was far from the highlight of the night for us. Here are our hits and misses of the 2021 Apple event. 

A whole lot of iPhone 13: the big hit of the night

The 5 different colours of the iPhone 13.

(Image credit: Apple)

That's right, they're finally here - the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 mini. The newest generation in the iPhone has arrived with plenty of new updates and tricks that are incredibly exciting. The phones will come in 5 new colours, (Product) Red, Starlight, Midnight, Blue and Pink (not to say we told you so, but we spotted the blue and pink colours last week in the Apple event invite.) The new iPhone will also feature a range of new updates including diagonally placed wide and ultra wide lenses, bigger battery (increasing battery life for up to 2.5 hours), XDR super retina display and a powerful A15 bionic chip. 

Apple took pride in informing us about the innovative new camera modes, including the incredible night mode that allows you to shoot in the dark even better than before and cinematic mode that is capable of shooting in 4k and shifting focus to make your videos look unbelievably professional. The latest phone will also support 5G so you can stream, post and message wherever you are. 

While there are already iPhone 13 hater making a noise, (and with iPhone 14 rumours already stirring) we love the look of it and seriously can't wait to get our hands on one. The all-new camera with its exciting new cinematic mode is about to take mobile photography/videography to the next level. Sure, there were a few things we would've love to have seen on the iPhone 13, like the end of the pesky notch, and perhaps a USB-C charging port, but overall, we fans.

Release date: 24th September; pre-order: 17th September

A graphic of all the updates coming to the iPhone 13.

Apple made nifty graphics for all its newest products. (Image credit: Apple)

A photo of the iPhone 13 Pro's cameras.

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max will come in four gorgeous new colours including graphite, gold, silver and sierra blue. Again, the iPhone will have the super retina XDR display, cinematic camera mode and longer battery life - but the fun doesn't stop there. The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max are the first of the iPhones to use a 7.7mm telephoto lens, as well as an ultra wide and wide lens, that will allow users to shoot macro and night time photography better than ever. The Pro phones will also feature ProMotion, that Apple has described as, "a new technology that delivers refresh rates of up to 120Hz for fluid scrolling, greater responsiveness and smoother motion content." It'll also be the first of the Apple iPhones to have a whopping 1TB of storage. 

Again, we love how Apple have prioritised breaking the barriers of mobile photography/videography with the iPhone 13's triple lenses. We had hoped that the Pro models would be totally notchless, but it looks as though the notch is here to stay for the minute. We are disappointed that we didn't get to see the return of the stunning midnight green colour that arrived with the iPhone 11 Pro Max , but we'll live.

Release date: 24th September; pre-order: 17th September

A graphic designed by Apple about the new iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max.

(Image credit: Apple)

The all new (old) iPad: a design miss

A photo of the new Apple iPad.

(Image credit: Apple)

There's plenty of good to report on the new iPad. It'll sport the A13 bionic chip, boosting the speeds of the previous model, so you can work, play and socialise quicker than ever. Because of the pandemic and the rise in online classes and meetings, Apple have decided to improve the camera of the iPad to 12mp. It will now have the iPad Pro feature of centre stage, meaning that users will have more flexibility when facetiming. Not to mention the iPadOS software that will allow users to use widgets, multitasking and systemwide note-taking. 

Bt the iPad disappointments on the design field - we were hoping for an exciting leap in design to reflect the leaps in tech. However, we're looking forward to the longer battery life, larger screen and seeing the effect that the A13 chip will have on iPad performance, but overall feel like this announcement was lacking the wow-factor. 

Release date: 24th September; pre-order: available now

A graphic containing information about the Apple iPad

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPad mini... is still around?! 

The new iPad Mini.

(Image credit: Apple)

Like the iPad, the iPad mini 2021 has received a 12mp camera update, but this time for both the front and back facing camera. The iPad mini will also gain fancy new true tone flash and record in 4K, so you can plan, record and edit all your videos in one place. It'll also support a USB-C charging port and the Apple Pencil Generation 2.

But the fact that we're talking about this diminutive tablet at all may come as a surprise to many Apple fans, as it was rumoured to be discontinued for a while now. So this is not really a hit or miss, so much as a nice surprise. We've moved from being surprised that we're talking about the mini at all, to being excited that it'll now feel like a teeny version of the iPad Air/Pro, what with its cool new updates (including 5G support). Like Apple said during the event, it really will feel like a smart notepad in your pocket.

Release date: 24th September; pre-order: available now

A graphic made by Apple about the newest iPad Mini.

(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple Watch 7 offers minor 

The Apple Watch Series 7.

(Image credit: Apple)
  • Apple Watch Series 7 - Prices to be announced later in autumn. 

The main thing to report for the Apple Watch 7 is that it will have a larger, curved screen, allowing users to view longer messages with ease, and type using the Swipe type technology. 

There were many rumours surrounding the new Apple watch, with some speculating that the Apple Watch Series 7 would have a new flat edge design which may have been so complex, that it delayed production. However, the new smart watch doesn't feature the sleek flat edges we expected and instead its a bit disappointing. The design feels uninspired, with the only significant upgrade being a larger face and faster charging. Apple spent most of the Apple Watch segment of the event discussing the Apple Fitness+ updates. The new work outs on Fitness+ included guided meditation, Pilates and workouts for the snow season, but didn't exactly pack a power punch. We were also introduced to the new group workouts that will allow Apple users to work out with up to 32 people at once. 

Release date: TBC; pre-order: TBC

A graphic of the Apple Watch Series 7 updates.

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple AirPods 3: the ultimate miss!

It's not uncommon for Apple to keep a little extra up its sleeves to release further down the line, but there was one product that we were disappointed not seeing at the Apple event yesterday - the AirPods 3. There has been plenty of speculation surrounding the AirPods 3, with a long time passing since the last update, and with Apple fans expecting the company to announce new ear buds with a new (potentially stemless) design and spatial audio. I guess we will just have to see if the AirPods 3 are on the horizon but we are hoping that along with the popularity of the AirPod Pro's and AirPod Pro Max's, we won't have to wait long.

If you missed the event, then don't worry you can catch up on the Apple website. If you cant wait for the new products to be officially released, then check below for our best Apple deals. 

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Amelia Bamsey

Amelia Bamsey is the Staff Writer for Creative Bloq. Cornish born-and-bred, Amelia has a passion for all things art, design, photography and music.