A particularly sober Tim Cook, in jeans and a blue sweatshirt, speaks from the deserted stage of the Steve Jobs Theater. The beginning is a celebration of California, its landscapes and its character: “This has always been a land for people with great ambitions,” says the CEO of Apple. And it kicks off the event by telling the past successes and new productions of Apple TV +, the video streaming platform of Cupertino.
And then it’s immediately time for the iPad. Which is not just a tablet, but – as Cook notes – “also an ecosystem of a million apps created on purpose”.
A few months ago Apple updated the iPad Pro, with the M1 processor and a micro-led display (in the larger model), now it’s the turn of the iPad Mini. And the new model is a clean cut from the current one, arriving in its fifth generation without major changes since its debut in 2012. The design changes completely, with the flat edges already seen on the iPad Pro and iPad Air, the home button removed and the thin frames: so the screen size also goes from 7.9 inches to 8.3, a minimal increase but such as to differentiate the iPad mini from the iPhone Pro Max. Another novelty is the compatibility with the second generation Apple Pencil, the one with magnetic charging. The processor is the A15, the same as the new iPhone, the memory starts at 64 GB, and it was about time; however, there is also the version with 256 GB. There’s no Face ID, but these days many will appreciate the fingerprint sensor in the power button more, like on the iPad Air, of which the mini also picks up the single 12MP rear camera. From the Pro, however, comes 5G connectivity.
In keeping with Apple’s latest production, the smallest of the tablets comes in four different colors: pink, galaxy, purple and space gray. But the applause (imagine, given the streaming) are wasted for a seemingly minor change: the arrival of the USB-C port.
Which is finally available also on the basic iPad, the cheapest model of the four in the catalog. It remains identical in design and size, but changes the processor, which is now Apple’s A13 fitted to the iPhone 11 from two years ago. The target market is still schools, where the iPad is in direct competition with Chromebooks (and according to Apple it is three times faster than the best Chromebook on the market). But this ninth generation of the Apple tablet will find many admirers even among those who do not need all the advanced functions of the other models and perhaps look more at the price.
- IPad mini Wi-Fi models are priced starting at €559 (VAT incl.) And the Wi-Fi + Cellular models are priced starting from €729 (VAT included).
The Apple Watch was launched five years ago, on September 16, 2016. Today it is the best-selling smartwatch in the world, and is at the center of a very vast ecosystem of apps and services, centered above all on health and well-being. Also in this case the design changes were minimal, except for a slight increase in the display size in 2018. This time the change is more relevant, since the Apple smartwatch conforms to the aesthetic language of the other Cupertino products and adopts the flat edges typical of the iPad, iPhone and iMac.
Screen. The bezel is slightly thinner, so the screen is a bit bigger: 41 and 45 mm, instead of 40 and 44. Little, but meanwhile the number of pixels increases by 16%, and then there are the new dials that allow to show more information without decreasing readability.
Processor and battery. Hard to notice, but the new S7 processor should increase battery life. The real news is fast charging: 8 minutes are enough for 8 hours of use, so keeping the Apple Watch on your wrist even at night shouldn’t be a problem: you can recharge before going to sleep, or as soon as you wake up, while you are have breakfast.
Functions. There are no new health sensors or innovative features of any significance. Last year Apple introduced oxygen saturation monitoring, while in 2018 it added the ability to record an ECG. For the future, the Cupertino company is working on three main parameters: body temperature, blood pressure and blood glucose reading.
The family. The Apple Watch Series 3 remains in production, starting at $ 199. There is the Series 6, starting at $ 279, and the Series 7, which comes “soon” with prices starting at $ 399. Straps and accessories are all compatible with previous models, and this is already a good news.
(News in update)