The Midnight-Starlight Edition Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Apple Announces iPhone 13 In 4 Flavors: Mini, Regular, Pro, And Pro Max, by Samuel Axon and Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica

A new "cinematic" mode for video features a rack-focus effect and will allow the camera to smoothly change focus from a foreground object to a background object during a video. You can tap the screen to lock focus on two different objects and switch between them. Of course, a phone doesn't have the lens to do this for real—it's an AI effect, like a dual-object portrait mode.

Apple says the whole phone has been rearchitected to make room for "new technology" while also fitting a bigger battery. Apple wouldn't give exact sizes, but it says the iPhone Mini's battery life is up 1.5 hours compared to last year, and the base-model iPhone is up 2.5 hours.

The iPhone 13’s New Camera Tricks Include Cinematic Video And Macro Photography, by Chris Welch, The Verge

The iPhone 13 smoothly transitions between forefront and background focus based on what’s occurring in the frame. The system is intelligent enough to change focus when a subject looks away from the phone. You can also manually tap to change or lock focus on your preferred subject.

iPhone 13 Models Are Heavier And Thicker Than iPhone 12 Models, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

All of the ‌iPhone 13‌ models are heavier than their ‌iPhone 12‌ counterparts, likely due to the larger batteries that are inside and the thickness increase.

Apple’s New MagSafe Wallet Works With ‘Find My’ App For When It Goes Missing, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

The MagSafe leather wallet will notify users of the last known location where the wallet was separated from the phone. It will not, however, provide real-time tracking.

Apple Refreshes MagSafe Case Collection With New Colors And Designs For iPhone 13, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

The new versions of the silicone and leather cases predictably have updated camera cutouts as well. This means that there are now separate cases for the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro, rather than a single interchangeable one.

Apple Releasing iOS 15 And iPadOS 15 On September 20, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

One of the most notable changes is something called Focus, which allows you to set custom preferences for notifications and home screens.

Apple Letting Customers 'Get Ready' For iPhone 13 Launch With Pre-Order Setup, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

With this setup process, all customers who go through the “Get Ready” steps will be able to pre-order their devices with the tap of a button on launch day.

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Gets A Slight Visual Upgrade With The Series 7, by Corey Gaskin, Ars Technica

Apple says the screen is the most durable "crack resistant" display on an Apple Watch thanks to "stronger geometry." The Series 7 is also IPX6 dust resistant, a first for Apple Watches, in addition to being water-resistant up to 50 meters. Apple says the bigger display area facilitated the introduction of a full QWERTY keyboard that can be typed or swiped through to enter text.

Apple Watch Will Now Detect Biking Workouts, Falls From Bike When Riding , by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Announced during today’s Apple iPhone press event, the company says that Apple Watch will now begin to detect when users begin a bike ride to remind you to start a workout. And similar to other workouts, Apple Watch will also automatically pause and resume as you take breaks during your ride. And, perhaps most importantly, it will gain a new fall-detection feature, as well.

Apple Watch Series 7 Features Exclusive Watch Faces Including Modular Max, World Timer, Continuum, And More, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Amongst the new faces are Modular Max, World Timer, Contour Face, and Nike Bounce, the latter of which is exclusive to the Series 7 Nike edition.

Apple Now Selling USB-C Magnetic Charger For Fast Charging Apple Watch Series 7 Models, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The Apple Watch Magnetic Fast Charger to USB-C cable can charge an Apple Watch Series 7 33 percent faster than the standard Apple Watch charging puck, reaching an 80 percent charge in 45 minutes.

Apple Releases All-new Watch Band Collection In A Wide Variety Of Colors For Series 7, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

There are new colors and designs all across the board, including new striped sport loop bands. The new bands continue to work with previous Apple Watch generations and old bands will work with the Series 7.

watchOS 8 For Apple Watch Officially Launching On September 20, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

The new watchOS upgrade introduces new features and watch faces including better always-on display support, an updated Mindfulness app, more workouts, and other app changes and improvements.


The Redesigned $499 iPad Mini Finally Catches Up With The Times, by Samuel Axon and Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

After years of being stuck with the same look and features, Apple's iPad mini will finally get a major redesign akin to last year's iPad Air update, the company announced today. The tablet's screen size gets a bump from 7.9 to 8.3 inches and includes a new A15 Bionic processor that Apple says is "up to 80% faster" than the A12 chip in the old iPad mini 4.

Apple Refreshes Entry-level $329 iPad With Faster Chip, 64GB Of Storage, by Samuel Axon and Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Apple is also bringing a handful of iPad Pro features down to the cheapest iPad. Its new 12MP front-facing camera supports the "Center Stage" feature that can shift the camera's perspective as you move around.

Apple Confirms Universal Control Won't Arrive At iPadOS 15 Launch, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

An update to the iPadOS 15 page on Apple's website shows Universal Control won't be available until later in the fall. The feature was teased at WWDC, but it never officially showed up in any of the beta tests for iPadOS 15 or macOS Monterey.


AppleCare+ Reduces Service Fee For iPhone Back Glass Damage, by AppleInsider

Apple on Tuesday updated its AppleCare+ service product by adding coverage for back glass damage, significantly lowering the price of some repairs for iPhone 12 and the just-announced iPhone 13.

Apple Updates AirTag Accessories With New Colors And Designs, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

Apple’s leather key ring for AirTag is now available in wisteria, golden brown, and midnight.

Apple Fitness+ Expanding To 15 More Countries, Adding Group Workouts With SharePlay, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

Later this fall, Apple Fitness+ will bring Group Workouts with SharePlay where users can work out with up to 32 people at once to keep each other motivated.


Developers Can Now Submit iOS 15 And iPadOS 15 Compatible Apps To The App Store, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 bring new APIs such as Safari extensions, Shazam integration, deepened Focus mode support, and more. Developers who have new apps or updates with iOS 15 features can now submit them to the App Store ahead of the official release of iOS 15 on Monday.


Apple Dials Up A Clever Pricing Move, by Dan Gallagher, Wall Street Journal

Apple Inc. seems to have figured out how to deliver a price increase only to customers who choose it. Many probably will.


Not all iPhone buyers will pay up—the most expensive version of the Pro Max now sits at nearly $1,600. But Apple’s customer base includes many who prefer the best and biggest.

Ousted Developer Furious Over New Apple Watch Series 7 Feature, by Stephen Warwick, iMore

A developer of a keyboard app for the Apple Watch is absolutely furious following the addition of a new feature to Apple Watch Series 7 that looks awfully familiar to his own work that was recently booted from the App Store.

Apple Fined $1,000 For Hosting Social Gathering With More Than 50 People At Orchard Store, by Tay Hong Yi, Straits Times

Apple was fined $1,000 for holding a social workplace event at its Orchard Road store on June 18.

"Staff had gathered at the event to celebrate an employee's final day at the establishment," the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) told The Straits Times on Wednesday.

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I'm looking forward to the Mac event. :-)


Thanks for reading.