Apple’s Big Leap

By Wei-lin Zhou (’24)

“One More Thing” was Apple’s latest event, where they debuted three new Macs: a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and a Mac Mini, all using their latest, Apple-made, M1 Chips. In September, Apple released two new Apple Watches, new iPads, and a slew of new apps, along with their new iPhone 12 lineup in October. 

In September, Apple released the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, a more budget-friendly Apple Watch. The main new feature of the Series 6 was its new Blood Oxygen sensor. Using LEDs and new sensors, Series 6 can detect the difference in the amount of light reflected. The Apple Watch Series 6 starts at $399. The other Apple Watch, the Apple Watch SE, is the cheaper version, without all the bells and whistles of the Series 6. It does not include blood oxygen monitoring or the always-on display. But it still offers the same performance and screen real estate as the 6, at $279. 

Another product line apple upgraded were their iPads. A redesigned iPad air, and an upgraded iPad. The redesigned iPad Air gets squared-off edges like its Pro counterpart, as well as smaller bezels and a fingerprint power button combo. It also features better performance, featuring Apple’s A14 Bionic Chip and supporting for the 2nd generation Apple Pencil and Smart Folio, all starting at $599. The iPad gets a small boost in performance, going from the A10 Fusion chip to the A12 Bionic chip, which boosts performance by around 40%. It only supports the 1st Generation Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard. The new iPad starts at $330.

At Apple’s “Hi, Speed” event in October, they unveiled their next lineup of iPhones: the iPhone 12 Mini, to the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. These new iPhones offer a huge boost in screen resolution, using OLED screens instead of LCD. It also features a redesigned frame, making it lighter, thinner, and smaller, and a boost in processing power. All the new iPhones have squared-off edges and use the A14 Bionic Chip like the aforementioned iPad Air. Additionally, they all get 5G support as well as Ceramic Shield, a new glass which Apple claims to give four times better drop protection. MagSafe is another new feature, a redesigned wireless charging coil with magnets allows for accessories like the MagSafe Wallet or the MagSafe Charger to be attached on the back of the phone.  New software makes the camera experience even better. With improved low light photography, a better selfie mode, and the first camera to record in Dolby Vision, Apple has pushed the boundaries of smartphone photography. The Pro Models get a LiDAR sensor, which can be used for measurement, but its main use will be in low light shots. There are, however, some cons. Many users have reported a decrease in battery life, which can likely be attributed to more power draw from the new screen. Also, Apple has removed it’s wired earbuds and the five-watt charger from the box, citing environmental activism, however, it has received mixed reviews. The Mini starts at $699, the iPhone 12 at $799, and the Pro and Pro Max are $999  and $1099, respectively. 

Finally, on November 10th, Apple launched its new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini. The special thing about these Macs is their processor, the M1, which is made by Apple themselves. In the MacBook Air, Apple claims 3.5 times faster CPU (Processing performance), and a five times faster GPU (graphics Performance), along with 18-hour battery life and no fan, all starting at $999. Their Mac Mini is claimed to have five times faster CPU performance and 6 times faster GPU Performance. Finally, they also released their new MacBook Pro, which offers 2.8 times faster CPU and five times faster GPU and a 20 hour battery life, all for $1299.  This year has been a huge leap for Apple. From new iPads and new iPhones, to their new Macs using the new, house designed M1 Chips, Apple continues to push the boundaries of technology. 

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