Apple reveals next generation of tech

*Columns are the opinions of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Wichitan as an organization.*

The Fall 2021 academic year always reminds us of football games, rush for fraternities or sororities and orientation, but, for me, fall officially starts with the yearly Apple Event. I always ask myself what will the next device be like. iPhone is the forever-evolving, best device that keeps changing the tech world. A lot of people forget how the first iPhone 2G introduced the first smartphone and was something the world had ever seen before – a touchscreen with apps that could make a phone call. It was a phone with an internet connection: a tech revolution!

Now here we are in 2021 with the Fall Apple event called, “California Streaming.” The company revealed a new operating system for the iPhone and iPad named iOS 15. This means new features, like Center Stage in FaceTime, that automatically detects people as more join the call. The new Focus tool can filter notifications and apps based on what a user wishes to focus on at a certain time, among many other features. A new Apple Watch 7, a new iPad, and an iPad Mini are also among the new devices announced.

Despite all the other devices announced, the biggest attraction was the iPhone 13. The phone will be available for pre-order Tuesday, Sept. 14, and will arrive on Sept. 24. The design will have a sleek, flat edge design with five new colors: pink, blue, midnight, starlight and product red. The new addition will include camera upgrades with a 12MP ultrawide lens. The video camera will record in 4K HDR with Dolby Vision. Plus, a faster A15 Bionic chip processor, which means faster scrolling and faster refresh rate.

The new iOS 15 will include portrait mode for FaceTime calls and links that can be shared, and opened in a browser, bringing FaceTime to Android and Windows for the first time. Other features include a new Focus tool that can filter notifications and apps. The user’s status will be displayed to others in Messages (reminds me of a Do Not Disturb sign at my hotel room at 6 a.m.), but will let others know that you aren’t ignoring them, rather, you are busy doing “important” stuff. The work Focus is very useful because it can silent notifications that distract while at work. The sleep Focus is helpful too, especially for college students, because the phone intelligence will guide you to start winding down for bedtime by shutting down certain apps that keep you up at night. They also announced text recognition in images, ID cards in Wallet, Safari and Maps redesigns.

The Apple “California Streaming” event promoted its streaming service AppleTV+ and praised its award-winning shows, especially Ted Lasso. The company announced season 2 of “The Morning Show,” with Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Anniston, which will premiere this Friday, Sept. 17. My favorite AppleTV+ announcement is the series, “Foundation” which will premier on Sept. 24.

Already known for its fast connectivity, the new iPad is made even better. Under the hood is the most powerful A13 Bionic chip with 20% faster performance, three times faster than Chromebook, staying way ahead of the competition. The rear camera captures great photos with improved auto-focus in limited lighting. Better selfies with the front camera make it an exceptional tablet for remote learning and connecting with family.  The front camera is equipped with a 12MP ultrawide camera that enables better quality video and photos. This iPad also supports a variety of accessories, including third-party keyboards. The new iPad also supports the 1st Generation Apple Pencil that makes the experience as easy and natural as pen and paper. Widgets make important information available with just a glance. New multitasking controls make it even easier to use multiple apps. Quick Notes make note-taking easier. With a great camera and great battery life, the new iPad delivers value just starting at $329 with 64GB of storage. It comes in space gray and silver with cellular models also available. You can order today, and it will be available next week.

The big attraction iPhone 13 starts the base model, with 128GB of storage, at a reasonable $799, but before you go buy the premium iPhone 13 Pro Max with 1TB set at $1,599, make sure you have enough money to pay your rent, car payment, insurance, food for the month, cell phone bill, Apple Music, Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime… and your student loans for October.