Apple’s 2021 Crop: Four iPhones, Two iPads, and an Apple Watch

September is traditionally when new iPhones are ripe for the picking, and this year’s crop is no exception. At its California Streaming event on September 14th, Apple unveiled four iPhone 13 models. Apple also announced the expected Apple Watch Series 7, but entirely unanticipated were an upgrade to the iPad and a redesigned iPad mini.

Left to the fine print in Apple’s press releases was the fact that iOS 15, iPadOS 16, and watchOS 8 will become available for download on September 20th. As we’ve said before, you should wait at least a week or two before installing them on essential devices, just in case some unpleasant bug manifests itself. Regardless of when you upgrade, make a backup right beforehand, just in case something goes wrong and you need to erase and restore.

Let’s look at each of the new products. (more…)

Apple Expands the AirPods Line with AirPods Max Headphones

If you think of AirPods as earbuds, you’re not alone. But just as Apple has given us larger iPhone Max models, the company has now introduced the AirPods Max, which expand the traditional earbuds to full-sized headphones. The AirPods Max offer top-notch Apple design, premium materials, Active Noise Cancellation (with Transparency mode), Adaptive EQ, spatial audio, and tight integration into the Apple ecosystem with the custom H1 chip. They boast 20 hours of battery life, and the audio quality is reportedly very good, if not at the level of high-end audiophile headphones. The only negatives are the $549 price and the odd-looking soft case. They come in space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink and require iOS 14.3, iPadOS 14.3, or macOS 11.1 Big Sur.