Apple generates a lot of news, and it can be hard to keep up. If your mind was on other things this week, our Saturday-morning roundup of Apple-related headlines will bring you up to date.
13 reasons why
It's going to be an oddly imbalanced Apple Breakfast this week, I'm afraid. More like an iPhone 13 Breakfast, really.
But money talks, and for Apple - and therefore for all of us who follow the company - the yearly iPhone update outweighs all other considerations. September is the month when the big news breaks.
If we're brutally honest the 13-series handsets, unveiled this week and now available to pre-order, do not represent a startling step forward from the previous generation. The design is largely the same, with only minor tweaks to the formula established in 2020: the notch is slightly smaller, the camera module is slightly bigger, the whole chassis has put on a tiny bit of weight.
Apple was weirdly coy about the precise speed improvements provided by the new A15 processor - although speed scores leaked since then suggest startling graphical performance. ProMotion is a pleasing addition, albeit one that feels a little overdue. Cinematic mode is something Apple could have made more of if the event wasn't so ridiculously crowded. The terabyte storage option is nice to have, even if it's overkill for most, and I am genuinely excited by the (claimed) increases to battery life. But overall it's probably fair to say that the new phone is an iPhone 12s in all but name.
Nevertheless we are keeping an open mind here at Macworld. We'll be writing punishingly thorough reviews as soon as we can get our hands on samples - we're pumping our contacts and emptying our bank accounts as I write - but until then, enjoy two ever so slightly contradictory articles: five reasons to buy an iPhone 13, and five reasons not to buy an iPhone 13. That really is keeping an open mind.
We've also got a detailed comparison of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12, and an in-depth guide helping you decide which iPhone 13 model to buy. (Even our overall iPhone buying guide has been updated to cover the new models.) It's been quite a week, and frankly we're pretty relieved that Apple only updates its iPhones once a year.
The iPhone 13's support acts
The new iPad mini in particular is a rather impressive bit of work. It's been completely redesigned, and now offers a bigger screen, improved cameras, 5G, support for the Apple Pencil 2 and the same A15 Bionic chip in the new iPhones. Does that really deserve to be third on the bill? Here's where to buy the new iPad mini.
The Apple Watch Series 7 is perhaps less of a stunner, with the predicted 'sharp-edged' redesign conspicuous by its absence. The reality of a larger screen and thinner bezels is pretty appealing, however, and the faster charging could be highly significant: the main barrier to sleep tracking on the Apple Watch is the difficulty of finding time to charge in the day, rather than during the night.
For more information on the advances in this generation, read our in-depth comparison of the Series 6 and Series 7. If you're convinced that this is the model for you, take a look at our guide showing where to buy the Apple Watch Series 7.
Last and realistically least comes the new iPad 10.2in. And okay, it's not terribly exciting, with an unchanged design (including a Home button!), Apple Pencil 1 rather than 2 support and a positively antique A13 processor. But the front-facing camera has jumped in quality, the screen gains True Tone (although it's still not laminated, sadly), and the A13 is obviously an improvement on the A12 in the previous model.
Perhaps most importantly, the 9th-gen iPad is just as affordable as ever, and now offers twice as much storage at the entry level. It's a sensible choice. And sometimes the boring announcements are the ones that are most important to most people.
For a full run-down of the evening's revelations, here's everything that was announced at Apple's California Streaming event.
Video of the week
As discussed above, Apple announced its latest additions to its iPhone lineup, as well as a new iPad mini, at its "California Streaming" event on Tuesday. Both devices are powered by Apple's new A15 Bionic processor.
In the video embedded below, Macworld executive editor Michael Simon and Computerworld executive editor Ken Mingis join Juliet Beauchamp to discuss how the A15 processor compares to its predecessor, the A14, and how Apple may use it in future products.
Plus: Michael, Ken and Juliet discuss Apple's response to the Pegasus spyware flaw. More on that story in the Bugs & problems section.
News in brief
At the very start of the week Apple claimed a resounding victory in its legal dispute with Epic Games, and the fact that Epic promptly appealed does indeed suggest that, overall, the verdict is favourable to Cupertino. But it's not as straightforward as you might think, with Apple required to make one potentially significant concession: it must no longer prevent app developers from alerting users to alternative ways to pay.
Apple didn't actually lose the Epic case - but what if it had, wonders the Macalope.
Stephan Wiesend explains why the Apple leakers got it so wrong this year.
Apple gives with one hand and takes away with the other. While announcing the launch of the iPhone 13 series, the company killed off the iPhone XR, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max.
Has Apple run out of ideas, asks Michael Simon.
It's time to stop dreaming about the Apple Car, says Samuel Nyberg, before punching a clown and telling a child there's no Easter bunny.
Apple continues to roll out mysterious AirTags updates. We think this one is just designed to increase the number of users who can get future updates, which is a bit meta.
A momentous software update this week saw Apple (hopefully) slam the door shut on the much-publicised Pegasus spyware. On Monday the company released iOS 14.8 and iPadOS 14.8, which appear to address the vulnerabilities that have been exploited by Pegasus for about half a year.
Needless to say, we recommend installing these updates at your earliest convenience. Here's how to check if your iPhone is infected by Pegasus, and we discuss whether Apple is to blame for the situation in a separate article.
Moving away from Pegasus, a Swedish hacker this week discovered serious flaws in iCloud via somewhat unorthodox means. Frans Rosén accidentally deleted the entire Shortcuts database, and instead of getting in trouble, he earned $64k! Next time I break the Macworld content management system I'm going to claim a 'bug bounty'.
The rumour mill
We were all disappointed that new AirPods didn't appear at the California Streaming event - one usually accurate analyst, indeed, confidently predicted their launch the day before, adding breezily that Apple would carry on selling the AirPods 2 alongside the new models. But the third-gen AirPods will launch later this autumn, according to industry sources.
And that's not all! A new MacBook Pro with an M1X processor is coming in a few weeks. That's according to Mark Gurman, who generally knows his stuff.
These remaining products are likely to make their appearance at an event in October. Based on some smart detective work and the dates of Apple's Back to School campaign, Karen Haslam reckons the event will be held on 12 October. Clear your diary.
Apple deals of the week
I've embedded a list of the best current Apple deals below, but other than that, we're done for this week. See you next Saturday, enjoy your weekend, and stay Appley!
1. Pre-order MacBook Pro 14in (2021) with M1 Pro
Now: Up to £119 off
The brand new 14in MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips has up to £119 off at KRCS!
2. Apple AirPods 3 (Pre-Order)
The brand-new AirPods 3 offer better battery performance, an updated design, and support for Spatial Audio and Adaptive EQ.
3. Pre-order MacBook Pro 16in (2021) with M1 Pro
Now: Up to £119 off
The brand new 16in MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips already have a fabulous discount over at KRCS!
4. Apple AirPods Pro (Amazon Renewed)
Now: £174.99 (£44 off)
You can save £44 on a refurbished pair of AirPods Pro on Amazon right now. As an Amazon Renewed device, it'll be just as good as new!
5. Apple iPhone 12 mini (64GB) - Renewed
Now: £479 (£100 off)
You can save £100 on a refurbished iPhone 12 mini from Amazon. It's backed by the 1-year Amazon Renewed Guarantee and should look and work just like new.
6. Apple 11in iPad Pro (M1, Wi-Fi + Cellular, 256GB) - Refurbished
From: Laptops Direct
Now: £759.97 (£239 off)
Laptops Direct has an incredible £239 discount on the brand new iPad Pro with M1 (Wi-Fi + Cellular).
7. Apple Watch Series 7: Where to Buy
From: Macworld UK
Now: On sale now!
The Apple Watch Series 7 offers a larger, brighter display, slimmer bezels and more. Sales began on 15 October.
8. Apple TV+ (3 months) with Currys Perks
Was: £4.99 per month
Now: Free with membership (Free to sign up to Perks)
Currys' new membership loyalty program, Currys Perks, includes three months of Apple TV+ for free. Sign up to Perks for free.
9. Apple iPhone 12 mini (64GB) - Refurbished
Now: £469.99 (£230 off with SPOOKY10)
Over at MusicMagpie you can save £230 on a refurbished iPhone 12 mini graded in a "Good" condition.
10. Apple iPad Air (2020, 64GB, Wi-Fi + Cellular) - Refurbished
Now: £479 (£230 off)
Amazon's price on a refurbished iPad Air (4th gen) with 4G connectivity is now £479 – that's £230 off!
11. Adobe Creative Cloud - 1 Year Subscription to All Apps
Now: £476.98 (£120 off)
Adobe has £120 off a year of Adobe's Creative Cloud All Apps – but only until 19 October!
12. Apple Back to School Sale
From: Apple Education Discount
Now: Up to £280 off Mac, £80 off iPad (with free AirPods)
Apple's education pricing is available all year round. To be eligible, you just need to prove your status as a current or newly accepted university student, parent buying on behalf of a university student or member of teaching staff at any level. You'll then get up to £280 off a new Mac or up to £80 off a new iPad along with a free pair of AirPods. Here's what you need to know.
13. Apple iPad Air 2020 (256GB, Wi-Fi only)
From: John Lewis
Now: £689 (£40 off)
It's the same price over at Amazon for this 256GB Wi-Fi only model, but the benefit of John Lewis's offer is that it also comes with a free 2-year guarantee.
14. Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (128GB)
Now: £949 (£150 off)
Now that the iPhone 13 range is out, you can find excellent discounts on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which Apple has now discontinued.
15. Apple MacBook Air, M1, 8-core CPU, 7-core GPU, 256GB (2020)
From: BT Shop
Now: £899 (£100 off)
16. Apple iPad Air (2020, 64GB, cellular)
Now: £575.73 (£133.27 off)
This isn't the cheapest the Air has ever been – Amazon offered a £230-off deal for Prime Day, earlier this year – but this is still a very solid discount on the latest iPad Air model, with cellular connectivity.
Note that this price applies to the silver model only; the other four colour finishes are considerably more expensive.
17. Apple MacBook Air, M1, 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 512GB (2020)
Now: £1,117 (£132 off)
An excellent deal, this. Save money on the MacBook Air with 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU from Amazon. The discount applies to the Space Grey version, but the gold and silver models are only slightly more expensive.
18. Apple Watch Series 6 (44mm, GPS + Cellular) - Refurbished
From: BT Shop
Now: £399 (£110 off)
This refurbished Apple Watch 6 with cellular connectivity has over £110 off as a part of the BT Shop's Big Tech Sale. BT has listed it as returned stock that's still sealed in the box making it an even more appealing deal. See our full coverage.
19. Apple Mac mini, M1, 8-Core CPU / 8-Core GPU, 256GB
Now: £635 (£64 off)
Amazon has a decent discount on the M1 Mac mini. If it sells out, you can also find it for £657.66 from the BT Shop.
20. Apple MagSafe Charger
Now: £27.59 (£11.41 off)
Scan's price for the MagSafe charger saves you £11 - roughly 29% off the original price. This is currently the cheapest you'll find this item.