New iPads, new Apple Watches, same old arguments with Microsoft and Spotify, plus even more iPhone 12 leaks: all the Apple news you missed this week, in a handy bite-sized roundup
Apple generates a lot of news, and it can be hard to keep up. If your mind was on other things this week, our roundup of Apple-related headlines will bring you up to date.
Do you remember the 15th night of September?
Of course you do! It was the night – or morning, if you’re reading from the US – of Apple’s Time Flies event, when a few people expected the iPhone 12 (we definitely didn’t) but instead we got two new Apple Watches, two new iPads, a fitness service and a subscription bundle.
We exploded into a frenzy of articles on the night and have barely stopped writing since. If you want to know all the details you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s everything you need to know about the iPad Air 2020, a major step forward in almost every way. It has a larger screen than its predecessor; a processor that’s two generations newer and currently available on no other Apple device; the nearly all-screen iPad Pro design; support for the brilliant Apple Pencil 2 and cantilever Magic Keyboard; and two lovely new colour finishes. It’s also rather expensive, unfortunately, but we think Apple has more than justified the price.
For those on a smaller budget the iPad 10.2in 2020 is a better option. This is less thrilling than the Air, but it does jump from the A10 Fusion chip to the A12 Bionic for a significant performance boost – and it’s cheaper than last year’s model, too.
The Apple Watches follow a similar pattern. There’s the very exciting Series 6, which costs a pretty penny but unfurls a feature set to die for: a blood oxygen sensor, an always-on altimeter, a 20% faster processor than the Series 5, a brighter display, new straps and again, new colour options. It’s on sale now: here’s where to buy the Apple Watch Series 6.
For the more fiscally prudent, meanwhile, there’s the start of a new line: the budget-friendly Apple Watch SE. Featuring the same screen sizes as the Series 4 and later, the S5 chip from the Series 5, the always-on altimeter from the Series 6, fall detection, sleep tracking, handwashing detection and Family Setup, this strikes us as an excellent deal and a great upgrade for Series 3 owners. Here’s where to buy the Apple Watch SE.
Which leaves the two services announcements. There’s Apple Fitness+, a personal training service for Apple Watch owners that’ll come in handy if you can’t make it to the gym as often as you’d like. And there’s Apple One, a bundle deal that combines the company’s various subscription services for a lower price.
An exciting evening of announcements, then. But this means the iPhone 12 is sure to get its own event in October, right? Watch this space.
News in brief
Samuel Nyberg discusses the strange phenomenon that is an Apple September event without a new iPhone.
David Price argues that you shouldn’t upgrade your iPhone to iOS 14 just yet, because lots of apps may not work properly. David Price, incidentally, has not taken his own advice.
Spotify, never one to under-dramatise an issue, has released a statement calling the new Apple One subscription bundle “unfair”, and liable to cause “irreparable harm” and “threaten our collective freedoms”.
Microsoft is on Apple’s back too, arguing that the App Store offers a “bad experience for customers”.
US Customs recently seized 2,000 pairs of OnePlus Buds, apparently believing them to be counterfeit AirPods rather than the legitimate (if, let’s be honest, extremely AirPods-adjacent) earbuds they actually are. Customs has now clarified that it wasn’t a mistake, and says it took the earbuds because they violate Apple’s configuration trademark. Note: Apple has at no point accused OnePlus of violating its configuration trademark.
Finally, Mikael Markander explains why Apple didn’t buy ARM.
The rumour mill
Another thing the iPhone 12 won’t get? A folding screen. But the next iPhone might – because Apple has ordered a bunch of foldable displays from Samsung. A folding iPhone could even be with us in early 2021.
A Twitter user has leaked a grainy photo and some grainy video that supposedly show Apple’s new AirPods Studio headphones. But Jon Prosser angrily argued that this will put the source of the leak at risk.
Prosser, to give him his due, was considerably more careful about protecting sources when he leaked details of the AirTags earlier in the week. He commissioned a set of 3D renders based on his leaked information instead of showing off the original material, to prevent it being traced back.
Apple Card remains US-only for now, but there are clues to suggest its Australian and European launches are imminent.
HomeKit will soon allow two new categories of smart-home device: set-top boxes and streaming sticks. Or at least that’s what clues in iOS 14 point to.
And that’s it for this week. Stay Appley!
Author: David Price, Editor
David has loved the iPhone since covering the original 2007 launch; later his obsession expanded to include iPad and Apple Watch. He offers advice to owners (and prospective owners) of these devices.