Today I Learned: Recent Apple Device Releases
Last week, Apple held its second keynote in two months. The first press event that was held in September unveiled the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. Last week’s announcement, while not as splashy and exciting as a new iPhone reveal, centered around the new iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac Mini. This article’s intention is to get you up to date on Apple’s latest releases and changes.
iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR
The iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR phones are updates to last year’s iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus. The XS retains the same familiar, cosmetic design of the iPhone X. This includes the 5.8-inch OLED display and stainless-steel sides. Its battery life should last about 20 hours.
The XS Max is a larger version of the XS. The OLED display is 6.5 inches, making it the largest display found on any iPhone. Its battery life is slightly larger than the XS as it should last about 25 hours. Both the XS and XS Max come in silver, space gray, and gold.
While the XS and XS Max are similar in style to last year’s iPhones, the XR is a cosmetic departure. The iPhone XR has a 6.1-inch LCD display and an aluminum and glass body. It comes in white, black, coral, yellow, blue, and red. The XR has a single rear camera whereas the XS and XS Max both have dual rear cameras.
All three phones come with a new A12 Bionic processor that Apple claims is 15 percent faster and uses 40 percent less energy than last year’s A11 chip. They all use wireless charging, are water-resistant, and no longer feature a headphone jack or home button. Lastly, all three are now using Face ID unlock software.
iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac Mini
The new iPad Pro is 5.9 millimeters thinner (about 15 percent) than its predecessor. It no longer features a headphone jack or home button, meaning you will need to swipe certain spots on the screen to get back to previous pages. The iPad Pro also features nearly an edge-to-edge display and rounded corners. It now supports Face ID and USB-C. With USB-C, it can now connect to monitors up to 5K so that you can turn into a workstation. It is also capable of charging your iPhone and comes equipped with an Apple Pencil. The iPad Pro’s Pencil magnetically connects to the side of the device and automatically charges. It is available in two sizes, 11 and 12.9 inches. All of these new features has Apple calling it the biggest change to the iPad since its inception eight years ago.
Apple also made redesigns to the MacBook Air. It is 25% lighter than previous iterations weighing in at 2.75 pounds and 13.3 inches. The cosmetic changes go beyond weight though. The familiar aluminum bezel has been removed making the MacBook Air’s borders sleeker, and for the first time ever, its base is made out of 100 percent recycled aluminum. According to Apple, this helps reduce the computer’s carbon footprint by 50%. Aside from Apple’s efforts to make the MacBook Air more eco-friendly, it now features a more responsive keyboard. The most noticeable absence is the TouchBar feature that was introduced two years to mainly universal criticism.
Updates were also made to the Mac Mini. These are the first updates to it in four years. While still looking strikingly similar to the last model, the Mac Mini comes equipped with a quad-core Intel processor with an option to upgrade to a six-core version. It features four USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports and an HDMI port. Apple states it is five times faster than before.
If you wish to learn more about all of Apple’s exciting new products, please submit a ticket through the FIS portal.