Everything Apple Announced at its 2022 Launch Event
Holding its first in-person launch since 2019 overnight, Apple has unveiled its annual iPhone refresh, alongside updates to the Apple Watch and AirPods, sending fans into a predictably frothy frenzy over new features and tweaked form factors. However, despite Cupertino’s ever-slick production values and the undoubtedly premium look of the new iPhone 14, Apple Watch Series 8 and AirPods Pro 2nd Generation devices, we can’t help but wonder whether much of this is hype over substance.
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After all, when the headline features Apple’s decided to focus on include a satellite-powered SOS messaging system that’ll only really come in handy for a small number of iPhone users – announced for the US but not Australia – and an Always On Display functionality that’s been available via Android devices for the best part of a decade, we’re well past the days of the iPhone delivering innovations that open a window to the future.
Other iPhone 14 upgrades include a motion sensor that’ll detect serious car crashes and automatically connect you to emergency services – again, handy, but hopefully not a feature you’ll benefit from on a daily basis – and a new interface called the Dynamic Island. This is essentially a repositioned iPhone notch with fancy animations designed to paper over the fact it’s a bit of an eyesore, particularly compared with competing devices that either have a pinhole camera or an under-screen lens like those seen from the likes of Samsung and Google.
With that said, let’s have a look at everything Apple fans are so excited about following the launch event overnight.
Apple iPhone 14
The era of Apple launching one or two iPhones is long gone and these days it can be quite the arduous task to hone in on the device that best suits your needs. When you include the various models and storage capacities, Apple’s new iPhone range consists of a total of 14 different models and that’s before you take colour into consideration.
As you move from the iPhone 14 to the iPhone 14 Plus, the iPhone 14 Pro and finally the iPhone 14 Pro Max, you’ll find ever increasing specs, maxing (ahem) out with the Max’s combination of a 6.7-inch screen, 48MP camera and A16 Bionic chip. Colours for the standard iPhone 14 range include Midnight, Purple, Starlight, Red, and Blue, while the Pro range is available in Space Black, Silver, Gold and the newly introduced but quite striking Deep Purple.
Pricing for the range also varies greatly with the entry level iPhone 14 with 128GB of storage coming in at AUD$1,399, while the iPhone 14 Pro Max with 1TB of storage will almost double your outlay, coming in at AUD$2,769. Apple’s new iPhones will be hitting shelves on September 16.
Read our full breakdown of the new iPhone 14 range here.
Apple Watch Ultra / Series 8 / SE
Again continuing with the idea that variety is the spice of life, the engineers at Cupertino have developed three new Apple Watches, with the range reaching its peak in the form of the AUD$1,299 Apple Watch Ultra, a device Apple is calling “the most rugged and capable Apple Watch ever.”
Designed for “athletes and adventurers”, the Ultra features a large 49mm titanium case, precision dual-frequency GPS, up to 36 hours of battery life, cellular functionality and three specialised bands designed for a range of outdoor activities. It also packs up to 2000 nits of brightness into its Retina Display, which is twice as bright as any previous Apple Watch screen.
The Apple Watch 8 and new entry-level SE stick to a more traditional interpretation of the company’s smartwatch offering with a number of minor upgrades, including the same car crash detection feature found in the new iPhones, a Watch 8 temperature sensor that’s accurate to within 0.1° C, and a low power mode designed to extend battery life to up to 36 hours.
As mentioned, the Apple Watch Ultra costs an astounding AUD$1,299. Fortunately the Series 8 and SE models are a little easier on the credit card, with the Series 8 starting from AUD$629 and the SE starting from AUD$399.
Read our full breakdown of the new Apple Watch range here
Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Generation
Rounding out Apple’s new releases is an upgrade to the AirPods Pro with a focus on enhanced audio experiences through improved noise cancelling and immersion, while practical upgrades like new touch controls and expanded battery life round out the new offering.
Harnessing the power of Apple’s new H2 chip, which uses computational algorithms to deliver even smarter noise cancellation and superior three-dimensional sound, and pairing it with a custom-built driver and amplifier, Apple claims its new headphones “deliver crisp, clear high notes and deep, rich bass in stunning definition.”
The brand also says its new earbuds deliver up to twice as much Active Noise Cancellation as the first generation of the AirPods Pro, while the new touch control functionality built into the stem of each AirPod lets users manage playback functions such as volume, play/pause, call answer/end, and switching between Active Noise Cancellation and Adaptive Transparency.
Finally, the new AirPods also offer up to six hours of listening time with Active Noise Cancellation enabled and up to 30 hours of listening time using the additional charge contained within the AirPods case.
Apple’s AirPods Pro 2nd Generation will set you back AUD$249 and will be available from September 23.