Top 5 announcements from Apple’s iPhone 13 ‘California Streaming’ event

The new iPhone 13 series is cool, but the refreshed iPad mini stole the show

It’s been a long road for iPad mini fans.

They’ve been waiting since 2019 for Apple to refresh its smallest iPad, and today that patience has been rewarded in the form of a new iPad mini with a larger display, thinner bezels and a USB-C port.

Alongside that, we saw a new 10.9-inch base-model iPad, the iPhone 13 series, the Apple Watch Series 7 and other software features that we’re excited to try out in the fall.

Make sure to keep refreshing MobileSyrup over the next few days to stay on top of all the current Apple news.

Apple also started the presentation off with a musical performance of California Soul by Marlena Shaw, so if you want to really relive the event as you read this recap, check out the video below (you can thank our telecom reporter Alyssa Tremblay for digging the song up).

iPad mini — USB-C port that plugs into my heart
iPad mini


The iPad mini has been in a weird spot in the Apple tablet landscape for the last few years. It wasn’t really as cool or as powerful as an iPad Air or iPad Pro, but it cost more than a base-model iPad and had a smaller screen.

This new iPad mini is basically a tiny version of the iPad Air with an Apple A15 Bionic chipset, no home button, and fun colours. It also features a Touch ID sensor embedded in the power button on the top of the device.

Apple says that the new iPad mini is 80 percent faster than its 2019 predecessor, but the most important addition is its new USB-C port. This allows it to connect to far more accessories and makes it a more useful tool for people in professional workspaces.

You can read more about the new $649 iPad mini here.

iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max — I’m trying to be excited by the smaller notch, but “meh”

There’s a fair amount to get excited about with the iPhone 13, the iPhone 13 mini, the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Across the board, the iPhone 13 series features a smaller notch, and Apple says the new Ceramic Shield glass is the toughest smartphone glass around, making the new iPhones even more resistant to breaking. There are also new colours like ‘Sierra Blue,’ but overall the phone looks very similar to last year’s iPhone 12.

The only real change comes in the cameras, which have been updated to perform better under low-light. The new ultrawide sensor in the iPhone 13 Pro can also be used as a macro shooter, a fun mode I’ve utilized with Android devices. The Pro camera systems also feature a 77mm equivalent zoom lens offering 6x the zoom from being fully zoomed out with the ultrawide. Both phones also get access to a new ‘Cinematic Mode’ that I’ll explain in more detail below.

You can read more in-depth about the iPhone 13 series here and the iPhone 13 Pro series here.

‘Cinematic Mode’ looks fun

Vloggers and TikTokers are going to get a kick out of this, I think. Apple’s new camera feature ‘Cinematic Mode’ allows users to rack focus automatically based on what their head is doing in the frame. You can also manually enable this feature after you capture the file, suggesting that Apple is using software-based bokeh.

In Apple’s demos, the depth-of-field effect looked pretty effective in some scenes, and it will be interesting to see how it performs when the feature is available.

You can read more about Cinematic Mode here.

Apple Watch Series 7 — Where’s the rumoured squared-off redesign?

The Apple Watch Series 7 includes features like a slightly larger screen and a more curved design, but overall, there aren’t that many changes to Apple’ssmartwatch this year.

Apple did show off some new interface features that take better advantage of the larger screen with minimized bezels, including a a swipe-based keyboard that lets you type messages. The Series 7 can also charge 33 percent faster, which is a nice addition to the wearable since it’s designed to be worn all the time.

Overall, this likely won’t be anything that will sway Series 6 owners, but it might be tempting for people with older Apple Watches.

You can learn even more about it in our announcement post here.

No new AirPods

The tech world was anxiously awaiting to see if Apple would release new AirPods at this event, but curiously, the company must be saving them for another day.

There are rumours of one or maybe two other Apple product reveal events scheduled for this fall, so we still might see them this year. Still, new AirPods new being revealed alongside a new iPads and iPhones was peculiar, to say the least.

Other updates include new Apple Fitness+ features and a refresh to the base-model iPad.