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Apple’s 2022 Harvest: Four iPhones, Three Apple Watches, and New AirPods Pro

Apple’s September crop has ripened, and the company has once again picked a basket of new and updated hardware for us. At its Far Out event on September 7th, Apple unveiled four iPhone 14 models, three new or updated Apple Watch models, and the second-generation AirPods Pro.

After the announcement, Apple said that iOS 16 and watchOS 9 would become available on September 12th, with iPadOS 16.1 and macOS 13 Ventura to arrive in October. As we’ve said before, wait a week or two before installing iOS 16 and watchOS 9 on essential devices to avoid any last-minute bugs. Regardless of when you upgrade, make a backup right before, in case something goes wrong and you need to erase and restore.

Let’s look at each of the new products.

iPhone 14 Models Show Both Evolution and Innovation

With the new iPhones, Apple made a clean split between the regular and Pro models. On the lower end, Apple has the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 and the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus—there is no iPhone 14 mini. On the high end, Apple pulled out all the stops for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, again in those 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch sizes. Design-wise, the models are extremely similar to the iPhone 13, with squared-off sides and only very slight size changes.

For the most part, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus aren’t meant to be technologically exciting, relying on the same A15 Bionic chip as last year’s iPhone 13 models. As it usually does, Apple put more attention into the cameras, switching to a new rear-facing 12-megapixel main camera with a larger aperture for better low-light performance and a new front-facing TrueDepth camera that boasts autofocus for the first time. Apple also introduced a new Photonic Engine that leverages hardware and software to improve mid- and low-light performance for all its cameras. On the video side, a new Action mode provides advanced stabilization for smoother action videos, and Cinematic mode now supports 4K video at 24 fps and 30 fps.

More innovative—and present in both the regular and Pro models—are a pair of technologies we sincerely hope you never have to use. Crash detection relies on a variety of sensors in the iPhone to detect the changes in acceleration, air pressure, and sound that accompany car crashes. In the event of a crash, the iPhone’s Emergency SOS feature offers to call emergency services and notify your emergency contacts.

Even more technologically impressive is Emergency SOS via satellite, which enables very low bandwidth text message communication with emergency services using satellites when there’s no cellular coverage. The feature will help you point your iPhone at fast-moving satellites overhead, and it asks vital questions to distill key facts for emergency responders because even short messages may take over a minute to get through. More commonly, you’ll be able to manually share your location via satellite using Apple’s Find My system when you’re without cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity. All this is coming in November 2022 and will be available only in the US and Canada at first.

Apple’s final change to both the regular and Pro models—at least in the US—is a switch to eSIM. None of the iPhone 14 models sold in the US will have SIM slots. Most carriers support eSIM at this point, and when traveling to other countries, US iPhone 14 users will need to find roaming plans that support eSIM instead of buying and installing a local SIM card.

The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max boast more exciting changes. The most obvious change is the switch to an Always-On display, much like recent models of the Apple Watch. You’ll be able to view the new Lock screen imagery and widgets at all times without even touching your iPhone. Thanks to a 1 Hz display refresh rate and intelligent dimming of wallpaper, it won’t hurt battery life. And when you’re actively using the iPhone 14 Pro, the screen will be brighter than ever for easier reading in direct sunlight.

Apple also shrunk the Face ID and TrueDepth camera sensor package that occupies a notch on the regular iPhone 14 models and older iPhones. On the iPhone 14 Pro, it’s now a small black lozenge at the top of the screen that can’t display anything but is integrated into a new feature called the Dynamic Island. Alerts and notifications, and a new dynamic notification type called Live Activities, appear to zoom out of and back into the black lozenge, and Live Activities appear on either side. It’s a clever design trick to make you think that portion of the screen is being used.

The Dynamic Island and Always-On display are made possible in part by Apple’s new A16 Bionic chip, which offers more performance and better efficiency than any other smartphone processor. The A16 Bionic handles the most demanding workflows and graphics-intensive games, and it also powers the iPhone 14 Pro’s computational photography features, performing up to 4 trillion operations per photo.

On that topic, the iPhone 14 Pro introduces even more powerful cameras. The main rear-facing camera is now a 48-megapixel camera with a quad-pixel sensor that combines four pixels into one for most photos, improving low-light capture and reducing file size to the equivalent of a 12-megapixel camera. However, the iPhone 14 Pro can also shoot ProRAW photos with the full 48 megapixels to capture unprecedented detail for later processing. The quad-pixel sensor also enables a 2x optical zoom in addition to the improved telephoto camera’s 3x optical zoom. The new 12-megapixel ultra wide camera provides sharper macro shots, and the new front-facing TrueDepth camera offers better low-light performance and autofocus for improved selfies. Apple also enhanced the Adaptive True Tone flash to change its pattern based on the focal length, distributing the light where it’s most needed. Finally, the iPhone 14 Pro gains the same Action mode and Cinematic mode video improvements found in the other iPhone 14 models.

All four iPhone 14 models start at 128 GB of storage, and the Pro models offer a 1 TB tier for those shooting a lot of ProRAW photos or video. Here are the 128 GB prices—add $100 for 256 GB, $300 for 512 GB, and $500 for 1 TB:

  • iPhone 14: $799 USD
  • iPhone 14 Plus: $899 USD
  • iPhone 14 Pro: $999 USD
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max: $1099 USD

You can pre-order starting at 5 AM PDT on September 9th, with delivery and in-store availability on September 16th, except for the iPhone 14 Plus, which ships on October 7th. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus come in five colors: midnight, blue, starlight, purple, and (PRODUCT)RED. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max come in deep purple, silver, gold, and space black. The third-generation iPhone SE ($429), iPhone 12 ($599), iPhone 13 mini ($599), and iPhone 13 ($699) remain for sale as well.

Generally speaking, we wouldn’t recommend upgrading from an iPhone 13 that’s serving you well unless you’re switching to the iPhone 14 Plus to get a larger form factor or to one of the Pro models for the ultimate in camera capabilities. It’s easier to recommend an upgrade from an iPhone 12 model or earlier, given the improved camera capabilities.

Apple Watch Line Expands with Apple Watch Ultra

This year, Apple introduced not just one new Apple Watch, but three! The second-generation Apple Watch SE provides a better entry-level option, the Apple Watch Series 8 takes over as the flagship model, and the Apple Watch Ultra brings new capabilities to extreme athletes, adventurers, and the rest of ​​us wannabes.

The second-generation Apple Watch SE doesn’t change much from the first-generation model. It has a 30% larger screen in the same 40mm and 45mm case sizes, it boasts the same S8 chip that powers this year’s Apple Watch Series 8, and it has new motion sensors that enable it to detect car crashes, just like the iPhone 14. But it still lacks the more-capable models’ Always-On display, blood oxygen sensor, ECG capability, and fast charging. It costs $249 for a GPS-only model or $299 for the GPS+Cellular model. The case is aluminum, and you can choose from midnight, starlight, and silver colors. You can order now for delivery on September 16th.

The Apple Watch Series 8 doesn’t change physically from the Series 7, but it gains a temperature sensor that Apple leverages for cycle tracking capabilities. We’re hoping Apple can get FDA approval to use the temperature sensor for other health-related options in the future—wouldn’t it be great if your Apple Watch could warn you that you might be getting sick? The Series 8 also gets the new motion sensors to detect car crashes, and travelers will be able to add a cellular Series 8 to an iPhone’s international roaming plan—likely for an additional fee—if the carrier in question supports it. The aluminum case comes in four colors—midnight, starlight, silver, and Product(RED)—and starts at $399 for GPS-only and $499 for GPS+Cellular. The stainless steel case comes in silver, gold, and graphite and starts at $699. Again, order now for delivery on September 16th.

Most interesting is the new Apple Watch Ultra. It’s a completely new design with a 49mm titanium case and a flat sapphire front crystal embedded in the case to protect against side impacts. At 14.4 millimeters, it’s thicker than the other two models, which are only 10.7 millimeters, so it may look ungainly on people with smaller wrists. It features a new Action button that apps can use for their own purposes, along with a larger Digital Crown and side button to make it easier to control with gloves. The Always-On screen is brighter than ever, making it readable in direct sunlight. The larger size also gives it better battery life, with 36 hours in normal usage and up to 60 hours with an extended battery optimization mode Apple says is still coming.

Apple beefed up other specs in the Apple Watch Ultra as well. A new dual-frequency GPS works better in conditions that can block GPS signals. It includes dual speakers and a three-mic array for better audio output and input, even in windy conditions. If you need help being found in the wilderness, it boasts an 86-decibel siren that can be heard up to 180 meters away. It’s IP6X dust resistant and meets the US military standard MIL-STD 810H for environmental conditions. You can even take it diving down to 100 meters, and with the Oceanic+ app coming in a few months, the Apple Watch Ultra can act as a full dive computer.

On the software side, the Apple Watch Ultra includes a new Wayfinder watch face that displays a compass and has a Night mode that switches to red on black for easier reading in the dark. A redesigned Compass app provides multiple views, a backtrack capability to retrace your steps, and waypoints for easier navigation.

The Apple Watch Ultra offers a choice of three bands: Alpine (nylon with a G-hook clasp), Ocean (a stretch elastomer with extensions to fit over wetsuits), and Trail (a nylon sport loop with a tab for easier adjusting). You can order now for $799, and it will ship on September 23rd.

Second-Generation AirPods Pro Improves on Previous Generation

Finally, Apple announced the second-generation AirPods Pro. Both the earbuds and the charging case look essentially the same, with the main subtle external change being that you can now adjust the volume with light swipes up and down on the stems of the AirPods Pro. A new extra small ear tip should make the AirPods Pro fit more people’s ears.

Instead, Apple focused its efforts on the internals of the AirPods Pro. A new H2 chip, coupled with a new low-distortion driver and custom amplifier, promises a better audio experience. The H2 chip also improves the Active Noise Cancellation feature, cutting out up to twice as much ambient noise, and the new Adaptive Transparency mode lets you hear what’s happening around you while simultaneously reducing noise from harsh sounds in the environment. When used with iOS 16, you’ll also be able to use Personalize Spatial Audio to customize what you hear based on the size and shape of your head and ears.

Perhaps most welcome is the additional 1.5 hours of listening time with Active Noise Cancellation that the new AirPods Pro offer. The charging case provides four additional charges for a combined total of 30 hours of listening time, 6 hours more than the previous model. You can now charge the case from an Apple Watch charger, a MagSafe charger, a Qi charger, or a regular Lightning cable. The new case is sweat- and water-resistant, includes a lanyard loop, and can be found when lost more easily thanks to a built-in speaker and support for Precision Finding in the Find My app when used with a compatible iPhone.

Pricing for the second-generation AirPods Pro remains the same at $249. You can order starting September 9th, and they’ll arrive starting September 23rd.

Read This Article Before Transferring Your Data to a New iPhone

Are you among the millions of people planning to get a new iPhone 14? It’s exciting, we know, but don’t move too fast when getting started with your new iPhone, or you might cause yourself headaches. Instead, follow these instructions once you’re ready to transfer your data to the new iPhone:

  1. Make sure you know your Apple ID and password! You will likely have to enter them at least once during this process.
  2. If you have an Apple Watch, it’s safest to unpair it from your old iPhone, which automatically backs up your Apple Watch. (In theory, unpairing shouldn’t always be necessary, but it never hurts.)There are two caveats when unpairing. First, if you have a cellular Apple Watch, you’ll be asked if you want to keep or remove your plan. Assuming that you’re keeping your Apple Watch to re-pair with your new iPhone, keep the plan. Second, if you use a transit card in the Wallet app, Apple recommends removing your transit card from your Apple Watch before unpairing.Using the Watch app on your old iPhone, go to the My Watch tab, tap All Watches (at the top left of the screen), tap the ⓘ button next to your Apple Watch, and tap Unpair Apple Watch.
  3. Make a backup of your old iPhone to iCloud or your Mac. (If you back up to a Mac, be sure to encrypt the backup, or else it won’t include saved passwords, Wi-Fi settings, browsing history, Health data, and call history.) Or back up to both, for safety’s sake. We prefer iCloud backups because they’re easier and don’t introduce additional variables. Apple will even give you temporary iCloud storage to make a backup when moving to a new iPhone. To initiate an iCloud backup, go to Settings > Your Name > iCloud > iCloud Backup and tap Back Up Now.
  4. You may need to transfer your SIM card from your old iPhone to your new one. However, that’s highly unlikely if you ordered through Apple and connected to your cellular carrier account during purchase; if you did that, activating the new iPhone should cause it to take over your phone number. Even if that isn’t the case, it’s better to contact your carrier and get them to activate the new SIM in the new iPhone because old SIMs don’t always support all current cellular features, such as full 5G support.
  5. Transfer your data, settings, apps, and purchased content in one of these three ways. None of them will be quick, so do the transfer when you have time:
    • Quick Start: With the Quick Start feature, content from your old iPhone copies directly from your old iPhone to your new one. We recommend this technique because it generally preserves app logins, something that’s less true when restoring from an iCloud backup. Put your iPhones next to each other (and plugged into power), use the old iPhone to scan the animation on the new one, and then follow the rest of the steps.
    • iCloud: With this technique, the new iPhone will download your content from your old iPhone’s iCloud backup. Once you’ve joined a Wi-Fi network on the new iPhone and tapped the Restore from iCloud Backup button, you’ll have to select the correct backup—likely the most recent one you just made. Keep your new iPhone plugged into power the entire time to ensure that all your content syncs during this step.
    • Finder or iTunes: With this approach, you’ll restore your old iPhone’s content from a backup made to your Mac. Connect your new iPhone to your Mac using an appropriate cable, open a Finder window (or iTunes on an old Mac), select your device, click Restore Backup, and choose the appropriate backup—likely the most recent one.
  6. Perform post-transfer tasks. Ensure that you can make and receive a phone call. Pair your Apple Watch with the new iPhone if necessary. You’ll also need to pair your Bluetooth accessories—including AirPods—with your new iPhone. Plus, some app data needs to sync to your new iPhone, so open the Mail, Contacts, and Calendar apps and check if they have your data. It could take a few minutes for them to fill up. Apps may ask for notification permissions again, and you may need to download content and in-app purchases.
  7. Finally, and this post-transfer task is becoming increasingly important, if you use two-factor authentication with an app like 1PasswordAuthy, or Google Authenticator, make sure that you can get your 2FA codes using your new iPhone. 1Password and Authy should be good about providing access to your 2FA codes from multiple devices—just log in to your account from each device—but Google Authenticator may require some additional setup since it didn’t originally offer any way to transfer codes to a new phone or among multiple devices.

Although Apple works hard to make the process of transferring from an old iPhone to a new one as painless as possible, some things may fail to transfer seamlessly. For that reason, we strongly recommend holding onto your old iPhone for a week or so to ensure the new one can do everything the old one could. During that time, put the new iPhone through its paces with an eye toward checking every app you need.

When Should You Upgrade to macOS 13 Ventura, iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, and tvOS 16?

September is here, which means that Apple will soon start releasing major upgrades for all its operating systems. Note that we say “start.” Apple will release iOS 16 and watchOS 9 alongside new iPhones and Apple Watch models in September. However, Apple has now acknowledged that iPadOS 16 will ship later in the fall—perhaps in October—as version 16.1, likely in conjunction with iOS 16.1 and possibly alongside macOS 13 Ventura. tvOS 16 isn’t interesting enough to worry about much either way.

Apple previewed these releases at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, and many people have been testing the public betas since. Once Apple judges each of its operating systems to be ready for public consumption, the question arises—when should you upgrade?

Note that we say when and not if. There’s no harm in delaying a major operating system upgrade until Apple has sanded off rough edges that slipped through testing. But waiting too long puts you at risk from security vulnerabilities, increases compatibility annoyances, and prevents you from taking advantage of new features. Plus, when you buy a new Mac, iPhone, or iPad after these operating systems have shipped, you’ll get the latest version, which could pose problems for your existing apps or compatibility with older hardware or workflows. It’s best to be prepared if you have to replace a device unexpectedly.

Given that we don’t know precisely when each operating system will come out, here’s our recommendation for the general upgrade order that we anticipate and how long we suggest waiting after the release appears. Remember, always make a backup before upgrading a Mac, iPhone, or iPad so you can revert if necessary.

iOS 16

It’s usually safe to upgrade iOS fairly quickly because Apple puts significant effort into ensuring that the new iOS version is a good experience for those who buy the new iPhones that come with it. However, because iPhones are so crucial to our everyday lives, it’s worth delaying the upgrade to iOS 16 for a few weeks, just in case. After that, you can install it and enjoy the new features.

You’ll likely enjoy iOS 16’s customizable Lock screen, which lets you specify the font, color, and placement of various options, all of which appear with photos that can shuffle throughout the day. Widgets can now appear on the Lock screen too, providing at-a-glance weather and other info even without unlocking your iPhone. The new dictation capabilities that let you talk, select, and type without switching modes may also be game-changing for some, and dictation will even add punctuation automatically and let you enter emojis with voice commands.

However, some features may not be fully available at the start due to Apple’s tight integration of operating systems. Messages will finally let you edit messages after sending, undo sending, and mark messages as unread—but editing and unsending won’t work for messages sent to people running anything earlier than iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and Ventura. We’re unsure if Apple will enable iCloud Shared Photo Library, which lets you automatically share an entire library of photos with family members or friends, until iPadOS 16 and Ventura are out as well. Similarly, the Continuity Camera feature of iOS 16, which lets you use your iPhone as a webcam for your Mac’s videoconferencing apps, won’t be available until Ventura ships.

watchOS 9

Once you upgrade your iPhone to iOS 16, there’s no reason to delay upgrading your Apple Watch to watchOS 9. You may not even notice the difference since none of the changes are likely to force changes in your usage patterns.

New features include new views and more metrics in the Workout app, including a display of heart rate zones and pace feedback. You can customize workout and recovery intervals, race against previous routes, get running form metrics, and see your running power. Also new is a Medications app that helps you remember to take medications and log them from reminders. And, of course, there are more watch faces.

tvOS 16

We don’t know when Apple will release tvOS 16, but the changes are so minimal that it doesn’t matter much. tvOS 16 will support more Bluetooth gaming controllers, provide full support of the Matter smart home standard, and offer more integration with your other Apple devices, such as with workouts in Apple Fitness+.

Unless something in that list encourages you to upgrade as soon as it’s out, we suggest letting your Apple TV (the fourth-generation model and later) upgrade itself when it gets around to it, assuming you have automatic updates turned on in Settings > Software Updates.

iPadOS 16

iPadOS 16 may not be available until October, but once it ships, our general advice is that it’s fine to update. For the most part, iPadOS is a superset of iOS, so if anything, Apple should have had some time to fix any early bugs that cropped up in iOS 16 before releasing iPadOS 16.

The big new feature in iPadOS 16—if you have an M1-equipped iPad like the latest iPad Air or iPad Pro—is Stage Manager, which brings a structured windowing system to the iPad and Mac. Stage Manager lets you stack up to four apps in an overlapping view, providing additional sets of apps off to the side in a sort of secondary Dock. If you connect your iPad to an external display (along with a keyboard and pointing device), it offers another separate workspace, so you can work more fluidly in multiple apps at once.

If you want to see more on screen, a new display scaling mode shrinks interface elements and content. It may make Stage Manager and Split View more helpful. You’ll also likely enjoy a better search in Mail, plus options to undo sending, schedule sending, follow up on sent messages, and add rich links. (These Mail features are shared with iOS 16 and Ventura.) Last but not least, the iPad finally gets its own Weather app.

macOS 13 Ventura

The hardest upgrade decision revolves around upgrading your Mac to macOS 13 Ventura, and that assumes you can upgrade at all, given that Apple has dropped support for all Macs released before 2017. The main new feature that you might find compelling is Stage Manager, although most longtime Mac users probably already feel comfortable with their window management skills. If you spend a lot of time in video calls, the new Continuity Camera feature that lets you use your iPhone (running iOS 16, natch) as a high-quality webcam with support for Center Stage—which enables the camera to follow you as you move around—may also be attractive. And, of course, you’ll get the new Messages, Mail, and iCloud Shared Photo Library features that Apple added to iOS 16 and iPadOS 16.

We always encourage caution when upgrading to a new version of macOS. Wait at least a few months before upgrading your primary Mac to Ventura. App compatibility isn’t usually a long-term problem with iOS and iPadOS, but many people rely on older Mac apps that may not work in the latest version of macOS. Even once you’re confident that your apps will work properly in Ventura, there may be workflow or intra-office compatibility concerns if some people upgrade and others don’t. And, of course, unanticipated bugs could crop up at inconvenient times—important work takes place on Macs! Please, do not upgrade to Ventura without checking with us first. With luck, the start of the new year will have brought both the bug fixes and app updates necessary to give the green light.

(Featured image by Apple)

Photos Library Showing Blank Thumbnails or Having Other Issues? Try This Trick to Repair It

The Photos app is usually a solid performer, but it does rely on a database behind the scenes, and corruption is a possibility. If you find that your Photos library is showing blank thumbnails or otherwise acting oddly, see if the Photos Repair Library tool can fix it. First, if Photos is open, quit it. Then launch Photos again while holding down the Command and Option keys at the same time. In the window that appears, click Repair. The tool might ask for your account password, and depending on the size of your library, the repair could take some time, so don’t interrupt it. If that doesn’t fix the problem, contact us—if all else fails, we can help you recover your original photos from within the Photos Library file.

Most Pantone Color Books for Adobe Creative Cloud to Require Pantone Connect License

Adobe says that Pantone Color Books will be phased out of Adobe Creative Cloud apps, starting with updates to Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop released after August 16, 2022. After November 2022, only three Pantone Color Books will remain: Pantone + CMYK Coated, Pantone + CMYK Uncoated, and Pantone + Metallics Coated. To access all other Pantone Color Libraries, Creative Cloud users will need to purchase a Pantone Connect license and access the libraries through the Pantone Connect plug-in. Pantone Connect costs $59.99 per year or $7.99 per month. For the most part, existing files should continue to work as before, although Adobe offers details of how files in Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop may be affected.

(Featured image based on an original by iStock.com/Kanizphoto)

Remove Old-Style Today View Widgets from Your iPhone

In iOS 14, Apple overhauled widgets, allowing you to add them to your Home screen in addition to the Today View accessible by swiping right on the Home screen. App developers responded with a slew of new widgets, but old-style widgets that are limited to Today View remain available. If you no longer want these older widgets cluttering the bottom of your Today View, here’s how to remove them. Swipe right on the Home screen to enter Today View. At the bottom of Today View, tap the Edit button, and at the bottom of the collection of old-style widgets (new-style widgets wiggle), tap Customize. In the Add Widgets screen, tap the red button next to each widget you want to delete and confirm by tapping Remove.

(Featured image by Adam Engst)