Everything you need to know about Apple’s surprise new devices

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Apple generally has huge, Tim Cook-fronted events when it launches new devices but yesterday, when Apple.com went dark, there was a sense that perhaps something new was being snuck out of Cupertino.

Sure enough, when the site reappeared it was adorned with new iPhones, iPads and Watch straps. Yes, we’re talking fairly minor tweaks rather than world-changing new tech, but there are some useful little updates here.

Looking for a quick catch-up on all of the changes? We’ve got you covered.

IPHONE 7 AND IPHONE 7 PLUS SEE RED

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus now come in a shade of fetching red. They join the existing family of (PRODUCT)RED products that are specially created to raise funds for fighting HIV/AIDS.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition come in 128GB and 256GB flavours. Pricing for the iPhone 7and iPhone 7 Plus are known internationally, running from R11,100 (iPhone 7 128GB) to R14,550 (iPhone 7 Plus 256GB) but South Africa has yet to catch up with official pricing and availability. The order books open this Friday, if you’re the type to order from overseas.

Like the idea of buying a phone that helps fight disease but not so keen on the scarlet visage? Apple’s also launched its silicone and leather cases in a host of new colours: azure, camellia and pebble, taupe, sapphire and berry.

IPHONE SE DOUBLES UP ON STORAGE

The littlest iPhone now comes with more storage than ever. Gone are the 16GB and 64GB variants – instead, say hello to the new 32GB and 128GB ones.

Thankfully (and perhaps a little surprisingly) overseas prices haven’t increased along with the storage, so the 32GB iPhone SE, if the trend holds true this side of the pond, should cost the same as the outgoing 16GB model (R7,500). It will be available from this Friday overseas but, as with the red iPhone, we don’t have official word for SA yet.

IPADS GET STREAMLINED

The iPad Air is dead. Its replacement? Simply ‘iPad’.

This is fundamentally the same tablet, albeit with a processor upgrade to the A9, a slight increase in brightness and a price drop, with the range getting a new set of prices in the process. Our own cost structure… that’s something that hasn’t been revealed yet. Bad Core, get a move on.

The iPad Mini 4 doesn’t get a new processor but it has had its storage increased to 128GB as standard. In fact, that’s the only storage option that will be available for the Mini. Overseas pricing is also a known thing but, as usual, we’re waiting on official word for this country.

NEW APPLE WATCH BANDS GALORE

Because it’s spring and Apple Watch follows the fashion calendar, you get new colour choices in practically every Apple Watch category: Sport, Woven Nylon in fresh patterns, Classic Buckle, and even Hermès. We’re particularly fond of that Bleu Zéphyr Epsom leather. Plus, you can buy Nike Sport Bands for the first time.

APPLE WANTS YOU TO CREATE CLIPS

It’s not all hardware. Software gets some love in the form of Clips, an app that will let you easily create videos using photos, videos, and music. It also features something called Live Tiles which will allow you to create animated captions using your voice. Of course, you can expect the mandatory special effects and stickers for embellishment.

Clips will be available for free from the start of April.

SWIFT PLAYGROUNDS LEARNS NEW LANGUAGES

When it was first announced at WWDC last year, Apple’s Swift Playgrounds, which teaches you how to code, was only available in English. Now, though, it’s being rolled out in Simplified Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Latin American Spanish.

Coding knows no borders.

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