Archive for September 14, 2021

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Xcode 13 RC

Apple (release notes):

Xcode 13 includes everything you need to create amazing apps for all Apple platforms. Includes the latest SDKs for macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

Don’t delete your beta version because this build removes the Monterey SDK. Seems like the iOS stuff isn’t quite ready yet, either.


Update (2021-09-16): Nick Lockwood:

So far, Xcode 13 RC seems like a major regression in stability. I've had it freeze up multiple times on my M1 in the last couple of days, after basically no problems for months with 12.5.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Xcode 13 is so crashy right now 👀 RC goes down multiple times a day, and I can’t even blame Interface Builder or the SwiftUI preview system because I use neither

I’m seeing many reports like this.

Update (2021-10-20): Max Seelemann:

Anybody at Apple reading this: we cannot use this Xcode for automatic deployment! We only have one branch with OS updates for Mac/iOS (lots of shared code). Our CI runs universal builds only, so this Xcode breaks it. We need to manually build and submit👎

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Is it just me, macOS 12, or does Xcode 13’s Simulator just not save GIFs anymore? Also pretty frustrating that it saves out videos in the wrong orientation ☹️

Update (2021-10-29): Craig Hockenberry:

SeeIf you have problems distributing an app with Developer ID on Xcode 13, use Xcode 12.5 to pull down the necessary certificates (but don’t upload). After that Xcode 13 will work fine.

This is likely to happen on a new machine (e.g. M1).

Took me a day to figure this out…

iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro

Apple (MacRumors):

Apple today introduced iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini, the next generation of the world’s best smartphone, featuring a beautiful design with sleek flat edges in five gorgeous new colors. Both models feature major innovations, including the most advanced dual-camera system ever on iPhone — with a new Wide camera with bigger pixels and sensor-shift optical image stabilization (OIS) offering improvements in low-light photos and videos, a new way to personalize the camera with Photographic Styles, and Cinematic mode, which brings a new dimension to video storytelling. iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini also boast super-fast performance and power efficiency with A15 Bionic, longer battery life, a brighter Super Retina XDR display that brings content to life, incredible durability with the Ceramic Shield front cover, double the entry-level storage at 128GB, an industry-leading IP68 rating for water resistance, and an advanced 5G experience.


Customers can get iPhone 13 for $33.29 (US) a month for 24 months or $799 (US) before trade-in, and iPhone 13 mini for $29.12 (US) a month for 24 months or $699 (US) before trade-in[…]

I’m glad to see the base storage increase to 128 GB. I hope the iPhone mini stays in the lineup. It’s unfortunate that there’s still no good way to unlock it while wearing a mask, unless you have an Apple Watch. I would have loved to see Touch ID on the power button or under the display.

Apple (MacRumors, Hacker News, Slashdot):

Apple today introduced iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in a smartphone. Redesigned inside and out, both models introduce an all-new Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion featuring an adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz, making the touch experience faster and more responsive. The pro camera system gets its biggest advancement ever with new Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto cameras that capture stunning photos and video, powered by the unmatched performance of A15 Bionic, more powerful than the leading competition. These technologies enable impressive new photo capabilities never before possible on iPhone, like macro photography on the new Ultra Wide camera and up to 2.2x improved low-light performance on the new Wide camera. New computational photography features like Photographic Styles personalize the look of images in the Camera app, and both models now include Night mode on all cameras. Video takes a huge leap forward with Cinematic mode for beautiful depth-of-field transitions, macro video, Time-lapse and Slo-mo, and even better low-light performance. Both models also offer end-to-end pro workflows in Dolby Vision, and for the first time, ProRes, only available on iPhone. iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max also include 5G with more bands for better coverage, big improvements to battery life for the best battery life ever on iPhone with iPhone 13 Pro Max, new storage capacity of 1TB, and the Ceramic Shield front cover, tougher than any smartphone glass.


Customers can get iPhone 13 Pro for $41.62 (US) a month for 24 months or $999 (US) before trade-in, and iPhone 13 Pro Max for $45.79 (US) a month for 24 months or $1,099 (US) before trade-in[…]

I’m not sure what to make of the touted camera improvements. It seems like Apple always says stuff like this, and most years it feels like a small improvement compared with the prior year. But every once in a while it really is a big leap.

Ryan Jones:

Normal person summary of iPhone 13 Pro

  • 1.5-2.5 hours more battery life
  • super fluid animations
  • light blue
  • macro photos
  • Portrait Mode for video
  • smaller notch
  • better cameras


Update (2021-09-16): John Gruber:

Last year, the 12 Pro Max had a better camera system than the 12 Pro. Only the 12 Pro Max had the sensor shift optical image stabilization, and only the 12 Pro Max had a 2.5× (as opposed to 2×) telephoto lens. This year, both Pro models have identical camera systems. (And, like last year, the regular iPhone 13 and 13 Mini share the same camera system as each other.)

The iPhone 13 Pro camera modules are entirely different from the non-Pro 13 and and 13 Mini, though. Not just the existence of the new 3× telephoto, but the 1× (wide) and 0.5× (ultra wide) cameras are better on the Pro models.

Kuba Suder:

Updated table of all recent iPhone sizes & weights. Heaviest iPhone ever!

Juli Clover:

All of the iPhone 13 models are heavier than their iPhone 12 counterparts, likely due to the larger batteries that are inside and the thickness increase. Weight comparisons are below.

Jason Snell:

I want to call out Apple’s incremental improvement in battery life. The last couple of years, Apple seems to be on a mission to extend iPhone battery life. The fact that they tacked on 1.5 hours (iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 Pro) or 2.5 hours (iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max) should not be underestimated. That’s an impressive addition—and if you’re upgrading from a three- or four-year-old phone, the battery life of a new model will be even more impressive.

Quinn Nelson:

Please enjoy getting 4K ProRes off your new iPhone using AirDrop or USB 2.0 via Lightning.


Update (2021-09-17): Tim Hardwick:

The iPhone 13 lineup features new low-power displays, a more efficient A15 chip, larger batteries, and more power-efficient components, all of which make for dramatic improvements when streaming, as the numbers above show.

For example, Apple claims that when streaming video, the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max last nine hours and 13 hours longer than last year’s equivalent models, respectively. Taking the same metric, the battery in the iPhone 13 mini manages 13 hours, which is longer than even the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Josh Ginter:

Here’s what I’m most excited to try out in the new camera system when I get my hands on it next week.

Nick Heer:

Apple’s accessory design guidelines have not been updated with these phones yet. But if the webpage rendering is anything to go by, the bump is now over 50% of the width of the back glass and over 25% of its height.

And, apparently, the phones don’t lay flat in Apple’s cases.

Apple Watch Series 7

Apple (MacRumors):

Apple today announced Apple Watch Series 7, featuring a reengineered Always-On Retina display with significantly more screen area and thinner borders, making it the largest and most advanced display ever. The narrower borders allow the display to maximize screen area, while minimally changing the dimensions of the watch itself. The design of Apple Watch Series 7 is refined with softer, more rounded corners, and the display has a unique refractive edge that makes full-screen watch faces and apps appear to seamlessly connect with the curvature of the case. Apple Watch Series 7 also features a user interface optimized for the larger display, offering greater readability and ease of use, plus two unique watch faces — Contour and Modular Duo — designed specifically for the new device. With the improvements to the display, users benefit from the same all-day 18-hour battery life, now complemented by 33 percent faster charging.


Apple Watch Series 7 will start at $399 (US), Apple Watch SE starts at $279 (US), and Apple Watch Series 3 starts at $199 (US).

Yep, they’re still selling the Series 3 from 2017.


Update (2021-09-16): John Gruber:

Quinn “Snazzy Labs” Nelson flagged Apple for an unfair comparison, regarding just how much more text the larger Series 7 displays can show at a time. The font was the same size, but the line spacing was quite a bit tighter in the Series 7 screenshot. I would also argue that Apple chose text that line-wrapped inefficiently on the Series 6 display, but the difference in line heights is clearly unfair. Apple doesn’t usually play games like that in comparisons. Yellow card issued.

Dr. Drang:

The Series 3 is today’s version of the iPad 2, the 16 GB iPhone, or the 5 GB iCloud free storage tier: The Thing That Wouldn’t Die. But like the iPad 2, it’s a perfectly good device if your needs stay the same as when you bought it.

iPad mini (6th Generation)

Apple (MacRumors, Hacker News):

Apple today introduced the powerful new iPad mini — with a larger 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display — in four gorgeous finishes. Featuring the brand new A15 Bionic chip, the new iPad mini delivers up to 80 percent faster performance than the previous generation, making it the most capable iPad mini ever. A new USB-C port allows faster connectivity, and cellular models with 5G bring more flexible mobile workflows. New advanced cameras, Center Stage, and support for Apple Pencil (2nd generation) enable new ways for users to capture photos and videos, communicate with loved ones, and jot down their ideas when creativity strikes.


Wi-Fi models of iPad mini are available with a starting price of $499 (US) and Wi-Fi + Cellular models start at $649 (US). The new iPad mini, in 64GB and 256GB configurations, comes in pink, starlight, purple, and space gray finishes.

My iPad mini 2 died a while ago, and I decided to switch to a larger screen with an iPad Air (4th generation) earlier this summer. I don’t regret it. However, this new iPad mini looks really great, pretty much what I was hoping Apple would do.


Update (2021-09-16): Joe Rossignol:

Both the iPhone 13 and the new iPad mini are equipped with Apple’s latest A15 Bionic chip, but benchmark results reveal that the chip is downclocked to 2.9GHz in the iPad mini, compared to 3.2GHz in all iPhone 13 models.

iPad (9th Generation)

Apple (MacRumors, Hacker News):

Apple today introduced the new iPad (9th generation), featuring the powerful A13 Bionic chip that packs even more performance and capability into the most popular iPad, all while retaining its all-day battery life. Starting at just $329, the new iPad features a 10.2-inch Retina display with True Tone, a 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage, support for Apple Pencil (1st generation) and Smart Keyboard, the intuitive iPadOS 15, and twice the storage of the previous generation.


Wi-Fi models of iPad are available with a starting price of $329 (US), and Wi-Fi + Cellular models start at $459 (US), in silver and space gray finishes. The new iPad starts with 64GB of storage — double the storage of the previous generation. A 256GB option is also available.

I wish they could get the entry price a bit lower, as it’s still higher specced than it needs to be, but at least it comes with 64 GB now.