Year in Review: Everything Apple Introduced in 2019

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2019 was a significant year for Apple, bringing new an updated three iPhone lineup, AirPods Pro with noise cancellation, the long-awaited 16-inch MacBook Pro, and the modular high-end Mac Pro for Apple's professional user base.

There were also a ton of new services, including Apple TV+, Apple News+, Apple Arcade, and the Apple Card. In the article below, we've created an overview of everything that Apple launched in 2019.


10.5-inch iPad Air (March)

Apple added a new iPad to its lineup in March, debuting the iPad Air. At 10.5 inches and with a $499 price tag, the iPad Air is designed to offer a middle-tier option that's between the expensive 11-inch iPad Pro and the affordable 10.2-inch seventh-generation iPad.


The iPad Air offers up a True Tone display and a design that's similar to the now-discontinued 10.5-inch iPad Pro, plus there's an A12 Bionic chip, Apple Pencil support, and a Smart Connector that allows it to work with Apple's Smart Keyboard.

The iPad Air's specs are identical to the iPad mini 5, but it has a much bigger body.

iPad mini 5 (March)

Apple in March introduced the first update to its iPad mini line in several years, launching the iPad mini 5 with True Tone support, a faster A12 Bionic chip, and, for the first time, Apple Pencil support.


The iPad mini is functionally identical to the iPad Air, but in Apple's smaller 7.9-inch tablet form factor. Pricing on the iPad mini starts at $399, making it more expensive than the seventh-generation iPad but more affordable than the iPad Air.

4K and 5K iMacs (March)

Apple refreshed its 4K and 5K iMacs in March with new processors and graphics options that make the new machines "freaking powerful," but there were no other design or display updates.


The iMacs are still using the same design that was introduced in 2012, but Apple's newest iMacs are its most powerful. The iMac Pro didn't get a 2019 refresh and hasn't been updated since it launched in 2017.

AirPods 2 (March)

Apple unveiled second-generation AirPods in March, adding an updated H1 chip with connectivity improvements and faster device swapping, plus "Hey Siri" support.


AirPods 2 come with an optional Wireless Charging Case that allows the AirPods to be charged using a Qi-based wireless charger. You can get the AirPods without the charging case for $159, or with the charging case for $199.

Aside from the chip updates and the new charging case, the AirPods 2 are identical to the AirPods 1 with the same five-hour battery life.

Apple News+ (March)

Apple made a major push into subscription services in 2019, and the first subscription to launch was Apple News+.

Apple News+ is priced at $9.99 per month in the U.S. and gives users access to hundreds of magazines and several paywalled news sites like The Wall Street Journal. Apple offered a free 30-day Apple News+ trial, but reports suggest the service just isn't popular with users and hasn't seen much growth since launch.


Powerbeats Pro (May)

Two months after introducing AirPods 2, Apple debuted the Powerbeats Pro under its Beats brand, offering up wire-free headphones that are aimed at fitness enthusiasts.

The Powerbeats Pro have an in-ear design with silicone tips and a wraparound wing that's designed to keep them in place even during vigorous activity. Priced at $250, the Powerbeats Pro are superior to AirPods in many ways, offering longer battery life and a more comfortable fit for some people due to the silicone ear tips.


Powerbeats Pro have the same H1 chip that's in the AirPods, which means they have all the same capabilities like fast device swapping, easy setup, and "Hey Siri" support. Powerbeats Pro are larger than AirPods, though, and the case doesn't support wireless charging.

13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro (May/July)

Apple staggered its MacBook Pro refreshes in 2019, overhauling the higher-end 13 and 15-inch models in May and then refreshing the entry-level model in July 2019. There was also another MacBook Pro refresh in October, but we'll get to that a bit later.


The MacBook Pro models gained new 8th and 9th-generation chips and updated graphics, along with butterfly keyboards said to be more durable. The most significant change was the addition of a Touch Bar across the entire lineup, adding the functionality to even the entry-level model.

Seventh-Generation iPod Touch (May)

Apple updated the iPod touch for the first time in several years in May, introducing a faster A10 Fusion chip. It's not as fast as more modern chips in current iPhones, but it's an improvement over what was in the sixth-generation iPod touch.


Apple made no other design changes to the iPod touch, and it continues to offer a 4-inch display and a body with a Home button but no Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

MacBook Air (July)

Apple updated the MacBook Air in July, lowering the starting price to $999 and introducing an updated display with True Tone support plus an updated butterfly keyboard that's supposed to be more durable.


There were no other design changes, and the 2019 MacBook Air uses the same redesign with Retina display that was first introduced in October 2018. Pricing on the MacBook Air now starts at $1,099 instead of $1,199.

Apple Card (August)

Apple in August introduced the Apple Card, its first ever credit card created in partnership with Goldman Sachs. The Apple Card is linked to Apple Pay and built right into the Wallet app, plus there's a physical titanium card to use for purchases.


Apple Card is meant to be easy to sign up for and easy to use, with everything handled in the Wallet app. You can see detailed reports on spending to keep track of what you've purchased, and make payments right on the iPhone.

Apple offers a Daily Cash rewards feature for Apple Card, which gives a percentage of each purchase back to you. You can get 1% for general purchases, 2% for all Apple Pay purchases, and 3% for Apple Pay purchases made from Apple or from select retailers like T-Mobile, Walgreens, Nike, and Duane Reade.

New Software (September/October)

In the fall, Apple released new software for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, debuting iOS 13, iPadOS 13, macOS Catalina, tvOS 13, and watchOS 6.

iOS 13 for the first time splits iOS into two separate operating systems -- iOS for iPhones and iPadOS for the iPad. The updates are ultimately close to identical, but iPadOS has some additional features designed for the larger screen of the iPad such as multitasking and Sidecar support.


The update brings an overhauled Photos app, new video editing capabilities, major privacy improvements, updated Maps, new HomeKit capabilities, and lots more.

macOS Catalina is a major change because it does away with the iTunes app in favor of separate Music, Movies, and Podcasts apps. It also has a new Sidecar feature for using the iPad as a secondary display for the Mac, there's a new Find My app, support for Screen Time, plus tons of additional features.


watchOS 6 introduced a dedicated App Store for the first time, making it possible to download apps right on the wrist. There's also a new Noise app for making sure the ambient noise around you isn't loud enough to damage hearing, and a new menstrual cycle tracking app for women.


Audiobooks, Calculator, and Voice Memos were brought to the Apple Watch, and there are new complications and watch faces.

tvOS 13 brought a new Home screen for the Apple TV, making it easier than ever to discover content, plus it includes the TV app, a new Control Center, multi-user support, and picture-in-picture mode.


iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max (September)

Introduced in September, the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max are Apple's new flagship iPhones with updated A13 chips, new camera technology, Haptic Touch, faster Face ID, and more.

The iPhone 11 is Apple's affordable iPhone priced starting at $699, while the iPhone 11 Pro ($999) and Pro Max ($1099) are more expensive. The iPhone 11 is equipped with an aluminum frame, a glass body, and an LCD display, while the two higher-end iPhones feature a more durable stainless steel frame, a glass body, and OLED displays.


The iPhone 11 features a dual-lens camera with a wide-angle and new ultra wide-angle lens, while the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max have triple-lens setup with a wide-angle camera, an ultra wide-angle camera, and a telephoto camera.

All of the new iPhones have much better photographic capabilities and support Night Mode, Apple's new feature that lets you take impressively crisp and clear photos even in the lowest lighting conditions.

Apple Watch Series 5 (September)

Apple didn't change a lot in the Apple Watch Series 5, and it continues to use the same chip that was in the Series 4. It does have an always-on display, though, which is the biggest difference between Series 4 and Series 5 models.


The always-on display allows the time and certain complications and apps to be visible at all times without the need to raise your wrist. Series 5 models also feature a new built-in compass feature and Compass app, along with new Ceramic options. Pricing on the Apple Watch Series 5 starts at $399.

Seventh-Generation iPad (September)

Apple overhauled the entry-level iPad in September, adding a new 10.2-inch display while keeping the $329 price tag intact. The new display offers more viewing area, and it continues to support the Apple Pencil.


For the first time, the seventh-generation iPad works with the Smart Keyboard through a new Smart Connector. Other than the new display size and the addition of a Smart Connector, the seventh-generation iPad is identical to the sixth-generation model, using the same camera technology and A10 Fusion chip.

Apple Arcade (September)

Apple Arcade is another one of Apple's new services, offering access to hundreds of games for a $4.99 per month fee. Since Apple Arcade launched in September, Apple has been steadily adding new games, and there's a ton of content for that $4.99 fee.

Family Sharing is supported, so the monthly fee allows up to six family members to access Apple Arcade games. All Apple Arcade games are exclusive to Apple when it comes to mobile availability, and are from some big name partners like Cartoon Network, LEGO, and Konami.


Apple Arcade games can be played offline and have no ads or in-app purchases. All content is included in the monthly fee.

AirPods Pro (October)

Apple in October surprised us with the AirPods Pro, a new higher-end version of the AirPods with an overhauled design and active noise cancellation functionality.

The AirPods Pro have a design reminiscent of the original AirPods, but with silicone tips that fit into the ear canal to seal out noise for the noise cancellation technology.


Available only in white and priced at $249, the AirPods Pro also offer superior sound quality and a Transparency mode that lets you hear what's going on around you so you don't miss important announcements at airports and train stations.

AirPods Pro use the same H1 chip that's in the AirPods, and there's a vent system that's meant to minimize the discomfort common with other in-ear designs. AirPods Pro are water resistant with an IPX4 rating and also come with a wireless charging case that's bigger than the AirPods case because of its need to accommodate the larger tips.

Apple TV+ (November)

Apple TV+ is Apple's streaming television service, priced at $4.99 per month. There's a one-month free trial, and Apple is offering a free year of Apple TV+ to anyone who has bought a new iPhone, Mac, Apple TV, or iPod after September 10, 2019.

Apple is offering a free one-year subscription to new device owners because there's just not a lot of content on Apple TV+ at this time comparative to other streaming services.


Apple TV+ launched with a handful of TV shows like "For All Mankind," "The Morning Show," "See," and "Dickinson," but it will take some time for the company to build up a solid content catalog. Apple is adding new shows to Apple TV+ regularly, and all content can be watched by up to six family members using Family Sharing.

16-inch MacBook Pro (November)

Apple in November refreshed the MacBook Pro for the third time in 2019, introducing a new 16-inch model that replaces the 15-inch model that was just updated in May 2019.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro has a larger 16-inch display size with slimmer bezels, plus it has a new keyboard that eliminates the much-hated butterfly mechanism in favor of a new scissor mechanism that shouldn't be as prone to catastrophic failure.


The 16-inch MacBook Pro uses Intel's 9th-generation chips, along with AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series graphics. It supports up to 64GB of RAM and up to 8TB of storage space. It continues to have a Touch Bar and Touch ID, but Apple did make one useful change - the ESC key is no longer part of the Touch Bar and is now a standalone key.

Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR (December)

After introducing the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR earlier in the year, Apple launched the new hardware in December. The Mac Pro is a machine designed for professionals, and it features a new modular, upgradeable design with high-end hardware.


It supports Xeon chips with up to 28 cores, up to 1.5TB of memory, eight PCIe expansion slots, 4TB of SSD storage, and Radeon Pro Vega II Duo GPUs, plus there's an Apple-designed Apple Afterburner accelerator card that boosts ProRes performance. Pricing on the Mac Pro starts at $6,000 and goes up from there with each upgrade.

Apple is selling the Mac Pro alongside the Pro Display XDR, a 32-inch 6K Retina display that offers more than 20 million pixels. Its design matches the design of the Mac Pro, and it's priced starting at $5000. That price tag doesn't include the price of the stand, which is an additional $999.

What's Next?

Make sure to check out MacRumors tomorrow because we'll be highlighting all of the products that we expect to see from Apple in 2020. Some amazing things are on the horizon for 2020, like 5G iPhones and new iPhones and iPads with 3D laser camera technology.

Article Link: Year in Review: Everything Apple Introduced in 2019
 

Bocconucci

macrumors newbie
Dec 20, 2019
11
6
Jakarta
The Apple Board again paved the road for some disruptive innovation in 2020:
The iTim selfie-stick will beat expectations from those who consider them just some other milkmen, while elevating anemic self-glorification to new levels in one fell swoop.
Self-stabilizing, autoboke-ing and auto-focussing
People don’t seem to realize how ready they are as per Tims’ influence - offering the term “auto-focus” a completely new, more genuine, meaning
 
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PickUrPoison

macrumors 603
Sep 12, 2017
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Sunnyvale, CA
They really closed out the year with a bang. Maybe the best three products of the 2010s, at least for pros who use their Macs to generate revenue. I know some complain about the XDR, but for those who want/need a 32” Retina reference display, $6k is a bargain.
 
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Traverse

macrumors 604
Mar 11, 2013
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Gotta say, my iPhone 11 Pro is the first iPhone I've REALLY liked since my iPhone SE (the iPhone 8 & iPhone X🅂 were meh). I love my AirPods and look forward to updated AirPods Pro in the future. I also look forward to a titanium Apple Watch in the future.

I even bought the iPod touch - LOL.

I'm optimistic for 2020.
 

PickUrPoison

macrumors 603
Sep 12, 2017
5,654
6,552
Sunnyvale, CA
The Apple Board again paved the road for some disruptive innovation in 2020:
The iTim selfie-stick elevating, anemic self-glorification to new levels.
Self-stabilizing, autoboke-ing and auto-focussing
People don’t seem to realize how ready they are as per Tims’ influence - giving auto-focus a completely new, more genuine, meaning
Yes, an amazing board and to go along with the imazing iTim 🤣

The camera innovation this year was noteworthy. No one is talking about the night mode on the Pixel anymore, that’s for sure. Now we talk about slofies 😂
 
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reidmangel

macrumors member
May 21, 2015
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The AirPods Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are both incredible products.

I got the AirPods pro for my Birthday last week and I’m amazed by how great both the noise cancellation and sound quality are. I used them on a flight and couldn’t hear the plane at all.
 
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Seanm87

macrumors 6502a
Oct 10, 2014
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Seems even macrumors thinks the faster Face ID is due to the 11 models. It’s an ios13 improvement nothing to do with the newer hardware. Every Face ID phone got the 30% increase.
 

chucker23n1

macrumors 68030
Dec 7, 2014
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Very solid year. Fixed a lot of issues in the Mac line-up (got rid of the confusing MacBook, made the low-end MBP more like the higher-end ones, strengthened the high-end MBP, offered a new MacBook keyboard, brought back a strong Mac Pro), provided nice iPhone camera improvements, brought back the iPad mini, gave iPadOS its own due, launches services with surprise hits (Arcade and TV+ seem pretty good so far), and a lot more. I feel much better about the Mac than just two years ago.

Some not so great, too. Why couldn’t they bump the Mac mini to Coffee Lake Refresh? How did they bungle News+ not just in general acceptance but also software quality and usability? How were the OS releases so rough at launch, in what feels like a repeat from two years ago? Who thought shipping Catalyst apps at this stage was good enough?

But in general, a pretty good year!
 

Alan Wynn

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2017
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They really closed out the year with a bang. Maybe the best three products of the 2010s, at least for pros who use their Macs to generate revenue. I know some complain about the XDR, but for those who want/need a 32” Retina reference display, $6k is a bargain.
Took my boy friend to look at the New Pro and XDR on the 29th at Apple’s Third Street Promenade store in Santa Monica, CA. Most time I have had to play with the stand up until now and found a few things that I thought were really nice. When the display is in portrait mode, it locks the up and down motion of the stand so one cannot slam it into one’s desk. Also, the ability to take it off the stand without tools is really nice for people who need to travel with the monitor/stand (colorists working on set, as an example). It means that when it is in a road case, there is no tension on the back of the monitor nor on the stand. I need to see about getting a large enough piece of the special cleaning cloth to cover the nano-etched screen and provide protection when it is in its pelican case for travel.

My big hope is that Apple adds Blackmagic RAW support to the Afterburner card, and adds other enhancements to it over time for other video and/or audio tasks.
 
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chucker23n1

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Dec 7, 2014
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Most time I have had to play with the stand up until now and found a few things that I thought were really nice. When the display is in portrait mode, it locks the up and down motion of the stand so one cannot slam it into one’s desk. Also, the ability to take it off the stand without tools is really nice for people who need to travel with the monitor/stand (colorists working on set, as an example). It means that when it is in a road case, there is no tension on the back of the monitor nor on the stand.
That does sound nice. Not sure it sounds $999 nice, though.

My big hope is that Apple adds Blackmagic RAW support to the Afterburner card, and adds other enhancements to it over time for other video and/or audio tasks.
I'm guessing Apple is looking at:

  • how many people are buying the Mac Pro
  • how many of those are buying Afterburner
For those who haven't done the latter, they'll probably do surveys as to why not. For example, Afterburner is currently useless for developers or audio producers.

Then, if there's a significant number of customers who buy a Mac Pro, don't buy an Afterburner, and for whom Apple can conceive of a useful application (porting code to it is not that simple), they'll consider it.

Beyond that, they probably aren't gonna commit to anything just yet.
 

Alan Wynn

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2017
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That does sound nice. Not sure it sounds $999 nice, though.
For someone who has to move that monitor to an on-set location on a regular basis, it is easily worth that. The ease of handling and the safety of separating the display from the stand makes it a simple choice.



I'm guessing Apple is looking at:
  • how many people are buying the Mac Pro
  • how many of those are buying Afterburner
For those who haven't done the latter, they'll probably do surveys as to why not. For example, Afterburner is currently useless for developers or audio producers.

Then, if there's a significant number of customers who buy a Mac Pro, don't buy an Afterburner, and for whom Apple can conceive of a useful application (porting code to it is not that simple), they'll consider it.
I think that they will care about both those who have bought the card and those who have not. If they decide to add Blackmagic RAW support to Final Cut Pro, I expect we will see it on the Afterburner Card. If not, we will not.

I also expect that we will see other code developed based on how much better it can be than the native CPU/GPU. My bet is they port Chrome’s rendering engine to it, to improve performance and cut energy usage. ;-D

Seriously, I think there will be audio applications for the card and maybe even ML uses. I wonder if there will ever be applications that directly benefit developers in their work (vs. for their applications) - other than the one I suggested above. :)
 

PickUrPoison

macrumors 603
Sep 12, 2017
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Sunnyvale, CA
For someone who has to move that monitor to an on-set location on a regular basis, it is easily worth that. The ease of handling and the safety of separating the display from the stand makes it a simple choice.





I think that they will care about both those who have bought the card and those who have not. If they decide to add Blackmagic RAW support to Final Cut Pro, I expect we will see it on the Afterburner Card. If not, we will not.

I also expect that we will see other code developed based on how much better it can be than the native CPU/GPU. My bet is they port Chrome’s rendering engine to it, to improve performance and cut energy usage. ;-D

Seriously, I think there will be audio applications for the card and maybe even ML uses. I wonder if there will ever be applications that directly benefit developers in their work (vs. for their applications) - other than the one I suggested above. :)
As I’m sure you know, Blackmagic and Apple partnered for the eGPU, the only way to support 5K—and now the 6K XDR—for older machines that have Thunderbolt 3, but don’t natively support the XDR.

I’d be extremely surprised if Apple doesn’t add support for Blackmagic’s RAW codec, and if so we’ll certainly see Afterburner support as you say.

PS glad to hear your thoughts about the stand; I just think of it as a $6K monitor. Those who use VESA mounts get an even better deal.