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The build-up for Apple’s Spring Loaded 2021 product announcement event is finally over. Today, Tim Cook takes the stage to unleash a new wave of Apple products onto the market. We’ll be watching live in the player embedded below and breaking down all the new stuff as it happens. Just keep scrolling to read the rolling recap.
Here’s a list of some new products we could see, including a new iPad Pro model, a revamped Apple TV, and possibly some new AirPods.
Let’s get to the event!
Tim Cook starts by talking about the company’s environmental impact. Earth Day happens on Thursday, so it makes sense to start there. He restates the carbon neutrality goals.
Cook says the Apple Card had the “most successful” credit card launch ever. Starting today, Apple Card will allow spouses and partners to hold a card together, so both will be able to use it to build credit. Apple Card Family also allows anyone in the family over 13 reap the benefits of using the card.
Apple is redesigning the Podcasts app with a whole new look and introducing channels to help find new content from creators. There will also now be a subscription option, so creators can charge money for special access like early listening and special episodes.
New purple iPhones
Is it simply coincidence that the new purple iPhone makes its debut on 4/20? Maybe. It’s coming to the iPhone 12 lineup in a few weeks.
After literally years of speculation, Apple has finally released its own physical location tags. They will work with any iPhone with the U1 chip inside for hyper-accurate location information. The app works with Find My and guides you along a path to find the lost tag.
Apple says it has added unwanted tag detection and other safeguards to prevent you from sneaking a tag on a person and tracking them.
They’re $29 each and $99 for a four pack. You can opt for the fancier Hermes leather AirTags if you’re rolling in Dogecoin profits.
We’re getting a new season of Ted Lasso in July! That’s fantastic news! Looks like there’s new hardware, too.
The new Apple TV 4K gets the A12 Bionic chip, which allows it to play HDR content in high framerates. The Apple TV now uses the iPhone’s camera and proximity sensor to calibrate your TV’s color. This is a familiar process for home theater nerds, but should make a big difference for average folks.
Apple finally redesigned the remote! It has a jog wheel and the Siri button is on the side. I’m skeptical still.
The new Apple TV starts at $179 with 32 GB storage, or $199 with 64 GB.
Rumors suggested we might get some new M1 machines, and it looks like that’s the case. The new colorful iMac was designed specifically for the M1 chip. It comes in a variety of colors to add “a sense of joy.”
The new iMac is extremely skinny thanks to M1. There only two fans inside, so it stays under ten decibels most of the time. Apple says it has reduced the overall sound it makes by 50 percent.
The 24-inch screen sits under one edge-to-edge piece of glass. 11.3-million pixels in the 4.5K retina display. P3 Gamut with a billion colors make this thing seem like a monster. It has a low-reflectivity coating to fight glare.
Apple has upgraded the camera, microphones, and speakers as a nod to the Pandemic video chatting boom. It has a 1080p camera with a larger sensor. It uses the M1’s image signal processor to add some computational adjustments to the picture to make it look better. It also now has a three microphone array tuned to ignore noise from the system. It has a six-speaker audio system inside. Apple is amped about the sound going on here.
Apple says you’ll notice a 2x speed bump in some resource-heavy applications like Adobe apps. The announcement lists a lot of arbitrary comparison numbers, but real world tests will show how big the difference is. I expect it to be very good, though.
The computer has four USB-C ports, two of which are Thunderbolt. It has a new magnetic power adapter on its two-meter cable. The power cable looks like the one that comes with the MacBook. Ethernet now connects via the power cable.
In addition to the new machine, it also comes with matching mouse and keyboard options. The new Magic Keyboard has Touch ID built in.
It starts at $1,299 and it will ship in the first half of May. The upgraded version will be $1,499 and up. I have a feeling Apple is going to sell a lot of these.
After a long, spy-themed cinematic video, Apple just revealed the M1-powered iPad. Again, we get a lot of speed comparisons, which are hard to wrap your head around. The short version: It’s going to be absurdly fast. There’s a new 2 TB configuration, too, for storing tons of data. It gets Thunderbolt support for better storage and external display compatibility.
The new iPad Pro also has 5G inside now. Everything gets 5G! Hooray!
The new True Depth camera system now has a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera. It enables a new feature called Center Stage, which uses machine learning to track you as you move around the frame.
The 12.9-inch pro has a 5.6-million pixel screen. It has the same performance as the XDR display. It offers 1,000 nits of overall brightness and 1,600 nix of peak brightness. It really does sound like a miniature version of the Pro display.
As predicted, the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro uses mini LED backlight system. It involves tons of very small backlights. There are more than 10,000 of them back there behind the display.
The 12.9-inch model starts at $1,099, which is still a lot, but you also get….a lot. Choosing between that and the M1 MacBook Air seems kinda tricky. Buying into the iPad will be considerably more expensive, though, once you add the keyboard case and Apple Pencil.
That’s it for the announcements! There’s a lot to unpack here, so look for product reviews in the coming weeks.