In this week’s top stories: On Tuesday, Apple officially held its first event of the year with the tagline “Spring Loaded.” During the event, the company unveiled updates for the iPad Pro, iMac, its AirTag item trackers, and much more. Read on as we recap everything Apple announced during the event.
Apple kicked things off with an update on its Services products. First, for Apple Card, Apple announced a new “Apple Card Family” feature that lets users share the same Apple Card with other family members. Apple says that it created this feature to “reinvent how spouses, partners, and the people you trust most share credit cards and build credit together.”
Secondly, Apple introduced Podcasts Subscriptions, a new feature in Apple Podcasts that allows users to directly support podcasters through the Podcasts app. The new service will be available starting in May.
In terms of hardware, Apple announced a new color for the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12. Purple will join the iPhone 12 lineup as the sixth color option from which shoppers can choose.
So this means the iPhone 12 lineup is now available in white, black, blue, green, (PRODUCT)RED, and purple.
The new purple iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 will be available for pre-orders on Friday, April 23, with the first orders shipping on April 30. We’ve got a handful of images of the new color at the link in the show notes below.
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Following the purple iPhone announcement, Apple shifted its focus to the Find My application and finally introduced its AirTag item tracker, which has been rumored for over two years at this point.
AirTags can be attached to any item in order to track it using the Find My app. For example, you can attach them to your backpack, to keys, to your wallet, or anything else.
Apple touts that AirTags have a “lightweight design,” and there are two key factors to this: water-resistance and a user-replaceable battery. Apple says AirTags are rated for IP67 water and dust resistance.
Apple also says that AirTag offers “over a year’s worth of battery life with everyday use” and features a removable cover that makes it easy for users to replace the battery. The battery inside is a CR2032, which is a standard coin cell battery
The pairing and setup experience is very similar to AirPods, making it a very integrated process within iOS.
Each AirTag incorporates a U1 chip, which Apple says enables unique precision tracking features for users with the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12. The U1 chip can be used to more accurately determine the distance and direction to a lost AirTag when it is in range. As a user moves, Precision Finding fuses input from the camera, ARKit, accelerometer, and gyroscope, and then will guide them to AirTag using a combination of sound, haptics, and visual feedback.
AirTag is also designed with a handful of privacy features in mind. One of the most notable things here is “proactive features” that are there to “discourage unwanted tracking.”
Apple explains that:
Bluetooth signal identifiers transmitted by AirTag rotate frequently to prevent unwanted location tracking. iOS devices can also detect an AirTag that isn’t with its owner, and notify the user if an unknown AirTag is seen to be traveling with them from place to place over time. And even if users don’t have an iOS device, an AirTag separated from its owner for an extended period of time will play a sound when moved to draw attention to it. If a user detects an unknown AirTag, they can tap it with their iPhone or NFC-capable device and instructions will guide them to disable the unknown AirTag.
You can buy a singular AirTag for $29 or a pack of four for $99. Pre-orders begin this Friday, April 23, at 8 a.m. ET/5 a.m. PT. The first orders will arrive on April 30. You can personalize AirTags with engravings and emoji as well, and Apple has a range of different accessories to go with them.
The Apple TV was next on the docket. Apple announced a new version of the Apple TV 4K with an A12 Bionic processor on the inside, giving it even more power compared to the competition. There is also support for higher refresh rate content, though full support for 120Hz refresh rates is not there yet.
Perhaps even more notably, Apple also introduced a new version of the Siri Remote. The new Siri Remote features a silver design with a new click wheel at the top alongside a power button for the first time. There’s also a back button that replaces the old menu button.
The new Apple TV will be available to order starting April 30, and the first orders will ship in the second half of May. Pricing is the same as its predecessor at $179 for 32GB of storage and $199 for 64GB. The new Siri Remote will also available on its own for $59.
Next up, Apple introduced its first redesign of the iMac in over a decade. The new iMac features an all-new design with minimal bezels, plus Apple Silicon on the inside.
The new iMac features a 24-inch display with True Tone display technology. It is available in an array of new colors. Inside of the iMac is an M1 processor, which is also what we saw in last year’s Mac mini, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air.
The new iMac also features an upgraded FaceTime camera with a resolution of 1080p, doubling the resolution of the previous entry-level iMac. The camera works with the M1’s Neural Engine to improve your video quality. There is also a studio-quality microphone array as well as spatial audio support.
In terms of design, the new iMac features a slim profile with smaller bezels around the display, but the chin is still there and is similar to the previous-generation iMac design but without the Apple logo.
To go along with the new iMac, Apple has also announced a new Magic Keyboard with Touch ID. This marks the first time that Apple has expanded Touch ID to an external keyboard, and it allows you to unlock your Mac, authenticate for Apple Pay and App Store purchases, and more. The keyboard is also color-matched to the color of the iMac itself, as are the Magic Mouse and the Magic Trackpad.
In terms of pricing, there are essentially two tiers of the 24-inch iMac.
- $1,299 – 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU with 8GB of unified memory, 256GB SSD, two Thunderbolt ports, a Magic Keyboard without Touch ID, and a Magic Mouse.
- Available in: Green, pink, blue, and silver.
- $1,499 – 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU with 8GB of unified memory, 256GB SSD, two Thunderbolt ports, two USB 3 ports, a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, a Magic Mouse, and Ethernet connectivity.
- Available in: Green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver
You’ll be able to pre-order the new iMac starting on April 30, and the first orders will begin shipping during the second half of May.
Last but certainly not least, we also got a new iPad Pro lineup during Tuesday’s Apple event.
The 2021 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro feature the 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU M1 chip and a new Thunderbolt connector (over the same USB-C port). The larger 12.9-inch model also sports a new mini-LED screen, which Apple calls “Liquid Retina XDR.”
Apple says this new display “offers an even more expansive view and a stunning HDR experience.” The iPad Pro has around 2500 local dimming zones, enabling a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and 1600 nits peak brightness.
The new iPad Pro also features an upgraded camera system for photography and augmented reality use cases. The front camera now features a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens. For FaceTime calls, the new ultra-wide camera now automatically pans around to keep the person in frame as they move around the room.
The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799 – the same as its predecessor – and the 12.9-inch model starts at $1,099, which is a $100 price increase.
Both models are available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and an all-new 2TB configurations. There’s also 5G connectivity for the first time, including mmWave 5G support in the United States.
- 11-inch iPad Pro with cellular and 2TB storage: $2,099
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro with cellular and 2TB storage: $2,399
The new iPad Pro will be available to pre-order on April 30 and start shipping in the second half of May.
Alongside the new iPad Pro, Apple updated the Magic Keyboard accessory with a new white color option, but the functionality is the same.
- Download the colorful wallpapers of the new redesigned iMac right here
- Download the new purple iPhone 12 wallpaper for your devices right here
- Apple silently updates M1 Mac mini with optional 10 Gigabit Ethernet port
- New M1 iMacs come with color-matched braided USB-C to Lightning cable
- New M1 iPad Pro features 8GB or 16GB of RAM depending on storage configuration
- Apple debuts a wide variety of new Apple Watch band colors and designs, including new woven textile Hermès band
- iOS 14.5 coming to iPhone and iPad ‘next week’
- Apple debuts new Spring colors for MagSafe iPhone cases and wallets
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