For all of 2020 and likely most of 2021, Apple events have migrated to pre-recorded and virtual settings in accordance with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. But this has not slowed down Apple’s steady releases of iPhones, iPads, Pencils, Macs, MacBooks, HomePods, AirPods Max, Watches and a Mac-based silicon M1. Plus there were the new operating systems including Mac’s macOS Big Sur.
April 20’s ‘Spring Loaded’ event was announced exactly a week ago and by then many rumours swirled online about what would be announced by CEO Tim Cook, Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi and their team of engineers.
Speculations across the Internet and tech circles alike suggest Apple will launch new iPad Pros and a companion Pencil. Also anticipated are upgrades of the company’s best-selling AirPods, that are likely to be named AirPods 3 and will resemble the design of the AirPods Pro. Other rumours spell launches of new iMacs and Apple TV streaming set-ups.
But probably the most exciting – yet unconfirmed – expectation is the launch of AirTags, Apple’s native tracking device which would be the answer to the widely-popular Tile. With Bluetooth-connectivity, the AirTags are said to have chipsets that are tracked from your Mac, iPhone or iPad; and the AirTags can be companions to items that users often find themselves losing, such as backpacks and car keys. The app used for AirTags activity is Apple’s Find My.
There are more events confirmed for the summer ahead. The iconic annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will take place virtually, like last year’s edition, from June 7 till 11. The event is free for all developers, and will offer unique insight into the future of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.
And that is a wrap on Apple’s ‘Spring Loaded’ event.
M1 powers the new 2021 iPad Pro
In the name of scalable architecture, M1 (also used in MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini and iMac) now powers the all-new 2021 iPad Pro for improved graphics performance that is 1500x faster, says Apple. Users can expect faster handling of multiple apps simultaneously and better all-day battery. The iPad Pro also comes with a USB-C Thunderbolt port at its base for faster charging and speedier data transfers.
Display improvements include 10,000 mini-LEDs on the 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display which up the brightness of the device enabling 1000 nits of full brightness.
The iPad Pro 2021 comes with more intuitive cameras which work in low-light environments, and an updated True Depth camera with a 12MP ultra-wide camera. The latter comes with CentreStage, which automatically pans with the moving subject. (Yes, the Internet is already flooding with jokes pointed at Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg who may be worried for Portal.)
It’s not over: iPad Pro comes with 5G data capabilities. The next urging; India, bring on the 5G!
The new iPad Pro (M1),11-inch, will be available from ₹71,900 (128GB) onwards and 12.9-inch from ₹99,900 (128GB) onwards.
New iMacs launched
The new line of slim iMacs come in a range of seven colours. These computers are powered by Apple’s M1 SoC (system on a chip) and macOS Big Sur, for faster performance. Apple says this iMac is 85% faster than its predecessor, and offers 50% faster GPU performance.
Compared to the previous iMac, these new devices have a much smaller logic board and has two small fans to keep the system cool and quiet, under 10 decibels. This reduces the iMac’s volume by upto 50%.
The display is 24 inches and has 11.3 million pixels, and Apple’s signature True Tone colour gamut
As we continue to live in the age of virtual interactions, the new iMac has a 1080p HD FaceTime camera and a larger sensor for low-light environments, with Apple calling it the “best ever camera on a Mac.” Hopefully this will be an improvement that flows into MacBooks as well. The iMac also has an improved microphone and six-speaker sound system for crystal clear sound, that supports Dolby Atmos.
The iMac also has 4 USB-C ports including two Thunderbolt ports.iMac desktop keyboards also come with Touch ID, a first for iMacs.
Apple iMac (M1), 8-Core CPU, 7-Core GPU will be available starting at ₹1,19,900 for 8GB+128GB and 8-Core CPU & GPU will be available for ₹1,39,900 for 8GB+256GB, and, ₹1,59,900 for 8GB+512GB.
These iMacs come with colour-matched Magic Mouse’s, trackpads and keyboards.
New 4K Apple TV launched
Apple TV 4K is here! The new Siri-enabled remote has a click pad, and a new outer-ring. It even gets a power button and the siri button is on the side just like the iPhone. The streaming device’s remote, made from recycled aluminium, will be available in the second half of may and can also be used for your television. It will cost $179 for 32 GB and $199 for 64 GB.
The new Apple TV 4K will be available starting at ₹18,900, and the new Siri Remote will be available separately for ₹5,800, and is compatible with the previous-generation Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.
Apple launches its native tracking device, AirTag
Apple’s Find My App is finally compatible with third-party devices. And as predicted, Apple has announced AirTag for $29 which will be available from April 30 in the United States. French luxury design house has also worked with Apple for a line of authentic leather luggage tags. AirTag can be personalised with engravings, feature ‘unwanted tracking alerts’, over a year of battery life, a built-in speaker, and a U1 native chipset, as well as Precision Finding. AirTag will be available in one and four packs for ₹3190 and ₹10,900, respectively.
New colour for iPhone series
A new colour launch for the iPhone series! Cook proudly announces a lavender purple for the iPhone 12 series in addition to Stunning silver, Ground-breaking graphite, Glorious gold, Pacific blue. This colour will be available from April 30. The purple iPhone is for iPhone 12 and 12 mini only.
Renewed Interface for Apple Podcast app
Starting in May 2021, listeners in more than 170 countries and regions can sign up for premium subscriptions that include a variety of benefits curated by creators, such as ad-free listening, access to additional content, and early or exclusive access to new series. Listeners will be able to enjoy premium subscriptions from independent voices and premier studios, including Tenderfoot TV, Pushkin Industries, Radiotopia from PRX, and QCODE, to leading media and entertainment brands, including NPR, the Los Angeles Times, The Athletic, Sony Music Entertainment, and many more.
With iOS 14.5, listeners can access a redesigned Apple Podcasts app featuring an enhanced Search tab that provides quick access to Top Charts and categories.
Apple launches Apple Card for family
Apple announces Apple Card’s new family facility where spouses and children can share in the experience. Cook calls Apple Card the “most successful credit card ever launched.”
Apple ‘Spring Loaded’ Event kicks off
Tim Cook takes centre-stage at Apple Park, California, sharing his excitement for a 2021 filled with promising releases, adding this week marks the company’s annual birthday celebration.
Cook talks of Apple’s $200 million Restore Fund, which aims to remove one million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually.
Apple’s renewable energy practices power up with 110-plus suppliers, including those from India
On March 31, Apple announced that more than 110 of its manufacturing partners around the world are moving to 100% renewable energy for their Apple production, with nearly 8 gigawatts of planned clean energy set to come online. Once completed, these commitments will avoid over 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) annually — the equivalent of taking more than 3.4 million cars off the road each year, and a major energy storage project in California will pilot new solutions for renewable infrastructure.
Apple starts making iPhone 12 in India
Apple Inc is commencing assembly of its iPhone 12 model in the country, a move expected to help the firm consolidate its position in the smartphone market in India. Apple has partnered with third-party manufacturers such as Foxconn and Wistron to make some of its phones in India.
Apple launched M1 chip for the Mac in its previous event
At the November 10 ‘One More Thing’ Special Event, streamed virtually from Apple Park, California, Tim Cook and his team at Apple unveiled the first Apple Silicon SoC (system on a chip): M1. Apple Silicon, which has taken close to a decade to perfect, was first announced at the virtual Worldwide Developer Conference 2020 (WWDC20) but now, let’s get into the M1’s intricacies.