Earlier today, Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the Spring Loaded event. In the event, the company announced a new iMac desktop which comes with the company’s new ARM based M1 silicon chip, an upgraded iPad Pro tablet lineup, a brand new AirTag, an updated version of Apple TV 4K, and a new color to the iPhone.
During Cook’s keynote, he said, “The all new, completely redesigned iMac is more personal, more powerful, and more capable than ever, and it’s incredible from every angle.”
Apple has unveiled the new 24 inches iMac desktop in as many as seven bright colors. It is like an homage to Apple’s earlier all in ones. The company claims that it reserved the bold colors for the rear. The front appears to be a little lighter offering a neutral look. According to the company, this will allow iMac owners to keep their focus on their respective works.
As far as the redesign is considered, it is more than just colors. This time, the iMac comes with a completely new shape and size. It seems, it has drawn inspiration from the iPad Pro’s hinge and flat back. The desktop is only 11.5 mm thick. The guts of the computer move to the bezel below the screen indicating a large bottom bezel and reduced side and top bezels.
Apple claims with this iMac, they have successfully squeezed a 24 inches screen inside the body which is just slightly larger than that of the 21.5 inches iMac. As far as resolution is concerned, the screen supports 11.3 million pixels in a 4.5 K Retina display, Other display specifications include a wide P3 color gamut, 500 nits of brightness, and True Tone display technology. The True Tone display technology adjusts the screen’s color temperature automatically depending upon the ambient lighting.
Instead of being powered by Intel chips, Apple has powered iMac with Apple’s new in house M1 silicon chip just like the recently released MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini. In terms of technology, this is a big jump. According to Apple, this shift allowed it to slim iMac up to 50% in terms of volume. This indicates the M1 processor’s logic boards and internal fans are smaller than the Intel ones used earlier. The newly introduced smaller fan runs quieter allowing the iMac to run at just 10 decibel levels.
Apple also said the new processor will increase CPU performance. According to the company, it will be 85% faster than the Intel powered 21 inches model. Apple executives said, “And when it comes to GPU performance for certain apps, like Affinity Photo and Photoshop, iMac is up to two times faster than the previous models, and it’s even up to 50% faster than the most powerful discrete graphics in the fastest 21.5-inch iMac”.
In order to make the device a better work from home tool, Apple has also improved speakers, microphones, and cameras. The new three array microphone system reduces background noise and improves audio quality. On the other hand, the new speaker system comes with Dolby Atmos audio support. It comes in a six speaker array along with two pairs of force canceling woofers. According to the company, it will deliver better bass.
The desktop comes with four USB Type C ports out of which two come with Thunderbolt support. It has the potential of supporting a 6 K display. The desktop comes with a power cord that is magnetically attached to the back of the computer. Other specifications include colour matched Magic keyboard, mouse, and trackpad. The Magic Keyboard supports new keys like emojis. The company tagged the decision with a price tag of $1,299. The company will start shipping from mid-May.
Historically, iPads used to be powered by Apple’s A series chips. With this new iteration, Apple’s powerful Mac processor, M1 will also land on iPad Pro. This means the company is also closing the gap between a tablet and a PC. In simple words, iPad and the iMac will be more closely aligned. About iPad Pro, Apple said, “In every way, this is a giant leap forward for iPad”.
According to the company, the new iPad Pro iteration powered by M1 chip will offer 50% better performance than the previous generation iPad Pro. The M1 chip delivers a 75x boost than the first iPad in terms of performance.
Similarly, the new chip will offer 40% faster graphics performance than the previous generation and 1500x faster performance than the first generation. Apple also added that the new iPad will offer console level graphics.
The device will come with a 2 TB storage space. Users will be able to access data at a 2x faster storage speed. Apple said, “A new 2-terabyte configuration gives you enormous storage capacity, so you can keep up to 60,000 ProRaw photos at your fingertips, or up to 220 hours of 4K HDR video content with you wherever you go”.
The iPad Pro will support 5G connectivity and its USB Type C ports will come with Thunderbolt support. iPad Pro will have 4x bandwidth through ports. Other specifications include an improved camera, studio quality microphones, image signal processor and LiDAR Scanner. The new iteration of iPad Pro will be packed with a new 122 degree ultra wide camera lens called Center Stage. It will come with auto tracking support.
Apple said the following about Center Stage: “It uses the new ultra wide camera and machine learning to recognize and keep you in the center of the view. What’s amazing is as you move around, it automatically pans to keep you in the shot. And that’s not all. When others join in, it recognizes them too and zooms out to fit everyone into the view. So whether it’s a white boarding session with co-workers or a family get-together, the experience of connecting is now more engaging than ever.”
For the 12.9 inches variant, Apple is bringing ProDisplay XDR display tech support so that the gadget can offer 1,000 nits of full brightness to the tablet and 1,600 nits of peak brightness to the Liquid Retina XDR panel. In order to achieve higher brightness, the company is using an array of LEDs in the back of the display. In the iPad Pro, the company is using as many as 10,000 mini LEDs on the display. The past generation came with 72 LEDs. Note that the company has also created local dimming zones in order to offer better contrast. The company has also announced a new white color for the Smart Keyboard of iPad Pro.
This time, Apple is offering two variants in terms of display size. The 11 inch iPad Pro is tagged with a price tag of $799 while the 12.9 inches model comes with a price tag of $1,099. The company said it will start pre-orders from 30th April onwards and tablets will be available in the second half of May.
After rolling a new update to its Find My App, finally, Apple has come out with a new AirTag tracker. You can attach the tracker anywhere in your personal items. With the help of the Find My App, you will be able to track it.
The best part is, in order to use AirTag, the user does not gave to share their iPhone’s device location with anyone else. The AirTag is powered by Apple’s U1 ultra wideband chip.
Apple said, “We call this precision finding. As you move, precision finding uses our U1 chip to get the precise distance to your AirTag. [The] iPhone fuses that data with input from the camera, accelerometer, and gyroscope to give you visual, haptic, and audible feedback, guiding you right to your AirTag”.
Apple said, “AirTag is designed to track items, not people so we included safety features to discourage unwanted tracking, like unwanted tag detection, rotating identifiers, and audible alerts from unknown tags. These capabilities are an industry first, and are driven by our commitment to privacy.”
Apple tagged the new iteration of AirTag with a price tag of $29 for a single pack and $99 for four-pack.
Purple iPhone color for spring
In the event, Apple announced a new color option for its basic iPhone and iPhone mini along with color matched aluminum frame and rear glass panels. The new color is purple.
Cook said, “It looks stunning with the precision milled back glass a new design. It has elements of sophistication and brightness with color-matched aluminum edges.”
Apple specified that the purple colored iPhone will be available for pre-order from Friday onwards and it will be available by the 30th of April.
Apple TV 4K
In the event, Apple announced a brand new set top box so that users can utilize the Apple TV+ service. The company said, “Apple TV is built on the same world-class silicon we put into the iPhone”.
Today announced a fresh new Apple TV 4K which is going to be powered by the new A12 Bionic processor. It will come with Dolby Vision and HDR support.
Interestingly, Apple is allowing iPhone owners to use the advanced sensors on their phones to adjust the color balance. Last but not the least, Apple also announced a new Siri remote.
Apple said, “Of course the way you interact with Apple TV is with the Siri remote so this year, we completely redesigned it with new functionality and controls. It starts with a new one-piece aluminium design that fits perfectly in your hand, and with contrasts and controls, you can easily find and hit just the button you want. We also have a brand-new click pad with five-way navigation for better accuracy, and the entire click pad is touch-enabled, preserving the fast directional swipes users love. And we did something pretty cool with the outer ring. We’ve given it a new circular gesture that turns it into a jog control. Perfect for finding just the scene you’re looking for.”
Apple has tagged Apple TV 4K with a price tag of $179 for 32 GB and a price tag of $199 for 64 GB.
Apple Card Family
Apple discussed the features of the Apple Card. The company said, the card will help people to manage their credit better. The company also announced a new update to Apple Card dubbed as Apple Card Family. It will allow spouses and partners to share and merge their credit lines.
Cook said, even kids will be allowed to access the Apple Card. The company used keywords like “helps deliver equity” and “game changer” while discussing about the card.
Apple said, “Apple Card can now be used by anyone in your family over the age of 13 with optional spending limits, and controls for kids. We call this set of features, Apple Card family. These benefits reflect our ongoing mission to reinvent the credit card and help you and those closest to you experience a healthier financial life.”
In the event, the company also announced that it has redesigned the Apple Podcasts app. The company said, it also introduced paid features through the new Podcasts+ subscription service. In Apple Podcast+, there will be channels that help you find new shows and offer you early access, ad free listening, etc.
In May 2021, Apple will launch it in 170 countries. Note that in the jam packed event, the company has not discussed anything about the paid subscription plans and paid features of Apple Podcast+.