Apple’s “California Streaming” Event Recap

Today Apple had their ‘California Streaming’ event. There was a number of products announced including new iPads, new Apple Watch, and new iPhones. Let us go in event order, starting with the 10.2-inch iPad.

10.2-inch iPad

iPad 2021 in Silver and Space Gray

The entry-level iPad is the most popular iPad model. It is not only the most popular due to it being the successor of the original iPad but also because of its low entry price of $329. The new 10.2-inch iPad has the A13 Bionic which provides 20% faster processing over the previous model, for CPU, GPU, and neural engine.

Beyond the speed increases while using the iPad, you should also see some improvements when taking pictures and video, because the camera sensors have been improved as well. The back camera is still an 8MP sensor, but it now includes improved autofocus and better low light performance. The Face Time camera is a different story.

The FaceTime camera is now has a 12MP camera sensor that includes an ultra-wide sensor with a 122 degree field of view. This will work quite well with a feature called CenterStage. CenterStage is already available on the iPad Pro, but it is now available on the 10.2-inch iPad Air as well. CenterStage will automatically adjust the zoom when people enter the field of view.

The 10.2-inch iPad has the same design, is available in two colors, Silver and Space Gray, and comes in 64GB and 256GB sizes. The price is still the same at $329 for the 64GB, and $479 of the 256GB, with the cellular versions being $459 and $609 respectively. You can order it today and it will be available starting September 24th. 

There was another iPad that got an update, the iPad mini. Let us move onto that one next.

Source: Apple Newsroom – iPad

iPad mini

iPad mini 2021 color choices

The iPad mini is Apple’s smallest iPad. Even though it is the smallest that does not mean that it is the slowest. The iPad mini has received the biggest update. The iPad mini now has a similar design to that of the iPad Air. This means that there is a new edge to edge display, and the home button is no longer present. 

The removal of the Home button has two big impacts. The first is the size of the device hasn’t changed, that means the screen is now larger at 8.3-inches diagonally. Also like the iPad Air the iPad mini still has a Touch ID sensor, and the iPad mini’s TouchID sensor is located in the sleep/wake button.

The position of the sleep/wake button has moved from the side to the top of the device. The reason for this is to allow support of the 2nd generation Apple Pencil. Also like the iPad Air, the iPad mini now has USB-C.

The iPad mini has also seen a significant increase in speed due to the new A15 Bionic processor. tHis processor provides a 40% increase in CPU performance, 80% increase in Graphics performance, and up to 2x faster neural engine computations as compared to the previous version.

The iPad mini has two new sensor arrays, the FaceTime camera is the same as the one in the 10.2-inch iPad with the same features for Center Stage. The rear camera is a 12MP Wide camera with an ƒ/1.8 aperture, which is an improvement over the previous generation. To go along with this, there is a True Tone flash, to provide better lighting when taking photos. 

The iPad mini comes in four colors, Space Gray, Pink, Purple, and Starlight. The iPad mini comes in two sizes, 64GB and 256GB, for $499 and $649 respectively. The cellular models, which support 5G, are $649 for the 64GB, and $799 for the 256GB model.

The iPad mini is available to order today and will be available starting on September 24th. Now, onto the Apple Watch.

Source: Apple Newsroom – iPad mini

Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 7 color choices

Apple unveiled the Series 7 Apple Watch. This model of watch comes with a new design. The design includes smaller bezels, which means that the face of the Apple Watch Series 7 is slightly larger. This new design allows for some rethinking and redesign of the various Watch Faces. 

The glass of the Apple Watch Series 7 is stronger. According to Apple it should be more crack resistant. It is also dust resistant due to its IP6X rating, and remains water resistant with the WR50 rating.

The exterior is not the only changes coming to the Apple Watch. The Series 7 is also capable of ‘Fast charging’, up to 33% faster with a new Magnetic charging cable. And with a 15-minute charge you should be able to get an 8-hour charge, which is perfect for charging right before you go to sleep for sleep tracking.

The Apple Watch Series 7 comes in five colors, Midnight, Starlight, Green, Blue, and (PRODUCT)RED. The Apple Watch Series 7 will be priced starting at $399, and will be available “Later this Fall”. 

The Apple Watch Series 7 redesign means that the watch comes in 41mm and 45mm variations, but the good news is that all of your existing Watch bands will be compatible with the new watches. On the topic of watch bands, there are some new ones.

Watch Bands

There are a significant number of new Apple Watch Bands as well. The new watch bands are, as broken down by type:

Solo Loop

  • Abyss Blue
  • Chalk Pink
  • Clover
  • Dark Cherry
  • English Lavender
  • Marigold
  • Starlight

Braided Solo Loop

  • Abyss Blue
  • Dark Cherry
  • English Lavender
  • Maize
  • Pride Edition
  • (PRODUCT)RED

Sport Band

  • Abyss Blue
  • Clover
  • Dark Cherry
  • Marigold
  • Midnight
  • Starlight

Sport Loop

All of these are two-toned and aligned vertically.

  • Abyss Blue/Moss Green
  • Dark Cherry/Forest Green
  • Maize/White
  • Pink Pomelo/Tan
  • (PRODUCT)RED
  • Tornado/Gray

Nike Sport

  • Magic Ember/Crimson Bliss
  • Midnight Navy/Mystic Navy
  • Olive Gray/Cargo Khaki

Nike Sport

All of these now have the Nike “Swoosh” on them.

  • Black
  • Cargo Khaki
  • Summit White

Leather

  • Chalk Modern Buckle
  • Dark Cherry Leather Link
  • Golden Brown Leather Link
  • Midnight Leather Link
  • Midnight Modern Buckle
  • Sequoia Green Leather Link
  • Wisteria Modern Buckle

All of these watch bands are available to order today. Next, onto iPhones, starting with the iPhone 13.

Source: Apple Newsroom – Apple Watch

iPhone 13 Phones

The iPhone 13  is a big update over the iPhone 12 line. There are four total new iPhones, the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max. The physical sizes have not changed they are 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch respectively.

The entire iPhone 13 has the same A15 processor as the iPad mini, so all of the features and speed will apply to these devices as well. Additionally, there is a new 20% smaller notch on the iPhone 13, so you will be able to see more of the screen.

There is a new camera feature across the entire line called Cinematic Video mode. Cinematic Video is a technique that allows the focus of a video to shift from the foreground to the background. This typically takes a lot of setup in order to do, and was not necessarily easily achievable on the iPhone. With the iPhone 13 this can be done by simply tapping on the person to focus on, and then tapping on another person will change focus. The iPhone will even try to automatically detect changes when a person’s focus changes and adjust accordingly.

iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 Color Choices

The iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 are getting an ew Super Retina XDR Display, which is 28% brighter and provides 800 nits of brightness with a peak of 1200 nits. There is still the P3 color gamut, and HDR10. The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini also have 6-core CPUs, with 2 high performance and 4 high efficiency cores. The 16-core Neural Engine is capable of performing 15.8 trillion operations per second.

The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini are getting a re-worked camera system. The first change is that the two lenses are now diagonal from each other instead of vertically aligned. They have a new f/1.6 aperture wide lens, which will allow 47% more light, which should be better in most situations. A feature pioneered with the iPhone 12 Pro Max is making its way to the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13, sensor shift optical image stabilization. This means that there should be better optical image stabilization in all situations. 

All four iPhone 13 models are getting a new feature called “Photographic Styles”. These are preferences that you can set that will allow you to apply specific styles to all of your photos. You can use a combination of features to create your own stye. The best part is that you do not need to set it every time, you can just set it once and then it will be used for all of your photos, by default.

iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max color choices

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are designed to be the most advanced iPhones that Apple produces. They do not disappoint in that. Much like the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 the Pro are also getting a new display. The more efficient OLED display will be able to provide 1000 nits of peak brightness while outdoors. While this is a helpful change, there is a much bigger change, ProMotion.

ProMotion has been available on the iPad Pro models for a while, but it is coming to the iPhone 13 Pro models. ProMotion is the ability for the screen to automatically adjust its refresh rate. In the case of the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max it can go from 10Hz to 120Hz, and it can do this dynamically as needed. The lower refresh rate means that if the screen does not need to refresh it will reduce the rate in order to save battery, but when high refresh speeds are needed, they can make everything look much smoother and faster.

Beyond the screen, the entire rear camera system is getting an improvement. The first improvement is the telephoto lens which is now a 77mm lens. This larger sensor allows 3x optical zoom, which should allow for sharper photos. The Ultra Wide camera is an f/1.8, which allows for 92% better low light performance, and the wide lens is a f/1.5 aperture lens which has 2.2x better low light performance.

Battery life is an important part of any iPhone experience. All of the iPhone models are getting an improvement in battery. The iPhone mini and iPhone 13 Pro should see up to an extra 1.5 hours of battery life, while the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max should see an increase of up to 2.5 hours.

The iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 come in five colors, Blue, Midnight, Pink, (PRODUCT)RED, and Starlight. There are three sizes, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are available in four colors, Gold, Graphite, Sierra Blue, and Silver. There are four available storage sizes, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. Here is as complete breakdown of the pricing:

Device 128GB 256GB 512GB 1TB
iPhone 13 Mini $699 $799 $999
iPhone 13 $799 $899 $1099
iPhone 13 Pro $999 $1099 $1299 $1499
iPhone 13 Pro Max $1099 $1199 $1399 $1599

All of the iPhone 13 models will be available for pre-order on September 17th, with delivery or pickup on September 24th.

Source: Apple Newsroom – iPhone 13 Mini/iPhone 13, Apple Newsroom – iPhone 13 Pro/iPhone 13 Pro Max

Closing Thoughts

Today’s “California Streaming” event was a packed one. It included updates for the iPad, iPad mini, Apple Watch, and iPhones all in 75 minutes. 

The 10.2-inch iPad has seen a bump in processing power with the A13, the new camera system which supports Center Stage for better video conferencing. 

The iPad mini takes cues from the iPad Air with the new significantly reduced bezels, which results in a larger 8.3-inch screen. The iPad Air adds support for the 2nd Generation Apple Pencil, which is accomplished by moving the sleep/wake button to the top and includes Touch ID. The speed improvement on the iPad mini is significant with a 40% increase in CPU, and 80% in GPU performance. The new 10.2-inch iPad and 8.3 iPad mini are available to order today with availability starting on September 24th. 

The Apple Watch Series 7 has some improvement as well, including a new design that is more edge-to-edge. This has resulted in a slight increase in size to 41mm and 45mm, but the good news is that your existing Apple Watch Bands will continue to work with the new Apple Watches.

The screen is a more crack resistant glass, so you can be a bit more rough with it. There is also the new IP6X dust resistance and the WR50 water resistance rating. 

When you need to charge your Apple Watch, it can be done faster with the 33% faster charging, and you can get 8 hours of charge in just 15 minutes. 

The Series 7 Apple Watch will be available in five colors, Blue, Green, Midnight, (PRODUCT)RED, and Starlight and will be available “later this fall”. 

The iPhone 13 line of phones has a significant set of improvements with the new camera sensors which provide better low light photos, and sensor shift optical image stabilization across the entire line. This is all made possible with the 20% smaller FaceTime camera sensor array. Battery life is seeing an improvement of up to 1.5 hours on the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 Pro, and up to 2.5 hours on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max. 

The iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 are available in five colors, Blue, Midnight, Pink, (PRODUCT)RED, and Starlight. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are available in four colors, Gold, Graphite, Sierra Blue, and Silver.

The iPhone 13 lines of phones will be available for pre-order this Friday, September 17th and will begin arriving on September 24th. 

I will have a post about how well my predictions did later this week.

Apple’s ‘California Streaming’ E4vent Predictions

With each Apple event, I make some predictions of what I think will be shown at the event. The ‘California Streaming’ event is no exception. Normally I provide a percentage likelihood of a prediction coming true. I am not going to do that this time. It will just be the prediction itself. On that note, here is what I think we will see announced at the event.

Four New iPhones

I think that we will see the next set of iPhones be announced, specifically four new iPhones. These will be the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max, just like last year’s iPhone.

I think the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max will have a higher refresh-rate. The iPad Pro models have ProMotion, and I am thinking that the Pro iPhones will get it this year.

No Macs

Apple announced the transition to Apple Silicon at their World Wide Developer Conference in 2020. In November of 2020 the first set of devices were announced, the 13-inch MacBook Air, the two-port 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the Mac mini. In April of this year Apple announced the 24-inch iMac with Apple Silicon.

Even though it would be a good time to release new Macs, I do not think we will see any announced at this event.

Refreshed iPads

I think we will see two new iPads, the standard 10.2-inch iPad, and the iPad mini. There are indications that the 10.2-inch iPad is running low on inventory, which could indicate that there is a new version imminently.

The iPad mini has not been revised in nearly 2 1/2 years. It is likely time that we will see a new iPad mini, possibly with a design that mimics the iPad Pro line, with squared off edges, Face ID, and even possibly USB-C. Checking the Apple Store, there does not seem to be any issues with inventory on this model, but it probably sells fewer units than other models.

Apple Watch

I think we will see the Series 7 Apple Watch. I suspect it will be a slight improvement over the Series 6, with two slightly larger sizes, 41mm and 45mm. This would be a 1mm increase over the previous models. Outside of this, I do not think there will be any new sensors, just a faster processor and a new design.

Prediction Recap

I think the ‘California Streaming’ event will be a bit more subdued. While there will be new hardware, I think it will fall more onto a smaller set of upgrades. Here is a recap of what I predicted.

Prediction
Four new iPhones, same models as last year.
Higher Refresh Rate on ‘Pro’ models
No New Macs
Refreshed 10.2-inch iPad
Refreshed iPad mini
New Apple Watch with new design
New Apple Watch with new case sizes

As is the case with other events, I will have a full recap post on what Apple announces after the event.

Apple Announces ‘California Streaming’ Event

Today Apple sent out invitations to attend an event titled ‘California Streaming’ for 10 am Pacific Time on September 14th, 2021. It will be available to stream on Apple TV or via the Apple Events website. It is likely that Apple will announce a new line of iPhones, but I will be publishing my predictions before Tuesday. What are you expecting to see?

Apple “Spring Loaded” Event Recap

Today Apple held their “Spring Loaded” event, and it was a packed event. There were a bunch of new products announced an update to Apple Card, a new podcast service, a new iPhone 12 Color, AirTags, a new iMac, a new Apple TV 4K, and a new iPad Pro. Let us look at each of these in turn.

Apple Card Family

Apple Card was introduced in August of 2019. Since its introduction each person has to apply for their own card and it cannot be shared. This arrangement means that there is discrimination in that the primary card holder is the one who builds credit, while a spouse or partner may not build up credit. This all changes with Apple Card Family. According to Apple:

Apple Card Family allows two people to co-own an Apple Card, and share and merge their credit lines while building credit together equally. Apple Card Family also enables parents to share Apple Card with their children, while offering optional spending limits and controls to help teach smart and safe financial habits. 

This is a great addition and will be available in May, but this will be U.S. only. It may expand to additional countries in the future, but there is no information on future expansion.

Apple Card Family with multiple users.

Apple Podcast

Audio content has always been a big draw for many users. People listen to audio in a variety of situations. This could be music, radio, audiobooks, or even podcasts. Apple has maintained a directory of podcasts since they first added podcast support to iTunes in June of 2005. Today Apple announced a big shift to podcasts, including Podcast subscriptions.

Starting in May, 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…

All of this coincides with a redesigned Podcasts app which will allow users to discover shows similar to the ones they enjoy through the new Top Charts, Categories, and Advanced Search options. The new Podcasts app will be available with iOS 14.5 and the new Podcast Subscriptions will be available in May.

Apple Podcast Subscription service image.

Purple iPhone 12

While it has not been every year, Apple has consistently added a new color to its latest iPhone lineup in the spring. Typically it has been the PRODUCT(Red) phone, but there is already a PRODUCT(Red) the iPhone 12. Instead of red, Apple has introduced a new purple color. This is a similar shade of purple as the purple iPhone 11.

The purple iPhone 12 will be available for pre-order this Friday, April 23rd with delivery beginning on April 30th. The prices remain the same as the regular iPhone 12. You can also get an iPhone 12 mini in purple, if that is your preference.

iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 in Purple

AirTag

Air Tag back and front view

No matter how much we may try, we all end up losing things from time to time. Sometimes we can quickly find the items. However, in some cases it is not that easy. There have been accessories that allow you to find your missing items, and when Apple introduced their “Find My” network, many speculated when Apple would release their own trackers. Well, today Apple announced their tracking device, called AirTag.

AirTags are little devices that utilize the U1 chip in your iPhone 12 to be able to help locate items. AirTag utilizes the “Find My” network to allow anybody to locate your missing device anonymously without giving anyone your location.

Apple has some accessories for the AirTag, including leather key rings, loops, leather loops, and even third-party accessories from Belkin, like the secure holder and secure holder with key ring. Apple has partnered with Hermes to provide a Bag Charm, Luggage Tag, and Key Ring.

You can customize your AirTags by engraving them with up to 4 characters including emoji. This is done when you order them. Speaking of ordering, AirTag will be available for pre-order this Friday, April 23rd and they will begin arriving April 30th. You can purchase a single AirTag for $29, or a 4-pack for $99.

Apple TV 4K

Apple TV 4K (2021) and new Siri Remote

Apple is doubling down on their original TV content with shows like “The Morning Show”, “Wolfwalkers”, and “Ted Lasso”. One way to enjoy all of the content that you want is through the Apple TV, and in particular the Apple TV 4K. The last update to the Apple TV was in September of 2017. Today Apple announced a new Apple TV 4K.

The new Apple TV 4K includes an A12 Bionic chip, which provides even better graphics and processing. There are three other features with the Apple TV 4K. The first is a feature called high frame rate HDR.

High frame rate HDR

With A12 Bionic, Apple TV 4K now supports high frame rate HDR (High Dynamic Range) and Dolby Vision video, enabling fast-moving action at 60 frames per second (fps) to play more smoothly and appear more lifelike than ever before.

This should make any video that you watch even better. Beyond fast-moving video, this should also help with things like gaming. The Apple TV 4K supports the Playstation 5 controller as well as the Xbox Series X|S controller. However, controllers are not the only way to control items on the new Apple TV 4K. There is another way, and that is the next big feature, a redesigned Siri Remote.

When the Apple TV was originally introduced many did not like the Siri Remote. Some of the big issues with the Siri Remote were that the touch surface was a bit too sensitive and it was hard to orient the remote in low light situations. Apple has taken these, and additional issues into account with the new Siri Remote.

Siri Remote

Siri Remote (2021)

The new Siri Remote is an all aluminum design with a five-way directional pad, home button, back button, play/pause button, volume up and down buttons, and a mute button. Along with this, in the upper right corner, you will find a power button. The power button and mute button are designed to allow you to control your TV’s power and mute functionality without needing a separate remote. The other buttons are designed to provide you quick access to these functions.

The five-way directional pad will allow you to control the content even easier than before. Along with this, there is a circle around the five-way directional pad that will allow you to more easily jog through content to find the exact scene you are looking for.

The Siri Remote, as the name implies, still has Siri, but this is now a button on the right side of the remote. You can hold down the button and ask Siri your question and you will get a response just as in the past.

There is one last feature, and this one is a software feature called Color Balance.

Color Balancing

Each television set has its own characteristics. Some televisions can more accurately represent colors better than others. With the new Apple TV 4K you will be able to use your iPhone to provide the Apple TV with a better color balance so that it can compensate for any discrepancies in the color representation in your television. This is done by holding your iPhone up to your television when the Apple TV 4K is in Color Calibration mode. Once finished, the Apple TV 4K should be able to provide you with better colors while watching content.

The new Apple TV 4K is $179 for the 32GB model or $199 for the 64GB model. You can purchase a Siri Remote separately for $59 and it will work with previous versions of the Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K. Lastly, there is an update Apple TV HD with the new Siri Remote. This is $149 for 32GB of storage.

All of these Apple TV-related products are available for pre-order on April 30th, with availability in the second half of May. Next, let us turn to a slightly different device, the iMac.

iMac

Last June at WWDC 20, Apple announced that they would be transitioning all of the Macs to their own Apple Silicon chips and this transition would take approximately two years. The first batch of devices, the MacBook Air, the lower-end 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the Mac min were all released with the M1.

Today Apple unveiled another new Mac with the M1, the smaller iMac. I use the term “smaller”, because the first change is that it is no longer a 21.5-inch device, instead it is a 24-inch model. This is possible through the reduction in bezels, which now are just a thin border around the edges, similar to the iPad Pro. In the bezel is a whole new camera system. More on that in a moment.

Screen

The higher 21.5-inch iMac models had a 4K screen. With the 24-inch screen the new resolution of 4480-by-2520 resolution at 218 pixels per inch, creates a 4.5K resolution for the screen.

There is a now a 1080p camera system, that will allow better FaceTime and other video calls. This is all handled through the M1 image signal processor. This will provide better low-light performance. To go along with the video, is a better microphone system, which Apple calls “studio-quality mics”, similar to the 16-inch MacBook Pro. The microphones will allow better sound due to cancelling out room noise and the like.

The new 24-inch iMac is powered by the M1. This design allows for a much thinner profile. The thinner profile is not just a bit thinner, but massively thinner. The screen is flat, like the iPad Pros and comes in at 11.5mm thick. This is made possible through a redesign of the cooling system, which allows air to be pushed through the system as well as a redesigned logic board, which is much smaller thanks to the M1 powering the entire system.

The screen is not the only new feature, the biggest, and likely most requested feature, is one that users like to customize and that is the color.

Colors

24-inch iMac Colors (2021)

There is another big change to the 24-inch iMac. When the original G3 iMac was introduced, it came in a bunch of colors. Since the Intel transition beginning in 2005, the iMac has only been available in three colors, White, Silver, and Space Gray. With the latter being on the iMac Pro only. The 24-inch iMac now comes in a variety of colors, up to seven different color options, depending on the model. The full list of color options are:

  • Blue
  • Green
  • Pink
  • Silver
  • Yellow (Higher end only)
  • Orange (Higher end only)
  • Purple (Higher end only)

The base and front of each iMac is a light shade of the color, whereas the back if a vibrant color. There are two different model types, just like the MacBook Air. There is an 8-core CPU, 7-Core GPU model, and an 8-Core CPU and 8-Core GPU model.

Internals

All models include an M1, a 24-inch screen, 256GB of storage, 8GB of unified memory, and two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports. The higher-end model includes two USB-3 ports, and Gigabit Ethernet (configurable on the lower end model).

For options, on the 8-CPU/7GPU model you can configure a 512GB or 1TB storage option, and the aforementioned Gigabit Ethernet. On the 8-CPU/8-GPU model you can configure 512GB, 1TB or 2TB or storage.

The 24-inch iMac includes a 143 watt power brick, with a 2 meter/6 foot cable. This cable is a woven nylon cable, that is also color matched to the system. This is not the first time that Apple has used a woven nylon cable. In fact, Apple used one on the original HomePod as well as the HomePod mini. That is not the only feature of the power brick.

If you look at the back of the iMac you will notice that there is no Ethernet port, even on the higher-end model. That is because the ethernet port is in the power brick. The power port on the iMac can handle both power and data, and the Ethernet connection is handled over this cable. Apple indicated in the event that this will allow you to reduce the number of cables running to the computer, which was one of the goals of the original G3 iMac.

Next, let us look at the keyboard and mouse, there have been a couple changes there as well.

Magic Accessories

With the addition of colors, Apple is also including a color-matched accessories. These include the Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, and Magic Keyboard. The bottom portion of the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad are color matched, and white on the top. As is the case with the current Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard, you need to power it with an included USB-C to lightning cable. Just like the power cable, this is color matched with the iMac.

Magic Trackpad colors

The Magic Keyboard is not to be left out of being of being color matched, because it is also color-matched with the iMac. However, there is a big change with the Magic Keyboard, beyond the color. There are new icons on the keys; well there are but that is not the big change. The big change is that the Magic Keyboard now has a Touch ID button, that replaces the eject button.

This is the same Touch ID that you see with the MacBook Air and MacBook Pros. For the first time you can use Touch ID on your iMac just like you can on a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. This is a big advancement.

The lower-end iMac does not get the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, however you can configure the iMac with that keyboard. The higher-end 24-inch iMac has the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID included in the box. There is also a Magic Keyboard with Number Pad and Touch ID that is can be configured on either 24-inch iMac model, should you need that model.

The 24-inch iMac will be available or pre-order on April 30th, with availability in the second half of May. The 24-inch iMac starts at $1299 for the 8-Core CPU/7-Core CPU model, and $1499 for the 8-Core CPU/8-Core GPU model. Next, let us look at one last new product, the iPad Pro.

iPad Pro

2021 iPad Pros

Last year Apple upgraded the iPad Pro with a couple of new features, an A12Z processor and a new camera system. The new camera system allowed developers to use LiDAR used within Augmented reality applications. This was a minor update over the 2018 iPad Pro. Today Apple released a new set of iPad Pros, however these are not small updates.

Processor

There are still two iPad Pro models, the 11-inch and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. However, the processor within the two devices is radically different. In fact, it is not longer an A-series processor. It is now an M1 processor, the same one that is iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. According to Apple this means:

The 8-core CPU design features the world’s fastest CPU cores in low-power silicon – delivering up to 50 percent faster CPU performance than A12Z Bionic. The 8-core GPU is in a class of its own, delivering up to 40 percent faster GPU performance. 

M1 Processor Image

With the iPad Pro running the M1, that means that it can support Thunderbolt/USB 4. The iPad Pro does just that. The USB port has been replaced with a Thunderbolt/USB 4 port. This means that you can use accessories like Thunderbolt storage as well as being able to power the Apple Pro Display XDR at its native resolution with the iPad Pro.

Since the original iPad in 2010, the iPad has had an option of cellular connectivity. The latest iPad Pros are no exception. The 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models now have 5G connectivity as an option.

Camera

Along with the M1, there is also an improved Face ID camera. There is now a 12 Megapixel camera with a 122 degree field of view. This means that video calls will be even better than before. However, that is not the only feature with the camera. The camera will now automatically try to keep you in the center of the frame, so if you move to the side, the camera will move as well; up to its 122 degree limit. Similarly, if another person enters into the view, the camera will try to zoom out to include everyone in the shot. This is a nice feature which will make things a bit nicer overall.

The M1, Thunderbolt/USB 4 port, as well as the improved camera is included on both the 11-inch iPad Pro and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. However, there is one feature that is specific to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a Liquid Retina XDR display.

Display

The Liquid Retina XDR display uses a new technology called Mini Light Emitting Diode, or Mini LED. Mini LED, as the name implies, these are very small LEDs. For comparison, in the previous iPad Pro models there were 72 LEDs. In the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro, there are over 10,000. These are broken down into dimmable regions so the color can be reproduced even more accurately than before. This also allows certain areas to be individually dimmed, again allowing even better color options.

The Liquid Retina XDR display has a standard brightness of 600 nits. However, at max brightness it is 1000 nits, and its peak is 1600 nits of brightness. It is not likely that the max brightness will occur very often.

Accessories

The 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models support the 2nd Generation Apple Pencil. Along with this, there is a new Magic Keyboard. The Magic Keyboard is a slight change from the previous generation. There is a new color as well, White.

The 11-inch iPad Pro supports the existing Black Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro has a new Magic Keyboard, which will be $349.

Both the Magic Keyboard for the 5th Generation iPad Pro, as well as the White version of the 11-inch and 12.9-inch Magic Keyboard will be available for pre-order on April 30th.

Price

Both iPad Pro models came in a variety of storage sizes, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB options. The 2TB option is new this year. The 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB, models all have 8GB of memory, while the 1TB and 2TB models have 16GB of memory. This is the first time that Apple has indicated the amount of memory in an iPad.

The 11-inch iPad Pro has the following cost breakdown of Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular

  • 128GB – $799 / $999
  • 256GB – $899 / $1099
  • 512GB – $1099 / $1299
  • 1TB – $1499 / $1699
  • 2TB – $1899 / $2099

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro has the following cost breakdown of Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular

  • 128GB – $1099 / $1299
  • 256GB – $1199 / $1399
  • 512GB – $1399 / $1599
  • 1TB – $1799 / $1999
  • 2TB – $2199 / $2399

The 12.9-inch model is more expensive this year, as is cellular. Cellular costs an addition $200, whereas last year it was $149. You can pre-order an 11-inch or 12.9-inch iPad Pro on April 30th, with availability being the second half of May.

Closing Thoughts

Overall, what Apple announced definitely lived up to the name of the event being “Spring Loaded”.

The event was full of new products including Apple Card family, which allows two co-owners of a card to build credit equally as well as providing limits for children. This will be available in May. Apple also introduced a new Podcast subscription service, that will allow listeners to support their favorite podcasters. This feature will be available in May. Apple also unveiled a new iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 color, purple. This will be available for pre-order on Friday with delivery beginning on April 30th.

Along with the iPhone, Podcast, and Apple Card, Apple unveiled a new product, AirTag. The AirTag is a way of being able to locate missing items. AirTag will cost $29 each or $99 for a 4-pack. These will be available for pre-order this Friday for delivery beginning April 30th.

The new AirTag is not the only new product, there is a new Apple TV 4K replete with a new Siri Remote. The new Apple TV 4K has an A12 Bionic processor. The A12 Bionic also allows for the new Color Calibration feature and high frame rate HDR to allow the best television watching experience. The new Siri Remote is aluminum with a new button layout and the dedicated Siri button is now on the side. There are new power and mute buttons that will operate your existing television. The Apple TV, and Siri Remote, will be available for pre-order on April 30th, with availability in the second half of May.

Possibly the biggest product release is the new 24-inch iMac. The iMac has an improved Face Time camera and thinner bezels. The new 24-inch iMac is significantly thinner, 11.5mm thin. The speakers have been improved as well. The 24-inch iMac can come in 7 different colors and there are three configurations. The 24-inch iMac starts at $1299, can be configured up to 2TB of storage and 16GB of RAM. The iMac will be available or pre-order on April 30th, with availability beginning in the second half of May.

The last new item that Apple released was a new set of iPad Pro. Both models include an M1, providing even more performance over the previous generation. The iPad Pro models can come in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB. There is a Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular models. The Wi-Fi + Cellular models cost $200 more than the Wi-Fi models, but the cellular is now 5G. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro has a new Liquid Retina XDR Display that uses Mini LED technology. The iPad Pro models will be available for pre-order on April 30th, and will be available in the second half of May.

All of the new products today are great upgrade, or addition, to Apple’s product line up. While there is nothing available to purchase today, there are a couple of items available for pre-order this Friday, April 23rd, while the remainder are available for pre-order on April 30th.

Source: Podcasts, Apple TV 4K, iMac, iPad Pro

Apple Announces “Spring Loaded” Event

Today, Apple announced that they will be holding a “Spring Loaded” event. The event will be streamed on April 20th at 10 am Pacific Time. The invitation states “Please join us for a special Apple Event from Apple Park.” This makes me think that it will be an event similar to the fall events.

While there has been speculation that there would be an event this spring, it looks like Siri let it slip that it was going to be next Tuesday. Here is a screenshot of Siri’s response my Mac, as well as another one from my iPhone, when I asked “Siri, when is the next Apple Event”.

Response from Siri on a Mac when asking "When is the next Apple Event". The response was ""The special event is on Tuesday, April 20, at Apple Park in Cupertino, CA. You can get all of the details on Apple.com"
Response from Siri on an iPhone when asking "When is the next Apple Event". The response was ""The special event is on Tuesday, April 20, at Apple Park in Cupertino, CA. You can get all of the details on Apple.com"

Siri’s response is “The special event is on Tuesday, April 20, at Apple Park in Cupertino, CA. You can get all of the details on Apple.com”. As is the case with other Apple events I will post my predictions for what I think we will see at the event, so stay tuned for that.