The folks at Apple have been busy during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re thrilled to see Season 2 of Ted Lasso forthcoming in July but we’re more excited about Apple’s implementation of its M1 chip technology in the new iMac lineup (under 10 dB of noise) with a 4.5K Retina display and the upgraded Apple TV 4K. We’re less excited about AirTag which (even with Apple’s promise of extreme privacy measures) seems ripe for abuse.
The new products announcements include a completely redesigned iMac, faster iPad Pros with 5G cellular connectivity, and a new purple color for iPhone 12. In addition, Apple TV 4K gets a new Siri Remote, better HDR video capability and a faster processor.
Purple iPhone 12
Apple today unveiled an all-new stunning purple finish for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini (not iPhone 12 Pro). This new color beautifully accentuates the flat aluminum edges of iPhone 12, which are perfectly color-matched to the precision-milled back glass. Otherwise both models are unchanged from the original iPhone 12 smartphones released last year. iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini in purple will be available for pre-order beginning Friday, April 23, with availability beginning Friday, April 30, 2021.
This mid-cycle color refresh is interesting, because most people who already wanted an iPhone 12 probably have one. Others may be waiting for the next iPhone release which typically arrives in the fall. Nonetheless, it’s a good marketing ploy to remind users how fashion-forward Apple products are.
Apple TV 4K
Apple today announced the next generation of Apple TV 4K, delivering high frame rate HDR with Dolby Vision and connecting customers to their favorite content with the highest quality. At the heart of the new Apple TV 4K is the A12 Bionic chip that provides a significant boost in graphics performance, video decoding, and audio processing. And with an all-new design, the Siri Remote makes it even easier to watch shows and movies on Apple TV with intuitive navigation controls.
Together with tvOS — the most powerful TV operating system — Apple TV 4K works seamlessly with Apple devices and services to magically transform the living room in ways that everyone in the family will love.
Improved Video Experiences
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. Apple is working with leading video providers around the world, including FOX Sports, NBCUniversal, Paramount+, Red Bull TV, and Canal+, as they begin to stream in high frame rate HDR. And with high frame rate support in AirPlay, videos shot on iPhone 12 Pro can be displayed in full 60-fps Dolby Vision on the new Apple TV 4K.
Through an innovative color balance process, Apple TV works with iPhone and its advanced sensors to improve a television’s picture quality. Apple TV uses the light sensor in iPhone to compare the color balance to the industry-standard specifications used by cinematographers worldwide. Using this data, Apple TV automatically tailors its video output to deliver much more accurate colors and improved contrast — without customers ever having to adjust their television settings.
The Redesigned Siri Remote
The all-new Siri Remote features an innovative clickpad control that offers five-way navigation for better accuracy, and is also touch-enabled for the fast directional swipes Apple TV users love.
The outer ring of the clickpad supports an intuitive circular gesture that turns it into a jog control — perfect for finding a scene in a movie or show. And with its one-piece aluminum design, the new Siri Remote fits more comfortably in a user’s hand.The new Siri Remote also has a power button that controls a TV’s power, and another for mute, making it the only remote needed while enjoying TV.
Using Siri, customers can easily search for specific shows or movies, control smart home accessories, check sports scores or the weather, and much more. Siri now works on Apple TV in Austria, Ireland, and New Zealand, joining the 13 countries and regions that already support Siri.
Apple Introduces AirTag
No more excuses for lost keys. Apple expands the Find My ecosystem with AirTag, an iPhone accessory that provides a private and secure way to easily locate the items that matter most, available beginning Friday, April 30, 2021.
AirTag is a small and elegantly designed accessory that helps keep track of and find the items that matter most with Apple’s Find My app. Whether attached to a handbag, keys, backpack, or other items, AirTag taps into the vast, global Find My network and can help locate a lost item, all while keeping location data private and anonymous with end-to-end encryption.
AirTag can be purchased in one and four packs for just $29 and $99, respectively, and will be available beginning Friday, April 30. “We’re excited to bring this incredible new capability to iPhone users with the introduction of AirTag, leveraging the vast Find My network, to help them keep track of and find the important items in their lives,” said Kaiann Drance, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide iPhone Product Marketing.
“With its design, unparalleled finding experience, and built-in privacy and security features, AirTag will provide customers with another way to leverage the power of the Apple ecosystem and enhance the versatility of iPhone.”
All-New iMac Series Fueled by M1
We’re super excited by the new iMac desktop computers that look to be a major innovation for Apple in the category. We’re disappointed that the screens still don’t support touch screen technology but the power and performance increases will make content creation a lot easier.
Not thrilled that Apple didn’t introduce a M1-powered 27″ model but we’ve heard rumors that Apple will be introducing a 30 or 32″ model in 4-5 months.
iMac offers the best camera, mics, and speakers ever in a Mac, and Touch ID for the first time.
The all-new iMac featuring a much more compact and remarkably thin design, enabled by the M1 chip. The new iMac offers powerful performance in a design that’s just 11.5 millimeters thin, with a striking side profile that practically disappears.
Available in an array of vibrant colors to match a user’s personal style and brighten any space, iMac features a 24-inch 4.5K Retina display with 11.3 million pixels, 500 nits of brightness, and over a billion colors, delivering a brilliant and vivid viewing experience.
The new iMac also includes a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, studio-quality mics, and a six-speaker sound system — the best camera and audio ever in a Mac.
Also, Touch ID comes to iMac for the first time, making it easier than ever to securely log in, make purchases with Apple Pay, or switch user profiles with the touch of a finger. Combining the power and performance of M1 and macOS Big Sur, apps launch with blazing speed, everyday tasks feel incredibly fast and fluid, and demanding workloads like editing 4K video and working with huge images are faster than ever.
The new iMac (24-inch) joins the incredible family of Mac models powered by M1, including MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini, marking another step forward in Apple’s transition to Apple silicon. iMac is the most personal, powerful, capable, and fun it has ever been, and customers can order it beginning Friday, April 30th starting at $1,299. iMac will be available in the second half of May.
iPad Pro Gets M1 & 5G
Apple today announced the most powerful and advanced iPad Pro ever, pushing the limits of what’s possible on iPad. The addition of the Apple-designed M1 chip delivers a massive leap in performance, making iPad Pro the fastest device of its kind. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro features a new Liquid Retina XDR display that brings extreme dynamic range to iPad Pro, offering a stunning visual experience with more true-to-life details to the most demanding HDR workflows. Cellular models with 5G deliver even faster wireless connectivity when on the go, and to provide users with pro-level throughput for high-speed accessories, iPad Pro now includes support for Thunderbolt. Additionally, an all-new Ultra Wide front camera enables Center Stage, a new feature that automatically keeps users perfectly framed for even more engaging video calls.
The new iPad Pro is available to order beginning Friday, April 30, on apple.com, and will be available in the second half of May 2021. Pricing starts at $799 (11-inch) and $1,099 (12.9-inch). 5G cellular connectivity adds on another $200.