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Apple Spring Loaded Event Recap: iPad Pro, iMac M1, AirTags and more

Apple’s first big event of the year took place today (April 20) and brought new a dazzling new iMac Pro, new iPad Pro with M1, AirTags and much, much more. Here’s everything announced during a Spring Loaded event that lived up to the name.

During a virtual live stream lasting an hour, Apple announced a good array of products including a new Apple TV 4K and the rumoured Apple Podcast Subscriptions service. We even got a new iPhone 12 colour! Let’s take a closer look at everything Apple announced during one of the more enjoyable events of recent times.

  • Apple Silicon M1 replaces A-Series 
  • 5G comes to iPad for the first time
  • Mini-LED XDR Display on 12.9-inch model

The pre-event favourite to steal the headlines did so in a manner few envisioned. The new iPad Pro will be powered by the M1 processor used in Apple’s new Mac computers, rather than the A-Series that has powered the range, as well as the iPhone.

The announcement is almost a reclassification of the tablet we know and love and makes the iPad Pro more Mac-like than ever. Apple is also adding 5G connectivity, like the iPhone 12, which is another first for the range.

As before there’s an 11-inch and 12.9-inch model. The larger will benefit from a mini-LED powered XDR display offers improved contrast, darker blacks and more efficient lighting. Both models will have the new Thunderbolt 4 I/O tech.

  • Redesigned iMac is the first with M1
  • Arrives in a variety of bright colours
  • 4.5K resolution for 24-inch display

Apple has done it again. A stunning new iMac design for the all-in-one range that has pushed the envelope since the G3 design in the late 1990s. Naturally, the new iMac is the first powered by the M1 chip. It’s the first of the new generation we’ve seen that’s unlocked the design possibilities by moving away from Intel chips.

As well as a gorgeous new design – which had us touting the ‘best looking Apple product in a decade’ in the Trusted Reviews Slack chat – you’ll be able to get the iMac in multiple colours, including teal, yellow, red, blue, orange and purple.

Last autumn, the company launched a new Mac mini, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air powered by the new chipset, but this is the M1 iMac we’ve been waiting for.

  • UWB tech for more accurate positioning
  • Circular design

Apple’s alternative to Tile trackers are finally here. Called AirTags, they have been on our radar for over a year, after references appeared within beta versions of iOS 13. The coin-like polished stainless steel trackers promise precision location tracking thanks to the Ultra Wideband tech that also sits within the iPhone 12.

They will interface with Apple’s Find My app and the tracking abilities will be boosted by the massive network of Apple devices in the wild. That’s crucial if the item being tracked drops out of range. AirTags cost $29 each or $99 for a 4-pack. In that respect, they match Tile’s best trackers.

 

  • New box has HDR High Frame Rate
  • New Siri remote
  • Price could be sticking point

We hadn’t had a new Apple TV model in years. Not since the arrival of the 5th-generation Apple TV 4K model in 2017. Thankfully, Apple has changed that today with a new version of the Apple TV 4K and a brand new Siri Remote to replace the unpopular predecessor. It also places the Siri button on the side of the remote and includes the ability to power on the TV too.

The key update to the Apple TV 4K  is the A12 processor and new video tech that unlocks HDR HFR (High Frame Rate) at 60 frames per second. Unfortunately, Apple hasn’t lowered the price which is considerably greater than Google, Roku and Amazon powered rivals.

The new Apple Siri remote

  • Individual producers can charge for content
  • Not a buffet
  • Part of redesigned iOS 14.5 Podcasts app

Apple is getting into podcast subscriptions, and is enabling content providers to move away from the ad-funded model. For monthly or annual fees, popular podcasts will be able to offer ad-free episodes, bonus content and early access. Providers will be free to set their own prices and there will be free trials.

Here’s something ewe weren’t expecting! Apple has debuted a brand new purple colour for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini. Although, we’d probably say it’s lilac, lavender or perhaps even violet.

 

Apple announced some updates for its credit card too. From now on, spouses will be able to share accounts and thus build credit history together, rather than separately. Apple is also opening it up to Family Sharing, with parents able to set spending limits for their youths.

This was one of the more enjoyable Apple events of the last few years. It was fun, colourful and didn’t overstay its welcome. Spring Loaded proved the company still has the ability to surprise us and wow us with product launches so often blighted by leaks. The iMac M1 is perhaps the most gorgeous Apple product in years, while the M1 iPad Pro was a shocker none of us at Trusted Towers expected. It’s a huge game changer, all things considered. We liked what we saw from AirTags, now they’re eventually here. However, it’s a shame Apple didn’t make the Apple TV 4K more appealing from a price standpoint.

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