Apple may not be hosting live events yet, but the gadgets giant still knows how to put on a show when stuck with the streaming-only option.
That was proven true again today with Apple’s Spring Loaded streaming event, which brought us the expected launch of more powerful new iPad Pro models. But it also showcased so much more, including dazzling new M1 iMacs, a purple iPhone 12, the demise of the reviled Apple TV Siri Remote, and the return of Ted Lasso.
That’s not all, either! Here’s a quick look at all of the big announcements from today’s event.
1) Redesigned M1 iMacs
We expected to see Apple put its powerful new in-house M1 processors inside its iMac desktops after launching it in MacBooks last autumn, but we didn’t know that they would be arriving in such a dramatically overhauled form factor.
The new 24in iMac is wickedly thin and flat at just 11.5mm and weighs less than 10 pounds, coming in an array of vibrant colours. They all pack the M1 chip and have crisp 4K screens, along with a six-speaker setup and what Apple bills as studio-quality mics.
The base configuration comes with an M1 chip with an 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU, along with a 256GB SSD and two Thunderbolt 3 ports for £1,249. Meanwhile, £1,449 adds a couple additional colour options along with an 8-core GPU chip, two additional USB-C 3 ports, and a Touch ID sensor on the new Magic Keyboard. They’ll go up for sale on 30 April and ship in late May.
2) A powerful M1 iPad Pro
As rumoured, the Spring Fling event included a brand new iPad Pro - and it features the same M1 chip as Apple’s computers, rather than using a souped-up version of the A14 Bionic from the iPhone 12. In other words, the iPad Pro won’t be a step behind your MacBook or iMac in either 11in or 12.9in configurations.
Along with improved performance, both models are also available with optional 5G connectivity, while the 12.9 in model gets a mini-LED Liquid Retina XDR display with higher peak brightness. Both models also get an ultra-wide front-facing camera with Centre Stage feature for keeping people centered and in view, even if you move around or others join in. It also has a Thunderbolt port for improved accessory support, including 6K output to an external monitor.
The 11in iPad Pro starts at £749 with the 12.9in model beginning at £999, with both going on sale on 30 April with shipments starting in late May.
3) Goodbye, Siri Remote
What’s the biggest new feature on the refreshed Apple TV 4K? It’s the all-new Siri Remote, no doubt. The previous touchpad-centric version has been widely reviled for its finicky inputs, but no more: the new version has a proper five-way clickpad. There’s still touch controls here, but now you’re less likely to pick it up and not know where to place your thumb.
Other perks are more iterative in nature, but should be appreciated. The A12 Bionic-equipped upgrade adds support for high frame-rate HDR content, for example, and has an automatic feature for adjusting your colour balance by using an iPhone. Handy!
It’ll also play the 60fps Dolby Vision videos shot on an iPhone 12 Pro. It’ll sell for £169 and go on sale on 30 April, with the same kind of late May shipping target as the other new releases. And mercifully, you can buy the new Siri Remote separately and use it with the older 4K and HD Apple TV models.
4) Find these AirTags
Got a propensity to misplace your stuff? Make a small investment to avoid much costlier pain with the new and long-rumoured Apple AirTags. These pint-sized markers can attach to bags, keys, and other everyday objects that would be very inconvenient to lose, and can be tracked when nearby via Bluetooth - or when far away via Apple’s Find My network.
Essentially, they’re Apple-branded Tile trackers. But Apple’s device network is vast, and it could make the difference when trying to find whatever’s attached to these ultra wideband tags. Grab ‘em for £29 per tag or £99 for a four-pack starting 23 April.
5) A purple iPhone 12
Look, it’s not quite as exciting as Ted Lasso Season 2 (at least to us), but social media lit up at the announcement of a brand new purple iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini colour option. Maybe your face will light up too upon seeing this, at least if you’ve been waiting to upgrade your phone.
There’s nothing changed on the inside, of course, as the iPhone 12 models just launched last autumn, but it’s a very distinctive colour choice amongst iPhones. You can order one starting on 23 April and they’ll ship on 30 April.