Today’s announcements from Apple, the concise edition

Today Apple held a virtual press event announcing many new and updated products. Here is my concise overview of the event with details on what, when, and how much. Some of these details were announced explicitly, some were gleaned from changes in Apple’s online store and spec sheets.

In short, a modest improvement to iPad Pro, a very minor improvement to Apple TV, an enormous update for iMac, and the new AirTag trackers are an entirely new product for Apple.

If you wish you can watch the full event on YouTube:


iPad Pro

Preorders April 30, available late May
11″ model starts at $799 / 12.9″ starts at $1,099

The iPad Pro gets a significant upgrade while maintaining its existing design for compatibility with existing accessories.

  • M1 chip makes it 50% faster than the previous model (75x faster than the original iPad) and 40% faster graphics than the previous model (1,500x faster than the original iPad).
  • USB-4/Thunderbolt support for faster transfer and 6K external display support.
  • New 2TB storage option
  • 8GB RAM, 16GB RAM if you choose 1TB or more of storage
  • WiFi 6
  • 5G cellular with mmWave support
  • Enormously upgraded camera.
  • 12.9″ model has Liquid Retina XDR display with mini LED, making it by far the best screen ever in any mobile device.

AirTag

$29 each / $99 for a 4-pack
Preorders April 30, available late May

The long-awaited AirTag tracking devices allow you to easily find your lost or misplaced devices using the FindMy network.

  • Can be laser engraved with up to four characters or emoji
  • Combination of U1 chip (iPhone 11 and later), camera, accelerometer allows extremely accurate locating.
  • User-replaceable CR2032 battery lasts about one year.
  • Many accessories available including some leather holders from Hermès.

AppleTV 4K

$179 32GB / $199 64GB
Preorders April 30, available late May

Apple TV 4K got a minor spec bump, adding the A12 Bionic chip. If you already have Apple TV 4K it’s probably not worth upgrading unless you really want the best image and you have a very high-end television.

  • High frame rate support in HDR, including over AirPlay
  • WiFi 6
  • HDMI 2.1
  • Thread smart home protocol
  • A new Siri remote which allows you to navigate by clicks or by swiping, and has additional buttons: mute and power

iMac

Starts at $1,299 for the basic model or $1,499 for the upgraded model
Preorders start April 30, available late May

iMac got its first redesign in 9 years and now looks like a slab of glass and steel on a stand. Unfortunately, for now it is only for the smaller screen size. The larger iMac will probably be updated later this year.

  • M1 chip, nearly twice as fast as the previous model.
  • 23.5″ screen is a minor upgrade in size over the previous 21.5″ screen, while making the body only 0.7″ wider. Now with a 4.5K display.
  • 1080p FaceTime camera with neural network processing for great image quality
  • 3 mic array with beam forming for better reduction of background noise
  • 6-speaker Dolby Atmos system with spatial audio
  • 2 USB 4/Thunderbolt ports, upgraded model has 2 additional USB-C ports
  • Headphone jack
  • Magnetic power cable with external power adapter. Power adapter has optional gigabit ethernet port (standard with upgraded model).
  • Keyboard available in standard / Touch ID / Numeric Keypad + Touch ID varieties.
  • Standard model available in Blue, Green, Pink, or Silver. Upgraded models also available in Yellow, Orange, and Purple. Keyboard, Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, cables come in matching colors.

Misc

  • Apple Card Family available in May, allowing you to add a spouse or partner, merging existing accounts to combine credit limits and use the lower of your APRs. You can also add children aged 13+ and give them spending limits. All users must be part of the same iCloud Family.
  • Magic Keyboard for iPad now available in white.
  • Existing iMac models will continue to be sold alongside new Apple Silicon iMac for now, though I advise against buying one of those unless you have very specific reasons.
  • The new Apple TV Siri Remote is also available independently for Apple TV HD and the previous Apple TV 4K for $59.
  • The prior Apple TV HD now includes the new Siri Remote.
  • Mac Mini M1 now has a 10GB ethernet option, same as the prior Intel model.
  • The new Touch ID keyboards work with all M1 Macs, though for the moment they are not available to purchase separately, only with a new iMac.
  • Redesigned Podcast app to be released next month, allowing producers to more easily monetize with paid content, early access, and ad-free content.
  • iPhone 12 and 12 mini will be available in Purple on April 30, preorders begin Friday April 23.
  • Apple released new colors of iPhone cases and wallets.
  • Apple TV calibration feature that was demoed is not exclusive to the new Apple TV 4K model. It will also work with all Apple TV devices running the upcoming tvOS 14.5. Televisions with Dolby Vision auto-calibrate so they don’t need this new feature.
  • AppleCare+ now available for Apple TV, $29.

Images courtesy Apple Inc.