Apple's Spring Loaded event: The five biggest announcements

Apple just finished its first event of 2021 by streaming a virtual keynote for the “Spring Loaded” event. During the event, Apple announced several new hardware products including new iPad Pros, a new iMac, a new Apple TV, Tile-like AirTags for tracking everyday items, and a purple iPhone 12. Yes, purple. iOS 14.5, which we had expected Apple to announce during the event, will ship next week. 

Below you’ll find everything Apple announced during the event. 

Everything Apple announced at its Spring Loaded event

Plus updates to Apple Card and Podcasts


(Image: Apple)

Apple announced a new color for the iPhone 12 line: Purple. It’s the same core iPhone 12, but purple. It will be available April 30, with preorders starting April 23.

Apple also announced an update to Apple Card, which is tied to your iPhone and had previously only been available for individual users. Now, Apple will allow partners and spouses to share and merge their credit limits into one account. Apple Card Family will allow kids over the age of 13 to share an Apple Card with the family, and give parents control over limits. 

Apple Podcasts also received an update, with a new interface that makes it easier to find and share podcasts. Podcast subscriptions are also launching, allowing Podcast users to subscribe and pay for their favorite shows. It’ll launch in May across 170 countries. 

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They cost $29 each


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AirTags are finally official. The new tags can be personalized and can be attached to almost anything. You track the tag using the Find My app, and the iPhone 12 will more precisely find the lost item using a feature called Precision Finding. 

The phone will give you visual, audio, and haptic feedback — taking you right to the lost AirTag. 

AirTags are $29 each, or $99 for a four-pack. Preorders start April 23, with shipments starting on April 30.

$29 at Amazon

A12 Bionic processor and new remote


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After showing off a sneak preview of the second season of the hit show Ted Lasso, which launches July 23, Apple announced the new Apple TV 4K with an A12 Bionic processor. 

The updated Apple TV will play HDR content, and now AirPlay will support high-frame-rate HDR for watching your iPhone 12 videos recorded in Dolby Vision HDR.

Another cool feature will use your iPhone’s camera to scan your TV’s color balance, and then give that data to the new Apple TV. In turn, you should see an improved picture quality and colors without having to tune the TV yourself. 

Most importantly, the Apple TV remote has a completely new design. Finally! There’s an iPod-like circle for scrubbing in a video, with a power button to control your TV and the Siri button is now on the side of the housing.

Preorders will go live on April 30, with the 32GB model priced at $179. Shipments will start in the second half of May. 

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iMac goes Apple Silicon, adds new colors


(Image: Apple)

Apple updated its iMac lineup with the biggest redesign the all-in-one desktop has seen in years. Not only does the outside of the new iMac look different with seven new colors, but the inside now boasts an Apple Silicon processor, the M1.

The new iMac comes in a new size, 24-inch 4.5K Retina display. Internally, the design has changed to decrease the size of the fans and made them quieter.

The FaceTime camera now records in 1080p, improving the overall performance of the camera for the Zoom calls we all find ourselves on all day. There’s also a three microphone array, making it easier for the caller on the other end to hear you, and block out any background noise. 

Apple is touting the camera and mic setup as the best the company has ever put into a Mac. The speakers also get an update, with improved sound from a six-speaker system that brings spatial audio to the Mac for the first time. That feature has only been found in Apple’s AirPods, and we’ve been waiting for it to make its way to more products.  

There are several ports on the back that make it possible to connect your accessories, but the most notable change to the iMac is the magnetic power connector that uses a hub to provide an Ethernet connection. 

Apple also announced a new Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, a first, that will come with the iMac. It’s the first time Touch ID will be available on any Macs outside of the MacBook lineup. 

The new iMac will be available to preorder starting April 30, and ships in the second half of May. Pricing starts $1,299 for four main colors or $1,499 for additional colors and features. 

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iPad Pro goes Apple Silicon, too


(Image: Apple)

Apple released new iPad Pro models just last year, with the 2020 model of the high-end tablet. This year, Apple is refreshing both the 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pros.

The update adds the same M1 processor Apple uses in its Mac lineup to the iPad Pro. It’s the first time that an iPad has shared the same processor with a Mac. The M1 processor in the new iPad Pro is 50% faster than the 2020 iPad Pro. That’s a huge year-over-year leap in performance. Graphics performance sees its own 40% boost over last year’s iPad Pro.

A new 2TB configuration will launch, allowing you to keep up to 60,000 RAW photos on your iPad Pro — you know, if you’re into that thing.

The USB-C port gains Thunderbolt 4 support, giving it 4X more bandwidth. External storage and better support for external monitors will take advantage of the new Thunderbolt port.

The iPad Pro will also now have a 5G cellular connection for those who want to future-proof their investment. That includes mmWave support for the faster 5G networks here in the US.

The Pro Cameras on the iPad Pro also received an update with improvements to the LiDar scanner for AR apps, and battery image processing thanks to the M1 processor.

The front-facing camera hasn’t been moved, but it does feature a new ultra-wide camera that Apple calls “Center Stage.” When you’re on a video call, the camera will zoom in and out on the subject and follow you around the room.

Apple also updated the iPad Pro’s display with a Mini LED display, calling it a Liquid Retina XDR display. The new screen has 1000 nits of brightness, with 1600 nits of peak brightness, and a 1,000,000:1 color contrast ratio. 

The 11-inch iPad Pro will start at $799. The 12.9-inch model will feature the new Mini LED display and starts at $1,099. Preorders open on April 30, with shipments starting in the second half of May. 

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