OK, so, we started scripting this video as your typical Pocketnow Daily, where I go through a recap of all things Apple, but then I realized I had just too much to say to only report the news. The event ended, and then I was hoping for a “One More Thing,” and it didn’t happen.
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of what was announced was great, then some was expected, and then some was underutilized potential, and some just didn’t happen, so let’s dive in. I’m Jaime Rivera with Pocketnow and let’s dive into our Apple Spring Loaded Event recap..
So let me start with the things we didn’t get.
- No AirPods, which have been heavily rumored for this event. Seems Ming-Chi Kuo’s predictions were right in that production won’t begin until the fall.
- No iPad mini update, which at this point seems either dead or maybe some silent update that’ll come later. We’re gonna talk more about iPad soon, and why I’m so disappointed.
As for what we did get, historically this was once a Services event, and we got some of that. Apple Card now supports families, so spouses can share credit together, and you can even share your card with children 14 and older with spending limits. I guess Apple has never met my kids.
Now, something I’m a bit disappointed about is Apple Podcasts, but I might just have to wait for it to launch. Right now all we heard was a new design, with recommended content to explore, ways to subscribe and get early access to content, and support for 170 regions. What we didn’t hear was support for video, which I’m hoping I miraculously missed or something. If Apple wants to bank on how popular video has become to this medium and how Spotify is leveraging this, they need to act fast.
Purple iPhone 12
Also, in a very non-Apple fashion, we get a new color for the iPhone 12 being released mid-term. This isn’t new though, we saw it with the white iPhone 4, and with the Product Red editions of iPhone, but a product purple is interesting. By the way, the original code name of the iPhone project was Purple, so it’s funny that we had to wait 13 years to actually get one. Yes, it’s for both the regular 12 and the mini, with pre-orders starting Friday and available on April 30th.
Now, a big deal was made about how Apple’s Find My feature is taking a step further with AirTags. Guys this is not your typical Bluetooth Tracker. If you have an iPhone with a U1 chip, Apple offers something called Precision Finding, which provides visual, audible, and haptic feedback of where your product is, and not just sounds or a half-baked map view. There are added privacy measures to void unwanted detection, and there will be a ton of accessories that help you clamp them to whatever you want. Pre-orders start Friday, and they’re available on April 30th. They start at $30 bucks, but you can get 4 for $100.
Apple TV 4K
A product I thought was going to die into TV apps was the company’s Apple TV, but nope, the 4K variant is getting some much-needed updates. A12 Bionic chip that can now play HDR content at a high refresh rate, meaning if you filmed anything in Dolby Vision on your iPhone 12 Pro, you’ll finally be able to watch it streamed through AirPlay. To ensure color accuracy, there’s now even a Color Balance feature that helps you use your iPhone to calibrate the signal the Apple TV will send to your television. Maybe what took too long to see is this new Siri Remote.
The previous one was terrible. Now, in iPod fashion, you have a click pad that’s touch-enabled and allows circular gestures for job control. There is now a Power and a Mute button for you to control your TV, and the Siri button is now out of the way, as it should be. That starts at $179 for 32 gigs of storage, with more capacity for a couple of extra bucks, with pre-orders beginning April 30th. But then from now on, you’re gonna be hearing a lot of – available in the second half of May, which is not like Apple. Odd we’re not getting confirmed dates.
24-inch iMac M1
But alright, as for the two cool kids in the room, let’s talk about the first, the M1 iMac. This portion of the event started well with those Spectrum colors paying an homage to the original iMac. That whole slim body we’ve dreamed of is here. I mean it was all going well, but those white bezels, like, who can get immersed in content with that? Anyways, it’s powered by the M1 chip, and this is what allows such a slim profile.
There are two fans that don’t make more than 10 decibels of noise at the bottom, with a logic board that’s tiny when compared to the past. This is now a 24-inch 4.5K retina display that supports the P3 color gamut, 500 nits of brightness, True Tone, a reflective coating, you get the picture. I’m honestly more excited for the 1080p camera with computational video and a 3 mic array that allows beamforming so that the rest of the room doesn’t bother your calls. There’s also spatial audio thanks to a crazy set of speakers at the bottom, there’s a magnetic fabric cable behind that has an ethernet port on the power adapter. Like seriously pretty cool.
There’s even a new set of Mac Keyboard accessories with two supporting Touch ID, a new Magic trackpad, and Magic Mouse with new colors to match, though we’re still not sure if they still charge awkwardly through lightning. Even better, this would be the first M1 product with more than one USB C port. There’s actually 4 with two supporting Thunderbolt, though obviously in the worse placement ever at the back.
Cause it wouldn’t be an iMac if that wasn’t weird, but there are a couple of catches you should know. First, the Price starts at $1299, but then color options are limited, you don’t get the ethernet adapter on the power brick, and you lose the two extra USB C ports, and touch ID on the magic keyboard unless you buy separately. To get all the bells and whistles, you have to pick the $1499 or $1699 models. Orders also start on April 30th, with availability in the second half of May. I think even that base model is enough for anyone looking for a powerful creative beast since we’ve proven the M1 has exceeded expectations on Apple’s laptops.
Honestly, I think my biggest problem is with the second product. So to provide some context, ever since the first-generation iPad, we’ve dreamed about Apple making a tablet. Steve Jobs famously made fun of it. But at the time, the dream included OS X. The last thing we wanted was an iPod Touch with a larger canvas, and this is why it was so highly criticized. The only reason it took off was that it was priced way below what people predicted. And listen, I get it, the iPad wasn’t ideal, but its A4 chip laid the foundation that created the M1 chip that now has every chip maker and their mother fighting to catch up to. So of course, you start an event with an M1 chip on an iPad Pro, at the time when macOS Big Sur already runs on it, and I was literally standing on my chair just ecstatic.
Sadly, no, you have all the power of a MacBook Pro on an iPad Pro, that continues to be neutered by an Operating System that’s designed mostly for phones, oh and by the way, with the phone handling widgets better. So yes, we now have 5G support, the Pro cameras have this crazy motion tracking feature that lets you apply chroma effects in real-time, there’s an ultra-wide Face ID camera that can track you for wider Face Time calls.
Guys, we even get Thunderbolt support over USB-C, and yes, crazy improvements in performance when compared to the previous model. The problem is that if you know anything about iPads, that won’t mean much about how apps will run, so then what’s the point? Also, my second problem is that the whole mini LED display with Pro Display XDR claims is only available on the larger model, which is priced so high that at that point, just buy a MacBook Air and save some money.
But alright, I’m gonna calm down, because I have a little theory when it comes to all this underutilized potential. Either this is the most powerful creative tool that continues to be neutered by its operating system, or Apple has something else up its sleeve. Like, maybe not macOS, but if a Mac can run iPad Apps, what if this the way to get Mac Apps to run on an iPad, and then you choose what form factor you want?
Like, what if this is finally the way to get Final Cut Pro running on an iPad? Cause, unless this happens at Apple’s next event in June, I hate to say this, but you’re fine with an iPad Air or a MacBook Air. There is simply no purpose for this product other than bragging rights of performance you won’t be able to achieve. There’s no such thing as iPad apps that can only run on the Pro models unless you consider Lidar limitations which people barely care about.