During the first ‘Spring Loaded’ event held by Apple this year they introduced some updates for Apple Card and Apple Podcasts, announced a new color for iPhone 12, an upgrade to AppleTV 4K, unveiled long-awaited AirTags, and finally took the wraps off their new iMac and iPad Pro powered by the M1. It’s great that despite widespread lockdowns and restrictions caused by the corona crisis, Apple continues to make high-quality and eye catching presentations of their products.
Apple Card, now available in the US only, has received an update and offers Apple Card Family. The Cupertino-based tech giant has once again proved itself a game-changer and in addition to sharing Apple Card itself and funds, announced an innovative new way for people to build credit together with their Family Sharing group. Before now, the credit history was built only for the account holder and, if that history was good, all the goodies and bonuses would go to one person only.
To be honest the Apple Card news sounded a bit insignificant and minor, especially given the limited availability of the service worldwide, but yet again Rome wasn’t built in a day — if Apple manages to secure its foothold in the American market, the company will certainly try to move on and it is likely that we will witness another revolution from Apple, but this time in the financial sector.
They spared too little time for the announcement about Apple Podcasts, but it can hardly be less important than the previous one nonetheless. I don’t quite understand how and why this happens, but it is Apple that sets the trends and maps out the growth path in many areas of our life. So, for example 15 years ago Apple took podcasting mainstream. People were able to communicate their thoughts through audio recordings at any time. Podcasting has become a full-fledged industry and by and large has replaced radio broadcasting in the same way that YouTube has replaced television for many of us. Within the Apple ecosystem podcasts have always been free and people have monetized them mainly through ad integrations or by supporting authors through donations on such platforms as Patreon. In the month to come Apple Podcasts app will receive an update to have improved navigation as well as the feature for authors to make paid content. I believe this update will improve the quality of recorded materials and give a new impetus to the development of podcasting culture.
New colour of iPhone 12. There is nothing to say here, you should see it by yourself. тут должна быть картинка
Despite the fact we have known about AirTag since 2019, and the product has come out in 2021 only, it is actually the first novelty from Apple this year. AirTags are accessories helping to keep track and find whatever things they are actually attached to. Just bring this small circular device close to your iPhone and it will connect to help locate a lost item. To do this, each tag has a built-in U1 chip, which allows you to determine precise location with an accuracy of up to one centimetre. It also has a speaker to play a sound to find things easier. The same trick is used when searching for your iPhone with Apple Watch.
Moreover, the Find My Network can help you find a tag if it’s lost or stolen. It will send the AirTag location data to the iCloud as soon as an encrypted bluetooth signal is received. Apple says that all data is completely anonymous and does not reveal the identities involved in the search chain. Also, this function is very careful about energy consumption and will not affect the discharge rate of your iPhone or iPad.
The tags themselves are powered by user replaceable CR2032 battery, which (lo and behold!) you can swap out without much difficulty. One battery should last for about a year.
In a number of countries, including Russia, U1 chips are disabled and, accordingly, are not used due to their possible interference with military radar facilities. Despite this, the tags will still be useful to anyone who has ever lost small items and spent loads of time trying to find it.
The new AppleTV 4K has also received an upgrade. At the heart of the streaming box is the A12 Bionic chip that provides a significant boost in graphics performance, video decoding, and audio processing. The all-new Siri Remote now also features a five-way navigation for better accuracy, and the outer ring of the clickpad supports an intuitive circular gesture that turns it into a jog control.
Another cool feature is that AppleTV 4K introduces a useful-looking tool for making HDR content appear more accurate on your own TV. This allows you to measure colours coming from your TV and adjust the Apple TV’s output to improve color accuracy without changing the TV settings.
Undoubtedly, the highlight of the program was the new iMac supercharged by the M1. The first system on a chip for Mac allowed to significantly reduce the size of the board and the cooling system, which in turn made iMac thin and compact. Now it is only 11.5 mm thick. It’s really hard to believe, but the thickness of the new iMac is equal to the thickness of two iPads. At the same time, it has all the power of the M1 chip. In my opinion, it is almost impossible to find a worthy competitor to the new iMac right now.
iMac has also received a new power connector based on MagSafe technology and a power adaptor that can be connected to a regular network cable with an RJ45 connector. Now only one cord will be reaching your iMac, even if you need high-speed wired network access.
But Apple wouldn’t be Apple if it didn’t pay attention to every detail of the new iMac. For even more convenient and secure use of your computer, the company has launched a redesigned Magic Keyboard with Touch ID. It makes it easy to unlock your iMac, make purchases, and even switch users with a single touch. Naturally, the new keyboards and a new Magic Mouse can now be purchased in the same colours as the iMac. +1000 points to the aesthetic pleasure of using a computer!
The cherry on top is of course the 2021 iPad Pro on the M1. Yes, you got it right, now the new iPad Pro uses the same silicon as the new Mac. The energy efficiency of this processor allows you to use it not only in desktop devices with constant DC supply, but also in portable ones. At the same time, the CPU performance has been increased by 50% with up to 40% faster graphics than the previous iPad Pro. The new iPad Pro is 1,500 times more powerful than the first iPad, and it’s really impressive.
The other big update is to the display, specifically for the 12.9-inch model. Now it’s Liquid Retina XDR powered by mini-LED technology. The new iPad Pro uses 10,000 mini-LED elements to create light for an LCD display. For comparison, the previous generation of the iPad Pro had only 72 LED elements used for this purpose. Thanks to this, the contrast reaches values of 1,000,000 : 1. Now even the most detailed HDR content will look much more realistic.
An all-new 12MP Ultra Wide front camera has been complemented by the Center Stage which uses the machine learning capabilities of M1 to recognise and keep users centred in the frame. The experience of connecting with you via FaceTime is now more engaging than ever.
Also iPad now offers the broadest 5G coverage worldwide, WiFi 6 networks support, a full-fledged Thunderbolt USB-C connector with which you can connect an external XDR display.
iPad Pro has turned out to be a really powerful and amazing device. Due to the use of the M1 chip, the differences between the new iPad and Mac are becoming less and less noticeable, and a reasonable question arises: ‘Will we see a complete merge of these two products in the near future?’
Both iMac and iPad Pro on the M1 have absolutely been logical and expected updates for me in their own product ranges. The devices have turned out to be powerful and truly amazing.
AirTags, in their turn, will allow us to connect the digital world (which is known to us for its ability to easily search for any content) with our physical world (allowing to find important smaller items that have a special property of getting lost at the most inappropriate moment).
Oddly enough, but the most pleasant and important news for me was about the Apple Card update and Apple Podcasts. Experiments with Apple Card suggests that Apple is not standing still and is trying to explore new markets, and the launch of subscriptions for Apple Podcasts will increase the company’s share of revenue in digital services.