Thanks in part to some not-so-accidental snitching from Siri, Apple has today announced its long-awaited spring 2021 event and it looks, well, “spring loaded.” The event, which is scheduled for April 20, could include a new iPad Pro, AirTags and maybe even some new Macs.
Apple Spring 2021 Event Details:
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Apple didn’t give us a spring event last year, but it did announce a number of new products including a new iPad Pro, Magic Keyboard and a MacBook Air via press releases in the first quarter of last year. But thankfully, the spring event is back and (hopefully) better than ever in 2021.
Apple hasn’t removed it (yet).
When you ask Siri “when is the next Apple Event” it still replies with “Tuesday, April 20th” ???? pic.twitter.com/Ll0hQfpNXt
— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) April 13, 2021
Nature is healing and Apple is ready to convince you to drop a small fortune on tech again.
This year’s event will take place on April 20 (yes, 4/20) at 10am PT. For those of you playing along at home, that’s 4am AEDT ON April 21.
Due to the ongoing COVID situation, which remains pretty dire in the US, the entire event will be virtual and streamed directly from Apple Park in California.
The event will be available for streaming via the Apple website, YouTube, and through the Apple TV app on your iOS device. If previous events are anything to go off, the stream should last 1-2 hours.
The event is being teased with the tagline “Spring Loaded”, alongside a pretty, yet vague invitation. Sure, I love a rainbow drawing as much as the next guy, but Apple has really given us nothing to work with here. No hints, just rainbow apple.
Perhaps the biggest rumour ahead of the spring event is that Apple could drop a brand new iPad Pro with mini-LED display technology. The release is expected sometime during the first half of 2021 and, well, the clock’s ticking so the April event looks like a likely time for the announcement.
The new technology is expected to hit the 12.9-inch iPad Pro model first, with the 11-inch version to follow soon after.
For those unfamiliar, mini-LED is basically the new and improved version of OLED. It has a number of the same benefits that we love about OLED, but can also help to increase brightness, use less power and minimise the risk of burn-in on your beloved screens.
In addition to the iPads, mini-LED is expected to be introduced to the MacBook pro lineup in the second half of 2021, which is a godsend for anyone who falls asleep watching Netflix on their MacBook and now has the logo permanently burned into the screen (me, sorry).
Design-wise, the new iPads are rumoured to be near-identical to the 2020 model, which means the release will be largely focussed around the new display technology, and perhaps even a new chip for improved performance overall.
9to5 Mac recently discovered notes of an ‘A14X’ processor in iOS code, which is reportedly code for the Apple M1 chip used in the first Apple Silicon Macs. Not to mention, Bloomberg recently reported that the new iPad Pro will feature “an updated processor that is on par with the faster M1 chip.”
Obviously, it’s impossible to ever predict exactly what Apple is going to announce at these events, but a new iPad Pro feels like a pretty safe bet.
After almost exactly two long years of waiting, the highly anticipated Apple AirTags are also all but confirmed to be a part of the April event.
To put it simply, these are expected to be Apple’s version of the uber-popular Tile trackers that have been around for a million years now. Honestly, it’ll be interesting to see the specifics on these because right now it’s sounding like a pricier, slightly more aesthetically pleasing version of the tile.
If rumours are to be believed, you’ll be able to create safe zones for your AirTags, and will receive a FindMy notification if the item leaves the safe zone, or you leave it behind.
Additionally, we can expect the FindMy app to provide a sound when you’re facing the direction of your missing item, while a discouraging tone will sound if you’re veering off-course. Basically, you’ll be able to play Marco Polo with your missing wallet next time you’re running late for work.
This is another announcement you can probably hedge your bets on, especially considering Apple just announced that its Find My network now supports third-party devices.
Spring has well and truly sprung, and you know what that means: accessories. Or, an excuse for Apple to convince you to splash out on a new watch band or iPhone case that you probably don’t need.
Gizmodo understands next week’s event will unveil a variety of spring-themed iPhone cases and Apple Watch bands. There’s nothing particularly exciting about this, but if you’re getting bored shitless of the watch band that’s been on your wrist for the last year or so, it might be worth waiting an extra week to see if any of the new colours tickle your fancy.
According to rumours online (which should always be taken with a grain of salt, obviously) the new colour names for the Spring 2021 cases are: Pistacio, Capri Blue, Cantaloupe and Amethyst.
By far the least exciting part of any Apple event, but the accessories are basically a given at this point.
A new and improved Apple TV has been rumoured for a while now, largely because the current models are struggling to compete with the plethora of streaming devices at our disposal right now.
As per recent Bloomberg reports, a new Apple TV is expected sometime in 2021, and will reportedly feature an updated new remote and a strong focus on gaming. The new model will also reportedly add support for 120Hz displays.
Another major change for the rumoured new Apple TV would be a FindMy integration, which would allow you to locate your remote when you inevitably lose it. Although, I could probably tell you that it’s down the side of your couch way quicker than your phone could.
This one has been rumoured for a while, and should hopefully be coming sometime in 2021. However, we’re less certain we’ll see it at next week’s event.
Despite the fact that they’ll likely cost you an arm, a leg and your firstborn child, the highly-anticipated AirPods 3 are perhaps the most exciting rumoured launch of the year.
If rumours are to be believed, the new AirPods 3 will adopt the pro design and will feature a smaller stem. Additionally, they’ll be in a shorter, yet wider case.
Unlike the AirPod Pros, the new AirPods 3 reportedly won’t have removable tips and won’t support active noise cancellation, which is a bit of a bummer.
As for a rumoured price? The AirPods 3 are reportedly set to cost a whopping $319, according to What HiFi.
The AirPods 3 were reportedly set to launch in the first half of 2021, however, new reports claim we might not see them until Q3 2021, so this is a strong maybe ahead of next week’s event.
I wouldn’t hedge your bets on this one, but it’s probably worth saving your pennies just in case.
New Macs (Maybe):
We already know new Macs are on the horizon, with Apple acknowledging that it takes roughly two years for them to fully upgrade all models to their fancy new Apple Silicon chips, which means we should be getting our hands on them soon.
If rumours are to be believed, we should be getting a brand new iMac and MacBook Pro this year, in what I can only assume is Apple’s way of giving us a little treat after the hellish year that we just endured.
We already know the MacBook Pros aren’t expected to be announced until the second half of the year, but there’s still a possibility we could hear something about the iMac at the April event.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reportedly claimed Apple will release a new 24-inch iMac this year. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that the company will replace the 21.5 and 27-inch models.
“The new models will slim down the thick black borders around the screen and do away with the sizable metal chin area in favour of a design similar to Apple’s Pro Display XDR monitor. These iMacs will have a flat back, moving away from the curved rear of the current iMac,” Bloomberg reports.
“Apple is planning to launch two versions — codenamed J456 and J457 — to replace the existing 21.5-inch and 27-inch models later this year, the people said, asking not to be identified because the products are not yet announced.”
Design-wise, the main drawcard of the new models is the rumour that they’ll scrap all of the non-screen space. This means removing the “chin area” beneath the display, and swapping the curved back for a flatter, more sleek design.
There’s a strong possibility that Apple will announce the new iMacs during the April event. But if not, you’ll probably only have to wait for WWDC in June. Either way: NEW MACS SOON!