The Biggest Announcements From Apple’s Spring Loaded Event

Jon Bitner
·5 min read

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Apple held its “Spring Loaded” event on Tuesday, April 20th, offering a sneak peek at products that will be lining store shelves in the coming months. Several big announcements were made, but nothing was as exciting as the two new iPad Pros — one of which features the lineup’s first-ever Mini LED display — and the redesigned iMac.

Beyond iPad and iMac, Apple also revealed the highly anticipated AirTags tracking devices, an upgrade to Apple TV 4K and numerous updates to its existing product lineup.

Apple’s Biggest Announcements

Redesigned iMac — Featuring the M1 Chip

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Apple loves to talk about its M1 chip — and for good reason. It’s the fastest chipset the company has ever produced, and the recent Spring Loaded event revealed a new iMac built entirely around the technology. Featuring a smaller footprint, reduced operating noise and a 24-inch 4.5K Retina display, the latest Mac is angling to become the company’s most popular desktop to date. Apple claims it has the best microphone, sound system and cameras ever used in the iMac lineup — which is what you’d expect from an upgraded product.

The new iMac will be available for pre-order on April 30th and is expected to launch in the second half of May.

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iPad Pro Receives an Upgraded Display

 apple ipad pro 2021 refresh drawing on a white background

Although it wasn’t a well-kept secret, Apple officially revealed two new iPad Pros. The more exciting of the two features a 12.9-inch Mini LED, Liquid Retina XDR display — by far the best-looking screen ever featured on an iPad. It also comes with the lightning-fast M1 chip, providing creators, filmmakers and everyday users with impressive computing power. Unfortunately, the Mini LED technology has hit a few production issues, so expect the product to be in high demand when it launches in the second half of May.

Apple also revealed a second iPad Pro with a slightly smaller screen — which lacks the Liquid Retina XDR technology — that also includes the M1 chip. If you don’t mind forgoing the Mini LED display, you can save $300.

The new iPad Pros will be available for pre-order on April 30th and ship in the second half of May.

AirTags Made Official

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Another poorly kept secret, Apple officially pulled back the curtain on AirTags — small tracking devices that can be attached to keys, luggage or other valuables. You can then monitor their location using your iPhone, making it easy to hunt down a missing set of keys or a misplaced backpack.

Several accessories will be made available for AirTags — including luggage tags and keychain rings — giving you the ability to personalize the glorified GPS chips. Purchases through Apple also come with a free engraving, which lets you add names, numbers and even emojis to your AirTag.

AirTags will launch on April 30 and will be available for pre-order on Friday.

Everything Else Apple Announced

While new iPad Pros, iMacs and AirTags stole the show, Apple dropped plenty of smaller announcements throughout the hour-long event. Here’s a quick recap of everything announced during Spring Loaded:

Apple Card Update

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The Apple Card will now let partners and spouses build credit equally, even if they aren’t listed as the primary cardholder. Family members over the age of 13 will also be able to make purchases using the card — which Apple is calling Apple Card Family — although there will be plenty of options to limit spending and restrict purchases.

Apple Podcast Renovation

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With several million podcasts now littering its catalog, the Apple Podcast App was long overdue for a renovation. Thankfully, Apple is planning a big redesign for the popular app, along with the inclusion of new channels to help you find content similar to that of your favorite creator. This May will also mark the arrival of subscriptions, which will provide ad-free listening and early access to various broadcasts.

New iPhone Color

 apple iphone iphone mini 2021 purple new color

The latest iPhone is getting a new color to celebrate the arrival of spring. Later this month, you’ll be able to purchase the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini in an appropriately cheery purple hue — although its hardware and software will remain unchanged.

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will be available in purple on April 30th.

Apple TV 4K Adds the A12 Bionic Chip

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Spring Loaded spent a surprising amount of time talking about Apple TV 4K. To be fair, several big changes are coming to the product — although it’s not nearly as exciting as the new iPad or iMac. Apple TV 4K will now be built with the A12 Bionic chip, providing improved performance and the ability to play high-frame-rate HDR video.

There’s also a cool new color balance feature that uses the sensors on your iPhone to calibrate your TV image quality. After going through a quick setup, your iPhone can send your TV display settings to Apple TV 4K, which will then adjust its own settings to provide you with an industry-standard, high-quality picture.

The new Apple TV 4K will be available for pre-order on April 30 and shipped in the second half of May.

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