Originally published at: Apple Event Scheduled for 20 April 2021 - TidBITS
Apple has scheduled what is almost certainly a product introduction event for next week. Will we see new iPad Pro models, new M-series Macs, AirTags, or a better mousetrap?
Originally published at: Apple Event Scheduled for 20 April 2021 - TidBITS
I wonder a couple of things:
(1) When might we see an update of the MBP with M1 processors? My late 2013 MBP (512 GB SSD and 16 GB RAM) has started feeling slowish lately, and I’m not sure why. I wonder if it’s finally time for a refresh. On the other hand, it still works.
(2) I inherited a late 2018 iPad Pro 12.9-inch with a smart keyboard case last year. It’s really nice, but I hardly ever use it. And it’s hard to carry around compared to an 11-inch. Then the 2020 model came out last year and I was like, wow, my iPad is already outdated. And now they seem to be on the verge of announcing a 2021 model. I’m just curious - how dated is my 2018 cellular model with 512 GB of storage? It’s still in like-new condition because the friend I inherited it from was over 100 years old and he barely used it. I wonder what I could get in a trade-in for a newer 11-inch model when they come out?
Tonight, I’m about to buy a Mac Mini M1, possibly a 16/512.
This said, should I wait after tomorrow Apple Event, hopefully M1 price drop, base storage increase to 512, etc.? Thanks.
I think you’ll save some stress by waiting a day and assessing your options after the Apple event. However, there should be little risk in ordering immediately (note that I will be referring to Apple US policies, but Canadian policies should be similar):
- Before an order ships, you can usually cancel it with no penalty.
- Even if you actually receive the product, you have 14 days to return it for a credit or refund.
Apple’s US return policies are here.
With the encouragement of Apple store personnel, I have taken advantage of these policies to ‘borrow’ an Apple device while mine was being repaired.
I was just thinking about an iPhone SE, actually. What I really want is a new iPod Touch as the latest model from 2019 (equivalent to an iPhone 7) is now slow enough to be making me sad. Compared to the current SE it does however have a headphone jack, which I do value although it would not be an intolerable loss. The utopian character of the iPod Touch is something I am not eager to give up on, particularly as it’s £200 or so less expensive than the cheapest iPhone. But if a new iPhone SE should appear with a noticeable performance boost, it might just clinch it for me. Touch ID would come in handy, and the bigger screen. And you can now activate without a SIM installed so you can use it like an iPod if you want. My Touch is a spare, not my primary iPhone.
OK, so post event…impressions? Personally, M1 iMac: Woo Hoo! I can now retire my trusty Late 2013, which can’t upgrade past Catalina. But wait…where’s the 27" model? Do I really have to give up 3" of diagonal screen real estate, or is a 27" replacement coming later?
It’s the same pattern as with the McBookPro. Build the first Apple Silicon version as a replacement for the low-end section of the line. The higher-end of the line waits for the next iteration of the M1.
Of course this is just a guess, but I would say it’s probably coming later. The M1 Macs so far are replacing basically the entry-level Macs (MacBook Air, low-end 13" MBP w/o Touch Bar, Mac Mini, and now the smaller iMac), and my guess is that there will be a higher-powered M series processor coming later to replace the higher-end Mac SKUs. Perhaps this fall?
I will be getting the new IPad 11 inch and maybe a new Apple TV. I am glad the iPads are now M1 and I will be moving from a 9.5 inch to the 11 inch. I have a 12 inch at home to use for reading, but it seriously is a lot to lug around and I feel that the 11 inch is a sweet spot that I will find comfortable.
I assume the iMac will be coming in a larger size, as Apple tends to milk out a sector and then moves on once the sales slow. I recently got a iMac Pro, so will be living with that for a while. As I have not completed the transition from Mojave yet (waiting on a few programs) I am content where I am with that.
Well, let’s see.
The TV remote might be useful, if I can use it with my existing HD Apple TV. The Mac’s accessories might be useful, if I can use them with my (non-M1) Macs. The AirTags might be useful, if I can use them iPhone 11 Pro. Job #1 is thus to investigate them.
Nah, I have no need for a new iPad Pro, although my (completely unfounded) belief that BootCamp 2 will allow you to run macOS on it has just been given a new lease of life.
I will admit to wondering whether Apple’s new priorities for the Mac are performance or form factor. I suspect the latter. That has come true, for now. We’ll have to wait for benchmarks to see where it stands, but I imagine we’ll have to wait some more to see what Apple is planning for new processors. WWDC should give us more on Apple’s software direction as well; perhaps Apple Silicon will begin to dominate the software too.
Just my thoughts.
Same and same. I’ve been using an iPad Mini 4 but I don’t like the smaller form factor and I’ve been waiting for the new Pro before I decided between that and the iPad Air. I’m set on the smaller Pro myself - that should give me easily four years without having performance issues as I do now with the Mini. I’ve been wanting another ATV for the basement where I do workouts since Fitness+ came out but I couldn’t justify spending that much on the existing model just for this purpose. Now I’ll move the 4K to our main TV and move the older one to the basement.
It does. In fact, they’ve changed the store listing to show the HD with the new remote.
As often is the case with Apple, it’s both. People will still gripe about both anyway, but it’s clear the M1 Macs out-perform what they’re replacing in both speed of processing and battery life, for the portable models.
I’m glad to see Touch ID options for the desktop iMac, too.
As for some of the other items:
- I don’t need it myself - my wife will not use tap to pay until she has no other choice - but I really like the idea of Apple Card family. I’m sure that some people will really like this.
- I like the idea of AirTags. I may get one for luggage, just to see if it helps while traveling. But I don’t ever tend to lose track of keys or my wallet. I can’t remember the last time that I did.
- I’m glad for the new remote, but I won’t spend extra to replace my older ones.
This is what surprised me…no details about compatibility. I’m perfectly happy with my iPhone 8+, and I wish Apple provided some guidance about which iPhones AirTags will work with.
My iPad Air 2 is … really, really due for an upgrade. I almost went for the A14 iPad Air, but I’ve been wanting to move up to a Pro. So I’ll be ordering the 11-inch as soon as they’ll take my money. (The larger Pro is just …a bit too large for me to feel comfortable with.)
As for the new Apple TV … hmm, maybe.
My guess is that the Mini’s price won’t drop until at least until the big Autumn reveal. The current model is not yet a year old. Apple tends to not drop prices until they have an upgrade, and there’s usually at least a year between upgrades.
The key is iOS/iPadOS 14.5—any device that can run it will work with an AirTag.
This article covers some of the details that didn’t make it into the Apple presentation. Interestingly, the color balance calibration will work with the current Apple TV 4K and iPhones with FaceID all upgraded to version 14.5 of the operating system.
I just loaded the current beta for TVOS14.5 on my AppleTVHD and confirmed that the ‘Color Balance’ calibration item is there. Since I’m not running iPhone betas, I can’t go further.
With respect to AirTags, note that Precision Finding requires at least an iPhone 11 since it needs the U1 chip technology.
There is some functionality that comes for devices with a U1 chip as well - the ability to give precise directions to a nearby lost item. I think that’s iPhone 11 and 12 family iirc.
If the AirTag was way smaller I could use it to find what I misplace most: my eyeglasses.
If I can use my current USB keyboard, trackball, USB connected printer (and other peripherals), along with T-Bolt 2 devices, I MIGHT consider the iMac but the specs are too sparse. I currently have a 1TB internal hard drive so that would be the minimum size I’d need in a new iMac.
Just checked and it looks like 1 & 2 TB drives will be available in the future; right now it is only 256 or 512 GB. Oh, the $1499 priced model comes with the crippled 7-core GPU only.
I see that the HomePod Mini is finally being released in New Zealand.
Another upcoming hit to my wallet…