Apple’s new devices exude coolness

The company has unveiled a slew of colourful devices that come with a promise of power-packed performance

The new iMac features a stunning all-new design that is remarkably thin, with a striking side profile that practically disappears.

The pandemic is far from over. But during the last one year, we have realised the importance of our home computers, which, for many, are outdated. Apple is hoping that we are ready to start a new chapter. During its first event of the year, the company has unveiled a slew of devices that are useful as well as cool.

More about the form factor

A few years ago, Apple had a brilliant advertisement where it showed a child going through the day with an iPad. Towards the end of the campaign the child is asked “What you doin’ on the computer?” to which the reply is a cheeky “What’s a computer?” It didn’t make everyone happy then but what Apple tried to say back then has come true in the form of the biggest upgrade on the new iPad Pro. Like with the recent MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, the big changes are on the inside of the new iPad Pro which will be powered by a new eight-core M1 processor, the same chip that runs the other two mentioned devices and Mac Mini.

The M1 chip enables the new iPad Pro to push the limits of what’s possible on iPad

The message is clear — Apple is assured of the performance of its silicon and has been more than happy with its performance. Not only it is the fastest chip at the moment, it finds great support in the form of Apple’s own software and other hardware components. The graphics performance is now over 1,500 times faster and the chip brings several new features, including a “next-generation 16-core Apple Neural engine” and an advanced image signal processor.

The company has pushed the iPad Pro further by offering support for a Thunderbolt port, which offers faster data speeds, and expanded support for accessories that you can plug in.

The display department too is set to put on quite a show. What you now get is a 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display… a massive leap. The screen is engineered with a mini-LED design that uses over 10,000 LEDs across the entire back of the display and features up to 1000 nits of full-screen brightness, 1,600 nits of peak brightness, and a phenomenal one-million-to-one contrast ratio.

Of course, there will always be a sizeable crowd for the iMac because it’s a more heavy-duty device with a fan and does some extra processing work but the new iPad Pro is an astonishing upgrade.

A clear, colourful winner

The hottest device of 1998 was the iMac G3… that brightly coloured, translucent computer. It symbolised a generation. The newest iMacs live up to the reputation of the line-up. Designed from the ground up for the M1 chip, the all-in-one device has a major redesign with slimmer borders, improved camera, microphone and speakers. And of course, an amazing array of colours.

AirTag is an elegantly-designed accessory that can be personalised and enables iPhone users to securely locate and keep track of their valuables using the Find My app

Just 11.5 millimeters thin, the iMac features an amazing 24-inch 4.5K retina display. Perhaps the biggest feature you may like involves a 1080p FaceTime HD camera which delivers high-quality video and great performance in low light, kept company by a studio-quality three-microphone array for clearer calls and voice recordings. Or will it be the speaker set-up? Two pairs of force-cancelling woofers placed side by side and each pair is balanced with a high-performance tweeter… creating a six-speaker sound system.

Every iMac features two Thunderbolt ports for superfast data transfers. The eight-core iMac configuration offers two additional USB-C ports and also features a 1Gbps Ethernet port in the power adapter, allowing for a less cluttered desktop.

#Trending written all over it

In the works for a couple of years now, the AirTag is finally here. It’s a circular tag that can be attached to anything — bag to key ring. The tag will allow you to track items within Apple’s “Find My” app on iOS. The AirTag stands out with its Precision Finding, which allows iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 owners to get very specific directions (like, “walk 20 feet to your right”) when looking for lost stuff. The new device comes with the Apple-designed U1 chip using Ultra Wideband technology and a user-replaceable battery (particularly helpful; Apple says the tracker’s battery life should last a year). UWB can track items up to a distance of five to 10 centimeters.

And don’t worry, there is security built in. No personally-identifiable information gets shared with anyone at any time. The company uses end-to-end encryption and unique random identifiers, so it never knows which devices belong to which people. Only your devices know which identifiers are yours.

Podcast revamp

Apple was very early to the game of podcasts but lately Spotify has been offering the company stiff competition. The announcement of Apple Podcasts subscriptions, comes shortly after an industry report suggested that Spotify’s podcast listeners may top Apple’s for the first time soon.

Tim Cook, the company CEO, highlighted that with newly redesigned show and episode pages it will be easier to listen, follow and share podcasts. The company has announced that people can now subscribe to content from the app for extra perks, like ad-free and bonus content, as well as early access. It’ll launch in 170 regions and countries next month. In 2005, it was Apple that had made podcasts mainstream by bringing the medium to iTunes.

A much-needed refresh

One of the biggest demands from Apple loyalists have been an update to the Apple TV remote (Apple TV is an entertainment device while Apple TV+ is the streaming service). So the refreshed Apple TV remote is a big welcome. There are new navigation buttons, and a power button that can turn your TV on and off. The remote helps to control the updated Apple TV 4K box (comes with A12 Bionic processor), which has a more powerful processor that can support high-framerate HDR content.

With an all-new Siri Remote and high frame rate HDR, the new Apple TV 4K delivers a massive upgrade to any television

But Apple is known for innovation. Now you’ll be able to use your iPhone’s light sensor to colour balance your TV. Just hold it up to the screen and it will analyse the color, contrast and brightness levels to ensure a balanced picture.

A smack of purple

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini has a new colour — purple

The iPhone 12 and 12 Mini are the device most people are using. So, why not a new colour? Both will be available in purple and customers can also complement their iPhone with a new MagSafe leather case or leather sleeve in deep violet, a silicone case in Capri blue, pistachio, cantaloupe, or amethyst, or a leather wallet in Arizona. The two phones are powered by A14 Bionic, the fastest chip in a smartphone.

Price check

New iPad Pro: The 11-inch (upwards of Rs 71,900) and 12.9-inch iPad Pro (upwards of Rs Rs 99,900) will be available in silver and space grey finishes. iPad Pro is available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB configurations.

New iMac: The new 24-inch iMac is available to order beginning April 30, on iMac with seven-core GPU starts at Rs 119,900 (green, pink, blue and silver) and iMac with eight-core GPU starts at Rs 139,900 (green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue and silver).

AirTag: Available in one and four packs for Rs 3,190 and Rs 10,900 respectively from and through Apple Authorised Resellers beginning Friday, April 30.

Apple TV 4K: Will be available starting at Rs 18,900 and customers can order April 30 onwards. The new Siri Remote will be available separately for Rs 5,800.

Updated: April 21, 2021 — 10:30 pm

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