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Apple’s Spring Loaded event: rumors, news, and announcements

Spring has sprung and with it, the first Apple event of the year. The company successfully brought custom Arm chips to its Macs last year, and now it’s continuing its product updates with an event called “Spring Loaded.” Outside the obvious coiled metal connotation, the name suggests another jam-packed day of announcements.

And Apple does have a lot of products to address. The Apple TV was last updated in 2017 but is rumored to get support for 120Hz displays, a new processor that could make it a more capable Apple Arcade machine, and a redesigned remote. The iPad mini is also expected to finally receive some love after sitting idle since 2019. Reports point to a larger display and updated internals for the small tablet.

New iPad Pros will reportedly get a speed boost with a new chip similar to Apple’s M1, a Thunderbolt port for faster transfers and compatibility with more devices, and support for 5G. The larger 12.9-inch Pro may also be the first Apple device to feature a Mini LED display, though a display and component shortage could limit how many tablets Apple is able to produce and sell.

There’s plenty of other hanging threads, too: the long-rumored AirTags could show up, Apple may have a new podcast strategy, the Apple Pencil could get a redesign, new AirPods could make an appearance, the MacBook Pro might finally get its ports back, and there are always plenty of opportunities for surprises.

We’ll be watching live and keeping you updated here with everything Apple announces.

  • Jay Peters

    Apr 23, 2021

    Jay Peters

    Weird Apple design: ‘Spring Loaded’ edition

    The iMac’s big chin.
    The iMac’s big chin.
    Image: Apple

    Apple’s product design is usually very good, setting industry standards for how many of the gadgets and computers we use every day look and feel. But the company’s many hits make the less obvious design decisions stand out that much more.

    Thanks to the huge amount of new stuff Apple introduced at its “Spring Loaded” event on Tuesday, we have a lot of new Apple designs to scrutinize. While the company generally did pretty well with this round of updates, there are still a few things that made us raise our eyebrows.

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  • Your AirTag can’t say horseshit but it can say shit horse

    After what feels like ages of rumors, speculation, and worry that I was getting way too obsessed with a Bluetooth item tracker that seemed similar to ones made by several other companies, AirTags are finally here. But before you preorder the Mentos-esque pucks, there’s something you should be aware of: if you want to engrave your AirTags, you can’t combine a horse and poop emoji in that order.

    That’s right, the emoji version of “horseshit” is a no-go when getting an engraving for Apple’s newest product. Here’s what happens when you try to make that your engraving of choice:

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  • Monica Chin

    Apr 20, 2021

    Monica Chin

    Apple launches new iPad Pro with M1 processor

    Apple

    Right on schedule, Apple has launched the next generation of its iPad Pro. As was the case with the recent MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, Apple’s improvements to the iPad Pro are largely on the inside.

    The device has a new eight-core M1 processor, the same chip that powers the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini. Apple claims this will deliver “a big jump in performance” over the previous generation. The graphics performance is over 1,500 times faster, per the company. The chip brings a number of new features, including a “next-generation 16-core Apple Neural engine” and an advanced image signal processor. Apple also says you can expect up to 10 hours of battery life from Wi-Fi models and nine hours from Wi-Fi + Cellular models.

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  • Jacob Kastrenakes

    Apr 20, 2021

    Jacob Kastrenakes

    Apple announces thinner iMac with M1 chip and bright colors

    An image showing all seven colors of the new iMac: green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver.
    The redesigned iMac will be available in seven colors.
    Image: Apple

    Apple introduced a redesigned iMac today with a slimmer display, an Apple Silicon chip, and a case with bright, bold colors that throws back to the classic colorful all-in-one iMacs. Apple said the new iMac was designed from the ground up for the M1 chip.

    The new iMac has a 24-inch, 4.5K display with narrower borders around the top and sides. It still has a large chin on the bottom, but the rear of the display is now flat instead of curved. Apple says the volume has been reduced by over 50 percent. The screen also has Apple’s True Tone tech for automatically adjusting the color temperature.

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  • Andrew Webster

    Apr 20, 2021

    Andrew Webster

    Ted Lasso season 2 is coming in July, and it looks as charming as ever

    Apple’s event today was full of hardware and new products, but the company also took some time to have fun by unveiling a new trailer for Ted Lasso’s second season. The show — which stars Jason Sudeikis as a perpetually positive football coach who takes on a gig helming an English soccer team — has been one of the breakout hits on Apple TV Plus, the company’s fledgling streaming service.

    Season 2 follows Lasso as he leads AFC Richmond during a season of turmoil, with the club recently relegated to a lower league. That said, it looks just as charming as season 1, with plenty of folksy expressions and largely the same cast of beloved characters. Season 2 of Ted Lasso will debut on July 23rd. No word on whether the controversial European Super League will be a plot point.

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  • Jon Porter

    Apr 20, 2021

    Jon Porter

    Apple unveils a redesigned remote for its new Apple TV 4K

    The Apple TV remote is one of the weakest parts of the company’s set-top box, and Apple is, at last, addressing it today. The company just unveiled a redesigned Siri remote alongside its new Apple TV 4K. You’ll get the new remote with the new $179 4K set-top box, or it’s available separately for $59. As well as being compatible with the new Apple TV 4K, it also works with the 2017 model and Apple TV HD. Apple will also sell the remote bundled with the Apple TV HD for $149.

    The new Siri remote has an iPod-style scroll wheel, a five-way click pad, touch controls, a mute button, and a power button that can turn your TV on and off. Meanwhile, the Siri button is now on the side of the remote, and Apple says that the voice assistant now works on Apple TV in Austria, Ireland, and New Zealand, in addition to the 13 countries where it was already supported. Finally, the new Siri remote’s enclosure is made out of 100 percent recycled aluminum.

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  • Dan Seifert

    Apr 20, 2021

    Dan Seifert

    Apple announces new Apple TV 4K

    The new Apple TV 4K with redesigned remote
    The new Apple TV 4K with redesigned remote
    Image: Apple

    Apple has just announced a new Apple TV streaming box, replacing the Apple TV 4K that came out in 2017. The new model retains the name of the prior model but comes with a more powerful A12 Bionic chip that lets it play HDR video at higher frame rates. It’s also powerful enough to support 60fps Dolby Vision playback over AirPlay from a compatible iPhone.

    The old Apple TV 4K, which has been Apple’s flagship set-top box for four years, supports 4K streaming as well as HDR, including Dolby Vision. It also supports Dolby Atmos sound codecs. But it doesn’t support 120Hz refresh rates, which might be important should you ever want to play serious games on an Apple TV. It also has the most notoriously bad remote control.

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  • Tom Warren

    Apr 20, 2021

    Tom Warren

    Apple announces $29 AirTag, a new Tile-like item tracker

    Apple is officially launching a Tile-like item tracker that will work with the company’s software and services. Dubbed AirTag, the small circular tag will allow you to track items within Apple’s “Find My” app on iOS. Much like Tile, Apple’s AirTags will be useful for tracking items like keys or wallets, and you’ll be provided with notifications when you’re separated from your item.

    The AirTag itself is a small puck-like device that includes a built-in speaker, accelerometer, Bluetooth LE, and a user-replaceable battery. Apple says the tracker should last for a year of battery life, and you can use an NFC tap to activate a lost mode.

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  • Ashley Carman

    Apr 20, 2021

    Ashley Carman

    Apple Podcasts launches in-app subscriptions

    A monumental change is coming to Apple Podcasts’ business: the company is launching subscriptions within the Apple Podcasts app. During its spring event today, the company announced that people will be able to 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.

    Initial partners include Pushkin Industries, QCODE, and NPR. It appears that content creators will have to pay Apple $19.99 per year in order to offer subscriptions, and Apple will take 30 percent of revenue for the first year of a subscriber’s lifetime and 15 percent for the years following. This means that if a subscriber only subscribes for one year, a podcaster will have given Apple 30 percent of that revenue. Podcasters are incentivized to keep subscribers around longer.

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  • Apr 20, 2021

    Dieter Bohn, Nilay Patel and 1 more

    Apple’s ‘Spring Loaded’ iPad Pro event live blog

    Apple seemingly has a big backlog of products to announce. We’ve been anticipating new iPad Pros, AirTags, AirPods, an Apple TV, and just maybe a new iMac with Arm-based Apple Silicon. The tagline for today’s event, “Spring Loaded,” seems to be a hint that today’s live stream will be chock-full of new stuff. All signs, however, point to new iPad Pros being the star of the show.

    And it might not be just hardware. Apple is increasingly pushing its own services. Perhaps there will be more on tap today to fill out its Apple One bundle. Obvious candidates are some kind of premium podcast option or maybe even an HD option for Apple Music, but the Apple TV Plus service could also stand to get some more premiere content and today’s stream might be a good place to announce it.

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  • Dieter Bohn

    Apr 20, 2021

    Dieter Bohn

    Now the iPad Pro has to live up to the MacBook Air

    Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

    Today, we’re expecting a grab bag of new products from Apple, headlined by new iPad Pros. Given the relatively minor spec bumps that we got on last year’s iPad Pros, this time around, we’re hoping for a more substantial update. In some ways, it seems likely that Apple will deliver, at least with the larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro. 

    I’m sure the specs will be impressive. But after the release of the first MacBooks with Apple’s own M1 Arm-based silicon, there’s a strange inversion happening. Before, we’d look at a MacBook and wonder why it can’t have the power and battery life of an iPad. Now, I think more and more people are going to join me in looking at the iPad and wondering why it can’t have the flexibility and power of a Mac.

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  • Jon Porter

    Apr 13, 2021

    Jon Porter

    Apple officially announces Spring Loaded event for April 20th

    Apple Spring Loaded 2021
    Apple’s April 20th event invite.
    Image: Apple

    Apple’s next event will take place on April 20th, the company announced today, with an invite teasing the upcoming event with a “Spring Loaded” tagline. The official confirmation came just hours after the company’s voice assistant revealed the date early when asked “When is the next Apple event?”

    As is typical, there’s not much to go on from the invitation, although the squiggly Apple logo and “spring loaded” tagline could hint at a new Apple Pencil stylus — perhaps one with some sort of clickable button.

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  • Jon Porter

    Apr 13, 2021

    Jon Porter

    Siri says next Apple event is April 20th

    Asking Siri, “When is the next Apple Event” generates the following response.
    Asking Siri, “When is the next Apple Event” generates the following response.
    Screenshot by Thomas Ricker / The Verge

    Siri appears to have spilled the beans on the next Apple launch event. MacRumors was first to report that asking the voice assistant “When is the next Apple Event” prompts it to say April 20th. We’ve managed to get the same response, though only on a device that’s associated with a US Apple ID. Apple typically announces its events with invites sent out a week in advance, meaning the news should become official later today.

    “The special event is on Tuesday, April 20th, at Apple Park in Cupertino, CA. You can get all the details on Apple.com” says Siri. Tapping the link takes you to the standard Apple Event landing page, where the launch isn’t listed. It seems odd that the response claims the event is happening in Cupertino, since this will almost certainly be another of Apple’s pre-recorded online-only events.

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  • Sam Byford

    Apr 12, 2021

    Sam Byford

    New iPad Pro still coming soon but supply could be short, says Bloomberg

    A person using an Apple Pencil on an iPad Pro tablet.
    Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

    Apple’s next iPad Pro may face supply constraints at launch due to issues in production, according to a new report in Bloomberg. Apple’s suppliers are said to be having trouble with low manufacturing yields for the new Mini LED display rumored to be the key feature of the new 12.9-inch model; one manufacturer has reportedly paused production.

    Nikkei reported last week that iPad production had been delayed by a shortage of displays and display components, though the publication didn’t specify which models had been hit. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the new iPad Pro lineup is still expected to be announced later this month.

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  • Jay Peters

    Apr 6, 2021

    Jay Peters

    The long overdue Apple TV refresh may offer 120Hz support

    Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

    The Apple TV 4K hasn’t been updated for more than three and a half years, which is an eternity in technology. But 9to5Mac reports that the new tvOS 14.5 beta references support for 120Hz refresh rates — a capability that no currently available Apple TV models have — which could indicate Apple is working on a new version of its set-top box.

    While it’s not clear what Apple may use a 120Hz refresh rate for in a new Apple TV, one of the more intriguing possibilities is for smoother gaming, like what’s offered with 120Hz support on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Apple has been showing increased interest in gaming as of late, so it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if the new Apple TV had more gaming-focused features.

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  • Jay Peters

    Mar 17, 2021

    Jay Peters

    New iPad Pros reportedly launching as soon as April, and the 12.9-inch model may have a Mini LED screen

    Photo by Brennan King / The Verge

    Apple is reportedly planning a number of updates to its iPad line, including new iPad Pros launching as soon as April, a new iPad mini with a larger screen, and a refresh of the base iPad, according to Bloomberg.

    The new iPad Pros are expected to have a similar design as the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros released last March but have a better processor that’s “on par” with the speedy M1 chip in Apple’s newest MacBook Airs, Pros, and Mac mini, Bloomberg reports. Both models may also have improved cameras.

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  • Chaim Gartenberg

    Jan 22, 2021

    Chaim Gartenberg

    Apple’s 2021 MacBook Pros will reportedly bring back the SD card slot

    Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display 2015

    Apple may finally be bringing an integrated SD card slot to its upcoming 2021 models of its MacBook Pro laptops, according to a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, in a move that would restore the popular port standard to the company’s computers.

    The MacBook Pro lineup hasn’t offered an SD card slot since Apple removed the feature in its 2016 redesign, which excised all the ports from the laptops in favor of four universal USB-C ports. This forced many professional users — who rely on the popular memory card format to import photos and videos to their computers for editing — to turn to much-reviled dongles to get the same functionality.

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  • Tom Warren

    Jan 22, 2021

    Tom Warren

    Apple reportedly planning new MacBook Air design with MagSafe charging

    The MacBook Air half open seen from above.
    The new MacBook Air with the M1 chip.
    Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

    Apple is reportedly working on a new design for its MacBook Air that will include the return of MagSafe charging. Bloomberg News reports that the updated MacBook Air may appear later this year or in 2022, and is designed to be thinner and lighter than the existing model.

    Apple may make the MacBook Air smaller thanks to reduced bezels on the 13-inch screen, and will reportedly include two USB 4 ports on the laptop. Apple is also likely to include the next generation of its ARM-based processors inside this new MacBook Air, after introducing the M1 on the existing MacBook Air in November.

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  • Sam Byford

    Jan 15, 2021

    Sam Byford

    2021 MacBook Pro will ditch the Touch Bar and bring back MagSafe, say reports

    Photo by Alexander Kramer for The Verge

    Apple is planning a major MacBook Pro redesign for the third quarter of 2021, according to a research note written by TF International Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo and reported on by MacRumors, 9to5Mac, and Apple Insider. Kuo calls it the first major redesign of the MacBook Pro since the introduction of the current generation in 2016. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has followed up with a report corroborating many of the same details.

    The new MacBook Pro is said to have squared-off sides like the iPad Pro and the iPhone 12; the current laptop already has sharp edges, but it sounds like the top and bottom panels are going to be flatter than before as well. The new model will reportedly come in 14-inch and 16-inch sizes both featuring Apple-designed Arm processors, with no Intel options. Kuo says the laptops will use a similar heat pipe system to the current 16-inch MacBook Pro, giving more thermal headroom and enabling higher performance. Bloomberg reports that the new models will have “brighter, higher contrast” displays.

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  • Jon Porter

    Oct 26, 2020

    Jon Porter

    Apple reportedly plans revamped AirPods for as early as next year

    Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

    Apple is developing revamped versions of its AirPods and AirPods Pro true wireless earbuds, Bloomberg reports, the first of which could be announced as early as next year. Both will reportedly feature new designs, as well as upgraded wireless chips. Bloomberg also notes that Apple’s long-rumored over-ear headphones are still in development, and that the company has internally discussed plans to introduce a third HomePod speaker to sit between the $299 HomePod and the newly-announced $99 HomePod mini. 

    According to the report, Apple’s second-generation AirPods Pro could ditch the stem that has been a hallmark of the AirPods’ design since their introduction in 2016. They’ll reportedly still feature noise-cancellation, but with a design that’s more similar to the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Plus, or Google’s Pixel Buds. Fitting everything into a smaller housing has been a challenge for the company, Bloomberg reports, meaning this design could change.

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  • Jon Porter

    Sep 23, 2020

    Jon Porter

    Apple’s first Mini-LED device to be new iPad Pro, predicts Kuo

    Photo by Brennan King / The Verge

    The first Apple device to feature a Mini-LED display will be a new iPad Pro, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted in a new research note seen by MacRumors and AppleInsider. Kuo reports that Mini-LED display components will be mass-produced in the fourth quarter of this year, though it’s unclear when the new iPad Pro could actually release. Last year, Kuo predicted a third-quarter 2020 launch for the new iPad Pro with improved display technology. Apple last updated its iPad Pro lineup back in March.

    Apple has long been rumored to be developing six devices with the new display technology, which offers similar benefits to OLED — like localized dimming for deeper blacks and higher contrast — without the downside of burn-in. It does this by using an array of thousands of tiny LEDs as a backlight, which can be turned on and off individually to offer a sharper contrast between bright and dark areas of an image.

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  • Jay Peters

    Sep 8, 2020

    Jay Peters

    Apple’s Tile competitor may finally be in production

    Image: 9to5Mac

    Apple’s Tile-like location tracking product has finally entered production, according to a report from Nikkei, meaning you might be able to buy them sometime soon. Rumors about the trackers, which will apparently help you wirelessly locate items they’re attached to like a bag or wallet, have been swirling since last year. They may be called “AirTags,” are apparently designed to work with Apple’s Find My app, and are expected to be small circular discs.

    AirTags may have some kind of offline finding feature, too, according to a now-deleted Apple support video, meaning they may not require a Wi-Fi or cellular connection to be located. That suggests they could have ultra-wideband radio technology built in, similar to the U1 chip in the iPhone 11.

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  • Jay Peters

    Jun 3, 2020

    Jay Peters

    Apple’s 2021 iPad Pros could have 5G

    Photo by Brennan King / The Verge

    Apple’s 2021 iPad Pros could have 5G, thanks to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 5G modem, according to Apple leaker L0vetodream on Twitter. If Apple does use that modem, the new iPad Pros could take advantage of both sub-6GHz 5G and the faster mmWave 5G.

    The new iPad Pros could also have Mini-LED displays, says L0vetodream. This isn’t the first we’ve heard that iPad Pros could be getting Mini-LED displays. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated in December that a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Mini-LED could launch in Q3 2020. Kuo has said that Apple is interested in Mini-LED panels because they offer similar benefits to OLED screens, such as localized dimming and a wide color gamut.

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