A slew of new Apple devices have been announced at the company’s annual Apple Event, including a new iMac, iPad, and a fresh new AirTag for locating lost possessions.
Apple heads began rubbing their hands together after Siri leaked the time and place of the 2021 “Spring Loaded” event last week, pointing to a huge product drop for the new year.
Here’s all the shiny, slightly-updated tech you could be filling your house with this year.
AirTag – $45 (4 pack $149)
If you’re always misplacing your keys or wallet, Apple’s new AirTag is probably for you. The new keychain-style device, fitted with a sleek leather casing, acts as a homing beacon for your misplaced possessions. Just make sure everything has charge, or you’re lost forever.
The AirTag uses Apple’s existing “Find My” software, which has helped untold thousands track down their phone on many a hazy Saturday morning.
“Attach one to your keys, slip another one in your backpack. And just like that, they’re on your radar. AirTag has your back,” Apple says.
But competitor company Tile wasn’t too impressed with the sleek new device, sending out a statement swiping Apple for “unfairly” jumping in on their market.
“Our mission is to solve the everyday pain point of finding lost and misplaced things and we are flattered to see Apple, one of the most valuable companies in the world, enter and validate the category Tile pioneered,” Tile CEO CJ Prober said.
“We welcome competition, as long as it is fair competition. Unfortunately, given Apple’s well-documented history of using its platform advantage to unfairly limit competition for its products, we’re sceptical.
“And given our prior history with Apple, we think it is entirely appropriate for Congress to take a closer look at Apple’s business practices.”
Apple noted Tile’s concerns in a statement, saying Tile still has 90 per cent share of the unique market and would need to dominate sales with the AirTag in order to monopolise the field.
“Apple created ‘Find My’ over a decade ago to help users locate and manage lost devices in a private and secure way. Since then, we have expanded Find My to help users keep tabs on the other important things in their life,” the statement read.
“We have always embraced competition as the best way to drive great experiences for our customers, and we have worked hard to build a platform in iOS that enables third-party developers to thrive.”
Critics weigh in on new 2021 iMac
The new iMac features a 24-inch Pro Display XDR IN 4.5K, all packed inside a cutting-edge 11.5mm profile. Simply put, if you put it at the wrong angle, you might need to attach an AirTag to find it later.
The computer also has a new magnetic power adaptor and two Thunderbolt ports. Paying a little extra for the higher-end models include more USB-C ports and an ethernet port attached to the power adaptor for wired networks.
The iMac is available in Australia from the second half of May, with the 8-Core CPU, 7-Core GPU 256GB storage model starting at $1899.
If you want access to old-school USB and ethernet ports, you will need to fork out an extra $300 for the next model up, which is also available in three more colours (orange, yellow and blue).
While the brand new designs are taking over headlines, Apple’s decision to favour a paper-thin design has left a number of prominent tech reviewers with a few gripes.
“Why does it truly matter how thin the new iMac is? Does it provide a false sense of superiority? There are reasons you might want a thin computer, but given that Apple has switched to using its ARM processor over Intel’s hotter, more power-hungry alternative, being thin was a given,” Tech Radar’s Richard Devine said.
Devine says the ARM processor, coupled with the new computer’s “ugly chin” underneath the display, was proof the former world leader in innovation had fallen behind Microsoft.
“Now, I just feel like Apple is lazy, and tries to cover it up with things that don‘t really matter, like a super thin computer or painting it yellow,” he continued. “It‘s just a bad design. So what if it’s thin? The part you look at is terrible.”
But tech analyst from PP Foresight Paolo Pescatore said the iMac was the star of Apple’s new fleet of announcements, praising its M1 Chip for “transforming” Apple’s product range.
“We are now seeing the fruits of Apple Silicon, by leveraging this system on a chip architecture across its portfolio,” he told The Guardian. “The M1 is transforming its products, form factors and capabilities far beyond what users can do today.”
New iPad revealed
The new iPad also features Apple Silicon’s new M1 chip, which is estimated to double the performance compared to previous iPad models.
It also uses technology seen in high-end TVs and desktop monitors, featuring Liquid Retina XDR, one of the brightest LCD screens available. It is also the first iPad to include a Thunderbolt/USB 4 port, widening the range of connect
The 11-inch model begins at $1,199, with the beefier 12.9-inch display model setting back customers $1,649.
Apple has faced constant scrutiny from music lovers over the removal of the auxiliary ports from the iPhone some years back.
Apple somehow pulled off removing a much loved and universal connector from its flagship phone, making it available only through purchasing pricey “new” adaptors and dongles.
It appears Bluetooth audio – or a collection of Apple brand adaptors – is the future i-device users must live by, with no return of the aux port in sight despite customer qualms.
Purple iPhone 12
This one speaks for itself. Available April 30th.