Tuesday, October 26News That Matters

Apple Store is down ahead of the ‘Spring Loaded’ event this evening

The Apple Store landing site is down in preparation for the firm’s ‘Spring Loaded’ product unveiling event this evening.

The store’s homepage features the Apple logo on a stark black background with the message ‘We’ll be right back’.

‘Updates are coming to the Apple Store,’ it says. ‘Check back soon.’ 

After the event, Apple Store should be back online with the new products available to order, which may include two new iPads, object-tracking devices called AirTags and even a new range of computers inspired by 1998’s iMac G3. 

Apple usually takes the Apple Store down in preparation for any major product unveiling, although it’s not expected to unveil any phones at tonight’s event. 

Spring Loaded, which won’t have an in-person audience due to the pandemic, will be live-streamed on YouTube from 18:00 BST (10:00 PDT).

Screenshot of the message currently on display on the Apple Store homepage. Apple usually takes the Apple Store down in preparation for any major product unveiling

Screenshot of the message currently on display on the Apple Store homepage. Apple usually takes the Apple Store down in preparation for any major product unveiling

Screenshot of the message currently on display on the Apple Store homepage. Apple usually takes the Apple Store down in preparation for any major product unveiling

Apple CEO Tim Cook also tweeted on Tuesday afternoon: ‘It’s a beautiful spring morning for an #AppleEvent! See you soon.’

Apple announced Spring Loaded in a press invite on April 13, and via its digital assistant Siri. 

Upon being asked ‘When is the next Apple Event?’, Siri‌ said: ‘The special event is on Tuesday, April 20, at Apple Park in Cupertino, CA. You can get all the details on Apple.com.’ 

In case you missed it, here’s all the products Apple is expected to announce at the event, including an iPad with mini-LED display technology and its long-awaited AirTags. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted on Tuesday afternoon: 'It¿s a beautiful spring morning for an #AppleEvent! See you soon'

Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted on Tuesday afternoon: 'It¿s a beautiful spring morning for an #AppleEvent! See you soon'

Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted on Tuesday afternoon: ‘It’s a beautiful spring morning for an #AppleEvent! See you soon’

Apple confirmed the date and time (April 20, 18:00 BST) of Spring Loaded in a press invite on April 13

Apple confirmed the date and time (April 20, 18:00 BST) of Spring Loaded in a press invite on April 13

Apple confirmed the date and time (April 20, 18:00 BST) of Spring Loaded in a press invite on April 13

iMac

At the weekend, Twitter user and leaker @l0vetodream posted a tweet containing two photos – one of the Spring Loaded even and another of various iMac G3 models.

iMac G3 was the hugely successful series of Apple computers released in 1998, known for its vibrant, translucent range of colours and bulbous body. 

Evidently, the suggestion from @l0vetodream is that Apple has been influenced by the G3 series for a new line of computers.

It’s also alluded to the new line with the colourful logo in the Spring Loaded press invite, if the rumour is to be believed – as has Tim Cook in his tweet on Tuesday, which included a photo of a giant rainbow archway. 

According to Apple Track – a blog that keeps tabs on Apple rumours ‘and the sources that publish them’ – @l0vetodream has an accuracy rating of 88.1 per cent. 

The tweet from @l0vetodream corroborates Jon Prosser, another phone leaker.

Prosser – who currently has a 77.5 per cent rating on Apple Track – previously shared renders of the redesigned system in options for silver, space gray, green, sky blue and rose gold in a video earlier this year. 

The renders have a far different body shape, however – more in line with the recent Macs.   

Leaker @l0vetodream posted the Spring Loaded logo with an image of the ¿iMac¿ G3 series from 1998 - suggesting Apple is taking inspiration from its past for a new computer range

Leaker @l0vetodream posted the Spring Loaded logo with an image of the ¿iMac¿ G3 series from 1998 - suggesting Apple is taking inspiration from its past for a new computer range

Leaker @l0vetodream posted the Spring Loaded logo with an image of the ‌iMac‌ G3 series from 1998 – suggesting Apple is taking inspiration from its past for a new computer range 

A video shared by well-known Apple leaker Jon Prosser on YouTube shows renders of the redesigned system in options for silver, space gray, green, sky blue and rose gold

A video shared by well-known Apple leaker Jon Prosser on YouTube shows renders of the redesigned system in options for silver, space gray, green, sky blue and rose gold

A video shared by well-known Apple leaker Jon Prosser on YouTube shows renders of the redesigned system in options for silver, space gray, green, sky blue and rose gold

WHAT ARE MINI-LED DISPLAYS? 

LEDs are small light sources in TVs that illuminates pixels to make an image.

Mini-LEDs are much smaller than ordinary LEDs and create a brighter picture with more saturation and richer black levels.

Because Mini-LEDs are so much smaller than normal LEDs they are difficult to manufacture and place precisely into screens, which means they are much more expensive than traditional LED displays.

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The range of colour options could be an attempt to capitalise on the public’s nostalgia for 1990s and 200s hardware – already seen in reboots of flip phones and games consoles

iPad Pro 

According to Bloomberg, Apple plans to showcase two new iPad Pro models – one larger model measuring 12.9 inches and featuring new mini-LED display technology.

Mini-LEDs are like ordinary LEDs, but much smaller, which makes it possible to pack thousands more of them into a display. 

The extra light sources makes screens substantially brighter and creates more vibrant and nuanced colours, thanks to the greater combination of lights made possible by the higher LED count. 

But Bloomberg has also reported possible supply issues for the larger iPad Pro, citing ‘people familiar with the matter’, meaning it will initially be available in ‘constrained quantities’. 

According to Japanese site Mac Otakara, citing Chinese supply chain sources, new fifth-generation iPad Pro will be available in the same sizes as its predecessor – 11-inch, as well as the 12.9-inch, corroborating Bloomberg. 

But only the 12.9-inch model will come with Apple’s new mini-LED display technology, according to Bloomberg. 

Mac Otakara has also previously said the fifth-generation will have a ‘significantly improved’ processor from the Apple A12Z in the fourth generation.  

Apple Pencil

On Friday, a leaker claiming to have information from inside Chinese factories who goes by the username @ileakeer on Twitter, tweeted a video of a what’s supposedly the third-generation Apple Pencil. 

The three-second video shows the stylus has a flat edge, just like the second-generation version, so it lies flat when charging and during use. 

‘New Apple Pencil ready to ship at #AppleEvent,’ @ileakeer said in the tweet (largely translated from emojis).    

Many were surprised when Apple unveiled a stylus – the first-generation Apple Pencil – back in 2015. 

Original Apple boss and company co-founder Steve Jobs memorably condemned tech companies who chose to design a pen for their tablets when introducing the first iPhone in 2007.

‘Who wants a stylus?’ he said. ‘You have to get them, put them away, you lose them. Yuck! Nobody wants a stylus. So let’s not use a stylus.’

Apple products, he said, were designed to work with the ‘best pointing device in the world’ – the human finger.

AirTags

Perhaps most excitingly for Apple fans, the company is also expected to unveil AirTags – small, circular devices with an Apple logo in the centre, possibly equipped with Bluetooth connectivity. 

The tags would help users find any personal item that has an AirTag attached – such as wallets, keys, luggage or even a stolen bicycle – by using a map on the ‘Find My’ app. 

Apple is expected to unveil a new iPad Pro, AirPods and AirTags on March 23. AirTags are Apple's rumoured tracking system for the 'Find My' app. Each will be small, circular and made to be attached to everyday items (pictured here in supposed leak previously published by MacRumors)

Apple is expected to unveil a new iPad Pro, AirPods and AirTags on March 23. AirTags are Apple's rumoured tracking system for the 'Find My' app. Each will be small, circular and made to be attached to everyday items (pictured here in supposed leak previously published by MacRumors)

Apple is expected to unveil a new iPad Pro, AirPods and AirTags on March 23. AirTags are Apple’s rumoured tracking system for the ‘Find My’ app. Each will be small, circular and made to be attached to everyday items (pictured here in supposed leak previously published by MacRumors)

Find My lets people track the whereabouts of their Apple devices, such as iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and AirPods, in case they get lost – but AirTags will extend this to other everyday, non-electronic items.   

If the lost item is in the vicinity, such as around the house somewhere, users would be able to click an option for the AirTag to emit a noise to help them locate it, just like items already supported by the Find My app. 

If the lost item with an AirTag attached was further afield – for example, if it were accidentally left in a bar in the next town – users could find it on the map.

If the item was stolen, the owner could potentially find out the address of the person who took it, as long as it still had the AirTag attached. 

Rumours that Apple is developing item tracking tags first surfaced in September 2019 when MacRumors released leaked screenshots of a new ‘Items’ tab in the ‘Find My’ app. 

Rumours that Apple is developing item tracking tags first surfaced in September 2019 when MacRumors released leaked screenshots of an item-tracking sub menu being developed for the 'Find My' app

Rumours that Apple is developing item tracking tags first surfaced in September 2019 when MacRumors released leaked screenshots of an item-tracking sub menu being developed for the 'Find My' app

Rumours that Apple is developing item tracking tags first surfaced in September 2019 when MacRumors released leaked screenshots of an item-tracking sub menu being developed for the ‘Find My’ app

The product was reportedly given the code-name ‘B389’ during its development but is expected to be sold under the name ‘AirTags’ 

It’s believed personal items like keys and wallets that have AirTags attached to them will show up under the ‘Items’ tab on the app. 

In April last year, Apple mistakenly uploaded a support video to YouTube that revealed the existence of AirTags, which was quickly removed. 

The video, entitled ‘How to erase your iPhone’, mentioned AirTags in a shot of Settings for the Find My app. 

In April last year, Apple mistakenly uploaded a support video to YouTube that revealed the existence of AirTags, which was quickly removed

In April last year, Apple mistakenly uploaded a support video to YouTube that revealed the existence of AirTags, which was quickly removed

In April last year, Apple mistakenly uploaded a support video to YouTube that revealed the existence of AirTags, which was quickly removed

AirPods 

Apple is also expected to reveal its third-generation AirPods tomorrow – the wireless Bluetooth headphones that come with their own charging case. 

The second-gen AirPods, which were unveiled two years ago, start at £159. AirPods Pro, with additional noise cancellation technology and water resistance, cost £249. 

For the third-generation, Apple is working on more affordable ‘entry-level’ AirPods, according to MacRumors – albeit with a lack of higher-end features like active noise cancellation.

Apple is already pushing consumers towards AirPods. iPhone 12, released last October, didn’t include a pair of standard wired headphones (EarPods) in the box, unlike its predecessors, prompting outrage from some buyers. 

Cheaper AirPods will therefore come as good news for iPhone fans – although consumers can still buy EarPods for an extra £19.  

The decision not to include wired EarPods in the box of the iPhone 12 should turn consumers towards its £250 AirPods Pro (left) and AirPods (right)

The decision not to include wired EarPods in the box of the iPhone 12 should turn consumers towards its £250 AirPods Pro (left) and AirPods (right)

The decision not to include wired EarPods in the box of the iPhone 12 should turn consumers towards its £250 AirPods Pro (left) and AirPods (right)

Apple could unveil its 2021 iMac in five different colors inspired by the tech giant’s iconic 1998 bulbous computer that saved it from bankruptcy 

Image of the back of a vintage Apple iMac G3 home computer with a 'Bondi Blue' finish

Image of the back of a vintage Apple iMac G3 home computer with a 'Bondi Blue' finish

Image of the back of a vintage Apple iMac G3 home computer with a ‘Bondi Blue’ finish

Leaks suggest Apple is due to borrow the style of iMac G3 for a new computer line-up.

A video shared by well-known Apple leaker Jon Prosser on YouTube shows renders of the redesigned system in options for silver, space gray, green, sky blue and rose gold.    

The latest iMac could make waves in the industry because it will send some users down memory lane.

Prosser explained that the range of color options aims to capitalize on nostalgia for the original ‌iMac‌, MacRumors reports.

The original system, called iMac G3, launched in 1998 for $1,299, which was Apple’s Hail Mary as it was heading for bankruptcy at the time. 

iMac G3 not only saved the tech giant, but became a fan favorite among the public.

Apple could revive the bright colors with the new 2021 iMac, along with adding the same colour options with the new iPad Air.

According to MacRumors, the next-generation system would feature slimmer bezels and include Apple Silicon chips.

Prosser says the ports appear to be the same as what Apple released in its 2020 iMac, but notes they could be placed in a different location on the real system.

Apple’s Silicon chip was announced November 10, which features a unified memory architecture, integrated GPU, neural engine and is the tech giant’s highest performing core to date.

New versions of the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini all boast the new chip. 

The new chip was used in place of Intel Chips that have been used in Mac computers since 2005.

It is called M1 in the Mac that transforms the new system ‘into a completely new class of products,’ Johny Srouji, SVP of hardware technologies, said at the November event.

‘There has never been a chip like M1, our breakthrough SoC for the Mac. It builds on more than a decade of designing industry-leading chips for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, and ushers in a whole new era for the Mac,’ Srouji said.

‘When it comes to low-power silicon, M1 has the world’s fastest CPU core, the world’s fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer, and the amazing machine learning performance of the Apple Neural Engine.

‘With its unique combination of remarkable performance, powerful features, and incredible efficiency, M1 is by far the best chip we’ve ever created.’    

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