Last week at its “Spring Loaded” event, Apple made a slew of announcements, several of which focused on the M1 chip. The new M1-based 24-inch iMac showcased the model’s first major redesign in years, with an ultra-thin overhaul and an array of colors. Also unveiled were the new M1-based iPad Pro with Thunderbolt, the long-rumored AirTag item tracker, and an updated Apple TV 4K with a redesigned Siri Remote. Smaller announcements included Apple Card Family, paid podcast subscriptions, and a snazzy purple iPhone 12. Apple followed all those hardware announcements with updates to its entire stable of operating systems, enabling your Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone if Face ID is stymied by a mask, enhancing Siri, and fixing worrisome security vulnerabilities, among much else. Last and least, Mac owners in the United States can extend AppleCare+ coverage indefinitely, and AppleCare+ is now available for the Apple TV, though we don’t recommend it. Notable Mac app releases this week include DEVONthink 3.7, TextExpander 6.8.4, Fantastical 3.3.8, and Live Home 3D 4.0.1.
It wasn’t all big hardware news at Apple’s Spring Loaded event. As a warmup to the cavalcade of major rollouts, Apple CEO Tim Cook spun through announcements of a new Apple Card Family service, a revamped Podcasts app that includes premium subscriptions, and a snazzy new iPhone color that Prince would have loved—yes, it’s purple.
Apple has introduced its next M1-based Mac—a 24-inch iMac in a colorful new industrial design that makes it perfect for use in the home. Its specs are likely similar to the M1-based Mac mini models, and the prices are entirely reasonable.
Apple has unveiled new iPad Pro models that don’t look all that different but build in significant upgrades. Most notable is the inclusion of the same M1 chip used in recent Macs. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro also boasts display technology derived from Apple’s Pro Display XDR.
Apple’s long-rumored AirTag has finally arrived to help Apple users find their car keys via the familiar Find My app. You can track down one of the little metal discs in your couch via Bluetooth and Ultra Wideband. Elsewhere in the world, you can find an AirTag using Apple’s vast Find My network, which leverages nearly a billion in-use Apple devices to relay a tag’s location across town or the globe.
After years of benign neglect, Apple has unveiled a second-generation Apple TV 4K with a beefier processor and enhanced video capabilities. More interesting, though, is the redesign of the Siri Remote.
Apple has once again released updates to all its core operating systems with a slew of shared features (Siri! Reminders!) and fixes (including worrying security vulnerabilities that are actively being exploited) and product-specific improvements (Apple Watch fallback authentication for mask-drive Face ID failures).
You can now extend AppleCare+ coverage for a Mac indefinitely if you sign up for a monthly plan in time. You can also buy AppleCare+ for an Apple TV, but why would you?
Brings extensions to Markdown handling, including simple WYSIWYG editing. ($99 new, free update, 132 MB, macOS 10.11.5+)
Maintenance update with bug fixes for the text expansion utility. ($40 annual subscription, free update, 40.5 MB, macOS 10.14+)
Brings a variety of improvements and bug fixes to the calendar app. ($39.99 new, free update, 41.7 MB, macOS 10.13.2+)
Major new release for the interior and exterior home design software adds support for M1-based Macs and brings improved Metal-based rendering. ($29.99 new, free update, 426 MB, macOS 10.12.6+)