The new iPads shine brighter, the iMacs are more colorful, and with AirTags, the iPhone is supposed to find lost things: Apple’s innovations at a glance.
Last year, the corona pandemic was so new that Apple refrained from product presentations and instead announced new iPads and MacBooks in a press release. In the meantime, the company has perfected its online displays as much as its live shows in the Steve Jobs Theater at the company’s California headquarters.
This was also the case this Tuesday when the group once again delivered a perfectly choreographed production. The stars were the new iMacs.
Multi-Colour Computers: The New iMacs
For the first time in years, Apple is again offering its all-in-one computer in different housing colors and a completely new design, just as it was at the turn of the millennium when the concept was unique and unusual. Seven colors – green, yellow, orange, rose, violet, blue and silver – are available. At the same time, the design was radically changed. The computers are much slimmer than before and have more apparent edges than their predecessors.
The drive is the M1 chip, which debuted in the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro at the end of 2020 and heralded Apple’s departure from Intel chips. The new model should be 85 per cent faster than its predecessor in the minor configuration. With a diagonal of 24 inches, the screen lies precisely between the previous iMacs with 21.5 inches and 27 inches.
Especially important in lockdowns, homeschooling and home office: The webcam of the new iMacs has a contemporary resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.
Prices start at 1449 euros for a model with 8 gigabytes (GB) of RAM, 256 GB SSD and an M1 chip with a 7-core graphics processor. With an 8-core graphics processor, at least 1669 euros are due.
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Tablet With Mac’s Heart: The New iPad Pro
It was clear that Apple would introduce a new version of the iPad Pro. What nobody expected: Instead of a new version of the A14 chip that is in the iPhone 12, Apple is packing the M1 processor, which also works in the new iMacs and MacBooks, into the new tablet. Besides, the USB-C port is replaced by a Thunderbolt socket. It looks the same but enables much higher data rates, for example, to connect hard drives or large screens.
The 5G cellular module, which is now finally in Apple’s flagship tablet, also promises higher data rates and can also ensure fast connections on the go – if you can find a 5G network. The storage space can now be ordered up to two terabytes in size. The 12-megapixel webcam has a vast angle and a function called Center Stage to ensure that you always stay in the Center of the picture during video chats.
What makes mini LED screens special
LCD screens, such as those used in most televisions and computers, need a light source to glow. Because LEDs have been used for this for years, such screens are often referred to as LED TV or LED displays.
In the simplest case, one or more LED light strips are attached to the sides of the screen. These so-called edge LEDs are cheap, but they also ensure that the entire screen always lights up a little, thanks to their rough construction. That is why there is no natural black on such displays and only low contrasts.
The solution for this is so-called full array LEDs, in which many LEDs are installed directly behind the display. In combination with local dimming, where the background lighting is switched off in separate areas in dark scenes, you get good black levels and contrasts. However, weak areas can still “bleed out”, for example, when light-coloured letters in the credits of a film wander over a black background and are not displayed perfectly sharp.
Mini-LED technology solves this problem by using many more and much smaller LEDs for the backlight. LG, for example, presented televisions in early 2021 in which 30,000 tiny LEDs illuminate the picture with great precision. The result is a very high image quality with black and contrast values that come close to those of self-luminous OLED screens but are significantly cheaper to produce.
An innovation that was expected, but which should nonetheless set a new standard in image quality for iPads, is the screen of the iPad Pro 12.9. It is now based on mini-LED technology, which promises both very high brightness and particularly dark black. Apple calls it Liquid Retina XDR, based on the Mac Pro’s 5500 Euro-Pro Display XDR.
It won’t be cheap, however. In the 11-inch version, the iPad Pro costs 879 euros, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro from 1199 euros. The versions with 5G module cost 170 euros more each.
Also Read : Apple Succeeded In This Surprise.
Find Everything: AirTags.
AirTag is the name of the new finder gadget with which the group brings the “Where is?” Search function from its iPhones, iPods and iMacs to the analogue world. The system is reminiscent of the well-known Tile-Tags and Samsung’s SmartTags: You can put an AirTag in your backpack or hang it on your key ring, for example, and you can use the app to find the items marked in this way if you have lost or misplaced them.
Tile responded immediately with a prepared statement. One feels flattered that Apple is now entering this market as well. Simultaneously, one finds it justified that the US Congress takes a closer look at Apple’s business practices. Tile sees Apple’s “Where is?” As unfair exploitation of the company’s market power.
Apple specifies the unit price at 35 euros. In a pack of four, the AirTags cost 119 euros.
Apple TV 4K, Podcast Subscriptions, And A Little Purple
Apple’s streaming box Apple TV 4K is getting a purely technical upgrade consisting of the A12 Bionic processor. Among other things, this should enable the playback of films with HDR and Dolby Vision at up to 60 frames per second. In conjunction with an iPhone 12, there is also the option of calibrating the colour rendering of the television set. The remote control contains a new type of ClickPad that is intended to simplify operation.
As a new service, Apple announced Podcast Subscriptions, a service that Apple users can use in a newly designed podcast app to subscribe to premium podcasts in addition to free podcasts. SPIEGEL will be there at the start with its podcast offers.
Instead, as a side note, a new variant of the iPhones 12 and 12 minis was announced. The only difference between them and the previous models is the color: a soft purple.