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What Apple will (and WON’T) bring at Spring Loaded in April

I’m iCave Dave and on today’s Apple Daily, I’m going to break down for you what I think Apple will be bringing to Spring Loaded, their April 2021 event next week and why. We’ll look at what the big players are expecting too and then after the event, we can work out who did well. But first, a quick overview of the other headlines, because thats pretty much what you guys decided we’d do today on my poll.

Quo Ming Chi is reporting that starting in 2023 Apple will move their FaceID sensors underneath the display which makes way more sense than moving the camera there, as the camera needs a nice clear hole to make a decent image. Everyone seems to want rid of the notch in general and while yes, getting that bit of screen back is the ideal situation, I’m happy with the current compromise to keep FaceID which is still by far the best unlock system on any phone as far as I’m concerned. This of course sounds like it will be in combination with the under display ultrasonic TouchID that is set to be added to iPhone this year. Everyone talks about how Android phones don’t have a notch, but they also don’t have faceID, true depth camera or full face tracking.

What’s coming at Spring Loaded?

MacRumors

  • MiniLED iPad Pro with M1 level performance
  • AirTags
  • (Quoting Bloomberg, they don’t appear to have their own opinion here)

Cult of Mac

  • iPad Pro Mini LED
  • Redesigned iPad mini
  • Apple Pencil 3
  • Game oriented Apple TV
  • AirPods 3
  • AirTags

9to5 Mac

  • iPad Pro
  • iPad mini, but not re-designed
  • AirTags
  • Apple TV with 120Hz output
  • iMacs, though hedging for June

Apple Insider doesn’t seem to have any expectations just yet, other than going through all of the previous event invites and pointing out the hidden meanings before declaring that there are none in the current one. Makes sense.

I also asked some of the other Tech people I chat with a lot on Twitter and Youtube too and here’s what we have.

RenderBoi Apple Tomorrow says

  • iPad Pro 100%
  • AirTags 85%
  • iMac 25%
  • MacBook Pro 14” 15%
  • AirPods 10%

Short video creators TechHyped said

  • Apple Silicon iMacs
  • iPad Pros
  • iOS 14.5 Release Candiates
  • Craig Federighi.

Newly Clean shaven SaranByte said

  • iMac
  • iPad Pro
  • AirTags

So what do I think we’ll have?

We open with some sexy drone footage around Apple Park, and given the Rainbow in the Spring Loaded’s logo, Maybe fly thorough the rainbow stage in the middle of the loop. Then over to the Steve Jobs Theatre, and in walks Tim Cook. Fingers crossed we’re pretty safe so far.

Tim opens by talking about the state of the world and how much they’re looking forward to welcoming the Apple Family back to Apple Park in the near future. Then onto iOS 14.5 – but without name dropping the point number, but how they’ve added MaskID – FaceID Unlock when you’re wearing a Mask and an Apple Watch, and its available to download now. Then on to protecting yourself, not just from the virus in your mask, but also your privacy online, and a talk about how the new version of iOS will also protect your privacy online with App Tracking Transparency. How Apple isn’t stopping anyone from being marketed to, but just that companies who want to need to ask for your permission to track what you’re doing outside of the App. Choices.

Then how Apple’s Find My Network is now open to so many new tracking tags, smart bikes and more. And now Apple is ready to introduce their own item tracker, AirTags. Building on the Find My network to find your things when you’re far away, bouncing off the 1.6 Billion active Apple devices around the world, to using Ultra Wide Band when you get close, locating your device to within 10cm accuracy. How AR will show you exactly where to go to find those keys between the couch cushions.

Next, back to the home set and Apple TV – a new version that supports playback at up to 120Hz – Maybe branded as ProMotion but of course, not variable because that comes down to the panels. Faster processors, with A14 from the iPad Air inside, Faster graphics, smoother gaming with Apple Arcade and probably showcasing NBA2K21 and Fantasian, plus a trailer for some of Apple’s newest shows.

Next, iPad.

Craig Federighi shows the new iPad Pro, with vivid colour and deep blacks courtesy of MiniLED, and how they’ve brought Super XDR to iPad for the first time to the iPad. How it immerses you even more in your content, how it feels like you could just step into what you’re looking at. And now even faster, with all the power of M1 in an iPad, with the new A14X. Faster games, Pro Motion, more performance in an iPad than 95% of Laptops sold last year. Faster too at getting the information onto your iPad Pro with Wifi 6 and 5G, for the first time ever in an iPad. 5G just got even more realerer.

How AR on iPad Pro can do something or other that probably most people don’t care about but makes you go “oh. I guess that’s pretty cool”.

A new Apple Pencil, perhaps with interchangeable tips, or perhaps with that camera in the tip so it can work as a colour picker, grabbing the colours (from the logo, see, it all ties in) and painting them right into your iPad’s apps.

The cameras too get an upgrade to iPhone Pro level, so you can make stunning Dolby Vision video at 60FPS and then edit it and watch back in HDR on your iPad Pro for the first time.

But if you want to be fully loaded – we should take M1’s Apple Silicon to the next level. The Mac that started Apple’s resurgence was the iMac, and I think we’ll get the Hello on screen as Tim introduces the latest member of the Apple Silicon family, before handing over to John Ternus, SVP of Hardware Engineering to talk about the new design and the rapidly becoming legendary Johny Srouji to completely blow our minds with vague graphs to bait Linus Tech Tips into a frenzy, with M1X’s 12 core chip and 16 core graphics, in a silent, bigger screened iMac, now in 24” and 32” sizes and fruity colours – please bring back Blueberry, Tangerine, Lime and more. And those bigger displays, like the Apple TV support up to 120Hz Pro Motion. Full P3 Colour Gamut as always, and Super XDR blacks too. 

As well as all that, new FaceTime cameras, a new keyboard and mouse, all with MagSafe and back lighting, plus Apple’s next generation Magic Trackpad that also supports Apple Pencil input as a graphics tablet. And the kicker? iMac still starts at 1099 for the now even bigger, 24” model.

Okay, so that price might be ambitious, but because Apple’s designing everything in house now and panel prices have dropped massively since they introduced the 4k and 5k iMacs, it could be achievable, especially without the Intel tax. I think 1299 is more likely though, which is still a great price.

Whatever we get at the event, its going to be blowing some minds. And there’s not long to wait. I think we’ll be getting both iMac models as we’ve had both product codes in macOS Big Sur Betas at the same time that iPad Pros appeared in their betas too, and we could maybe get an M1X Mac mini too – it feels like a simple enough addition and I know no-one’s predicting it but it also wouldn’t have a different identifier most likely. Fingers crossed!

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