Apple’s Spring Loaded event reveals AirTag, Apple 4K TV, as well as purple iPhone 12. Other announcements include a refresh of iPad Pro and iMac range,
Apple’s ‘Spring Loaded’ media event late on Tuesday has produced a mixed bag of product upgrades, coupled with the unveiling of one new device.
Perhaps the most noteworthy launch was the long-expected AirTags, which further expands Apple’s ‘Find My’ ecosystem and will help users track their belongings.
Apple had also recently expanded its ‘Find My’ iOS app on its iPhone handsets, to include the ability for the first ever to track and locate non-Apple items and products.
Other new arrivals at the event include the Apple TV 4K with a new remote, a purple-coloured iPhone 12, as well as a refreshed 5G iPad Pro and refreshed iMac range.
But first lets start with Apple’s announcement of its AirTag tracking devices, that will be available from 30 April.
An AirTag will cost £29 ($29 in US) for one device. A four pack costs £99.
The AirTag is a small accessory that can be personalised with free engraving. Essentially, it enables iPhone users to securely locate and keep track of their valuable belongings such as rucksacks, keys, handbags, bicycles, etc using the Find My app.
Apple insists that because it is part of the ‘Find My’ ecosystem, location data is kept private and anonymous with end-to-end encryption.
“We’re excited to bring this incredible new capability to iPhone users with the introduction of AirTag, leveraging the vast Find My network, to help them keep track of and find the important items in their lives,” said Kaiann Drance, Apple’s VP of worldwide iPhone product marketing.
“With its design, unparalleled finding experience, and built-in privacy and security features, AirTag will provide customers with another way to leverage the power of the Apple ecosystem and enhance the versatility of iPhone,” said Drance.
Apple said that precision finding gives users the exact distance and direction to their AirTag, guiding them through a combination of sound, haptics, and visual feedback.
Each round AirTag is small and lightweight, and features polished stainless steel, and is IP67 water- and dust-resistant. Apple said a built-in speaker plays sounds to help locate AirTag, while a removable cover makes it easy for users to replace the battery.
It works pretty much in the same way as AirPods. Just place an AirTag close to iPhone and it will connect. Users can assign AirTag to an item and name it with a default like “Keys” or “Jacket,” or provide a custom name of their choosing.
Besides the engraving options, there is a range of Apple-designed AirTag accessories, including the Polyurethane Loop, the Leather Loop and Leather Key Ring.
Apple TV 4K
The next item on Apple’s smorgasbord announcement on Tuesday was its next generation of Apple TV 4K, designed to house most of Apple’s services such as Apple One, Apple Fitness+, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, AirPlay etc.
Pricing for the Apple TV 4K starts at £169 and ordering will be available from 30 April, with availability beginning in the second half of May.
The Apple TV HD meanwhile with the new Siri Remote will be available for £139. The new Siri Remote will be available separately for £55, and is compatible with the previous-generation Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.
The Apple TV 4K according to Apple, delivers high frame rate HDR with Dolby Vision. At the heart of the new Apple TV 4K is the A12 Bionic chip that provides a “significant boost in graphics performance, video decoding, and audio processing.”
And with an all-new design, the Siri Remote makes it even easier to watch shows and movies on Apple TV with intuitive navigation controls. It features a clickpad control that offers five-way navigation for better accuracy, and is also touch-enabled for the fast directional swipes.
The products run on tvOS, and Apple TV 4K is designed to seamlessly with Apple devices and services.
“Apple TV 4K is in a category of its own, leveraging a deep integration of Apple hardware, software, and services that delivers a massive upgrade to any TV for the very best cinematic experience,” said Bob Borchers, Apple’s VP of worldwide product marketing.
“With the A12 Bionic and the all-new Siri Remote, Apple TV 4K lets customers enjoy their favourite shows, movies, and more in the highest quality, with simple and intuitive controls,” said Borchers. “And of course, Apple TV 4K offers easy access to Apple services, along with thousands of apps on the App Store for even more entertainment options.”
Purple iPhone 12
Apple also used its Spring Loaded event to announce a new colour for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini, namely the colour purple (grape).
This is in addition to the blue, green, black, white, and Red colours of these handsets, with prices starting at £799 and £699 respectively. The purple handset is available for pre-order from 23 April, with availability beginning 30 April.
Apple said that “the stunning purple finish for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini beautifully complements the sophisticated flat-edge design and precision-milled back glass.”
“The incredible iPhone 12 is the most popular smartphone in the world, and the iPhone 12 family has an over 99 percent customer satisfaction rate,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior VP of worldwide marketing.
“The new purple finish, just in time for spring, adds another bright and fun option to the lineup, and we think customers are going to love it,” Joswiak added. “This gorgeous new colour joins the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini family, which is available in five other stunning finishes, and features an advanced dual-camera system, Super Retina XDR display, improved durability, A14 Bionic – the fastest chip ever in a smartphone – great battery life, and the best 5G experience on any smartphone.”
Click here to read about the new iPad Pro and iMacs, that Apple has launched this week.