It was a month later than expected, but it was much more "exciting" than expected. This is the Apple Spring Conference held early this morning: the essence is cutting-edge technology, and the color is colorful.
The theme of the Apple Spring Conference is "Come in Spring". Judging from the lineup of new products unveiled at the conference, Apple's long-lost "Come in Spring" is really well prepared.
There are a total of 4 new hardware products unveiled at this conference, namely the new iPad Pro, iMac, AirTag, and Apple TV 4K. Unfortunately, the highly anticipated AirPods 3 did not appear together.
After the full-service conference without hardware in the spring of 2019 and the direct update and release of new products on the official website in 2020, the Apple spring conference in 2021 will look decent. There will be so many new series with a single brain. Apple's "Spring Festival Gala" is honest. I'm deceiving.
In addition to hardware, Apple also brought a new "Apple Card Family" and podcast subscription services.
▲ Picture from: CNET
Color, Apple is good
Before the conference, we predicted that the color meeting will be the theme of this spring conference. But unexpectedly, the first "color" surprise at the press conference was the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini released last year.
Cook introduced that there will be a new purple version of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini. From the picture, the new purple is more saturated and more lively and bright than the elegant purple on the iPhone 11.
Then there is no plan to update the purple for the more expensive iPhone 12 Pro series.
The iPhone 12 series with the new color scheme will start to accept pre-orders on the evening of April 23, and will be on sale on April 30. The price is consistent with other colors.
In addition, Apple also launched a total of 4 new color silicone protective cases in green (pistachio color), pink yellow (melon color), blue (Mediterranean blue) and purple (amethyst color), and 1 deep violet leather. The protective case, and a leather card case in Danxia color, make the old iPhone of old users have a new look.
By the way, don't think about the iPhone SE update. I heard that the next generation of iPhone mini will be gone. The SE series is probably choking.
Anti-lost artifact AirTag is online
Perhaps Apple finally found AirTag in the corner. This pigeon and pigeon AirTag has finally arrived this time, and its appearance is basically the same as previously predicted.
AirTag is simply a traceable patch. Place it on easy-to-lost items and open the search app to track the location of the device.
AirTag has built-in speakers. When the search mode is turned on, just follow the sound to find it.
In addition, iPhone 11 and newer models benefit from the UWB ultra-wideband chip, which supports the precise search function. You can see the specific location of the item on the search app, such as "1 meter on the left", "2 meters on the right" and so on.
The principle of AirTag is to send a secure Bluetooth signal so that Apple's "find" network can be detected, and then the device will send the location of AirTag to iCloud, and the user can see the specific location on the search app.
Apple specifically emphasized that the entire process is anonymous and encrypted at various levels to protect the privacy of users.
Like other Apple devices, AirTag also supports "lost mode". In case the AirTag is lost, you can set it to lost mode for easy retrieval. You can also set it up so that when someone touches the AirTag with NFC, your contact information will be displayed.
In terms of price, it should be the cheapest hardware device at this conference. A single piece is 229 yuan, and four pieces are 779 yuan (approximately 195 yuan each). Orders will be accepted at 8pm on April 23.
AirTag also provides engraving services, you can DIY text, numbers or emoticons to create a unique style.
What's interesting is that, except for the two third-party lanyards, the price of Apple's accessories for AirTag is not lower than that of AirTag itself.
For example, the standard silicone buckle is 229 yuan; the leather keychain is 279 yuan; the leather buckle is 299 yuan. The Hermes version of bag accessories, keychains and luggage tags are respectively 2199 yuan, 2599 yuan and 3299 yuan.
▲ Hermes version
I really can afford to lose AirTag, but can't afford to lose accessories.
Apple TV 4K chip upgrade, remote control change
Apple TV 4K is the second new hardware product unveiled today. Its A12 bionic chip allows Apple TV to have more powerful playback performance.
The updated processor allows Apple TV 4K to support high frame rate 4K HDR video playback, as well as high frame rate aerial delivery, and also supports Dolby Vision standards.
The linkage with the iPhone is the biggest highlight. For example, Dolby Vision videos shot with the iPhone 12 series can be easily sent to Apple TV 4K for playback, which not only preserves the smoothness of the picture but also preserves the details; use the iPhone screen to aim the TV, The TV can be automatically calibrated and toned to automatically generate the best picture effect.
The remote control of Apple TV 4K is also welcome to be changed. The shell of the remote control is made of recycled aluminum. The circular outer ring button supports sliding gestures. You can control the fast forward and rewind of the screen by drawing a circle on the remote control with your finger. .
There is a Siri wake-up button on the side of the remote control, which can be controlled by voice.
In terms of content services, Apple TV 4K supports Apple’s own Apple TV+, Apple Fitness+, Apple Music, and game service Apple Arcade, with full coverage of audio-visual play and fitness services.
In addition, Apple TV 4K also has some small details and enhancements. For example, you can connect 2 AirPods with audio sharing function, so that you can watch movies and football late at night without disturbing your family; use iPhone as a remote control; link HomeKit to control lights, etc.
In terms of price, the official website of Apple's US area shows:
- The 32GB version is $179
- 64GB version is $199
Apple TV 4K will be pre-ordered on April 30, and will be available for sale in mid-May. There is no domestic sales plan for the time being.
A colorful iMac close to its final form
Last year, Apple's self-developed M1 chip brought an unprecedented technological change to the mobile platform MacBook. Today, this wind of change has finally blown to the desktop platform iMac, and it is a more complete change.
Although we know that iMac will transition to the M1 chip sooner or later, to be honest, we didn't expect Apple to make progress very quickly, and also made drastic innovations in the appearance of iMac.
Let us first look at the highlights of the new 24-inch iMac:
- M1 chip
- Ultra-thin design
- 4.5K retina screen
- New camera, microphone, speaker
- Magic Keyboard with Touch ID
- Colorful body in 7 colors
- Keyboard, mouse, touchpad in 7 colors
Apple mentioned that thanks to the higher energy consumption ratio of the M1 chip, the heat dissipation structure of the new iMac has been simplified into two small fans, which reduces the total volume of the body by 50%, with a thickness of only 11.5mm and a weight of less than 5 In kilograms, it has undoubtedly become the thinnest and lightest in the iMac series.
Remember the colorful iMac G3 23 years ago? The colorful body is back on the iMac again, and it brings 7 bold colors including blue, green, pink, silver, yellow, orange, and purple at once. Difficulty in choosing means that you can really picky.
The front of the new 24-inch iMac is a complete glass with a narrow bezel design. Apple claims that the 24-inch body size is only slightly larger than the previous generation 21.5-inch iMac.
The iMac's screen resolution has reached 4.5K, the brightness is 500nit, it supports P3 wide color gamut, and there is an anti-reflective coating on the surface of the screen.
Nowadays, video calls have become the norm in our lives, and computer cameras and microphones are used more and more frequently. Apple has upgraded both on the iMac, using a luxurious combination of 1080P FaceTime HD camera and 3 microphones.
Among them, the front camera can call the ISP of the M1 chip for automatic exposure and white balance, so that the iMac also has a front video experience close to that of the iPhone. The upgraded microphone can achieve beamforming radio and reduce environmental noise during radio.
There is no doubt that the optimization of the two scenes of video and call is to have a better experience in remote office meetings.
Of course, the performance of the M1 chip does not stop there. Apple said that after switching to the M1 chip, the new iMac has a CPU performance improvement of up to 85% compared to the previous generation 21.5-inch iMac, and a GPU performance improvement of up to 2 times, and it can include compatible applications with the iPhone. , Seamless transmission and more content collaboration.
In terms of speakers, iMac has been upgraded to a 6-speaker system. In addition to making the sound more loud and realistic, the new speaker system also supports the spatial audio function that has appeared on the AirPods series.
There are three versions of the new iMac. The CPU cores and GPU cores of the low-end version are 8 cores and 7-cores, respectively, while the mid-to-high version has dual 8 cores. The difference is similar to that of the MacBook Air.
The mid-to-high version iMac has 4 USB Type-C ports, 2 of which are Thunderbolt ports. The power port is upgraded to a magnetic design, with a 2-meter-long power cord of the same color, and the network cable port is placed on the power adapter , To make the body more concise.
The low-profile version has fewer interfaces, only 2 Thunderbolt interfaces, and no network cable interface. In terms of colors, the low-profile version has 4 colors: blue, green, pink, and silver, and the high-profile version has 7 colors to choose from.
Colorful colors are the highlight of the new iMac. The magic keyboard and mouse that are randomly packaged also have 7 colorful colors like the body, and the additional touchpad also has 7 color options. It can be said that Apple will "make color "It's done to the end.
It is worth mentioning that the new Magic Keyboard also adds Touch ID fingerprint recognition, which makes unlocking iMac not only safer but also more convenient.
In terms of price:
- M1 chip 8-core processor + 7-core graphics processor, 8GB unified memory 256GB SSD priced at 9,999 yuan
- M1 chip 8-core processor + 8-core graphics processor, 8GB unified memory 256GB SSD price 11499 yuan
- M1 chip 8-core processor + 8-core graphics processor, 8GB unified memory 512GB SSD price 12999 yuan
The new iMac will be available for pre-order starting on April 30, and will go on sale in mid-to-late May.
Regarding the new iMac, I actually feel more like a dazzling skill of Cook, the top master of the supply chain. The iMac with so many colors, the magic keyboard (with Touch ID and without Touch ID) and the magic mouse are all important for upstream parts. Stocking, factory production, and store stocking and sales are all a hell-level test.
iPad Pro, redefine productivity
If color is the theme of the previous new products, then the iPad Pro update this time can be described as "burst." No one can deny that it is powerful in hardware. There are only two reasons that hinder me from buying it: iPadOS and price. The first obstacle is likely to be resolved at the WWDC two months later, and the latter obstacle I gradually overcome by myself.
The highlights are summarized as follows:
- M1 chip
- Cellular network models support 5G
- The 12.9-inch version is equipped with a mini-LED display to achieve XDR effects
- The interface is upgraded to Thunderbolt
- The front ultra-wide-angle camera supports the function of centering characters
- Supports up to 2TB storage specifications
Performance is the core upgrade point of each generation of iPad Pro. Different from the previous A series magic chip, this generation of iPad Pro directly uses the M1 chip of the Mac camp.
Since the M1 uses the same basic architecture as the A-series chips, it can be perfectly compatible with iPadOS and give it a greater advantage.
Compared with the previous generation iPad Pro, the 8-core CPU of the M1 chip speeds up its performance by up to 50%. The 8-core GPU also improves its image performance by about 40%.
The huge performance improvement makes the "Productivity Tools" tab of the iPad Pro more shiny. Whether it is building a complex AR model or running a masterpiece of high frame rate console-level games, it is easy.
Take the new 11-inch iPad Pro as an example. It is likely to be the most powerful mobile device in this size, whether it is a tablet or a notebook.
In addition to the performance improvement, the M1 chip has achieved long-lasting battery life while keeping the new iPad Pro thin and light. The blessing of the 5G cellular network version makes it a portable tool for outdoor office.
After having the M1 chip, the iPad Pro has upgraded the Thunderbolt port and is compatible with the existing USB-C interface. Thunderbolt ports can better drive high-speed external hard drives, displays, and docks for iPad Pro. You can even connect to and run a full 6K resolution external display.
As previously expected, the 12.9-inch version brings a retina XDR screen with the ultimate dynamic range.
From the parameter point of view, this screen supports a contrast ratio of 1000000:1, the full-screen brightness is 1000nit, and the peak brightness is as high as 1600nit. Some specifications are consistent with Apple's Pro Display XDR display, which sells for up to 39,999 yuan.
Superb display technology is behind the blessing of mini-LED. On this 12.9-inch screen, there are more than 10,000 mini-LED lamp beads. Compared with the 72 of the previous generation, the difference in number is evident.
Apple divides these mini-LEDs into more than 2500 areas to achieve more precise division of light control, so as to achieve XDR-level contrast.
This is undoubtedly the highest-spec screen in Apple's mobile devices. Correspondingly, the price of its AppleCare also rose to 1,198 yuan.
The 11-inch iPad Pro still uses the Liquid retina display, which is probably the same as the previous generation. 600nit peak brightness, original color display, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, P3 wide color gamut characteristics, so that it still has the confidence to dominate the crowd.
An interesting upgrade point of the iPad Pro this time is its front camera. The 12-megapixel 122° ultra-wide-angle lens supports the function of centering people. During a video call, the angle of view can be automatically adjusted so that the character is always in the center of the picture and maintains a suitable frame.
The rear camera is still the same as the previous configuration. The 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and the 10-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera still have a lidar scanner. But under the more powerful ISP of M1 chip, iPad Pro supports Smart HDR 3.
There are some trivial upgrade points for the iPad Pro. For example, 5 studio-level microphones, up to 2TB storage capacity, etc., we will introduce in detail in the following experience article.
In terms of related accessories, we did not usher in the third-generation Apple Pencil. Instead, we saw a white magic keyboard. The 11-inch version is 2399 yuan, and the 12.9-inch version is 2699 yuan. The pre-sale will start on April 30.
To be honest, the moment I saw the M1 chip, my first reaction was whether the starting price of the iPad Pro would increase.
But the 11-inch version, the starting price is 30 yuan cheaper than the previous generation, it can be said that the increase in quantity does not increase the price.
The specific price of the 11-inch version is as follows:
- 128GB WiFi version 6199 yuan, 5G cellular network version 7399 yuan
- 256GB WiFi version 6999 yuan, 5G cellular network version 8199 yuan
- 512GB WiFi version 8599 yuan, 5G cellular network version 9799 yuan
- 1TB WiFi version is 11799 yuan, 5G cellular network version is 12999 yuan
- 2TB WiFi version is 14999 yuan, 5G cellular network version is 16199 yuan
For the 12.9-inch version, due to the increase in the cost of the XDR screen, the starting price has also risen accordingly:
- 128GB WiFi version 8499 yuan, 5G cellular network version 9699 yuan
- 256GB WiFi version 9299 yuan, 5G cellular network version 10499 yuan
- 512GB WiFi version 10899 yuan, 5G cellular network version 12099 yuan
- 1TB WiFi version is 14099 yuan, 5G cellular network version is 15299 yuan
- 2TB WiFi version is 17299 yuan, 5G cellular network version is 18499 yuan
In addition, in the package content column, we see that the new iPad Pro comes with a charger and data cable. The pre-sale date for some models is April 30, and the release date is mid-to-late May.
A "soft and hard" apple
The 2019 spring conference is completely a "subscription service" conference. Subscription services such as Apple News+, Apple Arcade, and Apple TV+ have a momentum for users to "subscribe to everything".
Relying on a large user base, Apple's subscription service can easily make the cake bigger and create more sources of revenue.
So we saw that at the press conference last fall, Apple launched the Apple One service. At the just-concluded spring conference, a new podcast subscription service was launched.
After signing up for a premium subscription for podcasts, you can enjoy ad-free listening, pre-order or exclusive content, and more. In addition, the interface of the podcast app has also been redesigned to make the interaction more beautiful and smooth.
In addition, Apple also launched the "Apple Card Family" service. Users can share Apple Cards with their family members, track purchases, manage direct sales, and maintain credit.
This is a very new rule that allows two people to jointly own an Apple Card, merge and share their credit limit. Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay, believes that this will make the calculation of credit scores more advanced.
These rich subscription services have made Apple more and more "soft" to some extent. But the "hard" Apple still makes people scream "amazing".
Take the M1 chip, for example, apply the M1 chip to the iPad Pro.
When the iPad stands at the same high starting point as the Mac, what changes will happen to the future iPadOS and the new application scenarios of the iPad will leave people with a lot of room for imagination. This makes me look forward to the arrival of June. Up.
Although the iPhone 13 series will not be updated until autumn, the AirTag of this spring conference represents the accessory ecology, the M1 chip comes to iMac and iPad Pro to represent self-research strength, the mini-LED screen represents the level of supply chain cooperation research and development, and the colorful iMac represents Confidence from the factory to the sales chain, the linkage between iPhone and Apple TV, the continuous deepening of software services, and even the industrial design of the iPad Pro+ Magic Keyboard and the new iMac, can’t help people feel that Apple’s One trick and one style, seemingly freehand, endless and interlocking, it is still a master in the field of consumer electronics.
This article is jointly completed by Huang Zhijian and Huaxinyan.
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