New Apple iMac, iPad, AirTags and more future tech for 2021
Your guide to Apple's new, colourful tech lineup, including iPads, iMac, a new iPhone 12 colour and AirTag tracker accessories.
The tech giant has revealed a string of new Apple products for 2021, including a new iMac, iPad and AirTag accessories. The purple new iPhone 12 and 12 mini will add to the five existing colours available.
More of Apple's devices are being updated with the company's own-design M1 computer chips, while the Podcast app moves towards subscription-based programming and new AirTags will help less-than-tidy techies find their lost Apple devices.
Here's a round-up of all the future technology announcements made at Apple's spring 2021 event.
New Apple AirTags to find your misplaced devices
The newest product in Apple’s line-up, the much-rumoured accessory is a small sensor that can be attached to items such as keys and wallets or placed into backpacks to help find them when lost.
Connecting to the Find My app on a user’s Apple devices, AirTag and the item they are attached to can then be tracked down.
AirTags are water-resistant and contain a small speaker to emit a sound to help locate them.
An individual AirTag will cost £29 when they go on sale on 30 April, with four-packs for £99.
Upgraded iMac computer chip and new colours
Apple’s desktop computer has been given a revamp with a range of seven new colour finishes and the introduction of the M1 chip for the first time.
That computer chip is said to give devices a “gigantic leap forward” in terms of performance – up to 85 per cent faster computing performance than previously.
The new iMacs coming in 2021 also have a better display – a 24-inch 4.5K resolution Retina display and a new 1080p front-facing camera, the best ever seen on an iMac.
The accessories around the device have been honed, with a wider range of wireless Magic Keyboard options, including one which has a built-in Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
The power cable has been tweaked so the ethernet internet connector is on the power brick on the cable rather than on the back of the computer, so users have fewer cables on their desk.
Apple confirmed the iMac will start at £1,249 and is available to preorder 30 April to be dispatched in the second half of May.
Powerful performance from the new iPad Pro
Declared the “most powerful iPad ever” by the firm, the new iPad Pro not only also has the M1 chip to give it a substantial performance boost that will rival many laptops, but it has also been given a major screen enhancement.
The new range comes in two sizes – an 11-inch and a 12.9-inch display.
The larger of the two Pros will come with what Apple calls its new Liquid Retina XDR Display, which brings high-quality screen technology relied on by professional videographers to the iPad for the first time.
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The front-facing camera has been enhanced with a new feature called Centre Stage, which recognises where the user is and has the camera follow them if they move around the frame, as well as zooming in and out if others enter the shot to speak, ensuring everyone is correctly framed.
The 11-inch model will start at £749 and the 12.9-inch at £999, with both being available from the second half of May.
New iPhone 12 and 12 mini colour for 2021
Apple also revealed a surprise update to the iPhone 12 range in the form of a new colour finish – purple.
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini in purple will be available for pre-order from 23 April, with availability beginning 30 April.
“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,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
“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.”
Paid-for podcasts are coming
In addition, the company unveiled its redesigned Podcasts app and announced a new subscription model will be coming to the app.
Starting in May, listeners can sign up for premium podcast subscriptions for a range of benefits, from ad-free listening to early or exclusive access to new series and additional content.
Apple TV has also been upgraded for 2021, adding a new remote and a new colour balance feature which uses the owner’s iPhone.
The Siri Remote responds to the user's voice, but also offers clickpad control and is touch-enabled.
With its new colour balance technology, Apple TV uses the light sensor in your iPhone to compare the colour balance to industry-standard specifications set by cinematographers and adjusts your TV automatically. Now you've just got to decide what to watch...
Amy is the Editorial Assistant at BBC Science Focus. Her BA degree specialised in science publishing and she has been working as a journalist since graduating in 2018. In 2020, Amy was named Editorial Assistant of the Year by the British Society of Magazine Editors. She looks after all things books, culture and media. Her interests range from natural history and wildlife, to women in STEM and accessibility tech.