This year’s iPhone event likely to be all-virtual for the second year running

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iPhone 13 dummy leak
Not too much longer to wait.
Photo: Geek Village Chief

As predicted, Apple’s next special event — dedicated to the iPhone 13 and, possibly, new AirPods — will take place virtually, Mark Gurman reports in his weekend “Power On” newsletter.

Gurman also said that, in keeping with the company’s approach during COVID-19 times, Apple will focus on online sales. That’s a far cry from Apple’s classic launches, where the iPhone unveiling event was attended by hundreds of tech journalists, while fans lined up outside Apple Stores to get their new handsets.

Apple springs it on us! [Cult of Mac Magazine 398]

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Apple Spring Loaded event: Full coverage in Cult of Mac Magazine.
When Apple said its spring event would be "loaded," it wasn't kidding.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac Magazine

iMac … iPad Pro … Apple TV 4K … AirTag …

So much new Apple hardware, so little time!

And that’s not to mention the purple iPhone or the upgrades and updates coming to Apple Podcasts, Apple Card and more. Jump right into all our coverage of this week’s big “Spring Loaded” Apple event in Cult of Mac Magazine. (And if you’re already caught up on that, you’ll find plenty of other Apple news, reviews and how-tos.)

Our iOS mag is free and makes reading easy and fun, but you also can find the headlines below.

Talk about ‘Spring Loaded’: Apple event sets my head spinning

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We finally got our first legit look at an AirTag.
We finally got our first legit look at an AirTag, but that was just the beginning!
Photo: Apple

Wow, that was the speediest, most jam-packed Apple event in recent memory.

It was so quick-moving, we all got whiplash. There was barely time to catch your breath between announcements: Here’s a new purple iPhone. Fuggedaboutit, here’s a new Apple TV, and new AirTags. Oh, and hers’s new iMacs — and iPads!!

In an hour, Tim Cook and Co. managed to introduce a raft of products with dozens of new features and technologies while dazzling us with some pretty jaw-dropping promo videos.

Once again, the prerecorded format worked well. The promo videos in Tuesday’s “Spring Loaded” event looked super. They hit us with a great mix of head-spinning effects and angles, humor and product placement.

Here are some thoughts and initial reactions to some of the major announcements:

Are we high?!? 10 ways Apple blew our minds on 4/20

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Apple Spring Loaded event: 10 ways Apple blew our minds on 4/20.
Man, that was one powerful presentation.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

It’s 4/20 and Apple’s big iMac and iPad Pro launch event was a total trip. The new Mac desktop comes in a rainbow of colors, and the M1 processor in the latest tablet will blow you away. And there’s AirTag too, at long last.

Grab some snacks and get ready to find out what the new products mean for Apple users and for the company’s future.

2021 iPad Pro boasts M1 processor, beautiful mini-LED display

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2021 iPad Pro still comes in a 12.9- and 11-inch versions.
2021 iPad Pro makes huge strides forward in its processor, screen, port, storage and RAM.
Photo: Apple

The 2021 iPad Pro is built around an Apple M1 processor that brings a tremendous speed boost.  And the USB-C has been upgraded with Thunderbolt, leading to faster connections to external drives. Plus, there’s a version with 5G.

But the latest top-tier iPadOS tablet more than fast — it looks great too. The 12.9-inch version includes a mini-LED display that both improves the look and uses less power.

M1 iMac is faster, thinner and more incredible than ever

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New M1 iMac
The new iMac goes on sale on April 30 in 7 new color options.
Photo: Apple

The world’s most popular all-in-one now runs on Apple Silicon. The all-new and beautifully colorful iMac, unveiled today at Apple’s Spring Loaded event, packs a blazing-fast M1 chip into an aluminum form factor that’s just 11.5mm thick.

The new 24-inch machine delivers significantly faster performance and more powerful graphics, but consumes less power than ever before. It’s also available with Touch ID — a first for a desktop Mac — and it goes on sale on April 30.

Apple Podcasts app will get a major redesign with iOS 14.5

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Podcasts
Apple Podcast has some changes coming.
Photo: Apple

Apple announced some changes to its Apple Podcasts app at Tuesday’s Spring Loaded event. While not quite the dedicated Podcasts+ subscription service some were expecting, the update will allow individual creators to easily disseminate paid podcasts. From the sound of things, it’s a bit like an App Store for podcasts.

Apple describes Apple Podcasts Subscriptions as a “global marketplace for listeners to discover premium subscriptions offered by their favorite creators,” alongside offering millions of free shows.

Apple AirTag tracking tags will help you find all the things

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Apple AirTag finally jumped from rumor to reality.
Apple jumped into the item-tracker business with AirTag. Attach one to something you don’t want to lose.
Photo: Apple

Apple just took the wraps off AirTag, a small tracker that users can attach to items for easy location at a later date.

Tile and other companies already offer rivals products. But Apple’s trackers offer technology that makes finding lost items easier and more accurate.

How to watch Apple’s big Spring Loaded event almost anywhere

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Apple Spring Loaded event how to
Find out what Apple has in store for us in the coming months.
Image: Apple

Update: Now that Apple’s Spring Loaded event is history, you can watch (or rewatch) it at the YouTube link below.

Apple’s next big event is just hours away, and it promises to be a big one for fans of iPad, AirPods and more. It will be an online-only affair, like other recent Apple events, and you’ll be able to watch it live almost anywhere.

Find out how before the “Spring Loaded” event begins in just a few hours.

Premium Podcasts+ service could debut at Tuesday’s Apple event

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Apple Podcasts could get a premium tier.
Would you shell out for Podcasts+?
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple could debut a premium podcast service at Tuesday’s “Spring Loaded” event, according to Recode reporter Peter Kafka.

“Pretty sure Apple is prepping its own podcast plan – a paid subscription service – on Tuesday,” Kafka tweeted Sunday.

No additional details are known about the possible podcast initiative, which presumably would join paid subscription services Apple News+, Apple Music, Apple TV+ and Apple Fitness+. The possibility of a paid podcasting service from Apple was rumored earlier this year.