Apple’s “Spring Loaded” event was filled with colorful gadgets including a new purple iPhone 12 and super thin iMac computers in various fun colors.
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“These devices tend to become really successful,” started Ian Sherr, who covers Apple for the tech website CNET.
Apple is also introducing a way for creators to collect recurring subscription fees for their podcasts through a new program called Apple Podcast Subscriptions. Creators must pay $20 a year to join.
“I’m curious to see if it really turns into anything,” said Sherr.
One of the most notable announcements is a tiny tracking device called AirTag.
Attach it to just about anything – keys, a backpack and more – and then you’ll be able to see it on a map.
Apple is using its powerful network of iPhones and other devices to locate your stuff. The company says they’re crowdsourcing data from nearly 1 billion devices, and everything is encrypted, anonymous and done privately.
“[Whoever helps me find my AirTag] won’t even know they helped me. And that’s pretty cool,” said Sherr.
The $29 device ($99 for a 4 pack) comes with free engraving and the user-replaceable battery (CR2032) lasts about a year.
It’s also IP7 water and dust resistant.
If you’re thinking, “doesn’t Tile do this?” you’re right. But Tile’s crowdsourced network could be hit or miss.
“Whenever Apple ends up doing something like this, entering a market that already exists, typically they offer a lot of refinements that a lot of us who have been using these things have been looking for,” explained Sherr.
There’s also a new Apple TV 4K with a cool trick: it can calibrate the colors on your TV screen in a unique way. All you have to do is place an iPhone camera on your TV screen and the Apple TV will adjust it’s video output accordingly. This means no more combing through complicated TV settings to get things just right.
It will be interesting to see just how well this feature works and if it does, it should help us experience movies and TV shows the way directors and producers intended.
As for the Siri remote, it’s getting a major makeover. It has an easier to navigate ClickPad, along with dedicated power and mute buttons.
“Over the years they have struggled to make remotes that are both minimalistic and also useful,” said Sherr.
At $179, the new Apple TV 4K is still significantly more expensive than competing streaming solutions. Additionally, you can purchase the new Siri remote separately for $59 to use with some recent model Apple TV devices.
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