After Apple having 3 keynotes in 3 months at the tail end of last year, we now have our first keynote of 2021 but what is set to be unveiled?
The iPad Pro got a rather lacklustre upgrade last spring, moving from the A12X to A12Z processor, in addition to the inclusion of the LiDAR scanner. This time around both the 11 and 12.9 inch iPad Pros are set to move to the A14X processor, a variant on the iPhone 12’s processor, in addition to a better camera and USB 4 port enabling faster I/O and the ability to drive larger displays. The cellular models of the iPad are also going to make the jump to 5G to enable faster networking, which might be more useful now that the world is starting to open up again.
The 12.9 inch iPad is also set to gain a Mini-LED display, gaining better contrast while still maintaining the high refresh rate the the current iPhone’s OLED display lacks.
Apple announced support for third party support in the find my app last week, so if we where ever going to get the vapourware that is AirTags this would be the event to see them get unveiled.
The iconic white earphones included with every iPod lives on nearly 20 years later, in the form of AirPods and AirPods Pro. This revision of the AirPods is set to have a slight design tweak to look like its Pro sibling with smaller stalks, while still omitting the rubber tips and active Echo cancellation.
The iPad mini is set to be updated to match the iPad Air’s design, with reduced bezels, rounded display and a Touch ID home button. This significant update will likely see the iPad mini’s price increase to be closer to that of the iPad Air’s, which will probably limit the appeal of this update.
Being the developers Mac of choice, the Apple Silicon update of the 16" MacBook Pro is destined to unveiled at WWDC in June, which leads the iMac having not had a significant update for more than a decade the obvious candidate to be announced at this event. Which leads us to the question of wether the M1X/M2 is ready to enable more I/O? Without it, I still feel an update to the smaller iMac is on the cards, with a completely refreshed design.
iOS 14.5 has been in beta since February, and contains the infamous ATT (Ad Tracking Transparency) pop ups. This requires apps to request a user’s permission in order to use IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) which enables cross app tracking. One would think that this controversial change is the major hold up to its release, or a delayed hardware release such as the aforementioned iPad Pro, but this OS update also includes the ability to unlock automatically using and already unlocked Apple Watch when wearing a mask.
I would expect iOS 14.5 to have its release date announced for laster this week.