Apple’s big Spring Loaded event essentially cleared the slate for major product announcements, and we don’t expect anything really big until WWDC in June. Most of the products Apple announced in April haven’t begun shipping yet, though, and there are still plenty of releases in Apple’s services to look forward to. And who knows, there might even be a surprise along the way.
Update 5/5/21: The Apple TV+ show ‘Trying’ has had its season 2 premiere date pushed back a week. It now premieres on May 21.
The biggest product of Apple’s Spring Loaded event was a newly-designed 24-inch iMac that comes in a rainbow of colors. It’s got Apple’s M1 chip, a whole new display, and it’s super thin. Read all about the 24-inch M1 iMac here.
The new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros are also powered by the M1 processor, and the USB-C port has been upgraded with Thunderbolt support, too. The real star of the show here is the 12.9-inch model’s new mini-LED display. Read all about the new iPad Pros here.
The new Apple TV 4K is a lot like the old Apple TV 4K. The A10X processor has been swapped out for the A12, which is just a little faster and enables 4K HDR video at up to 60fps. The HDMI port now supports HDMI 2.1, which is nice. But the big improvement is the new Siri Remote, which will also be available separately for $59 if you just want to buy one for your existing Apple TV.
After a surprisingly jam-packed spring event and WWDC scheduled for early June, it’s extremely unlikely that Apple will announce any new products in May. The only possible exception is AirPods, which have been rumored to be shipping for months and have arrived randomly via press release in the past. It’s still very unlikely any unannounced products arrive before WWDC in June, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility, especially if Apple wants to make sure the new AirPods don’t get overshadows by all of the new stuff for developers.
Apple Music HiFi
Hot on the heels of the Spring Loaded event, we have a new rumor about a product that might launch before WWDC. According to Hits Daily Double, Apple is readying the launch of a new high-fidelity tier of Apple Music that will reportedly cost the same as the current pricing structure. the site says the announcement could coincide with the launch of the new third-generation AirPods above.
Apps and software updates
iOS 14.6 and iPadOS 14.6
Apple has already begun testing iOS and iPadOS 14.6. There were no outwardly visible changes in the first beta, so maybe this release will come pretty quickly and release in May.
macOS Big Sur 11.4
Along with the new iOS 14.6 releases, Apple has begun testing macOS 11.4. The first beta didn’t do anything but add support for newer Radeon graphics products.
Where iOS goes, so too goes tvOS. The latest release, 14.6, is in testing now. As with iOS, there are no major obvious changes, so perhaps this will only be in beta for a few weeks.
The watchOS companion to iOS 14.6, this one didn’t show any visible changes in its first beta release, either. As with the other in-testing operating systems, we’re hopeful that it’ll release sooner rather than later.
Apple made several tweaks to the Podcasts app in iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and macOS 11.3. But the most interesting new feature, the ability to subscribe directly to specific podcasts, is launching in May. Podcast Subscriptions allow podcasters to set their price (Apple gets 30% the first year, 15% thereafter) and offer exclusive content or early access.
Apple Card Family
Starting in May, you’ll be able to co-own your Apple Card with another family member, sharing its affect on your credit rating. Apple Card Family will also allow parents to share their Apple Card with their kids (over 13), with spending limits and controls to keep them in check. Existing Apple Card users will also be able to merge their accounts if they’re in the same family.
Mythic Quest (season 2): The second season of one of the best shows on Apple TV+ begins on May 7.
Trying (season 2): If you like your comedy a little more dry and… British… you’ll be pleased that season 2 of Trying is coming on May 21.
1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything: This eight-part documentary about the musicians that shaped politics and culture in 1971 premieres on May 21.
Apple releases new games to Apple Arcade on Fridays, but not every Friday is marked by a new game or significant update. Check our Apple Arcade FAQ for a full list of Apple Arcade games and more details on the service. Many games land by surprise, but you’ll often see a couple projects listed in the Coming Soon section of Apple Arcade.
Frenzic: Overtime: A updated re-release of the classic 2008 iPhone arcade puzzle game.
Leo’s Fortune+: The classic iPhone platformer app comes to Apple Arcade.
Legends of Kingdom Rush: The fifth game in the Kingdom Rush franchise, this entry takes the tower defense formula and turns it into more of a tactical hex-based combat RPG.