Apple’s Unleashed event has concluded and we got a bunch of cool new stuff, including a new MacBook Pro, faster M1 chip, and third-gen AirPods. Here’s everything you need to know.
ICYMI: Watch the event
Everything Apple released at ‘Unleashed’
HomePod mini and Apple Music Voice Plan
Apple started the event with two surprise announcements: new colors for the HomePod mini (orange, yellow, and blue) that match the back of the iMac, and a new voice-only Apple Music tier for $4.99. You’ll have to use Siri to play music, but you’ll have access to the entire Apple Music catalog of 90 million songs, including playlists and radio stations. You’ll also get algorithmic personalized playlists.
AirPods (third generation)
Apple unveiled the third reversion of its entry level AirPods that have a new design and new audio features, including spatial audio. They also have better sound and battery life, and a new case that supports MagSafe with the iPhone magnetic charger. They’re a bit cheaper than before: $179 versus $199 for the previous model with the wireless charging case.
M1 Pro and M1 Max
The next phase of the Apple silicon transition officially commenced with the launch of the M1 Pro and M1 Max processors for the new MacBook Pro. Built on the same 5nm process, the M1 Pro has up to a 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, and support up to 32GB of unified memory. The M1 Max has a 10-core CPU with up to 32GB GPU and support up to 64GB of RAM. Apple says the CPU is up to 70 percent faster than the M1 with graphics up to 4 times faster.
14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro
The star of the “Unleashed” event was the MacBook Pro, which is a complete overhaul of the previous machine. Available in 14-inch and 16-inch sizes, it brings a slew of changes: The Touch Bar is gone, the bezels have shrunk, the ports have been expanded to include HDMI and an SD card slot, and MagSafe is back. It’s the most significant redesign in many years and with the M1 Pro and M1 Max processors should fulfill professionals’ wildest dreams.
Apple will unveil macOS Monterey on October 25 with several new features.
‘Unleashed’ as it happened
Apple’s opening video makes a song out of Mac sounds, including the iconic chime that was briefly removed.
Apple is focusing on two important areas: Music and the Mac.
Apple Music getting new playlists for hundreds of moods. Siri can play different playlists based on what you’re doing.
New Apple Music subscription plan: Voice Plan for $5. You can access all of Apple Music but have to use Siri.
HomePod mini now comes in new colors: yellow, orange, and blue.
Third-gen AirPods have finally arrived! Spatial audio, shorter stems, contoured design for better sound, sweat and water resistance, adaptive EQ, and MagSafe charging. $179. Orders starting today, available next week. Read all about the new AirPods.
Now on to the Mac!
M1 Pro chip. 10-core CPU (8-power cores, 2 efficiency cores). 16GB GPU. 200GB/s memory bandwidth, ProRes acceleration, additional Thunderbolt controllers. Support for 2 external displays.
M1 Max chip: 400GB/s memory bandwidth. Up to 64GB of RAM. 32-core GPU, 4X GPU performance over M1 Pro. More performance while using 70% less power than a discrete GPU. Support for 4 external displays.
MacBook Pro: 14.2-inch and 16.2-inch models. No more Touch Bar, HDMI, SD Card slot, MagSafe 3. ProMotion 120Hz Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display. 24 percent thinner border on sides. The screen has a notch in the center of the menu bar.
16-inch: Up to 2x CPU performance boost over the current model. GPU up to 4X faster than the current model.
14-inch: Up to 3.7X CPU (compared to 13-inch). GPU up to 13X faster than the current 13-inch.
14-inch: 17 hours of video playback. 16-inch: 21 hours of video playback.
Prices: 14-inch starting at $1,999. 16-inch starting at $2,499. Ordering today, available next week.
That’s a wrap! Stay tuned to Macworld for in-depth coverage of everything that was just announced.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.