Apple generates a lot of news, and it can be hard to keep up. If your mind was on other things this week, our Saturday-morning roundup of Apple-related headlines will bring you up to date.
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The MacBook Pro, Unleashed
We warned ahead of time that Apple’s Unleashed event on Monday
might turn out to be disappointing – and it must be said that the breadth of new Mac releases was surprisingly small, with the MacBook Pro updated but the Mac mini, iMac and MacBook Air all left unrefreshed.
new MacBook Pro, though: what a barnstormer that was. Most onlookers were blown away by its power – those new
M1 Pro and M1 Max chips have everyone’s attention – but the audience was considerably more divided on the subject of its screen notch. (Quite spontaneously, two members of Macworld’s international team wrote articles respectively
angrily attacking and
passionately defending the MacBook Pro’s notch – and the Twitter responses to each were astonishingly intense.)
Above all, the consensus was that the new MacBook Pro corrected a lot of accumulated wrongs from the past five years, from MagSafe to the Touch Bar. Indeed, in our
Different Think column this week, Samuel Nyberg called the new device “an apology to Apple’s long-suffering Pro users”. If you’d like to receive that apology, here’s
where to buy the new MacBook Pro.
But before we even got to the new laptops, Apple set pulses racing with the announcement of
new AirPods. It’s not that they break a great deal of new ground in terms of specs and features (they remain below the AirPods Pro from 2019 in Apple’s roster, albeit with better battery life), but the simple fact of new AirPods itself feels like a miracle. If you exclude the AirPods Max, which are a different beast entirely, Apple hadn’t updated its AirPods line in two years. Here’s
where to order yours.
Perhaps it would be fair to say that with those two huge announcements at the heart of the event, anything else would inevitably be sidelined, turned into an “also announced” – much as the extremely worthy iPad mini 6 was pushed out of the limelight by the iPhone 13 last month. And so Apple decided to make sure that the other announcements really were sideshows to the main event: namely, the HomePod mini getting
three new colours (which are really nice, by the way); Apple Music coming in a new, cheaper,
voice-only subscription; and a hilariously overpriced
An enjoyable but quite narrow event, then – but
product overkill is exactly what we complained about last time, so perhaps we should be grateful. And note that we have some news about those leftover Mac releases in the
rumour mill section of this article.
For a full rundown of a busy and fascinating evening, read our guide to
everything announced at Apple Unleashed.
Video of the week
Let’s go a bit deeper on those new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips powering the updated MacBook Pro models.
Benchmarks for the M1 Pro are nearly double that of the M1, and
the M1 Max is even more powerful. Still, not everyone wants or needs a Mac, and Intel has its own super-fast chip in the works. How can Apple continue to innovate upon its system-on-a-chip architecture, and will the company continue to outpace competition?
In the video embedded below, Michael Simon and Ken Mingis join Juliet Beauchamp to discuss what Apple’s new MacBooks suggest about the future of the Mac, what that future means for competitors and what users should consider before upgrading.
News in brief
Severe Christmas shortages have been predicted for Apple products, affecting the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and many Macs. The delays could be so widespread that they significantly harm the company’s revenue in a crucial quarter.
The new MacBook Pro falls
frustratingly short of perfection, says Roman Loyola.
Karen Haslam compares the
14in and 16in versions of the new MacBook Pro and helps you decide which is the best choice. How are they different, and which offers the best value for money?
The dream of a touchscreen Mac is over, weeps Samuel Nyberg.
Jason Snell explains how the M1 Pro and M1 Max open up
a world of possibilities for the Mac.
It’s hard to keep track of Apple’s relationship with Intel, which has had more ups and downs over the past couple of years than a Hollywood power couple trying to get in the papers. In response to Cupertino’s switch to its own processors in the Mac, Intel has been running a punchy anti-Mac campaign called
GoPC. But now Intel’s CEO says the company is doing everything it can to
revive the Apple partnership.
Halyna Kubiv compares
the 2019 and 2021 AirPods for design, specs and features. Is the extra money worth it?
Are we really
getting mad at the iPhone 14 already, asks the Macalope.
Software, bugs & problems
macOS Monterey finally launches on Monday! Karen Haslam outlines
everything you need to know.
On which subject, here’s
how to find out if your Mac can run Monterey. And here’s
how to update macOS on your Mac. You might be wise to spend the weekend preparing with our guide to
how to get your Mac ready for macOS Monterey.
Note, however, that Apple has officially
postponed the launch of its eagerly awaited Universal Control feature for the Mac. The company has added a footnote to its list of Monterey features saying Universal Control will be “available later this fall”.
The rumour mill
MacBook Air remains unrefreshed following Apple’s Monday-night announcements, but it’s very much in the thoughts of the leaker and pundit community. This week we heard new evidence that the MacBook Air is getting a
big redesign, likely including the addition of a screen notch, a switch from a tapered, wedge-like design to something more port-friendly, and new colours; Michael Simon reckons this will be
the MacBook Pro for the rest of us. This won’t be here until 2022, unfortunately.
Early 2022 looks likely to feature two big Mac launches, in fact, since the 27in iMac is
also in line for an update. An analyst with an enviable predictive track record says Apple is sticking at 27in for the larger iMac, but will compensate with mini-LED and a 120Hz refresh rate – plus Apple Silicon chips, of course.
Apple’s much-anticipated mixed-reality headset has
hit production delays, according to the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Manufacturing complications have led to mass production being postponed from the second to the fourth quarter of 2022, which may mean the launch itself doesn’t happen until 2023.
Apple deals of the week
I’ve embedded a list of the best current Apple deals below, but other than that, we’re done for this week. See you next Saturday, enjoy your weekend, and stay Appley!
Top 10 Apple Deals
Apple 11in iPad Pro (2021, M1, 2TB) – Wi-Fi + Cellular
We’re not sure if Amazon will bring back the £639 discount we saw in October on this iPad Pro M1 variant, but almost £600 off is still an excellent deal. See our review of the 11in iPad Pro with M1.
Adobe Creative Cloud – All Apps (1 Year)
Was: £49.94 per month
£39.95 per month
Adobe’s slashed 20% off its Creative Cloud subscription prices. The offer ends 14 April.
Apple AirPods 3
The brand-new AirPods 3 offer better battery performance, an updated design, and support for Spatial Audio and Adaptive EQ. Save £10 from Amazon or Boots.
Smarty 12GB data SIM-Only
Was: £8 per month
£4 per month
(50% off for 3 months)
Grab three months of 12GB data for just £4 per month. If you’re after more data, you can see all its plans here. You can cancel anytime.
Apple iPad mini (2021, 6th gen, 64GB, Cellular)
This is the best deal we’ve seen on the iPad mini you can get the 64GB Cellular (RRP £619) for just £464 – which is less than the RRP for the Wi-Fi model!
Apple MacBook Air, M1, 8-core CPU, 7-core GPU, 256GB (2020)
From: John Lewis
For some time a gang of retailers have been offering the entry level MacBook Air for £889, but this month John Lewis has dropped the price to £887, RRP £999. Very has the same deal.
You can also get the £999 MacBook Air with 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU in gold for £889 from Currys or Amazon, and AO.
Apple Watch Series 6 (40mm)
Bag the last gen Watch 6 for under £300 at Amazon’s Spring Sale!
Apple Watch Series 6 (44mm, Cellular)
Amazon’s just slashed £160 off the Watch Series 6 with Cellular connectivity as a part of its Spring Sale.
Apple 10.2in iPad (2021, 256GB, Wi-Fi)
Save over £30 on the latest iPad in Amazon’s Spring Sale. This is the cheapest price around, and the lowest we’ve ever seen this model.
Logitech Combo Touch Keyboard for iPad Pro 11
Save an excellent £74 on this Logitech keyboard for the iPad Pro 11 – this is currently the best discount we can see. The Combo Touch works with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd gen models.
Grab this set of Apple AirTags for just under £80 – that’s a saving of roughly £9 per AirTag, which costs £29 separately.
Apple Watch Series 7 (GPS, 41 mm)
The latest Apple Watch also has a solid £50 discount in Amazon’s Spring Sale. The price did drop as low as £314 early last month but currently, this is the best price around.
Beats Solo 3 Headphones
Get £80 off the Beats Solo3 Wireless on-ear headphones (which we gave four stars in our review). They’re available in a range of colours.
Apple AirPods Pro with MagSafe charging case
From: John Lewis
Amazon’s excellent £64 saving on the AirPods Pro from March is no longer available. Multiple sites are selling for £189 (a £50 saving), including AO and Laptops Direct – but we’d go with John Lewis on account of its two-year guarantee.
Apple Watch SE (44mm, GPS)
Save a solid £20 on last year’s Apple Watch SE from Amazon.
Want a more affordable alternative to the Apple Pencil? Check out the Logitech Crayon, which works with all iPads from 2018 and later.
Apple iPhone 12 mini (256GB)
The 256GB iPhone 12 mini has over £100 off from Amazon.
Apple iPad mini (2021, 6th gen)
From: Currys PC World
A handy saving on Apple’s new iPad mini model for 2021, but note that this price applies to the Starlight colour finish only. eBuyer is matching the deal on certain colours.
Apple iPad Air (2022, 256GB, Wi-Fi + Cellular)
KRCS has knocked money off the 2022 iPad Air. You will find savings across the whole range.
Apple MacBook Air, M1, 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 512GB (2020)
An excellent deal, this. Save money on the MacBook Air with 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU from Very. The discount applies to the silver version only.
This deal is only slightly better than Currys who has the silver model for £1,099.97. John Lewis had the same deal, but it is currently out of stock there.