Apple packed quite a few announcements into a short hour-long presentation yesterday: new iPad Pros, new iMacs, a new Apple TV 4K, and the long-rumored launch of AirTags, to name a few. But for everything Apple executives and product managers said onstage, there was one more thing that wasn’t mentioned (or maybe passed quickly).
Many of these smaller details were hidden on product, specs, or support pages after Apple updated its website with the event’s new products. This isn’t a comprehensive list of all the things that have changed on Apple’s website, but we’ll pick out some of the most interesting ones.
Let’s start with OS updates.
New OS updates coming next week
Apple yesterday sent release candidate (RC) versions of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, tvOS 14.5, macOS Big Sur 11.3, and watchOS 7.4 to app developers, indicating that these operating system updates are just days away from launch. The time between the release candidate and the final public release varied from update to update, but it was almost always fast – sometimes as fast as a single day.
Apple also specifically stated that tvOS 14.5 will be out next week, and Apple usually pushes software updates to multiple operating systems at about the same time.
We’ll dig deeper into the various features and bug fixes in these updates when they arrive, but it’s safe to say that what has caught the most attention is the new change to app tracking transparency, which requires apps to ask users for permissions. ask to track them across multiple apps.
The Intel 21.5-inch iMac isn’t going anywhere (yet)
When Apple released the first M1 Macs late last year, older Intel versions of the Macs continued to coexist with their new Apple Silicon cousins, mostly in the top configurations. That was true, at least in part, with the release of M1 24-inch iMacs yesterday: both the 27-inch and 21.5-inch iMacs with Intel CPUs are still available for purchase at Apple’s online store.
The 27-inch model is business as usual. It’s a similar case to those late 2020 M1 Macs; Apple sees the M1 as an entry-level chip, and the more powerful, more advanced versions of the Macs that got M1 variants last year are still in the store with Intel CPUs.
The 27-inch iMac is still available as before, flying the high-end flag for that product line until an inevitable Apple Silicon refresh hits the pricier end of the lineup.
More surprising, though, is that there’s still a 21.5-inch Intel iMac for sale, though it’s oddly buried deep on the purchase page for the 27-inch iMac. This leftover configuration has a 2.3 GHz, dual-core, seventh-generation Intel Core i5 CPU, either 8 GB or 16 GB 2133 MHz DDR4 memory, and either 256 GB SSD storage or 1 TB Fusion Drive storage.
It costs $1,099 at the entry level or $1,299 with the 16GB RAM option. It has the same design as the old 21.5-inch iMac, without the radical changes we saw in the newly introduced 24-inch model.
The Mac mini gets better Ethernet
When the M1 Mac mini launched, some potential buyers complained that it didn’t offer the 10 gigabit Ethernet option available in Intel Mac mini models. Apple has now addressed this by adding the same upgrade option to the M1 Mac mini. It costs $100 above the $699 base price of the M1 Mac mini from Apple’s online store.
A kaleidoscope of accessories
Following Apple’s event, it was revealed that the new Magic Keyboard peripheral, which comes in multiple colors with Touch ID, will work with Macs other than the 24-inch iMac it’s sold with. But don’t get too excited if you’re an existing Mac user who likes Touch ID: the keyboard is, at least for now, nothing but sold with the new iMac. That may change in the future – we’ll have to wait and see.
Apple didn’t go into detail about this during the presentation, but there are several new colors for the Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad and Magic Keyboard. They all match the new iMac colors, and all are currently only available as bundles with new iMacs. Even the 24-inch iMac’s braided power cord is color-coded.
iMacs and Magic Keyboards aren’t the only things available with new colors and customization options. Apple has added two new iPad Smart Folio and Smart Cover colors: “Mallard Green” and “Electric Orange”. The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro is now also available in white.
The store has also been updated with new Apple Watch bands. They include the new Hermes Jumping Single Tour style in a variety of colors, and there are also new colors for existing band styles, including the Solo Loop, Braided Solo Loop, Leather Loop and Sportband. You can visit the Apple Watch website to see the full list of available colors.
Finally, there are new colors for the silicone cases of the iPhone 12, as well as for the leather cases and the leather wallet.