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Here’s What Apple Announced at Today’s Event

Colin Edge



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Apple held its first event of 2021 today at Apple Park in Cupertino. Predictions and rumors preceding the event had reached a fever pitch regarding when it would happen and what it would reveal. Apple put speculation to rest in its hour-long “Spring Loaded” event.

The name choice proved appropriate. Apple was loaded with lots to announce.

Following black-t-shirt-clad Tim Cook on a stroll through Apple Park, the tech giant announced: Apple Card Family; an Apple Podcasts redesign; a new purple iPhone 12; AirTag; Apple TV 4K with a new Siri remote; a new iMac; the new iPad Pro.

While fans and insiders all-but expected the iPad Pro and even AirTags, conversation surrounding an Apple TV rehaul and an iMac makeover looked like an either/or situation. To have all four of these major products announced concurrently is like Christmas in April.

Not to mention a Ted Lasso season two trailer; that show is the bomb.

If the event could be boiled down to one key feature, it would be the M1 chip. The consolidated, superpowered, Apple-original chip will be integrated into the new iPad Pros and iMacs. The team at Apple is thrilled about it, and for good reason. The new and improved products will be state of the art in speed, performance, and battery efficiency. 

Starting with the big finale and working backwards through the “big four”, the long-awaited iPad Pro confirmed most industry suspicions about specs and features.

In a fun, Mission: Impossible-themed unveil (complete with an unmasking that revealed Tim Cook as the secret agent), Apple announced the new iPad Pro. The new Pro is enhanced with the M1 chip, a 10,000 mini-LED “Liquid Retina XDR” display (in 12.9-inch models), and Thunderbolt compatibility in its USB-C port. 

The iPad Pro’s camera sports the new “Center Stage” feature, enabling the camera to automatically stay on the subject as he or she moves around the shot. Finally, the Pros also feature 5G connectivity, a 2TB storage configuration, and a new white-colored magic keyboard. 

iMac may have been the most delightful surprise of the event. Also built around the M1 chip, the all-new iMac features a 24-inch screen, thinnest-ever design (11.5mm), and a 4.5k Retina display. Other specs include a new 6-speaker sound system, 1080p FaceTime camera, and 7 different bright and vivid color options.

Apple TV has been long overdue for a makeover, and today it got one. The new set-top box will house an A12 bionic chip, 4K high frame rate HDR, and enhanced compatibility with existing Apple devices like AirPods. Most notably, however, the new Apple TV comes with an updated Siri remote. A new remote became a point of speculation and debate after a coding leak revealed plans for a third-party Apple-compatible cable remote. Apple will now have its own new remote on the scene as well. 

Finally, the much-rumored AirTag will be available April 30th. The small disks can be attached to important personal items to keep track of them via the Find My app. Apple devices with the U1 chip (like iPhone 11 & 12) can now provide “Precision Finding”, directing you to your lost item with remarkable, step-by-step accuracy. AirTags can be personalized, and will naturally be accompanied by stylish accessories (and likely scores of third-party ones in the future). Apple assured users that privacy measures are taken to ensure AirTags are used ethically.

Apple also doubled-down on its commitment to the environment, as mentioned throughout the event. The company hopes to be carbon neutral by 2030, and all of this new hardware is made with 100% recycled aluminum. 

I’m a writer and creative professional who loves pop culture, music, games, and anything else that allows people to express themselves and share their passion.


Apple Says Its New Ad Engineer Has Left the Company After Misogynistic Comments Surface

Colin Edge



Apple said yesterday that Antonio Garcia Martinez has left the company, following internal backlash from Apple employees regarding misogynistic comments he had made in the recent past. 

Garcia Martinez was a brand new hire. Apple brought him on as a product engineer in its advertising platform group. He had previously worked at Facebook and Twitter, specializing in targeted ads; he also spent time on Wall Street.

Fellow Apple employees joined in petition to his involvement with the tech company, drawing attention to statements Garcia Martinez made in his 2016 book Chaos Monkeys, chronicling his experiences in Silicon Valley.

In the book, Garcia Martinez demeaned women in the tech industry, among other assertions deemed sexist, racist, and in contradiction to Apple’s work culture. “Most women in the Bay Area are soft and weak, cosseted and naive despite their claims of worldliness, and generally full of shit,” he wrote. 

Chaos Monkeys was a New York Times bestseller.

As an influential company that regularly touts its commitment to inclusivity and diversity, a hire like Garcia Martinez surprised many – especially those who work at Apple. 

In an internal memo, co-workers demanded “an investigation into how his published views on women and people of color were missed or ignored.” Over 2,000 employees signed, also criticizing the hire on social media.

In response to Garcia Martinez’s hiring and leaving, Apple told Bloomberg, “At Apple, we have always strived to create an inclusive, welcoming workplace where everyone is respected and accepted. Behavior that demeans or discriminates against people for who they are has no place here.” 

Apple naturally made a wise PR move in parting ways with the Silicon Valley bad boy, but one detail remains unclear – how did Garcia Martinez get hired at Apple in the first place? Were his controversial comments somehow overlooked, or did some Apple executive knowingly look the other way? 

While Apple has commented on Garcia Martinez’s dismissal, it has not addressed his initial hiring. Garcia Martinez has not made a statement.

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For iPhone, The Future May Be Foldable

Colin Edge



Rumors about an iPhone that folds have been around for quite some time now. At this point, announcement of a foldable iPhone would be considered less of a surprise and more of an expectation. 

A note to investors from renowned Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo this week provides more details, further supporting foldable iPhone theories.

We know that Apple took out several patents on foldable tech as far back as a decade ago. And more recently, a Bloomberg report from early this year hinted at an actual prototype. 

Samsung already has foldable devices on the market. And companies like Microsoft and Motorola also currently boast foldable tech. The latter of which reinvented their extremely popular Razr from the early 2000s (which used to be the coolest phone ever) into a foldable smartphone. 

The future is foldable.

But it appears that Apple is scoping out competition with the intent to learn from their mistakes and release a better product, albeit later on. This fits Apple’s MO. While they’re not usually the first to bring cutting-edge tech to the market, they tend to do it with the sleekest design and the sharpest marketing.

According to Kuo’s note, Apple’s foldable iPhone will arrive in 2023, and feature an 8-inch display. He says Apple could ship up to 20 million units. 

The stock market seems to support these theories as well. Many analysts are currently calling Apple stock “dead money.” A significantly upgraded iPhone (far and away their best-selling product) in 2023 would fall in line with the tech giant’s usual market trend of one booming cycle followed by two slower ones. 

iPhone 12 momentum is slowing down, and some assume generations 13 and 14 will see only minor upgrades. Therefore, gen 15 would be the next big cycle, right on schedule for a folding iPhone in ‘23.

Kuo’s report also suggests the new device will be more than just a smartphone that folds. It will signal a revolution in tech.

“We predict that foldable devices will blur the product segmentations between smartphones, tablets, and laptops in the future. With its cross-product ecosystems and hardware design advantages, Apple will be the biggest winner in the new foldable device trend,” Kuo reports.

Could this new foldable iPhone become a “super-device,” eventually rendering tablets and laptops obsolete? It seems we’ll have to wait a couple more years to find out.

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The “Epic” Showdown Between Apple and Epic Games Is Underway

Colin Edge



The high-profile, high-stakes court battle between Fortnite developers Epic Games and Apple began yesterday. The case marks the biggest antitrust case in the tech world in a long time, with major implications for how money is handled online.

The trial is also the latest in a string of opposition to Apple, with heat from Facebook, Spotify, and Washington in recent months.

The argument is centered around Apple’s 30% commission for purchases made through the tech giant’s app store. Epic argues that this commission is unfair, that Apple holds an illegal monopoly in app sales, and that it abuses its power with anticompetitive behavior. The app store has been called a “walled garden,” keeping smaller developers out.

Apple argues that 30% is fair, and that amount is necessary to ensure Apple’s safety and privacy policies. According to Apple, Epic can sell its games on other platforms if it chooses. In order to sell on Apple’s platform, it’s perfectly appropriate to ask that developers play by Apple’s rules.

The trial is taking place as a result of Epic’s attempt to circumvent Apple’s policy by allowing players  to pay for in-app purchases through Epic’s own digital marketplace last year. Fortnite was promptly removed from the app store. Epic sued. Apple countersued. 

The case will be decided by U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, as both parties waive trial by jury. Gonzalez Rogers told lawyers she believes it will be a “fascinating trial,” as Epic has crossed major hurdles and won significant attention in its fight against Apple.

Epic CEO Time Sweeney took the stand on Monday, expressing a broader purpose for the lawsuit over simply recouping monetary damages. According to Sweeney, “Epic is solely seeking changes to Apple’s future behavior.”  

Epic will continue to face an uphill battle, as history has typically favored large corporations in antitrust hearings.

The trial is likely to drag out for some time, with a projected timeline of three weeks. Apple CEO Tim Cook is also expected to testify, though the date and time is still unknown.

Sweeney characterizes this struggle as a symbolic one. Judge Gonzalez Rogers will  not only determine the winner between Apple and Epic, but also set a key precedent in the way digital marketplaces are treated by U.S. law.

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