Top Stories: New iPad Pro, MacBook Air, Powerbeats, and More
With no March media event in the works, Apple this week rolled out a number of product updates including updated iPad Pro models with dual cameras, a LiDAR scanner, and a Magic Keyboard accessory with trackpad.
On the Mac side, we got an updated MacBook Air and storage-bumped Mac mini models, as well as new Powerbeats earphones, so check out the video above and read on for all of our coverage on those topics and more.
New iPad Pro Announced With A12Z Bionic Chip, Magic Keyboard With Trackpad, LiDAR Scanner, Ultra Wide Camera, and More
March is a common month for new Apple products and this year has proven to be no exception. While the COVID-19 pandemic may have prevented it from hosting a media event, Apple this week introduced new iPad Pro models with a slightly faster A12Z Bionic chip, an Ultra Wide camera for 0.5x zoom, a LiDAR sensor for enhanced augmented reality, and more.
Apple also announced that a new Magic Keyboard case with backlit keys and a built-in trackpad will be available in May for 2018 and later iPad Pro models, turning the iPad Pro into a true Microsoft Surface competitor. To accommodate this, iPadOS 13.4 will be gaining trackpad support for all modern iPad models, with the software update set to be released March 24, and we've put together a video showing what that trackpad support will look like.
The new iPad Pro models reportedly also feature a U1 chip for Ultra Wideband support and 6GB of RAM.
New MacBook Air Announced With Magic Keyboard, Up to 2x Faster Performance, and Lower $999 Starting Price
Apple this week updated its MacBook Air lineup with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processors and graphics, a scissor switch Magic Keyboard, a lower starting price of $999, and more.
The new base model MacBook Air has a starting price of $999 with 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM in the United States, which is $100 less for double the storage compared to the previous generation base model. Early reviews have praised the new keyboard, improved performance, and lower starting price.
Apple also announced that standard configurations of the Mac mini now come with double the storage capacity. The $799 configuration now comes with 256GB, while the $1,099 configuration features 512GB.
Apple Announces Updated Powerbeats Earbuds With H1 Chip, 15-Hour Battery Life and $150 Price Tag
Apple this week introduced new Powerbeats, available for $149.95 in black, white, and red.
The new Powerbeats feature the same Apple-designed H1 chip as the Powerbeats Pro and AirPods Pro, enabling hands-free "Hey Siri" voice commands, faster pairing with iOS devices, and more. The new Powerbeats also have up to 15 hours of battery life and a similar design as the Powerbeats Pro, but with a wire between each earpiece.
Apple released additional accessories this week, including iPhone cases, iPad cases, and Apple Watch bands in new spring colors.
Video: Recap of New iPad Pro, New MacBook Air, and More
On our YouTube channel, we shared a recap of all of Apple's announcements this week, including new iPad Pro and MacBook Air models and more.
We've also put together some tidbits about the devices, including the new iPad Pro supporting Wi-Fi 6 and the new MacBook Air supporting up to a 6K external display, including Apple's Pro Display XDR.
Apple Stores Now Closed Until Further Notice Amid COVID-19
Apple has announced that all of its retail stores outside of the Greater China region are closed "until further notice" due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apple also said it is making a substantial donation to COVID-19 relief efforts in Italy, with the funds set to help first responders, medical personnel, and volunteers working to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country, which has the most confirmed cases in Europe.
Follow our COVID-19 roundup as Apple continues to respond to the pandemic.
Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.