Top Stories: Apple Event Recap – New MacBook Pro, AirPods 3, and More
The news this week was dominated by Apple's Monday event, with the company spending most of its time talking about the new MacBook Pro models with M1 Pro and M1 Max chip options, although we did get a few other announcements at the event.
With Apple's final event of 2021 likely now out of the way, we also got straight back into the rumor cycle this week with reports about future iMac, MacBook Air, iPhone SE, and AirPods Pro updates, so read on for all of the details!
Everything Announced at the Apple Event in Just 7 Minutes
Apple held its virtual "Unleashed" event this week with several product announcements, including redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Apple's next-generation M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, third-generation AirPods with a similar design as the AirPods Pro with the exception of silicone ear tips, and three new HomePod mini colors. There's also a new Apple Music Voice Plan revolving around Siri.
We've put together a video with everything that Apple announced at its event in just 7 minutes. For more details about Apple's event announcements, make sure to check out our top stories of the week below.
Apple Unveils Redesigned MacBook Pro With Display Notch
After months if not years of rumors, the redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are finally here, and they are packed with new features. Early orders are preparing to ship ahead of a launch on Tuesday.
Key features of the new MacBook Pro models include Apple's next-generation M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, mini-LED displays with ProMotion for up to a 120Hz refresh rate, additional ports like an HDMI port and SD card slot, MagSafe, physical function keys instead of the Touch Bar, and more.
Apple Announces Redesigned Third-Generation AirPods
Apple unveiled third-generation AirPods this week with a similar design as the AirPods Pro, but no active noise cancellation or silicone ear tips.
Key features include improved sound quality with Adaptive EQ and spatial audio, longer battery life, a MagSafe charging case, IPX4-rated water and sweat resistance, and more. The third-generation AirPods are available to order now for $179 and will launch on Tuesday, October 26.
AirPods Pro now come with a MagSafe charging case too, for the same $249 price.
HomePod Mini Getting Three New Colors in November
Apple announced that the HomePod mini will be available in three new colors next month, including yellow, orange, and blue. Pricing remains $99 and space gray and white colors will still be available.
Apple also announced that, starting later this year, Siri support for multi-user voice recognition is expanding to all regions where the HomePod mini is available.
There's also a new Apple Music Voice Plan that is limited to Siri for $4.99 per month.
New MacBook Pros Are Over 1.5x Faster Than M1 Macs in Benchmark Results
The first Geekbench 5 benchmark results have surfaced for the new MacBook Pro models, and Apple's M1 Pro and M1 Max chips are over 1.5x faster than the M1 chip in lower-end Macs.
There's also Geekbench results for graphics that reveal the M1 Max chip's GPU is over 3x faster than the M1 chip's GPU based on Apple's Metal framework. Apple said the GPU in the M1 Max chip is actually up to 4x faster than the M1 chip's GPU, so we'll have to wait for further results to see.
Apple Rumored to Launch 27-Inch Mini-LED iMac With ProMotion in Early 2022
Apple is planning to introduce a new 27-inch iMac in early 2022, according to info shared by Display Supply Chain Consultants CEO Ross Young.
Young said the iMac's display will feature mini-LED backlighting and ProMotion, allowing for an adaptive refresh rate between 24Hz and 120Hz.
We also heard some potential 2022 MacBook Air features, including an M2 chip, off-white bezels, MagSafe, and more. And finally, we heard some sketchy rumors about the next iPhone SE and second-generation AirPods Pro, so we'll have to wait and see how rumors progress on those in the coming months.
Apple Says High Power Mode on 16-Inch MacBook Pro With M1 Max Designed for Tasks Like Color Grading 8K ProRes Video
The new 16-inch MacBook Pro configured with the M1 Max chip has a new High Power Mode to maximize performance in intensive, sustained workloads such as color grading 8K ProRes video, according to information shared by Apple.
We've also learned some other MacBook Pro details, including that the SD card reader supports up to 250MB/s of data transfer with UHS-II SD cards, that eGPUs are still not supported on Apple silicon, and more.
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.