Thanks to Siri, we knew it was coming. Apple announced its official Spring 2021 event, dubbed ‘Spring Loaded’ on April 13. The keynote will be streamed live on April 20 from Apple Park. In typical Apple fashion, the cryptic invite message didn’t reveal much.
That said, it’s not like Apple has left much to the imagination. Months (if not years) of leaks have given us a very good idea of what to expect from the company. From iPads to AirTags, there’s a lot Apple can unveil.
Here’s a look at everything we may see from Tim Cook and co. at April 20’s Spring Loaded event.
Spring is typically the iPad season for Apple. In 2018, the company re-launched the 9.7” iPad. It was first launched in 2016 in a March event. In 2020, Apple launched the fourth-gen iPad Pro lineup. So with that in mind, it makes sense that Apple would make the iPad the focus of the 2021 Spring Loaded event.
We’ve seen a lot of rumors around a refreshed iPad Pro, reportedly with a mini LED display. If the iPad Pros are launched, expect it to have a fancy new processor, better cameras and possibly a thunderbolt port. The mini-LED tech is expected to be reserved for the bigger 12” model, Bloomberg reported.
We’ve also heard rumors of Apple working on an updated iPad Mini. Last updated in 2019, Apple’s smallest iPad is long-overdue for a refresh. We did hear rumors of a bezel-less Mini, but that seems to have been put to bed. Regular tipster Sonny Dickson leaked the dummies for this year’s iPads, and the Mini seems to have a similar look to the 2019 model.
Apple’s AirTags are quickly becoming like the much-memed AirPower. The product has been teased, leaked and talked about to great extent, but the company is yet to launch it. Since 2019, we’ve been hearing rumours of Apple releasing AirTags. Will it do so now? It seems likely, but don’t bet on it.
That said, we have seen some notable developments in iOS that could indicate AirTags are finally ready to debut. For one, we have the updated features in iOS 14.5’s Find My app. The system now works with non-Apple products, and has a tag manager of some sort. Given that Apple has been sitting on iOS 14.5 for a while now, it could drop after the Spring Loaded keynote, when AirTags go on sale.
A new version of Apple’s wireless headphones were spotted recently. Apple is expected to redesign the AirPods to look a lot like the AirPods Pro, with a shorter stem and longer case. The ‘AirPods 3’ were leaked by Chinese site 52audio back in November 2020. We’ve also seen leaked schematics with the silicone ear tips from the Pro model, but it seems unlikely to come to the final product.
If the AirPods are released, expect it to have a shorter stem and the case of the AirPods Pro. Otherwise it will remain devoid of features, so it sits as the entry-level AirPods product. The earphones are also expected to feature a new chip, to enhance battery life and performance.
The Apple TV 4K was launched to much fanfare in 2017. Since then, the device has been quietly ignored, but maybe not for long. 9to5Mac reported that the code in tvOS 14.5 hints at a 120hz refresh rate, which no model till date has. In December, Bloomberg also reported that Apple is working on a new TV device “with a stronger gaming focus”.
Put those two together and you have pretty convincing information that a new Apple TV is coming at the Spring Loaded event. We’ve also seen reports of an updated ‘TV remote’, rather than the current name ‘Siri Remote’. If gaming is indeed the focus, you can expect a device with a much more powerful processor and maybe even 128GB of storage.
On March 8, John Posser tweeted, “Products that are ready: AirTags, iPad Pro, AirPods, Apple TV. Take that however you’d like…” We’ve also heard rumours of new Macs being unveiled at the event, but that seems far less likely. Apple usually reserves the Mac devices for the year-end. Also, we’ve just had an updated MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini, so it seems foolish for the company to update its Mac lineup so quickly.
Apple’s Spring Loaded keynote will be free to stream on the Apple website, AppleTV app, or Apple’s YouTube channel. It starts at 10:00 AM PDT/ 6:00 PM GMT. In case you miss it, remember to check out FinalBoss for coverage of all the announcements.