What a week it's been! There's a lot going on in the world of Apple, so let's just get right to it.
First, AirTags are now out in the wild, along with the best AirTag accessories. As I mentioned last week, I ordered a standard 4-pack of AirTags (I originally wanted engraving but didn't wake up early enough to have that arrive on launch). I have some accessories on hand as well, so I'll be putting those to the test in the coming days. But as our own Joe Keller has said in his AirTag review, it's simply the best item tracker for those heavily vested into the Apple ecosystem already. For the record, even though I agree that the lack of a keyring hole is a downer, I believe that the power of the Find My network, which includes any iPhone with the Find My app on it, is a much bigger one than that of Tile or Chipolo and the biggest benefit of using AirTag.
Speaking of AirTag, you're going to need the latest iOS 14.5 software to make use of it. But iOS 14.5 also brings much more than AirTag support — you can now finally unlock your iPhone with Apple Watch (with watchOS 7.4). Even though I'm fully vaccinated, I still don't go out as much as I did pre-pandemic, but I had the opportunity to test this out earlier in the week at a doctor appointment. It works amazingly, and I absolutely love finally having this feature. However, my one qualm with it is the fact that it won't work with apps that need Face ID to authenticate, and I understand that this is because it's a different level of authentication. Still, it would be amazing if this same unlocking method could let me access 1Password or something while I have a mask on. Maybe this is a step in the right direction, or at least I'm hoping it is. I also hope to see Apple add "Unlock with Apple Watch" to iPadOS at some point, too, since that's now the only other device that could benefit from such a feature (I would say Apple TV, but then again, you're at home, why would you wear a mask?)
Also, this past Friday is when everyone could start pre-ordering the new iPad Pro (2021), M1 iMacs, and Apple TV 4Ks and Siri Remotes. But if you're hoping for a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro, you'll want to put that order in fast, as they're already seeing mid-June delivery. All of these products will be available starting May 21. So the big question is, did any of you purchase one? I definitely am not getting a new iMac since I just bought one a few months ago (27-inch), but I am a little tempted with the iPad Pro. Still, I may hold out, at least until we see what iPadOS 15 brings — after all, what good is the M1 if there won't be drastic software changes to take advantage of that kind of power?
One of the news reports we saw surface this week involves Apple's next-gen silicon, the M2 chip, which supposedly may launch later this year. Production started this month for the M2 chip, and shipments may begin as early as July, so we should expect them sometime in the second half of the year. I'm predicting this will be for the 16-inch MacBook Pros, because well, that machine hasn't been updated since it launched in 2019. That first generation is getting a little long in the tooth, so an even more powerful M-chip seems like the perfect fit. Of course, I could be entirely wrong, and maybe this will be for the 27-inch iMac or even a new Mac Pro. Either way, I'm excited to see how the M1 chip evolves.
And finally, Apple had its Q2 2021 earnings call, and from that, we've learned that Apple made a lot of money, obviously. In fact, they made $89.6 billion this past quarter — in layman's terms, that's a lotta dough. So yeah, Apple is far from dying, as the haters always say. In fact, Goldman Sachs even admits defeat over its previous "sell" rating for Apple stock, now giving it a "neutral" rating. So if you have some $AAPL, keep on holding!
Anyways, it's been quite an exciting few days, and we look forward to all the new Apple products in the coming weeks. Until next time!
- Christine Romero-Chan