Apple Unleashed Event: 3rd-Gen AirPods, MacBook Pro models with M1 Pro and M1 Max Chips announced

Apple Unleashed Event

On Monday, the Cupertino tech giant has organized yet another keynote — Apple Unleashed that introduced new MacBook Pro(s) with new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips; alongside third-gen AirPods; followed by an Apple Music Voice Plan, and Apple’s HomePod mini with new color options. The MacBooks introduced at the event have the key takeaways here, as they’re completely redesigned; they come with new and more powerful Apple-designed M1 chipsets, and arguably with a new display that features an iPhone X-inspired notch; the significant ports are now back! Let’s delve into all announcements made through the Unleashed event.

Also read: Apple M1 SoC, Mac mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro launched in India; price, specs, and availability

Apple Music Voice Plan — starts at Rs 49 per month

Apple Music now has a voice-only plan which starts at Rs 49 per month. What this means is that users who opt for this plan can stream music by asking Siri. The subscribers get access to streaming services’ 90 million songs catalog that includes all playlists, mood songs, genre stations, as well as Apple Music Radio. Users can opt in to this service by simply asking ‘Hey Siri, start my Apple Music Trial or, sign up from the Apple Music app.

Apple Music Voice Plan

Apple suggests the new Voice Plan service is accessible across all Siri-enabled devices that include HomePod mini, AirPods, iPhones, to name a few. Consumers can ask Siri to play any song or any playlist from Apple Music’s catalog across these devices. This service will be available later this fall across 17 countries including India.

Though this is a cheaper music subscription service from Apple, you still get access to all music and playlist collection across all Apple devices. What you don’t get is the premium offerings like Spatial Audio, Lossless Audio, Music Videos, Lyrics, and few others. For the latter services, you should be looking at the older individual plan starting at Rs 99 per month.

Apple HomePod mini has more color options

Apple HomePod

Last fall, Apple introduced the HomePod mini. While it came in only two colors: White and Space Grey, the company on Monday has introduced three new color options. Now users can get the HomePod mini in Yellow, Orange, and Blue. The previous two color options also remain intact. Apple also suggests the color option can be widely seen across tinted touch interfaces, mesh fabric, volume icons, and power cable as well. The HomePod mini retails at Rs 9900 in the country.

The third-gen AirPods are here — available at Rs 18,500

The much-awaited third-gen Apple AirPods are now official. They come with a new design aesthetic along with spatial audio support. The new AirPods now feature a reduced stem design, and it doesn’t come with Silicone ear tips as witnessed in the AirPods Pro model. They come with a charging case, which is now MagSafe compatible. Apple suggests the latest AirPods use an H1 chip underneath combined with its Acoustic system, and use computational audio alongside Adaptive EQ.

Apple AirPods (3rd-gen)

The third iteration AirPods are now water and sweat resistant with an IPX4 rating (for the buds, and charging case). They now feature a force sensor that aims for easy, and intuitive control over music, and phone calls. Apple also claims that these AirPods now have extended battery life, which includes six hours of listening time, and with the charging case included it maxes out at 30-hour battery life. Also, five minutes of charging promise an hour of battery life.

AirPods with shorter stems comprise a custom driver, coupled with a high dynamic amplifier, that promises a powerful bass with crisp and clean high frequencies. The microphone comes with an acoustic mesh up top to help reduce wind noise, for clearer calls. Apple also suggests, ” AirPods also feature AAC-ELD, a superior speech codec that offers full HD voice quality, providing clear, natural communication for FaceTime calls.”

The AirPods further borrowed the computational audio from AirPods Pro Max, and AirPods Max, but not the Active Noise cancellation. Besides, the new AirPods now has a skin-detect sensor that aims to accurately detect if they are in the ear or a pocket/or on a table. Post detection, the music pauses and resumes accurately.

Also read: Apple AirPods Pro with noise cancellation feature announced at $249

AirPods with iOS and iPadOS

AirPods offer exceptional convenience and sound quality, and with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, users can enjoy the following features:

With spatial audio and dynamic head tracking, voices in a Group FaceTime call sound like they’re coming from the direction in which the person is positioned on the screen, making it seem as if everyone is in the same room.

Announce Notifications allows Siri to read important time-sensitive notifications, including alerts from Messages, Reminders, Calendar, and calls, as well as any third-party apps that adopt the API.

AirPods are now part of the Find My network of hundreds of millions of iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers around the world, offering proximity view in the Find My app and Lost Mode, as well as separation alerts and sounds.

MacBook Pro(s) now come with Apple’s new M1 Pro and M1 Max silicone processors

Apple brings new MacBook Pro models with two new in-house developed M1 silicone chips: the M1 Pro and M1 Max. These are supposedly the first ‘Pro’ chips developed, according to Apple. The MacBook Pro models are available in 14-inch and 16-inch models.

Apple MacBook Pro

The models comprise Apple’s Liquid Retina XDR display featuring the MiniLED technology, which we’ve witnessed in the recent iPad Pro model. The display here offers 1000 nits of sustained brightness and up to 1600 nits of peak brightness. The other highlights of these displays ought to be the ProMotion which makes these refresh rates 120Hz. It is an adaptive refresh rate display similar to the latest iPhone 13 Pro models.

The other similarity with iPhones and the new MacBook Pro model displays is the notch. Yes, the new MacBook Pros come with a notch giving more screen real estate. However, you won’t find any FaceID tech for authentication here, but you get a wide aperture 1080p HD camera for FaceTime HD and Zoom calls. The notch makes the bezels all around appear minimal and Apple suggests users can gain a cinematic video experience while playback or while editing an 8K video.

Apple MacBook Pro_01

The new design elements on the MacBook Pros apart from the notch displays, also include a wide array of ports on both sides. Both models now have three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an SDXC card slot, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack. MagSafe has returned in a new avatar called MagSafe 3, which not only features an updated design but also allows more power into the system, Apple suggests. The other connectivity options include Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.0. The other key significant change on the MacBooks is the keyboard. Apple has ditched the touch bar in favor of a new fully functional keys row.

Apple M1 Pro M1 Max

When it comes to performance, both models come in M1 Pro, and M1 Max models. What it means is that they feature a powerful 10-core CPU coupled with 16-core GPU for the M1 Pro model, and with 32-core GPU for the M1 Max model. For machine learning, the M1 Pro and the M1 Max are supercharged with a 16-core Neural Engine. The battery life on the 14-inch model promises to be achieving a 17-hour video playback, whereas the 16-inch model assures a 21-hour battery life on a single charge.

In terms of audio, Apple is providing studio-quality mics, for calls, and a high-fidelity six speaker sound system: including two tweeters and four force-canceling woofers.

Lastly, these new MacBook Pro models run on macOS Monterey and the software will be available as a free update on October 25th.

Pricing

The 14-inch model starts at Rs 1,94,900 and the 16-model starts at 2,39,900. It costs a little less for education purposes. Both models are available for order through the Apple India Store. Users can purchase these models from October 26th through Apple Store locations, and Apple Authorised Resellers.

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Vishnu Sarangapurkar
vishnu.sarangapurkar@u2opiamobile.com

Vishnu works as a Content Writer for Mr. Phone. His primary interests revolve around covering smartphones and all other gadgets connected to the Internet.