Spring is finally here. The flowers are blooming, vaccines continue to roll out, and maybe you have things on your agenda that will not require logging onto Zoom.
Before you head out into the actual world again, add one more virtual thing to your calendar because secretive iPhone maker Apple is holding one of the biggest events of the year scheduled for tomorrow.
The tech giant is holding a media presentation on Tuesday, April 20th, livestreamed for all, that will feature some of the company’s brand new products and hardware.
After holding three special events back to back in three months last fall (September, October, and November), this will be Apple’s very first event of 2021.
Thanks to leaked information and investigative reporters, the world can probably expect to see new iPads at Tuesday’s event, dubbed “Spring Loaded,” that includes a new iPad Pro and iPad Mini. Bloomberg has reported that the larger of the new Pros will feature a brighter and advanced display, while both Pro models will have faster chips and a Thunderbolt port for attaching more accessories.
Viewers may even see the new Apple Pencil, a line of wireless stylus pen accessories, as well as AirTags, a highly expected tracking device that acts like a key finder and will be supported in the Find My iPhone user interface.
The AirTags are small trackers that are equipped with Bluetooth and attach to items such as wallets, cameras, and keys. The items that have the tags attached to them can be tracked inside the Find My app alongside iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
There are also rumors that the company is working on new AirPods, including AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2, and that an Apple TV update may also happen.
Apple may share little about new iPhones or a Mac lineup until the second half of the year, as the company transitions to Apple Silicon processors. There may however be a new iMac unveiled at the event, as the iMac was supposed to get a new redesign this year.
As for the awaited OS 14.5 update, that too may not be announced, and no release date has been mentioned by the company yet.
One of the most exciting things many people are waiting to see happen at tomorrow’s event is the announcement of Apple’s own podcast plan. Apple has reportedly been aiming to launch its own podcast subscription for a while.
Such a move would be a legitimate thread to big players in the podcasting industry, including Amazon and Spotify. Especially if the service features exclusive and advertising free versions of shows from various creators.
According to Vox’s Peter Kafka, the company will unveil its own premium podcast plan tomorrow. In a tweet on Sunday, Kafka wrote he is “pretty sure Apple is prepping its own podcast plan – a paid subscription service – on Tuesday.”
MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has also said that Kafka’s prediction lines up with findings in the beta of Apple’s iOS 14.5.
Moser tweeted back in March, “More evidence of paid podcasts coming: the Podcast app redesign in 14.5 beta includes an account button on the Listen Now tab. They moved show notifications and I imagine unsubscribing from paid notifications will move there too.”
Apple’s podcast service is likely to be called Podcasts+ and according to AppleInsider.com, the company is already working on its own exclusive content for its users. They will probably incorporate the service as part of the Apple One subscription.
It was in January that The Information reported that Apple is currently in discussions about launching the new premium podcasting service, which would contain exclusive content.
Apple Original podcasts related to its Apple TV+ shows has had podcasts with big names like Oprah. It was last year that the company launched Oprah’s Book Club Podcast (Exclusive), an eight-part miniseries focused on Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.
Considering Spotify has had huge exclusive deals, including ones with Joe Rogan and Michelle Obama, Apple will have to up its game of getting big podcasting names to secure its spot in the space.
In 2019, Inside Podcasting had reported that Apple had hired key podcast executives from National Geographic and NPR in order to gain a good foot into an industry that has been growing like wildfire.
There has been an explosion of podcast listeners in recent years thanks to new programming and smart speakers. Over one-third of Americans age 12 and over, or 104 Million people, are consuming podcasts regularly, up significantly from 2019, according to The Infinite Dial 2020® study from Edison Research and Triton Digital.
For those interested in watching Apple’s “Spring Loaded” event, it will be live streamed across Apple’s website, in the Apple TV app, and also on YouTube.
Apple will stream the event at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time from the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park, and will probably follow a similar format to Apple’s previous events last year. At those events, they announced products in pre-recorded segments from different areas of the company’s Cupertino campus.