Some Thoughts Following the Apple “California Streaming” Event

The Presentation


  • The opening video hit me in the feels. I saw lots of grumbling about “California Pride” on Twitter. However, the older I get, the more I love California. Also, that drummer is a complete badass.

  • One Hour and Fifteen minutes. I like the pacing of these virtual events.

Apple TV

  • Everyone that hasn’t watched Ted Lasso is sick of being told to watch Ted Lasso. But if you haven’t watched Ted Lasso, you should watch Ted Lasso.


  • The latest iPad Basic continues to be the best bang-for-your-buck product you can buy in an Apple Store. A very capable machine for $329. It’s probably enough iPad for most people, including, if I’m honest, myself. HOWEVER, I wish they could find a way to make it work with the G2 Apple Pencil.

iPad Mini

  • I dig the new iPad Mini. I’m a massive fan of the flat edge design and stoked to see it spread to the iPad Mini (giving the iPad mini G2 Apple Pencil support).

  • USB-C on the iPad Mini. Come on Apple … you are so close. Just adopt it across the line.

  • The front-facing 12MP ultrawide camera for iPad and iPad Mini (adding center stage) makes so much sense. In my usage, the front-facing iPad camera is way more important than the back-facing camera.

  • If I were in charge, I would have made the iPad mini’s back-facing camera flush with the device, even if that meant a lower quality back-facing camera.

The Apple Watch

  • I kind of love that the rumor mill got the flat sides wrong. I wasn’t sure I’d like a flat-sided Apple Watch.

  • The rumor mill wasn’t, however, wrong about production delays. They don’t have a sales date at this point except “later this fall”.

  • Hopefully, the new bike rider features can keep Stephen Hackett alive longer.

  • Quick charging will be a helpful feature. If you can fully charge your watch in under an hour, it will make it even easier to sleep with it on. I did note this will require you to buy a “quick charge” cable.

  • That dark feeling that overcame you when they announced the continued sale of the Apple Watch 3 was a moment where every Apple Watch developer in the universe cried out in agony. I wish they could have price-dropped the Apple Watch SE and drop the Apple Watch 3. Friends don’t buy friends the Apple Watch 3

  • No Ceramic, but titanium remains. I bought the Titanium Apple Watch Series 5, and I still wear it every day. It looks pristine.

Apple Fitness Plus

  • I use it often and got a thrill out of seeing some of my favorite Apple Coaches in the video (Team Betina!)

  • I thought with the inclusion of Tai Chi workouts, they’d be adding Tai Chi to Apple Fitness Plus. Sadly, no.

  • I know Apple Fitness is easy to make fun of, but it resonates with me for the reasons in the video. I don’t have to go to an expensive gym and deal with all of that, yet I still get good workouts.

The A15 Bionic Processor

  • I’ve never understood why they add the “bionic” moniker.

  • Apple continues to crush everyone with chip design. They have a 5nm process and didn’t even really brag on it. 15 Billion transistors … in your phone!

  • I know this is not a giant iPad, but wouldn’t it be awesome if it was?


iPhone 13

  • I’m glad the iPhone Mini is coming back. But I don’t know anyone that currently owns an iPhone Mini and plans for their next phone to be an iPhone Mini. In the end, I think it is the battery life that spoils the fun.

  • Starting at 128G. Amen.

  • Midnight and Starlight are the new Space Grey and Silver.

iPhone 13 Pro

  • I like the new Sierra Blue, though I’ll likely buy the silver … ahem … starlight one.

  • I was hoping they’d have an always-on screen with at least the time.

  • The faster refresh rate is very noticeable to me on the iPad. I’m super curious to see how it feels on the phone. Apple also did a good job explaining why this won’t crush your battery.

  • I feel like those giant camera lenses are going to matter. I can’t wait for Austin Mann to get his hands on one of these and report in.

Cinematic Mode

  • Yes!

  • There still isn’t as much separation (bokeh) as you’d get with a fancy camera system, but if it performs as demonstrated, it will be great.

A Few More Points

  • Did you catch the part that the new Mag Safe wallet has built-in Find My? Yes, please, but for everything Apple makes.

A Few Thoughts on Today’s Spring Loaded Apple Event

Today was Apple’s Spring Loaded event and it certainly was loaded with a new Mac, iPads Pro, AirTags, AppleTV, and a bit more. I have a few initial thoughts:

The 24″ iMac

  • Hooray for color back on the Mac. It’s been way too long. I particularly like that Apple went with bold colors on these new iMacs. As a good friend texted me, “They had me at Purple.”

  • Colored keyboards, mice, and trackpads also make me happy.

  • This really feels like the ‘Computer as Appliance’ version of the iMac.

  • I never thought I’d need a Magnetic power connector for an iMac. I’d be afraid I may yank the power while shifting the thing.

  • Just four ports. No SD card. No USB A. This is probably an M1 limitation but I’m not aware of any other iMac ever shipping with just four ports.

  • And the Ethernet is on the power brick. Weird. The reason I suspect is that the actual computer isn’t deep enough to plug in Ethernet (or USB A).

  • Overall, I really like the redesign. I am a bit sad the chin stayed and I’m still curious for the rest of the story with the bigger iMac.

  • When we saw the rumors of a flat slab iMac, I wondered if they’d be able to make the audio any good. I’m glad they addressed this in the product rollout, but I’m also looking forward to reading reviews on this point.

  • I think this will be the last implementation of the M1 chip. I suspect the next big Mac announcement will feature Macs with something faster that the pundits collectively call M1X. Probably more performance and graphics cores. If I was a betting man, I’d say that will show up in the 14″ and 16″ MacBooks Pro, a space grey Mac mini, and (hopefully) a big iMac, and (perhaps?) the rumored Mac Pro Cube.

The New iPad Pro

  • I didn’t expect them to put the M1 in the iPad. I expected something very M1-like, but with an A at the front. In hindsight, however, it makes sense. When you are making your own silicon, you’ll want to keep things as easy as possible.

  • The new screen technology on the 12.9″ iPad Pro is impressive.

  • I’d really like to hear about people using a 2TB iPad.

  • The 5G was expected, but I’m pleased to see it happen.

  • You can get it in any color you like so long as it is space gray or silver. I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come for the bigger iMacs. Why does Apple think pro devices can not have fun colors?

  • We heard a lot of rumors about a new Apple Pencil, but that didn’t happen.

  • I feel like every time Apple brings out a new iPad, it goes out its way to show how useful the iPad is, but then they don’t really deliver the goods with so many issues in the operating system. I wish the software team would reflect the marketing team’s enthusiasm.

AppleTV 4K

  • All they really had to say was, “We fixed the crappy remote.”


  • Finally! We’ve been hearing about these in rumor-land for years.

  • I expect these will be a big hit and they seem priced about right at $99 for a four-pack.

  • I’ve always wondered how Apple would address the “creepy problem” when they announced AirTags. What if creepy people hide AirTags on other people so they can surreptitiously track them? Apple explained, “AirTags are for things, not people.” I’m curious to see how that gets implemented. (I’m also thinking about attaching one to my dog. What about dogs, Tim?)

Apple’s Spring Loaded Event


Today Apple announced its “Spring Loaded” event for next Tuesday, April 20. A spring event has been rumored for months. I’m glad they’ve announced it so we can get on with it.

For some pure speculation, I’m thinking we’ll see new iPad Pros and the years-rumored AirTags. I’d love to see new Apple Silicon Macs, but I expect those won’t get announced until WWDC in June.

Thoughts on the One More Thing Event

So today, Apple announced its first Apple Silicon Macs. I have a few thoughts:

  • Wow! I had high expectations, but overall, Apple delivered with the new M1.

  • The M1 performance looks like a crazy leap forward. Generally, we’ll get 3X performance increases and 5X graphics improvements. That is completely nuts.

  • On all of these devices, Apple suddenly had all of this additional low watt/hour power. In each case, they chose to use it by giving the devices both more power and more battery. That isn’t a surprise. What is a surprise, to me at least, is how much power and additional battery life they were able to get.

  • Battery improvements are nuts. They gave many numbers, but it sounds like at least 6 hours of additional battery on both laptops.

  • There are two chip options available: 7 core and 8 core. I suspect that is simply a result of chip binning. When they didn’t get a full yield on a chip, they make that one of the less expensive ones.

  • My initial impression is that the scales just got tipped even more toward the MacBook Air in the Air vs. Pro question. The MacBook Air is so much more powerful and now fanless. You’ll need to justify going up to the Pro.

  • The M1 Mac mini was not in any of the rumors I read but makes sense. The Mac mini is now a mighty little computer.

  • There were no demos of running iPhone and iPad apps on the M1 Macs. Didn’t that seem weird?

  • Speaking of iOS, we didn’t get several of the iOS features I’d liked to have seen, like FaceID, cellular radios, and Touchscreen. But it is still early. I expect that may change with future hardware.

  • Did anybody else catch the bit with Ken Case playing the harp at 20:59?

  • You can order the new Macs today. Big Sur ships in two days. Buckle up, gang.

Overall, this change just gave the Mac a jolt of electricity. I fully expect the Mac hardware to also evolve in unexpected directions. I cannot wait to see how this all plays out over the next few years.

A Few Thoughts Following Today’s Apple Event

  • Every year Apple shows off its latest processor on a chip, and every year I’m impressed. What will it take for the competition to get closer to Apple? It seems like they have this massive lead, and they just keep running at full tilt. Moreover, it is that chip speed that drives so much of the innovation and features. Most of the new features announced today are possible because of processing power.

  • That was the first time that any carrier partner got any time at an Apple event in a long time. I’m curious to see how the real world numbers compare to the promises for 5G. Also, did you catch how many times they said or wrote “under ideal conditions”? It was a lot.

  • The new ceramic shield for iPhone glass sounds very interesting. I have a few predictions on this: a) your iPhone glass will break less often; b) your iPhone glass will scratch easier; c) there are going to be some crazy YouTube iPhone drop tests in the next few weeks.

  • One thing that stands out is how many new announcements (A14, XDR Display, Ceramic Shield, 5G) are all across the line on the iPhone 12. Apple is no longer holding the best stuff for only the Pro phones.

  • I’ve thought that this would be the year that I don’t get a Max sized iPhone for several months now. Then Apple announced the additional camera improvements with the 12 Max. When they explained an 87% improvement in low light, my smaller phone willpower evaporated. Instantly.

  • I think MagSafe might be a bigger deal than expected. We’ve all struggled with chargers and cases in the past. The modular nature of MagSafe will resonate with a lot of people (myself included). However, why’d they have to call it MagSafe? That still stings as I look at my MagSafe-less laptop.

  • It was no surprise that the iPhone is no longer shipping with a charger or EarPods. I get the reasoning, and lowering emissions is a good idea. I do wish they had an easy way for customers to buy these costly phones to click a box and get those things shipped to them if needed.

  • Did you catch that they will now ship a USB-C to Lightning cable? Finally.

  • When they said the iPhone was getting the most popular video game in the world, I thought we’d get Donkey Kong. I’d never heard of League of Legends.

  • You have to think that when Apple decided to make the HomePod mini, the starting point was someone standing in front of a whiteboard and writing, “$99”. I suspect the mini will be much more popular than its older sibling.

  • Speaking of HomePod, mine were going off like crazy with all of the “Hey Siri”s in the presentation. Apple needs to work on that. I’d like to see them let you create your own trigger phrase.

  • In hindsight, using HomePods and Apple devices as an intercom system seems such a no brainer. The question is whether anyone will use it, or it will become the next Walkie-Talkie that still exists on the Apple Watch, but nobody uses.

  • Finally, am I the only one that wants to move into the Apple Demo house?

The Apple September 15 Event

On Tuesday, Apple is having its first of an expected several events over the next few months. Announcements expected over this time are:

  • New Watches on September 15

  • New iPad Air on September 15

After that, there are iPhones, Apple Silicon Macs, a supposed Tile competitor, and who-knows-what else, which should arrive starting in October.

As to the new Apple Watch, 9to5 Mac did some sleuthing and found code related to blood-oxygen level sensors. I’m glad to see Apple continue with yearly updates to the Apple Watch. When you compare what they started with to what we’re going to get on Tuesday, they’ve come a long way.

It also looks like we are getting close to the iOS 14 release. We’ll learn a lot on Tuesday.

The Gather Round Event

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Tomorrow is Apple’s annual new iPhone event, this year dubbed “Gather round.” While the rumor sites are now getting a steady stream of spoiler-heavy information out, I am always curious to see exactly what story Apple tells around the new products. (Usually, they also still have a few surprises.)

Either way, you can watch it live tomorrow in Apple’s Special Events app on the Apple TV or at Apple’s Special Event site from your Mac, iPad, and iPhone.

I’ll be sitting in front of my Mac with my popcorn and my keyboard. I’ll be tweeting from @macsparky and also contributing to this thread on the MPU forums where listeners will be weighing in. Enjoy the show.