The Cupertino-based tech giant’s second big hardware event — dubbed “Unleashed” was rumoured to spotlight even more exciting products, more specifically Macs that were powered by Apple’s customer ARM-based processors.
And so it delivered. Broadcasted live from its Silicon Valley headquarters, Apple unveiled a host of new products and services, all in a bid to redefine how you work and play. Here’s what you need to know.
All the latest updates announced at Apple Unleashed 2021
Brand new subscription plan: Apple Music Voice Plan
The third plan to join Apple’s growing music experience is the Voice Plan, and it’s all about Siri here.
With access to over 90 million songs and thousands of playlists, the Voice Plan is an easy way to access the new mood and activity playlists that were curated by Apple Music’s editorial experts — each fully optimised just for voice. This means that you can say stuff like “play something chill”, and not get asked to be more specific (cue the eyeroll). If you like what you hear, simply say “Play more like this”, and Siri will use her intuitiveness to find you something similar.
Subscribers to the Voice Plan will only have to pay a more affordable US$4.99/month (approx. S$7), but will still have access to the entire lineup of playlists, including favourites like New Music Daily, Today’s Hits, and A-List Pop, to name a few.
No updates yet on when the Apple Music Voice Plan will be available in Singapore, so stay tuned for more information.
Apple HomePod Mini
Those who want portable sound and an intelligent assistant for the smart home can look to the HomePod Mini. The powerful smart speaker delivers amazing sounds and the intuitiveness of Siri to empower the way you enjoy music and go about your day at home.
Now available in five colours — yellow, orange, blue, white and space grey — the HomePod Mini is a chic companion for any home with its mesh fabric and tinted touch surface. With it, you’ll be able to enjoy music throughout the house, get Siri’s help with anything (from reminders to playlists), and even call for the entire family to meet downstairs for dinner via the intercom — without raising your voice.
The nifty device — only 3.3 inches tall — will provide seamless integration across all Apple products, but without compromising on privacy and security. Right smack in the middle of a podcast but you’ve reached home? Simply bring your iPhone close to the HomePod mini and the audio can be handed off without — Apple promises — “missing a beat”.
Users can also pair their HomePod mini to Apple TV 4K for a sound experience that promises even more range and fidelity.
Available for customers in Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, the UK, and the US can purchase HomePod mini from November. Stay tuned for updates on when it’ll launch in Singapore.
Third generation Apple AirPods
The AirPods are undoubtedly the wireless earphones that launched a hundred more, and this year, Apple is finally updating one of its best-selling products. The third-generation AirPods (US$179; approx. S$240) will feature an all-new design inside and out, but most importantly will provide spatial audio, a feature that’s already made it’s way to the AirPods Max.
Beyond left and right, the new Airpods’ spatial listening brings music to life by providing a true multi-dimensional experience, letting you deeper into the mix than ever before.
A new contoured design combines the power of the H1 chip with an Apple-designed acoustic system to deliver even better sound, especially with a brand-new low-distortion driver that lends a more powerful bass and crisp clean high frequencies. This means that you’re in good hands whether you’re listening to Enya or Metallica.
Because not everyone’s ear shape is unique, the new contour design works with Adaptive EQ to that deliver quality sound directly to your ears, especially since it can adjust frequencies in real-time. If you’re big on workouts, the new AirPods are sweat and water resistant.
Those who are always on the go will appreciate that these also have a much better battery life; we’re talking up to six hours of listening time per charge. Forgot to plug in your device the night before? Five minutes of charging time gives you an hour of use. The charging case gets you four full charges for 30 hours of listening time.
In better merging the entire Apple universe, the earphones will also come with a one-touch setup that auto pairs to all your devices, and can be charged via MagSafe and wireless charging.
Available to order from the Apple Store online and in the Apple Store app in the US and more than 26 other countries and regions starting today, with availability in stores beginning 26. October 2021.
Find out more here.
(All images: Apple)