Apple Breakfast: Reviews of everything!

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Apple generates a lot of news, and it can be hard to keep up. If your mind was on other things this week, our roundup of Apple-related headlines will bring you up to date.

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We review the new iMac, iPad Pro, Apple TV…

The embargoes on Apple’s latest cohort of products broke this week. Macworld was in the vanguard of early reviewers thanks to the Herculean work of Jonas Ekelund, who has earned himself a short holiday.

Did you enjoy it, Jonas? Excellent. Back to work.

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You could do worse than to start with our iMac 24in review, in which Jonas found it difficult to find something to complain about, despite trying very hard indeed. “The screen is excellent, the sound exceeds expectations and performance is more than adequate for most applications,” he explains – adding, however, that you may be able to get more for your money if you buy a Mac mini instead.

The new iPad Pro, meanwhile, is almost unnecessarily fast, Jonas confirms. “We have never seen this standard of performance or image quality on an iPad,” he writes.

Finally, and presumably struggling to stay awake at this point, Jonas reviewed the 2021 Apple TV 4K – but this isn’t the Apple TV update we were hoping for. It’s almost as if Apple updated this to be the budget option, with something much better to follow (perhaps the long rumoured Apple games console). We suspect that something caused Apple to change its plans at the last minute.

If you’re wondering whether to buy an Apple TV, read our Apple TV buying guide for everything you need to know. And do please spare a thought for the hardest-working man in Sweden.

Lossless is a dead loss

A difficult beginning for Lossless Audio and its even snootier cousin, Hi-Resolution Lossless, the new uncompressed Apple Music quality tiers which were launched this week. It’s since emerged that none of Apple’s consumer audio kit supports Lossless: not the HomePod or HomePod mini, not the AirPods Pro or even the AirPods Max. Some of these are understandable; others are not.

It’s all been a bit of a PR disaster, to be honest. One suspects that the big streaming services all got wind of each other’s plans in this area and rushed out high-res launches (Amazon announced free HD music within minutes of the Lossless press release, while Spotify’s rollout will come later this year) even if they weren’t completely ready.

We’re hopeful that Apple will find some way, via a software update, to get Lossless on to the AirPods Max, at least when they’re plugged in and Bluetooth capacity isn’t a factor. But it would have been nice to have that ready to go right from the start.

This all leaves aside, of course, the thorny question of whether most humans can actually tell the difference. Jason Cross has argued that No one actually needs hi-res Apple Music audio, and has the hate mail from audiophiles to show for it.

News in brief

Antonio García Martínez, the ad manager summarily fired by Apple last week after accusations of misogyny, has hit back, claiming the company was well aware of his controversial published works and didn’t have a problem with them until other people noticed. He calls Apple’s version of events “defamatory and categorically false”.

David Price argues in defence of the iPhone notch.

On 19 May 2001, Apple opened its first two retail stores. Here’s a look back at the events of that day.

On Global Accessibility Awareness Day (20 May) Apple celebrated by promising a number of new accessibility features to its devices which are straight out of a sci-fi movie. Assistive Touch for Apple Watch means you can operate an Apple Watch with hand gestures – clench your hand to answer a call or move your wrist to scroll. On the iPhone Voice Over will be able to describe details in images and read out text in photos and on the iPad you’ll be able to move the cursor with your eyes! We’re excited about what the future might bring.

The M1 iMac has more in common with the iMac G3 than just colours, writes Jason Snell.

If you’re wondering if now is a good time to buy a new Mac, make sure you check out When to buy a Mac. It’s worth flagging that we saw an excellent deal on the M1 MacBook Air (£168 off) this week.

Android 12’s new privacy settings draw a clear line between Google and Apple.

Have you found an AirPods Pro deal that looks too good to be true? Chances are it probably is (unless you found it in our AirPods deals roundup). We explain how to tell if your AirPods Pro are fake – apparently this is becoming a common occurrence.

Google, Samsung, and Fitbit might overtake Apple Watch, but it won’t matter, says Michael Simon.

Bugs & problems

Earlier in May Apple released iOS 14.5.1, which was intended to fix a bug with App Tracking Transparency as well as a couple of two zero-day flaws. However, some users have experienced battery drain since updating. iOS 14.6 should fix this battery drain issue. If it doesn’t, we expect that a fix for this will arrive with iOS 14.7, which Apple is already working on.

The rumour mill

When Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman publishes an article you know it’s going to be full of juicy details about upcoming Apple products and this week he delivered again. As you can see from our summary, Apple is all set to overhaul the entire Mac range, starting with the MacBook Pro 14in and 16in models. We can also expect to see a new Mac mini to replace the Intel-powered one that Apple is still selling.

Indeed, Roman Loyola reckons you should get ready for a rush of Apple Silicon Macs.

Seventh time’s the charm. For the launch of the Apple Watch Series 7 this autumn, Apple is finally set to properly revamp the design. We’re hearing (from Jon Prosser) that the new model will have a flatter chassis, more squared-off edges and a new AirPods Max-esque green colour finish.

Qualcomm has updated its Snapdragon X65 5G modem, bringing unprecedented speeds of up to 10Gb/s, improved power efficiency and the ability to use mmWave and sub-6GHz at the same time. And Apple’s going to use it in the iPhone. But don’t get your hopes up – it’s the iPhone 14.

And that’s it for this week. See you next Saturday, and stay Appley!





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