Apple’s “Spring Loaded” press event delivered quite a few new product announcements on Tuesday. The highly anticipated AirTags; the brand new iPad Pro that packs the same M1 chip as the Macs; the colorful, redesigned iMac that also rocks the same M1 processor; the brand new Apple TV and the redesigned remote; and a brand new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini color option were all unveiled at the show. As always with Apple events, some of these products will be available for preorders on the Friday following the announcement.
Buyers who can’t wait to get their hands on the new iPad Pro and iMac will have to temper their excitement for another week. The new M1 computers will be available for preorder on April 30th, and ship a few weeks later. The online Apple store is only ready to register your iPhone 12 and AirTags purchases. They start selling at 5:00 AM PT (8:00 AM ET), and they will ship to customers next Friday.
Purple iPhone 12
The only thing that changed about the iPhone 12 flavors that launch today is the color. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini now come in a purple option, which joins the existing roster of colors. Everything else stays the same, so the purple iPhones will offer the same user experience and performance as their siblings. That means the purple iPhone 12 models will have the same exact prices as the other versions. Nothing changes in that department either.
Apple rarely introduces new color options mid-way through the new iPhone season. That’s something that Samsung usually does to boost sales of its flagships. Purple iPhone 12 preorders will be available at this link.
The AirTag is a brand new Apple product, a tracker unlike anything else available on the market. The AirTags work just like Tile and Chipolo when it comes to detecting objects in your immediate vicinity. They connect via Bluetooth to the iPhone and let you ping the missing object from the Find My app. If you own an iPhone 11 or later, then the AirTags do have an advantage over most competitors, the ultra wideband (UWB) technology that delivers precise location.
Where the AirTag shines is the scenario we dread most: the object goes missing outside of the home. Apple turned its network of about a billion devices, most of them iPhones, into beacons that can talk to AirTag. The tracker will ping nearby iPhones, and they’ll move forward that location information to the user. It all happens securely and privately. The AirTag owner can retrieve the lost object as long as there’s an iPhone near it. But don’t use AirTags to keep tabs on kids and pets.
AirTag will sell for $29 with free engraving, but the better deal is getting a pack of four devices for $99. You can only link 16 AirTags to the same Apple ID, so that’s a limitation you’ll want to keep in mind when ordering in bulk. But AirTags can be used with Family Sharing. If you need more than 16, you can split them between the various Apple accounts in your household. Order your AirTags at this link.