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Apple announces new AirPods, MacBooks – Specs and how to order

It seems we can’t go a month without a Big Tech company making a big announcement. Whether it’s software, smart gadgets and toys or new tips and tricks, they want the world to know their latest and greatest innovations.

Amazon’s recent unveiling included an interactive home robot, affordable smart thermostat, smarter Alexa and more. Tap or click here to check out highlights from the online retail juggernaut’s showcase.

Apple’s product and software announcements tend to become more frequent near the end of the year when we see a new iPhone, iOS and more new tech. This week, Apple held yet another event to introduce some popular devices available for pre-order along with other updates. Check out our rundown below.

AirPods 3rd generation

Apple

The redesigned AirPods include improvements to basic functions and some new features.

  • The new AirPods have been redesigned to be lightweight and better fitting. The stem is shorter than the previous generation and have the force sensor lifted from the AirPods Pro for media control.
  • Spatial audio audio was introduced with iOS 15 and will work with the 3rd-gen AirPods. This feature offers 3D sound that simulates a theater experience. Dynamic head tracking makes FaceTime calls, music and video feel more immersive.
  • The new AirPods and charging case are IPX4 rated for resistance to water and sweat.
  • Adaptive EQ, also borrowed from the AirPods Pro, automatically adjusts sound depending on how the AirPods fit in your ear for an improved listening experience.
  • The new AirPods have an extra hour of battery life and can be charged wirelessly using the MagSafe system.
  • You can preorder 3rd-generation Airpods for $179. Tap or click here to get yours. They’re set to ship next week.

MacBook Pro

Apple

The new MacBook Pro is faster and more powerful than any previous iteration. Performance gains are just part of the story, however.

  • The completely redesigned MacBook Pro comes in 16-inch and 14-inch models, replacing the 13-inch.
  • MacBook Pro is now powered by the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. The 10-core M1 Pro is twice as fast as the standard M1 and has support for up to 32GB of unified memory. The 10-core M1 Max is four time faster than the M1 and has support for up to 64GB of unified memory. Both chips rival the latest high-end PC chips in terms of performance while using less power.
  • An all-new aluminum enclosure features a thermal system that can move 50% more air than the previous generation. It also runs quieter and cooler than before.
  • Physical function keys are back, replacing the polarizing Touch Bar system. You still get a Force Touch trackpad.
  • The new MacBook Pro has 3 Thunderbolt 4 ports, an SDXC card slot, an HDMI port and an improved headphone jack.
  • MagSafe 3 compatibility means easy charge cable connections designed to protect the MacBook Pro. Fast charging provides a 50% charge in 30 minutes.
  • The new Liquid Retina XDR display means more brightness and contrast. HDR content has whiter whites, blacker blacks and more vivid colors.
  • Pro Motion automatically adjusts the refresh rate (with a maximum of 120Hz) to preserve battery life and make content smoother and more responsive. You can also lock in a refresh rate if you need to.
  • MacBook Pro now comes with a 1080p FaceTime HD camera. The camera utilizes the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips enhance video quality. Improved microphones have better sound and reduced noise. The six-speaker sound system has two tweeters and four woofers for clearer voices and 80% more bass. Spatial Audio and Dobly Atmos are supported.
  • Its battery gets up to 17 hours of video playback with the 14-inch model and 21 hours of video playback with the 16-inch version.
  • The 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,999 and the 16-inch starts at $2,499 and are available for pre-order today with shipping set for next week. Tap or click here to order the 14-inch model or go here to get the 16-inch model.

Apple’s new Music Voice Plan

What do you get when combining Siri and Apple Music? Apple’s Music Voice Plan. This new subscription tier for Apple Music offers access to the service’s catalog of songs, playlists, stations and Apple Music Radio directly through Siri.

You can also use Siri for full playback controls and unlimited song-skipping. The new plan will be available this fall for $4.99 per month.

HomePod mini

Apple

Apple’s HomePod mini has three new color options: yellow, orange and blue, joining white and space grey. This smart speaker is compatible with Siri and integrates with other smart devices. You can get one starting in November for $99.

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