Welcome to our monthly Apple News Roundup. This column recaps the top 10 biggest Apple news announcements from each month. This edition features the highlights from April of 2021.
Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook’s opposing views
The chief executives of Facebook and Apple have very different visions on the future of the internet. According to the New York Times, their differences escalated this month. Cook wants people to pay a premium to Apple for a safer, more private version of the internet. Zuckerberg on the other hand is championing an “open” internet where services like Facebook are free and advertisers foot the bill. Apple said that they “believe users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it’s used,” while Facebook said, “Apple’s feature was not about privacy and was instead about profit.”
Apple celebrates Earth Day
In celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd, Apple shared new ways for customers around the world to learn about climate change and other environmental issues. The offerings included educational resources, curated content, and other engaging activities. Apple is also driving environmental progress with its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. The company has committed $4.7 billion in its Green Bond spend towards investments in renewable energy projects supporting local communities.
Introducing iPhone 12 in purple
The new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini is now available in a purple finish and features a dual-camera system, Super Retina XDR display with a Ceramic Shield front cover, A14 Bionic, and 5G. The display is said to feature a brighter and more immersive viewing experience. The Apple-designed A14 Bionic boasts the fastest chip on a smartphone. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini were available for pre-order starting April 23rd and became officially available for purchase on April 30th.
New iMac, AirTags, iPad Pro, and Apple TV 4K
During Apple’s “Spring Loaded” media event on April 20th, several exciting new products were announced. According to MacRumors, the iMac has received a substantial redesign and is 11.5mm thick and available in seven colors. Apple also introduced the AirTag, a new accessory that lets you easily track your keys, wallet, purse, luggage, and more in the “Find My” app. The next-generation iPad Pro with M1 Chip, Thunderbolt 5G, XDR Display, and the new Apple TV 4K with A12 Bionic Chip and redesigned Siri remote were also among the new products announced.
Apple Fitness+ introduces new workouts
Built around Apple Watch, Apple Fitness+ introduces new ways to make fitness inclusive to everyone. The brand new workouts available are specifically geared toward pregnancy and older adults. There are also new yoga, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), and strength workouts available for beginners. Each workout is just 10 minutes and designed to accommodate any stage of pregnancy or fitness level. In honor of Earth Day, a special episode of “Time to Walk” featuring Jane Fonda also became available on April 19th.
Apple launches $200 million “Restore Fund”
On April 15th, Apple announced “a first-of-its-kind carbon removal initiative – called the Restore Fund.” The initiative will make investments in forestry projects to remove carbon from the atmosphere while generating a financial return for investors. The Restore Fund was launched with partners Conservation International and Goldman Sachs. The fund aims to remove 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, which is equivalent to the amount of fuel used by over 200,000 passenger vehicles.
Apple hires WarnerMedia executive
According to AppleInsider, former WarnerMedia executive Jessie Henderson was reportedly hired by Apple as part of its effort to ramp up original film production for Apple TV+. Henderson will be a part of the entertainment team and will report to Matt Dentler, chief of original films. Henderson formerly served as the executive vice president of feature films for HBO Max. She is one of many recent high-profile hires made by Apple.
Introducing Apple Podcasts Subscriptions
On April 20th, Apple unveiled Apple Podcasts Subscriptions, a global marketplace for listeners to discover premium subscriptions and millions of free shows. Starting in May, listeners in more than 170 countries will have access to benefits such as ad-free listening, exclusive access to new series, and more. The premium subscriptions will include content from leading media and entertainment brands such as NPR, the Los Angeles Times, Sony Music Entertainment, and more.
Announcing Apple Card Family
Apple Card Family was announced on April 20th, as a new and innovative way for people to share their Apple Card, track purchases, manage spending, and build credit with their Family Sharing group. The feature will be available in the U.S. in May and will allow two people to co-own an Apple Card, and share and merge their credit lines while building credit together. It will also enable parents to share Apple Card with their children while offering spending limits and teaching smart financial habits.
Apple Arcade expands its catalog
Apple announced that it’s expanding its Apple Arcade catalog to over 180 games. The new Apple Arcade Originals games include Timeless Classics and App Store Greats without any ads or in-app purchases. More than 30 new games were launched on April 2nd. The lineup included “NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition,” “Simon’s Cat: Story Time,” and “Star Trek: Legends,” to name a few. The existing catalog of Arcade Originals includes exclusives such as “LEGO Brawls,” “Sonic Racing,” and “SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit.”