2020 has been a year like no other. While we continue to battle COVID-19 we hope that the recently released vaccines will help keep us all safe. While so much has changed, it’s important to remember the things that are familiar and that we looked forward to, so we wanted to take a look back at some of the more interesting Apple news from this year.
In January, Apple released an updated version of Apple Maps to all U.S. users. The new version provides faster and more accurate navigation and comprehensive views of roads, buildings, parks, airports, malls and more. With the United States roll-out complete, Apple will move to release the updates in Europe in the coming months.
Like many global companies, Apple was impacted by the Corona virus. During February, Apple announced that the virus would impact it’s iPhone manufacturing. They also closed many of their stores in China during the height of the spreading virus.
The Coronavirus was still in the news and top of mind for most individuals and companies. On March 6, the world famous SXSW conference in Austin, TX was cancelled when the mayor announced a state of emergency. Just days before, Apple, and others announced that they would not attend this year’s event. On the same day, Apple encouraged all of its employees to work from home if possible to prevent the spread of the virus.
In response to a rise in reported cases in Italy, Apple temporarily closed its stores in that country and also announced possible shortages of many Apple products due to factory closures in China due to the virus. Just days later, Apple announced that all retail stores worldwide, except for China, would close. Apple also announced that WWDC 2020, schedule for June would be an all new digital only event.
Unrelated to the Coronavirus, on March 6, 2020, Apple announced a new service program for the 3rd Generation iPad Air. In the announcement, Apple said that, under certain circumstances, the screen on a limited number of iPad Air (3rd generation) devices may go blank permanently. A brief flicker or flash may appear before the screen goes blank.
Affected devices were manufactured between March 2019 and October 2019 and the program covers repairs up to 2-years after the first retail sale of the affected unit.
Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will service eligible devices, free of charge.
All of these issues did not prevent the introduction of many product updates. On March 18, Apple announced the following product updates.
- Powerbeats with H1 Chip and up to 15-Hours of Battery Life
- Mac mini with Double Storage in Standard Configuration
- MacBook Air Announced with Magic Keyboard, 2X Faster Performance
- New iPad Pro with A12Z Bioic Chip, LIDAR Scanner, Ultra-Wide Camera
- A new Magic Keyboard with Trackpad for the iPad Pro, to be released later this year
On March 24, Apple released software updates for all of their major platforms, including;
- MacOS Catalina 10.15.4
- iOS and iPadOS 13.4
- watchOS 6.2
- tvOS 13.4
- HomePod Software 13.4
With the world still battling the Coronavirus, Apple retail stores remained closed outside of China. But that did not stop Apple from moving ahead with exciting new product releases.
On April 15, 2020, Apple released the new iPhone SE. Available in white, black and (PRODUCT) RED, the new iPhone SE had an 4.7” screen, A13 Bionic chip and a single lens 12MP wide angle camera. Available with 64BG, 128GB and 256GB of storage, process started at $399.
With the introduction of the new iPhone SE, Apple also announced it was no longer selling the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
Apple jumped right into May with the release of a new 13” MacBook Pro on May 4. With this release we all said good-bye to the problem prone Butterfly Keyboard which has now been replaced with the same “Magic Keyboard” recently introduced in the 16” MacBook Pro.
The entry level models still come with an 8th Generation Intel processor, and 8GB of RAM, other models are available with the newer 10th i7 processors and up to 32GB of memory. The 128 SSD has been eliminated with the entry level model having 256GB and options available up to 4TB.
On June 15, Apple announced is new program allowing shoppers to purchase a new Mac, iPad and other Apple products, interest free, when using their Apple Card. Like the iPhone program, you will continue to get 3% cash back when each payment is made and there is no interest if paid in full during the promotion period.
The big news in September was the “Time Flies” held on Sept. 15. While many were disappointed that a new iPhone was not released, the event did see the release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, two ne Apple Watched, Series 6 and a less expensive SE model, the 8th generation iPad and an updated iPad Air.
Not to be outdone by the September media event, Apple held another virtual media event in October and announced the lineup for iPhone 12. This year they released the iPhone 12 Min, iPhone 12, and two (2) Pro versions, including the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Max.
Also announced was the iHome Mini bringing all the great features of the iHome speaker in a smaller size.
With the holidays right around the corner, it’s no wonder Apple wanted to make what might be their biggest announcement in years. On November 10, 2020, Aple held its One More Thing virtual event and introduced the first Macs with the highly anticipated Apple processor. Called the M1 chip, Apple said this was the fastest chip ever to be in a Mac. The first computers to sport the M1 chip was the Mac Mini, the 13” MacBook Air and the 13” MacBook Pro.
Apple also announced that its latest version of macOS, called Big Sur would be released on November 12, 2020.
To close out the year, Apple introduced AirPods Max, bringing the sound quality of AirPods to an over the ear headphone style. Although they pack a lot of technology into them, the price of $549 may be too much for even the most devoted Apple fan.
Apple also launched Fitness+ bringing studio-style workouts to iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. Apple Fitness+ will launch with 10 of the most popular workout types, including High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Strength, Yoga, Dance, Core, Cycling, Treadmill (for running and walking), Rowing, and Mindful Cooldown, led by a phenomenal team of trainers whose approach is welcoming to all. The workouts are fueled by inspiring music from today’s top artists designed to keep users motivated from start to finish.
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