Recap of Apple Announcements: New MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, HomePod, and More

Recap of Apple Announcements: New MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, HomePod, and More

In honour of Black History Month, Apple introduced updated 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, an updated Mac mini, a second-generation full-size HomePod, and a new Unity band for the Apple Watch this week. Apple also confirmed that iOS 16.3 will be available to the general public next week.

For those looking for a quick overview of all the new products introduced this week, a recap of Apple’s announcements is available below.

MacBook Pro

The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are equipped with Apple’s latest M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, which provide up to 20% faster performance and 30% faster graphics. The laptops can now be configured with up to 96GB of RAM, up from a previous maximum of 64GB. Wi-Fi 6E, an upgraded HDMI 2.1 port with support for an 8K external display, and an extra hour of battery life are among the other new features and improvements.

The new MacBook Pros are designed in the same way as the previous-generation models, which were released in 2021. The laptops are now available for pre-order on Apple’s online store, with the first deliveries and in-store availability beginning on Tuesday, January 24. The 14-inch model costs $1,999, while the 16-inch model costs $2,499 USD.

Mac mini

Apple also updated the Mac mini with new M2 and M2 Pro chip options, resulting in the discontinuation of the final Intel-based Mac mini. There are no design changes, but the M2 Pro Mac mini has four Thunderbolt 4 ports and an HDMI 2.1 port, as opposed to two Thunderbolt 4 ports and an HDMI 2.0 port on the M2 model.

The new Mac mini is now available for pre-order on Apple’s online store, with the M2 model starting at $599 and the M2 Pro model starting at $1,299. The first customer deliveries and in-store availability will begin on Tuesday, January 24.


The second-generation HomePod is almost identical to the full-size HomePod, which was discontinued in March 2021, with a backlit touch surface and mesh fabric exterior. The speaker has a four-inch high-excursion woofer, five tweeters, four microphones, a S7 chip for computational audio, an U1 chip for passing music from an iPhone, and Dolby Atmos support. The speaker’s focus remains on Siri, and it includes Matter support for controlling HomeKit and other smart home accessories.

The new HomePod has two fewer tweeters and two fewer microphones than the original model, and as a result, it weighs slightly less. With HomePod software version 16.3, a new sensor in the HomePod can measure temperature and humidity in indoor environments, and this feature has also been enabled on the existing HomePod mini.

The new HomePod is now available for pre-order on Apple’s online store for $299, with white and midnight colour options. Customer deliveries and in-store availability will begin on Friday, February 3 in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and 11 other countries.

Unity Band

In honour of Black History Month, Apple released a limited-edition Black Unity Sport Loop for the Apple Watch Series 4 this week. According to Apple, the band, which is available in 41mm and 45mm sizes for $49, features the word “Unity” woven into the fabric with red, green, and black yarns that pay homage to the Pan-African flag.

The new band can be ordered through Apple’s online store and will be available in select Apple Store locations beginning January 24. With iOS 16.3 and watchOS 9.3, Apple will also release a companion Unity-themed iPhone wallpaper and watch face.

iOS 16.3 Release Timing

Apple stated in its press release about the new Unity band that a matching Unity wallpaper for the iPhone will be available next week and will require iOS 16.3, confirming that the software update will be made available to the public next week.

iOS 16.3 adds a few new features, such as the ability to use a physical security key as a two-factor authentication option for an Apple ID account, the global availability of Advanced Data Protection for broader iCloud encryption, and support for the new second-generation HomePod. The update also includes a number of bug fixes.


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