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Apple continued to clear the decks of non-developer announcements ahead of WWDC this week, not only shipping the new iMac, iPad Pro, and Apple TV introduced at last month's "Spring Loaded" event but also revealing several other upcoming launches like new Lossless and Spatial Audio support for Apple Music and some new accessibility features.

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There was also no shortage of rumors this week, including details on the upcoming MacBook Pro redesign, several other future Macs, and the Apple Watch Series 7. Apple itself has even leaked some upcoming Beats earbuds, so read on for details on all of these stories and more from the past week!

Apple Music Launching Spatial Audio With Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio in June at No Extra Cost

As was rumored, Apple this week announced that Apple Music will be gaining support for two new audio formats in June, including Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos support and lossless audio.

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Spatial Audio, based on Dolby Atmos, is an immersive three-dimensional audio format that enables musicians to mix music so it sounds like the instruments are all around you in space. A similar version of Spatial Audio with head tracking has been available when listening to certain content like Apple TV+ shows on AirPods Pro and AirPods Max since last year.

Lossless audio refers to audio recordings that have been compressed without any reduction in the overall quality of the audio, which can result in an improved listening experience, although the difference between standard and lossless audio is not always obvious. Apple Music will have two lossless tiers, including "Lossless" and "Hi-Res Lossless."

Spatial Audio will be available for thousands of tracks at launch, with more to be added regularly. Lossless audio will be available for 20 million tracks at launch, and this will rise to 75 million by the end of the year.

Spatial Audio and lossless audio will be available in June for all Apple Music subscribers at no additional cost on devices running iOS 14.6, iPadOS 14.6, macOS 11.4, and tvOS 14.6 or later, according to Apple. However, we've learned that some Apple devices will not support lossless audio, including the HomePod and HomePod mini.

New iMac, iPad Pro, and Apple TV 4K Now Available at Apple Stores

Apple's new iMac and iPad Pro models powered by the M1 chip, as well as the updated Apple TV 4K with a faster A12 chip and redesigned Siri Remote, are now available for purchase at Apple Store locations as of Friday, May 21 in launch countries.

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Inital online orders have also started arriving, including a few lucky individuals have received their shipments early.

The new iMac is on display at most Apple Store locations in all seven colors, including green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver. Only the green, pink, blue, and silver models are available for purchase in store, with the remaining colors sold through Apple's online store.

Reviews were shared this week for the new iMac, iPad Pro, and Apple TV 4K:

Redesigned MacBook Pro Models With 10-Core Apple Silicon Chip Said to Launch as Early as This Summer

Apple plans to launch 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with an improved iteration of the M1 chip as early as this summer, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The new chip is said to include a 10-core CPU with 16-core or 32-core GPU options.

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Gurman said the next-generation Apple silicon chip will also support up to 64GB of memory compared to the current maximum of 16GB with the M1 chip. The new chip is also said to support additional Thunderbolt ports for expanded connectivity.

As previously rumored, Gurman said the new MacBook Pro models will feature a redesigned chassis with the return of more ports, including an HDMI port, SD card slot, and a MagSafe magnetic charging cable.

Gurman said Apple is also working on a revamped MacBook Air with up to 10 graphics cores for as early as the end of the year, in addition to an all-new Mac Pro, a higher-end Mac mini with four Thunderbolt ports, and an Apple silicon successor to the Intel-based 27-inch iMac.

New 'Beats Studio Buds' Leaked in iOS 14.6 and tvOS 14.6

While not announced yet by Apple, the Release Candidate versions of iOS 14.6 and tvOS 14.6 have revealed new "Beats Studio Buds" earbuds.

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Based on imagery discovered by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser, the "Beats Studio Buds" will have a compact, stemless design, similar to Samsung's Galaxy Buds and Google's Pixel Buds. This design has also been rumored for Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro.

Similar to many other Beats and AirPods models, the "Beats Studio Buds" are expected to feature Active Noise Cancellation.

It's unclear when the "Beats Studio Buds" will be released, but given they are showing up in the iOS 14.6 and tvOS 14.6 Release Candidates, the earbuds could be announced within the coming weeks.

Apple Watch Series 7 Might Feature Flat-Edged Design, New Green Color Option

The upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 will feature a flat-edged design, similar to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, and the addition of a new green case color option, according to leaker Jon Prosser.

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Prosser said his source informed him that the flat-edged design isn't guaranteed to be for the Series 7, and could end up being for the Series 8, but it appears that Apple has prototyped a new flat-edged model at a minimum.

Apple Watch continues to evolve into an all-in-one health tool on the wrist, with features like heart rate tracking, the ECG app, and blood oxygen monitoring, and previous rumors have suggested that future Apple Watch models might be able to measure blood pressure, glucose, and alcohol levels.

If this rumor proves to be accurate, it would represent the first major design overhaul of the Apple Watch since its release in 2015.

You'll Soon Be Able to Control an Apple Watch Using Hand Gestures

Apple this week previewed a long list of new accessibility features coming soon, including AssistiveTouch for the Apple Watch, which will allow users to control an Apple Watch using hand gestures, without ever having to touch the display or controls.

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Aided by on-device machine learning, the Apple Watch's gyroscope, accelerometer, and heart rate sensor will be able to detect subtle differences in muscle movement and tendon activity, and these movements will allow users to navigate a cursor on the Apple Watch's display through a series of hand gestures, like a pinch or a clench.

Apple said AssistiveTouch for the Apple Watch will be available with a software update. The feature will likely be part of watchOS 8, which is expected to be unveiled alongside iOS 15, macOS 12, and tvOS 15 at WWDC next month.

MacRumors Newsletter

Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.

So if you want to have top stories like the above recap delivered to your email inbox each week, subscribe to our newsletter!

Article Link: Top Stories: Apple Music Lossless, M2 MacBook Pro Rumors, Apple Watch Redesign?
 

alexe

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2014
120
667
Am I the only one who's disappointed that the new MacBooks are rumored to have "only" 10 cores? 12 or 16 would be nice.

Granted, if 8 out of those 10 are high-performance cores, that's twice as many as in the M1 at least, but still, for the highest-end MacBook Pro I would expect more, especially for the 16-inch machine.
 
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Denzo

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2009
503
576
Australia
To be honest the flat edge design for the watch isn’t what I’m after. I like my iPhone 12 shape. But I want the watch to look like a watch.
I think Apple should offer a round face then I would given them more money. Let’s be honest the money they spend is on all the software innovation so it wouldn’t cost them the earth to develop. At all.
 
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anthogag

macrumors 6502a
Jan 15, 2015
828
1,006
Canada
My Air Pods Max are very good. I paid $800 CDN. For $800 it should have the ability to use the cord to get lossless audio.

Spatial audio in June, baby.
 

sulpfiction

macrumors 68040
Aug 16, 2011
3,069
594
Philadelphia Area
My Air Pods Max are very good. I paid $800 CDN. For $800 it should have the ability to use the cord to get lossless audio.

Spatial audio in June, baby.
It’s the cord itself. It’s not possible for the existing lightning to 3.5mm connection to carry lossless audio. There would have to be a redesigned cable. But honestly, unless you are a completely obsessed audiophile (which if you were you probably wouldn’t be using AirPod max anyway) you will never hear the difference. I love quality audio (but I’m far from obsessed) and I have very high end Paradigm studio speakers on my home theater which sound phenomenal. But I can barely hear any difference between lossless and basic DD or DTS let alone DD+ or Atmos which (in my ears, anyway) is indistinguishable from lossless.
 
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BGPL

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2016
597
1,462
California
I like Apple's transparency about the lossless audio. I've had Amazon HD audio in the past, and they don't really spell out too well what supports it and what doesn't. I think many people believe they are getting lossless HD audio with some providers, but they're not, either because of the receiver or the headphones/speakers. My movie theater was the only place I really got to enjoy Amazon HD, and I just don't sit around in my movie theater listening to music.

Let me add, in order to enjoy lossless audio and know the difference, the level of audiophile must be high as well as the equipment. With good headphones and your average streaming service, the quality is good quite "out of the box". I came to grips that I just can't tell a big difference and cancelled my Amazon HD. I think it's designed for the purist that works with sound on a regular basis, someone like an audio engineer who is tormented by lossy audio.
 

BGPL

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2016
597
1,462
California
Am I the only one who's disappointed that the new MacBooks are rumored to have "only" 10 cores? 12 or 16 would be nice.

Granted, if 8 out of those 10 are high-performance cores, that's twice as many as in the M1 at least, but still, for the highest-end MacBook Pro I would expect more, especially for the 16-inch machine.
They need a place to go next year ;)

The M1 is probably incredibly restrained compared to what these machines are capable of... they simply set the performance to noticeably beat Intel and stopped it there.
 

StupidOpinion

macrumors regular
May 14, 2021
201
303
Am I the only one who's disappointed that the new MacBooks are rumored to have "only" 10 cores? 12 or 16 would be nice.

Granted, if 8 out of those 10 are high-performance cores, that's twice as many as in the M1 at least, but still, for the highest-end MacBook Pro I would expect more, especially for the 16-inch machine.
well the more they give you now, the less likely you'll buy again in the future. the m1 is approximately a i7-8700 and if the 10 core chip has the same per core performance as the m1, then it'll probably be about 80% faster than the m1 which would put it in the 9900K/10700K range. being as fast as a upper mid range gaming CPU is good enough imo. this might put some serious heat in the macbook
 

hagjohn

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2006
1,280
2,677
Pennsylvania
Am I the only one who's disappointed that the new MacBooks are rumored to have "only" 10 cores? 12 or 16 would be nice.

Granted, if 8 out of those 10 are high-performance cores, that's twice as many as in the M1 at least, but still, for the highest-end MacBook Pro I would expect more, especially for the 16-inch machine.
So far, virtually everyone has been impressed with what we have gotten from Apple Silicon. I think you might be pleasantly surprised by a (rumored) 10 core MacBook.
 
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tmarsden

macrumors newbie
Apr 18, 2021
18
20
Decisions, decisions. Jump on the new 14” M2 MBP or wait until the end of the year and see what the revamped Air is capable of? Cant wait to get the official word about either offering.
 

aroom

macrumors regular
Nov 26, 2014
116
218
Am I the only one who don't see an hdmi port as an amelioration?

It's too big and the cable is too big. I have to tape it on the table when working because it's always been an hasard with the old retina mbp. In my day job I'm glad that I can setup the power on either side and still have 2 free ports on the opposite side. So much convenient.

I hope that we still have the 4 usb-c/thunderbolt port, that magsafe is embedded in the usb-c cable and that hdmi is in the power brick, like ethernet for the new iMac.
 
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lambertjohn

macrumors 68000
Jun 17, 2012
1,506
1,459
Decisions, decisions. Jump on the new 14” M2 MBP or wait until the end of the year and see what the revamped Air is capable of? Cant wait to get the official word about either offering.
Hey, my M1 Air is capable of everything, so that should tell you something about whatever new Air is coming at the end of the year.
 
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travelsheep

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2013
894
1,028
Not sure what's the point of billboard chart music in Lossless audio. Wondering if they will offer Sun Ra and Frank Zappa in Lossless?
 

ZipZilla

macrumors 6502
Dec 7, 2003
305
325
Yes Apple, Yes Apple....bring on the Pro M1....Daddy wants his ports and 64GB of RAM...TAKE MY MONEY!!!
 

Justin L Franks

macrumors regular
Sep 24, 2013
102
115
Am I the only one who's disappointed that the new MacBooks are rumored to have "only" 10 cores? 12 or 16 would be nice.

Granted, if 8 out of those 10 are high-performance cores, that's twice as many as in the M1 at least, but still, for the highest-end MacBook Pro I would expect more, especially for the 16-inch machine.

The leaker is saying it will be 8 Firestorm cores and 2 Icestorm cores. This is a rather strange configuration though in my opinion. There are a lot of background tasks always being run, so will the 2 Icestorm cores be able to handle it all, or will some background tasks have to occasionally be assigned to the Firestorm cores? This obviously would not be ideal.

The M1 has 4 Firestorm and 4 Icestorm cores. I really don't think that a 8/2 configuration will be the M1X (or whatever Apple decides to call it). A 12-core (8 Firestorm / 4 Icestorm) is much more likely IMO. And I doubt we'll see options for 32 GPU cores on this version. The architecture is going to be the same for this one (exact same cores as the M1, just more of them), so is there even enough memory bandwidth to actually take advantage of a 4x increase in GPU cores?

My bet is on the aforementioned 12-core CPU, options for either 12 or 16 GPU cores, and most likely a maximum of 32 GB of RAM for this iteration. 64 GB of RAM would be a great surprise for the next chip, but I just don't think we will see a 64 GB option so soon.
 

Program_Install

macrumors member
May 13, 2021
33
35
NY
Considering those Beats Buds, if and when they release. I have AirPods Pro Max, but will replace my gen 2 AirPods with the Beats.
 

RavynArcadia

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2012
51
101
I cannot overstate how badly I need a new MBP. And I don’t want Intel anymore! Running an M1 MBA until then, but need more ports and monitor support
I know what you mean. I had the last 15” mbp and traded it in last week for the air. The intel chip overheated and rebooted the laptop while doing a time machine backup. Plus it got hot just by doing simple stuff. The air goes between room temp and body temp. It has yet to get hot.
 

jonnysods

macrumors 604
Sep 20, 2006
7,328
4,563
There & Back Again
I know what you mean. I had the last 15” mbp and traded it in last week for the air. The intel chip overheated and rebooted the laptop while doing a time machine backup. Plus it got hot just by doing simple stuff. The air goes between room temp and body temp. It has yet to get hot.

I had a 2019 15” MBP and the fans ran constantly even when I wasn’t doing much. The MBA is incredible and even faster, but the monitor support thing baffles and frustrates me.
 
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