How Apple’s M1-Powered MacBook Air Brings Laptops Into A New Era

How Apple’s M1-Powered MacBook Air Brings Laptops Into A New Era

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(CNN) —  

The most recent trend with Apple products is that they’re powered by processors created by the Cupertino-based company. And thanks to the marriage of Apple’s hardware and software, these devices can work together more seamlessly than ever, making each of them a compelling buy for those already using other Apple devices such as iPhones, Macs and Apple Watches.

Last November, Apple introduced the M1-powered MacBook Air, Mac Mini and 13-inch MacBook Pro. This marked the official switchover from Intel to Apple-made chips in a consumer release. The company recently took it a step further with the brand new iMac — the first computer designed fully around the Apple-made M1 processor.

CNN Underscored had a chance to be the first outlet to chat with Apple’s Stephen Tonna, of Platform Product Marketing, and Laura Metz, from Mac Product Marketing, ahead of the M1 Macs’ official launch to get a deeper perspective of how they’ll shape the Apple landscape.


Continuity is the linchpin of the Apple experience — the software backbone that lets you easily move something from one device to another, all without really lifting a finger. Be it in the form of a shared clipboard to easily copy and paste across your devices or in the ability to quickly share a PDF between devices. It’s the core utility features baked into iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and, of course, macOS. And with the new iMac’s 24-inch display, it might just be the perfect big screen and centerpiece to move your work onto.

“We’ve continued to add more and more capability over the years because we know that our users love this and it’s a great technology to build on,” Tonna explained. With macOS Big Sur, iOS and iPadOS apps now run on the Mac. These apps are now designed for the same foundation of the Apple-made processor and developers don’t have to do heavy lifting. Moreover, neither do you as you can easily move an iPhone app to the Mac.

Tonna summed up the ethos of this: “I’ll start something on my phone and I want to finish it on my Mac, [the] dock icon pops up, I click on it.” The app opens in the same fashion as it was on the original device and Handoff is triggered intelligently by knowing how close your devices are to one another.

And the list really does go on — AirDrop allows you to securely send files from device to device, Notes sync across and AirPods intelligently switch between your Apple devices. It’s best thought as an umbrella feature that keeps growing over time.

“It’s exactly our philosophy with how we build the hardware and the software, which is all about unique capabilities of the devices, but having them work seamlessly together,” says Tonna. And that’s an area where Apple has an edge. Samsung’s most recent Galaxy Book PCs are starting to work better with its Galaxy line of phones. But they don’t own the whole ecosystem from end-to-end — Galaxy phones run Android and PCs run Windows. It’s not the most straightforward puzzle to put together for these tech giants.

Now when you go to set up a Mac, like the new iMac, you’ll sign in with your iCloud account for an easy transition. And the new iMac is perhaps the best example yet of an Apple device that can serve as the central hub for your iPhone and iPad.


The new M1-powered iMac is built around Apple’s vision of its desktop computer: “has always been to make the computer disappear and just have it be what you need it to be in the home,” Metz described. It’s how Apple delivered this ultra-thin all-in-one Mac that still delivers strong performance, and in a very 2021 way, how it can be the centerpiece of your work from home setup.

Alongside the M1 chip, the star of the new iMac is the 24-inch Retina display. It’s larger than any other M1 Mac available and gives you the space to have multiple windows open. The M1 chip inside ensures that you’re ready to work with efficiency and speed. And for those who need ports, the iMac retains a headphone jack along with up to four USB-C ports.

And we’d be remiss if we didn’t chat on the colors of the iMac. The backside and the front bottom chin get a sleek paint job in one of six colors: green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, or silver. We recalled the iMac G3s, which had color, and to a degree, this 2021 model is almost like a throwback. Metz took some time to walk us through the colorful design:

“It is fun to see these pops of color. As we were just starting to have iMacs roll in and we’re just seeing the color for the first time in person, like on a bigger scale. I mean, you just see the natural smile on my face. We were all cool, literally giddy, it was like truly this is happiness.”

Since the iMac is stationary, you’ll also pick a place for it in your home or space. By design, it doesn’t take up a crazy amount of room and you’ll only need one plug to work. It’s also multi-modal by design with a hinge that lets you tilt the screen and multiple user support. This means that members of a whole family could each have their own account

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How Apple’s M1-powered MacBook Air brings laptops into a new era

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