This week’s top stories: New iPads, AirPods, and iMacs, the future of AirPower, March event details, more

In this week’s top stories: Apple announces new a new iPad Air and iPad mini, as well as AirPods 2 and upgraded iMacs, last-minute details about Apple’s streaming video service, the future of AirPower, and more. Read on for all of this week’s biggest news.

Ahead of its March 25th ‘Show Time’ event next week, Apple this week made a handful of hardware announcements via press releases. Here they are.

On Monday, Apple announced a pair of new iPads with the reveal of the 10.5-inch iPad Air and a new iPad mini. Both are compatible with the Apple Pencil, while Apple is also selling a Smart Keyboard for the iPad Air. The iPad mini starts at $399, while the iPad Air starts at $499. Read more details in our full announcement coverage.

The following day, Apple refreshed both the iMac and iMac Pro. The consumer-level iMac is now available in new 6-core and 8-core Intel CPU configurations. There are also new Radeon Pro Vega graphics options. The iMac Pro also added new RAM and Vega graphics options. Lastly, Apple dropped the price of some SSD upgrades across the board for the Mac.

Rounding out the hardware announcements, Apple revealed a new version of AirPods on Wednesday. The new AirPods feature an upgraded H1 chip, an optional wireless charging case, hands-free Hey Siri, and more. Read more in our full announcement coverage.

Despite all of these hardware announcements, Apple this week did not announce its long-awaited AirPower charging mat. We did get some evidence that the mat is not dead, however. The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple “approved production” of AirPower earlier this year, while hidden images on Apple’s site also revealed updated marketing for the accessory.

A report from CNET on Friday suggested that Apple is looking to complement AirPods with the launch of a truly wireless pair of Powerbeats. According to the report, these headphones will be announced in April and could feature the same H1 chip as the new version of AirPods.

Looking ahead to next week, Apple will hold its “Show Time” event on Monday at Steve Jobs Theater. This event will mark the launch of the company’s subscription version of Apple News, streaming video enhancements, a subscription gaming service, and more.

Read these and the rest of this week’s top stories below.

iOS | macOS | tvOS | watchOS |

iPhone |

Mac + iPad |

Top Apple stories, retail |

Apple Watch |

AirPods + AirPower |

Apps |

Apple News + Video |

Top Apple stories, company |

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This week’s top videos |

Happy Hour Podcast #217 |

This week Benjamin and Zac discuss Apple’s product release carousel including the first new iPad mini in years, a new iPad Air size, faster iMacs, and second-generation AirPods, plus much more.

9to5Mac Happy Hour is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play Music, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

Stacktrace Podcast #028 |

It’s poker time! While Apple seems to be going all-in on shipping new products this week, it’s once again time for John and Gui to place their bets as to what Apple might have in store for their 25th of March media event. That, and a bit of time traveling back to the year 2000.

Stacktrace by 9to5Mac is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

Making The Grade |

Making The Grade is a weekly series from Bradley Chambers covering Apple in education. Bradley has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.

9to5Mac Deal of the Month |

This month, Hyper is back to give our readers the 9to5Mac Deal of the Month. For the entire month of March, you can get 50% off Hyper’s combo wireless charger/USB-C hub and its other wireless chargers for your home and vehicle:

Get 50% off wireless charging from Hyper w/ exclusive promo code “9to5wireless”

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