Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

The Back Page: Apple 2021

Good morning! We’re so glad you could join us today, here at Apple Park. We’ve got a lot of exciting announcements to share with you, but before we get started, I want to take a moment to look back at everything Apple has achieved in 2020.

Even in the face of a global pandemic, Apple continued to deliver products to surprise and delight its customers, who remain trapped in their own homes with their glowing screens as the only comprany they have. Here at Apple, our employees have worked tirelessly to help make sure that you can stay safe by having food delivered to your door, providing a non-stop slew of content to binge, and enabling you to keep endlessly doomscrolling, even as the world dissolves into chaos around you. Also, we released five new iPhones!

We’re glad that we’ve been able to do our part to get people through this tough time…but we think we can do better.

Today, we’re announcing Apple’s most exciting new product ever. We’ve combined our expertise in hardware, software, and services to bring consumers something that we think will make a big difference in the way they experience every single day of their lives.

And we’re calling it…2021.

2021 is unlike anything Apple has ever made before. It’s handcrafted from state of the art materials, the same ones used in the construction of actual reality, with performance that’s so fast and so smooth, it feels just like you’re actually in a photo or video. Even the technology behind our Pro Display XDR pales in comparison to the ultra high infinite resolution of 2021.

This isn’t just about engaging your visual senses either. In 2020, we rolled out our Spatial Audio feature for AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, a revolutionary new way of listening to your content. But with 2021, we’ve taken it a step further: it’s not just about audio sounding like it’s coming from your iPhone or your iPad, but about everything in the environment creating sound that originates from a specific location. The hum from that refrigerator over there sounds like it comes from that refrigerator over there. When a bird chirps from outside your window, it’s indistinguishable from a bird chirping outside your window.

But of course, design isn’t just about how it looks, it’s about how it works. With the iPhone and iPad, Apple pioneered the Multi Touch interface, and over the years we’ve brought touch to Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch too. Now, with 2021, we’re taking it to the next level, with an interface technology that’s unlike anything that’s ever been done before. Because now Multi Touch isn’t just about what the device senses from you, but what you sense from it. You can feel what you interact with, from the softness of a flower petal to the harsh roughness of sandpaper. It’s all at the tips of your fingers, with 2021.

Best of all, developers don’t need to do any additional work to bring their apps to 2021. If an app uses Apple’s latest frameworks, all of these amazing new features—the ultra high resolution, the updated spatial audio, Multi Touch 2—are baked right in, so users can immediately take full advantage of them, simply by using 2021.

We believe that only Apple, with its intersection of technology and the liberal arts, has the expertise to execute on this singular vision, to bring this revolutionary technology to all of you, to change the world and help make life just a little bit better for everyone.

2021 releases on January 1 and it’s a free update for everyone. We think you’re going to love it.

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is now available for pre-order.]

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