Happy Wednesday! As I’m sure you’ve heard, yesterday Apple hosted an event in San Francisco. There they announced a new iPad, as well as additional Apple products. Check out the article from @Wired included below–
The fifth-generation iPad is here and it is thin. The leaked images, videos and specs we’ve been seeing for months mostly proved true. Apple’s latest tablet isn’t just “the new iPad.” It’s the iPad Air.
The iPad Air is 20 percent thinner than its predecessor, at 7.5mm. Apple also managed to reduce its heft; the tablet weighs only 1 pound (0.4 pounds less than the fourth-gen model) making it the lightest, full-size tablet currently available. The new name reflects the multitude of hardware changes the tablet underwent, according to Apple’s Phil Schiller.
As expected, it shares the same look as the iPad mini, with an aluminum rear plate rounded gently at the edge and a shiny metallic bezel along the rim of the glass-fronted 2048 x 1536 resolution Retina display. You’ll see the same FaceTime camera on front and the rear-facing 5 megapixel shooter, both improved with the new processor. Dual microphones also make an appearance for the first time on the tablet.
The latest iPad also has an upgraded 64-bit A7 processor, which just launched in the iPhone 5s, along with the M7 motion processor. It has 8x faster performance and 72x faster graphics performance, according to the company. Apple says the iPad Air will maintain the 10 hours of battery life its predecessor had.
The iPad Air will be available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB models. It will come in two colors: White/Silver and Space Gray/Black. Pricing starts at $500 for the Wi-Fi-only version and $629 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. It will be available November 1.
iPad mini with Retina
The iPad mini has been a sweeping success since its launch last year. Still, Apple’s popular tablet has had one glaring omission from the start: a Retina display. That changed at Apple’s San Francisco event today with the introduction of a new high-res version of the 7.9-inch tablet.
“The one most requested feature to add to iPad mini was a beautiful Retina display, and that’s what we’re going to do today,” Phil Schiller said at the event.
The new mini now comes with a 2048 x 1536 resolution screen, the same as on the iPad Air. That brings it in line with the rest of Apple’s Retina-displayed devices, and more importantly, with other tablets like the Nexus 7. Internally, it received the latest A7 chip to match the iPhone 5S and iPad Air, making it up to 4x faster at CPU tasks and 8x faster at graphics tasks. As for colors, it comes in the White/Silver and Space Gray. Apple has been able to maintain the iPad mini’s 10 hours of battery life, despite the power-heavy display.
The iPad mini with Retina will start at $399. The original iPad mini will also still be available for purchase at $299. ($30 less than the original price, and $100 less than the iPad Mini with Retina Display.) Apple did not give pre-order or release date details, only saying that it would be available “later in November.”
MacBook Pro and MacBook Pro with Retina
As anticipated, Apple upgraded its high-end MacBook Pro with the latest Intel Haswell processor, boosting battery life to between 8 and 9 hours and improving graphics. Both the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Pro with Retina got the refresh, and will be available starting today for $1,299 and $1,999, respectively.
The new MacBook Pros don’t come with the same “all-day battery life” as their thinner and lighter counterpart, the MacBook Air. But Intel’s fourth-generation processor still gives them an impressive battery boost. The 13-inch model gets up to 9 hours and the 15-inch model gets 8 hours. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is also lighter and thinner than its predecessor at 3.46 pounds and .71-inches thick.
Thanks to the improved graphics technology, the MacBook Pros now get twice the 3-D performance at a 45-percent faster rate, according to the company. Apple also added 802.11ac WiFi and Thunderbolt 2 ports, matching the feature in the MacBook Air.
“Our competition is different. They’re confused. They chased after netbooks,” Cook said at the event. Now they’re trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs. Who knows what they will do next?”
Today, Apple announced that the new Mac Pro will be available in December starting at $2,999 with a 3.7GHz quad-core Xeon, 12GB RAM, dual FirePro D300s, and 256GB SSD.
“It is a computer that packs an incredible amount of power into one-eighth the volume of the previous model,” Schiller said at the event. “It is our vision of the future of the pro desktop.”
To refresh your memory, since June, we’ve been waiting for the cylindrical Mac Pro. We’ve known that Apple’s next-generation Mac Pro desktop would not only look different, but also come packed with insane amounts of power, including a Intel Xeon E5 CPU with up to a dozen cores, a pair of AMD FirePro graphics cards, super-fast solid-state storage drives, and a half-dozen Thunderbolt 2 ports.
Schiller emphasized how quiet the Mac Pro will be (as quiet as a Mac mini), and how it uses 70-percent less energy than the last version. Also of note: The Mac Pro will be assembled in the United States. There’s no word on pre-orders quite yet.
OS X Mavericks
Apple took the opportunity to show off more its new desktop operating system, Mavericks, which will be available today for free. At Tuesday’s event, the company went over some of the best features again. “One of our biggest ambitions with Mavericks was to fundamentally upgrade your hardware,” Craig Federighi said at the event before delving into new features.
Thanks to Mavericks, you’ll get up to an hour longer of web browsing. A new feature called Compressed Memory keeps the OS running smoothly and can instantly compress inactive data, allowing you to fit more on your computer’s memory. Graphics also get an upgrade with the new OS — the integrated graphics now supports OpenCL and can also allocate more or less memory to the integrated GPU depending on what activities you’re performing.
Some of the apps in Mavericks also get some improvements, including Safari, Pages, and Calendar. There’s also a new Maps app and iBooks for Mac. For more on OS X, check out our post on how to use Mavericks.
But of course the most surprising announcement had to do with price. “Today we announce a new era for the Mac, because today, we’re announcing that Mavericks is free,” Federighi said. This applies to every single version of the OS, no matter what version you’re running. You can download it today.
Eddie Cue took the stage to go over a number of app updates, most of which centered around the company’s iLife and iWork suites.
Apple’s iPhoto gets a somewhat newer look on the iPad, thanks to 64-bit rejuvenation, according to Cue. The iPad now also has the Photobook creation feature. iMovie also got a redesign on iOS, and is much more focused on editing. A new feature called iMovie Theater lets you store movies and trailers in one place, backed up by iCloud.
The company put a lot of focus on a new GarageBand for iOS 7 as well. It has a new look and features — like Drummer — to choose from. Each of these app updates is available today, and will be free for those who purchase a new Mac.
iWork now has full file compatibility, meaning you can open files across various devices and on the web. The whole suite went through the largest revamp to date, according to Cue. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote have new features like animations and context-sensitive formats. iWork for iCloud Beta will now let users collaborate on the same document. iLife and iWork will be free and available to download, starting today.
Like every other event, Apple took some time to brag about sales numbers.
First off, it revealed that the company sold 9 million iPhones in the weekend after launch, making it the biggest iPhone launch to date. There was no breakdown between iPhone 5c and 5s sales, unfortunately. But that was probably for a good reason. Just five days after their launch, Apple also said there were 200 million devices running iOS 7.
The company also shared that iTunes Radio has more than 20 million listeners who have listened to more than 1 billion songs. The App Store is also growing with more than 1,000,000 apps. Users have downloaded more than 60 billion of them, according to Apple.
Most impressive, however, were iPad numbers. Apple has sold 170 million total iPads. “iPad is used more than any of the rest, and not just a little more…a lot more,” Tim Cook said. “iPad is used over four times more than all of those other tablets put together. And this is what’s important to us.”
What do you think of this announcement? Is there anything in particular you are excited for? Let us know in the comments section below, or on Twitter/Facebook.