23 October 2013 | Team Tamar

Apple’s October “Special Event” Recap – New Mac Pros, MacBook Pros and thinner iPads!

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Apple’s price comparison of their new and updated iPad range.

With Christmas coming up thick and fast, Apple are trying to push out as many updates to their devices as possible to put them in good standing for this year’s Christmas present rush. Here’s a quick recap of yesterday’s launch event..

Hardware improvements

All of the “major” Apple hardware has been upgraded for the Christmas rush, with the Mac Pro, Macbook Pro and iPad product ranges all receiving updates. The most drastic being the complete redesign of the new (sexy looking) cylindrical Mac Pro.

While the Mac Pro has received a massive update, mainly aesthetically, the 13” and 15” Macbook Pro models have been upgraded with retina displays, providing the same crisp and clear display that the new iPhone and iPad models have.

According to Phil Schiller, the new iPad Air is “Thinner, lighter and more powerful than ever before.” Well, the weight of the new iPad Air definitely stands out above the rest, weighing just ONE pound which makes it the “lightest full sized tablet in the world”.

Both the iPad Air and the new iPad Mini boast more memory, better cameras, faster CPUs and better battery life at 10 hours.

New software & apps!

With the new ranges of hardware comes an updated range of software, predominantly for the non-handheld devices, most notably being Apple’s new Operating System – OSX Mavericks. Boasting updates across the board to both the iLife and iWork packages, the guys at Apple have changed their user interface for the applications.

Craig Federighi demoed a few features across both packages. iBooks is now an available app across all mac devices, allowing them to be accessed wherever and whenever. Apple’s Maps, Calendar and Safari applications have also seen updates, with locations and travel times being integrated with Calendars and Safari having new social integration.

Tabs and tags are now implemented within the Finder interface, allowing users to have multiple Finder tabs open at once for different folders and drives. Users are now also able to tag their files, giving them custom categories that users can group under, bringing similar photos, documents and reports together.

iMovie and Garageband have had minor updates too, with trailers, films and clips being available on all devices with iMovie and the new Virtual Drummer feature being tested by their own drummer, dubbed “Kyle”.

Craig and Eddie also had a bit of banter when it came to showing off their new ability to share and edit documents with colleagues, saying that “You can now share with a friend who’s stuck on a PC” – little pop at Microsoft I see Apple?

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Apple making updates to both OSX Mavericks and Apple’s business software free of charge.

“Revolutionising pricing”

While the hardware may still be overpriced for some, Apple have really stepped up their game in terms of how their software is priced. Upgrading to OSX Mavericks? Free. Upgrading your version of iLife or iWork? Free. Apple have really tried to step it up to compete with the likes of Microsoft’s Windows, providing free updates for their new operating system and admitting their aim of “revolutionising pricing”.

The starting prices for the devices are fairly standard across the board. The iPad Air and the new iPad Mini come in at $499 and $399 respectively. Starting prices for the Macbook Pros are $1299 for the 13” model and $1999 for the 15” model. The new Mac Pro still comes in at a whopping $2999 starting price, so it’s still being targeted at the elite graphic and video editors out there.

Smart covers are Apple’s attempt to create a slimmer case for the iPad Air. Apparently, getting a case in red for your iPad is now a big thing.

To wrap it up then…

To show how thin their new iPad Air and iPad Mini models were, the event finished on a short film, displaying how thin the new iPads are. At least saying that your device can’t be seen behind a pencil on a surface is a unique selling point for sure!

No iWatch unfortunately for the time being though…

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Team Tamar