Apple Announcement Overview

The Apple event was held today and there were several updates announced. We're going to go through the list: 

Software

To little surprise, Apple released OSX Mavericks, which is version 10.9. They demoed quite a few interesting features on stage. Like quick replying to messages when a notification appears, to tagging files, and they even mentioned power management improvements which could lengthen the battery on some MacBooks. Also they announced other tweaks to performance which would speed up day-to-day usage.

The surprise was that, unlike previous releases, Mavericks will be free to all. 

They also demoed iWork, which is Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. The main focus was on Pages and the new iCloud collaboration that you can use. This is free (when you purchase a new Mac or iOS device).

The showed new iLife applications, focusing on Garageband. They showed a new Drummer feature which creatures a drum track to compliment your music. This was actually very impressive. iLife was announced to be free as well (when you purchase a new Mac or iOS device).

Sadly, this was where the free meme stopped. 

MacBook Pro

It seems that Apple is moving away from non-retina pros. Only upgrading the two retina MacBooks.  While you can still buy an older 13 inch non-retina Macbook Pro on Apple.com, you can see they are edging away from that.

The 13-inch Pro model (starts at $1299)

  • Retina display
  • 3.64 pounds
  • 4th generation Intel Haswell processor
  • Intel Iris graphics card,
  • 9 hours of battery life

The 15-inch Pro model (starts at $1999)

  • Retina display
  • choice between integrated Intel Iris Pro graphics chip or a GeForce GT 750M. 
  • 8 hours of battery life
  • 4th generation Intel Haswell processor

Mac Pro

Video professionals should be happy. The Mac Pro has a lot of powerful options, although the Apple Store doesn't list them yet.  The starting price is $2999 the Quad-Core version. $3999 for the six-core version. The other versions are not yet listed as of now. The Mac Pro will be released in December. Being that there are many different configuration, I'll just list the processors:

  • Intel Xeon E5 chip with a Quad, 6, 8, or 12-core CPU chips

Check Apple.com for more configuration options and specs.

iPad

Despite some rumors, there is no fingerprint reader. The 9.7 inch iPad is thinner with a smaller bezel. It is only one pound, which is .4 pounds lighter than the previous iPad. 

The iPad Mini will get a retina display at the same resolution than the 9.7 inch iPad Air. This is the best 7 inch-range screen resolution available.

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iPad Air - replaces current 9.7 inch iPads - starts at $499

  • Retina display
  • 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
  • 2048-by-1536 resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion coprocessor
  • 5MP iSight camera, 1080p video, 1.2MP FaceTime Camera

iPad Mini with retina display - starts at $399

  • Retina display
  • 7.9-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
  • 2048-by-1536 resolution at 326 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion coprocessor
  • 5MP iSight camera, 1080p video, 1.2MP FaceTime Camera

They will be keeping the iPad Mini (original) available for purchase with a price reduction. Bringing it to $299.

Instead of using one of the more recent iPads, Apple is only offering the iPad 2 for purchase as a cheaper full-sized iPad. At $399 the iPad 2 is not worth it. I don't know why they didn't offer at least the old retina iPad.

Final Impressions

To me, the most exciting thing about the event was making Mavericks a free upgrade and also the Macbook Pro upgrades. The retina 13-inch Macbook Pro being $1299 was a big enough price drop that I became interested in it.

The iPad Air, while it's performance is greatly improved, didn't really make me want to go buy it as soon as it's released. Also, the $399 price point of the iPad mini with retina display was disappointing.