Apple unveils iPad Air, Retina iPad mini, MacBook Pros & OS X Mavericks

Macworld Australia Staff
23 October, 2013
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Apple has unveiled a series of updates across its Mac and iOS range at a media event in San Francisco on October 22, revealing a new iPad Air, a Retina display iPad mini, OS X Mavericks and the new Mac Pro.

Speaking at the Yerba Buena Centre, the company also squeezed in a new MacBook Pro lineup and redesigned iLife and iWork applications.

Apple CEO Tim Cook opened this morning’s event in his traditional method: beginning with a series of updates on the company’s recently released iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c.

Highlighting the significance of September’s iPhone launch, Cook confirmed it was  “the biggest launch iPhone launch ever” with over nine million iPhones sold in the opening weekend.

Accompanying the iPhone in September was iOS 7 and, according to Cook, it was the biggest and fastest software upgrade in history, with 200 million devices running the mobile operating system in five days.

The App Store, which has provided over 60 billion app downloads, continues to grow in size and scope, Cook said at the beginning of the event, with developers earning over US$13 billion since its beginning.

 

iPad Air

Apple has unveiled a new tablet, the iPad Air. The new tablet replaces the full-size, 9.7in iPad in the company’s tablet range in a new thinner, lighter package.

The new tablet is surrounded by a 43 percent smaller bezel and powered by the A7 chip revealed in September in the iPhone 5s. It features a M7 coprocessor, 5MP iSight camera, new FaceTime HD camera and dual microphones.

Apple believes the iPad Air is up to 72 times faster in graphics performance than the original iPad and offers up to twice as fast CPU and graphic performance when compared to the fourth-generation iPad.

The iPad Air, available on 1 November, maintains the 10-hour battery life and begins at $598 for the 16GB, Wi-Fi model.

The 32GB, Wi-Fi model is $699, the 64GB model is $799 and the 128GB version is $899.

The cellular versions start at $749 the 16GB model, $849 for the 32GB model, $949 for the 64GB model and $1049 for the 128GB model.

Apple has continued the iPad 2 at $449 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $598 for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model.

READ MORE ON THE iPAD AIR HERE.

 

iPad mini with Retina display

The biggest issue with the first-generation iPad mini according to many users was the lack of Retina display and internal hardware.

Apple has been listening, with the second-generation iPad mini featuring a 7.9in, 2048 x 1536 pixel display and a 64-bit A7 chip.

The spec-bump means the second-generation device is up to four times faster at CPU tasks and up to eight times faster at graphics tasks than its first-generation counterpart.

Also available in November, the tablet has a 10-hour battery life, improved LTE support, iSight camera and FaceTime HD camera.

Apple has kept the original iPad mini, and like the iPad 2, lowered the price to $349 16GB Wi-Fi model and $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi models begin at $479 for the 16GB model, $598 for the 32GB model, $699 for the 64GB model and $799 for the 128GB model.

iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi + Cellular models will be available at $629 for the 16GB model, $749 for the 32GB model, $849 for the 64GB model and $949 for the 128GB model.

 READ MORE ON THE NEW iPAD MINI HERE.

 

OS X Mavericks

First shown off at WWDC mid-year, Apple’s latest Mac operating system OS X Mavericks is available as a free download from the Mac App Store.

Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi took to the stage to show off the new system, and announced the software team were focused on three areas in OS X 10.9: core technologies, features and new apps.

“One of the biggest missions with Mavericks was to get more charge out of battery, more out of your memory and higher performance out of GPU,” Federighi said.

The software chief believes OS X Mavericks will provide up to an hour of extra web browsing on a 13in MacBook Air and up to 1.5 hours of extra iTunes video.

OS X Mavericks is also smarter when it comes to integrated graphics, with the system being able to allocate different amounts of RAM to the GPU if required.

There are a number of new features for the operating system also, with Shared Links in Safari, enhanced notifications to let you respond in the notification, tags in the Finder and big improvements to handling for multiple displays.

READ MORE ON OS X MAVERICKS HERE.

 

MacBook Pro

Apple has updated both the 13in and 15in MacBook Pros this morning, releasing thinner, lighter and cheaper laptops with extended battery life.

The new 15in MacBook Pro features an Intel ‘Crystalwell’ chip, up to eight hours of battery life, PCIe-based Flash, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Thunderbolt 2 starting at $2499.

The $2499, 15in MacBook Pro is available with a 2.0 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.2 GHz, 8GB of memory, 256GB of flash storage and Intel Iris Pro graphics.

A $3199 version features a 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.5 GHz, 16GB of memory, 512GB of flash storage, and Intel Iris Pro and NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M graphics.

The 13in MacBook Pro includes a slightly longer battery life of up to nine hours and also 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a Thunderbolt 2 port.

The $1599, 13in MacBook Pro is available with a 2.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.9 GHz, 4GB of memory, 128GB of flash storage, and Intel Iris graphics.

A 2.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.9 GHz, 8GB of memory, 256GB of flash storage and Intel Iris graphics starts at $1849 and top-of-the-line version features a 2.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory, 512GB of flash storage, and Intel Iris graphics starts at $2199.

READ MORE ON THE MACBOOK PROS HERE.

 

Mac Pro

Apple’s top-of-the-line Mac, the Mac Pro, will ship in December according to Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller.

The new-generation Mac, which is being assembled in the US, is packed full of high-performance features, including the fastest processor ever put in a Mac – the next-generation Xeon E5.

Inside the Mac Pro is the fastest ECC memory ever in a Mac, dual workstation graphics, AMD FirePro graphics, fast buses, up to 128GB of VRAM, over half a terabyte of bandwidth and up to seven teraflops of computing power in a package an eighth the size of the previous version.

Apple also cut the number of fans in the previous Mac Pro down from eight to one in the new edition, making the powerhouse computer as quiet as a Mac mini.

The Mac has a number of Thunderbolt 2, 20GB/s ports, is compatible with three 4K displays and utilises PCI-e based Flash that is 10 times faster than a hard drive.

The Mac Pro is 70 percent more power efficient than the previous generation and begins at $3999 in Australia.

The $3999 Mac Pro is available with a 3.7 GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.9 GHz, dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs with 2GB of VRAM each, 12GB of memory and 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage.

The $5299 Mac Pro is available with a 3.5 GHz 6-core Intel Xeon E5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.9 GHz, dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs with 3GB of VRAM each, 16GB of memory and 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage.

 READ MORE ON THE MAC PRO HERE.

 

iLife and iWork

Moving away from the Mac, Apple announced brand new versions of iLife and iWork for Mac and iOS devices for free.

The company revealed new editions of iPhoto, iMovie and Garage Band for iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks.

iPhoto has received a speed bump thanks to 64-bit performance, a new, clean look in iOS and Photo Books has moved from the Mac to the iPad as well.

The new version of iMovie has a number of new features also. Apple has completely redesigned the software with iOS 7 in mind. According to Apple, it is now easier to browse and share your videos with family and friends.

Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services, Eddy Cue announced a new feature at this morning’s event called iMovie Theater. The feature puts all your movies, trailers and shared clips in one location. When you create a movie on your iPhone, it’s available across all your devices via iCloud.

Garage Band has got a new look in iOS 7 also, moving from eight tracks to 16 tracks for 32-bit devices or 32 tracks for 64-bit devices (iPhone 5s).

In the iWork range, Apple has redesigned Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iOS 7 and OS X, with full file compatibility across all devices or platforms and multi-user collaboration via iWork for iCloud.

READ MORE ON iWORK AND iLIFE HERE. 

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