We all get pretty excited when Apple makes new product announcements and yesterday wasn’t any different. This may go down as one of their more epic announcements days, ever.
The live stream of the event lasted almost an hour and a half and there’s a ton of info to share, so we’ll cut to the chase and give you high-level updates that may impact your world.
In usual Apple style, the company started the announcement with a simple but elegant video about design. The video drove home the point that no one designs products better than Apple. And in our opinion, they really have the products to back that claim up this time.
After the video concluded, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, talked about values and shared information from the iPhone 5C/5S and iOS7 announcements from last month. Here are two things that really stood out:
- Through the first weekend of the new iPhone(s) announcement, the company sold 9 million units making it the most successful iPhone launch, ever.
- There have been 200 million iOS7 updates, meaning 64% of all iOS users are running the new operating system.
After a look at the recent past, Apple introduced new stuff. The first on the list was the new desktop operating system going by the name, OSX Mavericks. This new OS changes the game pretty drastically by providing better power efficiencies including: 1 hour longer web browsing and 1.5 longer Apple video viewing. Plus, there’s deeper integration with such things as the calendar and maps. So, if you make an appointment and use an address in your calendar, it’ll provide you with directions and even add travel time into your schedule. Another cool thing: There are now tags built into the finder so you can keep better organized. But, the best news of all is the new OS is free and available today. What more could you ask for?
After the OSX Mavericks announcement, Apple dived head first into the hardware side of things. First stop was the MacBook Pro line. The two popular models including the 13-inch and 15-inch now both have a Retina display and are faster with longer battery life.
Bypassing the geeky info about what’s inside, here’s the important information about purchasing these bad boys. The MacBook Pro 13-inch will start at $1,299 and the 15-inch at $1,999. Both laptops are shipping today.
Next on the agenda was the much anticipated Mac Pro. This is a product that Apple is calling the future of the pro desktop. To see an incredible overview and slick presentation, visit the Apple site and be prepared to be amazed. Targeted to computing power hungry professionals such as movie makers, photo journalists and music producers, the Mac Pro is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. If we shared all the specifications, your head might explode.
The Mac Pro will be available in December with a starting price of $2,999.
After a few hardware announcements, we jumped into the wonderful world of apps. First was an update to iLife, which includes iPhoto, iMovie and Garage Band. One of the biggest improvements overall is the fact that they now support 64 bit and are integrated with iCloud. And because of the popularity of iOS devices like the iPad and iPhone, there’s more functionality for these mobile devices that were previously only available on a desktop. Some of the top-line highlights of the individual apps include:
- iPhoto – A great new layout and the availability of photo books directly from the iPad.
- iMovie – Brings features to the iPad that were only previously available on a desktop. This new version of iMove also includes iMovie Theater which allows you to access your movies on all your devices with iCloud.
- Garage Band – The new version allows you to start a song on your iPad or iPhone and bring it into iCloud. It also has a new feature called Drummer that adds various drum lines to your songs with the direction you give it. Drummer is inspired by some of the best session players available.
These are all free with the purchase of any new OSX or iOS devices.
Another huge software update came to Apple’s iWork suite, which is comprised of Pages, Numbers and Keynote. All three have been updated for iOS and OSX, with Apple stating that these updates are the biggest since their original introduction. The new iWork suite features full-file compatibility and supports 64-bit. Specific updates to the individual apps include:
- Pages – For the new version of Pages, Apple has included a context-sensitive side panel that gives you varied controls based on the text you’ve selected in the document.
- Numbers – The latest update now allows users to create spreadsheets with a new free object-based design. This allows charts and graphs to be interactive so changes can be seen more easily.
- Keynote – This popular presentation app has also been updated with new effects and animations. The presentation we viewed on the live stream was actually run on the latest version of Keynote.
Another huge update to iWork is the ease of sharing documents and the collaboration ability. With this update, you can now work on the same document at the same time via iWork for iCloud. Documents can also be shared via iCloud, allowing users to email a link and have someone else view the document in iWork for iCloud on a Mac or PC.
Just like the iLife suite, these are all free with the purchase of any new OSX or iOS devices.
Last but certainly not least, they saved the new iPad to end the presentation. The iPad, launched three and half years ago, has been one of the most successful products ever for Apple. Earlier this month, Apple hit 170 million iPads sold and they also revealed that four times more people use the iPad compared to any other tablet sold.
Tim Cook was teasing the audience as he introduced a video to show the innovative ways customers are using their iPads. And then it came…
The iPad Air!
This next generation of iPad is Apple’s biggest step yet. It’s lighter coming in at 1 pound, and thinner by almost 2 mm. They also reduced the bezel size by an astonishing 43%.
And, compared to the iPad 2, the new iPad Air is up to two times faster in both CPU performance and graphics speed. This means you’ll have the most powerful tablet on the market if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one when they’re released November 1. But that wasn’t all Apple had to announce with the iPad family of products.
The iPad mini got an upgrade too with the introduction of a Retina display and 4X and 8X fast in CPU performance and graphics power respectively. Plus, they’re keeping the iPad2 and original iPad mini on the line and reducing the prices.
So now, you’ll have the above starting prices for all four iPads in the line with the new iPad Air and iPad mini shipping on November 1.
Well there you have it. A ton of new updates and products from Apple. We hope you enjoyed this recap and would love to hear what you thought of the announcements. Share away in the comments below.