Yesterday Apple made its second big announcement for the fall. Following the launch of iOS 7 and the iPhone 5s and 5c last month, Apple has been busy updating its iPad and MacBook Pro lines as well as working on Mavericks, its update to the OS X operating system for Mac computers. Updates apps round out the announcements from yesterday’s Apple event, bringing added features to old and new devices.
Apple shared news of its success with over 170 million iPads sold to date. The iPad has 81% total usage share vs. 19% for other tablets and is first in customer satisfaction. Apple also revealed that it has sold over 170 million iPads so far and now offers over 475,000 iPad apps in iTunes App Store.
Apple announced updates to both the 9.7″ full-sized iPad and the 7.9″ iPad Mini.
The new iPad has been so radically designed that it now sports a new name: iPad Air. As the name implies, the new iPad is thinner and lighter than the previous models. Apple accomplished this task in part by shaving the bezel down to make it 43% thinner than before.
The iPad Air is 7.5 mm thin, 20% thinner than the previous iPads, and weighs less, 1.0 lb vs. 1.4 lb of the previous generation. During yesterday’s meeting Tim Cook said that the iPad Air is the lightest full-sized tablet in the world.
Apple made the new iPad more power-efficient so its battery size could be smaller, saving space and weight. Although the battery is smaller, the battery life of the tablet remains at 10 hours.
The iPad Air is more powerful than its ancestors, using an A7 chip, the same chip that’s in the iPhone 5s. The Air also mirrors the iPhone 5s by using a M7 motion co-processor. Apple pointed out that the iPad Air is 8x faster than original iPad and 72x faster for graphics.
The iPad Air comes with MIMO (multiple-in, multiple-out), a faster Wi-Fi connection using multiple antennae for twice the connection speed. The Air also brings expanded LTE coverage throughout the world.
The front and rear cameras of the iPad Air have been improved. The Air comes with dual microphones for better sound recording (and a better chance for Siri to understand you).
The iPad Air is available from the Apple Store in Silver or Space Gray:
- 16 GB $499
- 32 GB $599
- 64 GB $699
- 128 GB $799
Wi-Fi + LTE
- 16 GB $629
- 32 GB $729
- 64 GB $829
- 128 GB $929
Apple expects to begin shipping the iPad Air November 1 in dozens of countries including China. The iPad 2 will still be sold at $399 for 16 GB Wi-Fi only.
The 7.9″ iPad Mini launched last year is now being updated to include a Retina display and the A7 chip. The new Mini has 8x faster graphics and retains a 10 hour battery life. Like its bigger sibling, the new Mini has MIMO for faster Wi-Fi connections and expanded LTE coverage. The front and rear cameras have been improved over the previous generation Mini.
The iPad Mini is available from the Apple Store in Silver or Space Gray:
- 16 GB $399
- 32 GB $499
- 64 GB $599
- 128 GB $699
Wi-Fi + LTE
- 16 GB $529
- 32 GB $629
- 64 GB $729
- 128 GB $829
Apple will continue to sell original iPad Mini at $299 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi only model.
Apple introduced new smart cases and covers for the iPad Air and iPad Mini beginning at $39.
The MacBook Pro line has been updated with lighter and thinner models. The 13″ MacBook Pro weighs 3.46 lbs. and is 0.71 in. thin. The Pro has updated chips for faster speeds and better performance and gets up to 9 hours of battery life for the 13″ and 8 hours for the 15″ model.
The 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina display begins at $1299, $200 less than the previous model. the 15″ model with Retina display starts at $1999, also $200 less than its predecessor. Both models are for sale now.
Mavericks OS X, introduced at WWDC, Apple’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference, is the update to the Mac operating system and brings added features and new apps to your Mac computer. Even if you’re not getting a new computer, you can improve the performance of your existing computer by downloading Mavericks.
The good news is that Mavericks is free, unlike previous OS updates when Apple charged for the update.
Mavericks improves the power efficiency of your laptop to give it a longer battery life. For example, a 13″ 2013 MacBook Air has one hour longer battery life using Mavericks. By using data and graphics more efficiently, Mavericks can help your computer run much faster than before. You’ll be able to run more apps simultaneously without putting a strain on your system.
But Mavericks has more to offer beyond what’s under the hood of your computer. With the new operating system you’ll be able to use Shared Links on Safari to see links that your friends have shared on social media. You can search your Shared Links and read articles in a Reader view where you can scroll through multiple articles without having to close and open each one.
You can use iMessage as a pop-up app without blocking other windows you have open.
Finder now has tags to help you organize and find documents, photos, music and other information more easily on your computer and in iCloud. You can add multiple tags to documents.
Apple Maps and iBooks come to Macs so you can view your maps, iBooks and digital textbooks on your larger computer screen in addition to your iDevices. You can use gestures on your track pad to maneuver around Maps and iBooks and use features similar to how you use them on mobile devices. You can play videos embedded in iBooks on your computer and send directions from Maps on your computer to your iDevice. iBooks works with Pages, Apple’s word processing app, so you can easily copy citations from your iBook into a document.
You can also get notifications from websites on your computer similar to how you get notifications from apps on your iDevice. With Keychain, you can save your payment information, passwords and user names across multiple devices.
Apple has a new calendar app that can extract information such as time, date and location from emails and set calendar entries for you directly from the email. You can access Maps from within your calendar and find out how long you will have to travel between appointments. You can set an alert for your computer and iDevice for when you have to leave to make it to your appointment on time.
To update to Mavericks, visit the App Store on your Mac and download the update for free. The update is available for Macs dating back to 2007, even if you haven’t done incremental upgrades.
Apple has updated its suites of apps for Macs and made iLife and iWork free with the purchase of new computers. Over 20 apps updated have been updated by Apple and are available today.
iPhoto, iMovie and Garage Band, also known as the iLife suite of apps, have been updated to work interchangeably between Mavericks and iOS 7. iPhoto has a new look both on iOS 7 and on Mavericks. You can create photo books and edit them on your computer or your iPad. You can have your photo books printed by Apple and sent to you.
iMovie has been redesigned to make it easier to use. You can edit movies on your iPad, iPhone and Mac to include special effects such as slow motion and picture-in-picture. iMovie also introduces a Theater feature that combines your videos so you can access them from one library across all of your iDevices, Mac computers and AppleTV.
Garage Band has been updated so you can add up to 32 tracks for a single song. Garage Band adds Drummer Track that gives you a virtual drummer you can control for your music. You can add the drummer, control the percussion, the type of drums he plays on and the mallets he uses. “Drummer is powered by performances of some of the best drummers in the world,” according to Apple. You can have 15 different drummers with a single in-app purchase. You can experiment with Drummer until you find a drummer combination that works with your song.
Here’s a demonstration of a Garage Band Drummer track:
The iWork apps, Pages, Numbers and Keynote, have also been updated with new features. The updated apps bring compatibility between Macs and iOS devices so you can open, create and edit a document on any iDevice or Mac.
The apps have a new look and feel designed to make them more powerful but easier to use. For example, in Pages editing tools are displayed based on the content you are creating so you only see the tools that you would need.
Sharing documents is made easier using email and links in iCloud. You can send a document to others using a link in email directly from Pages but the recipients don’t need Pages or iCloud to open the link and read or edit the document.
The updated Keynote app includes new effects and animations. Apple demonstrated Keynote by running its presentation using the app. Keynote has updated transitions with more choices and more realistic physics and the new control panel provides more style choices.
iWork apps now offer collaboration so two people can edit a document simultaneously and see changes in real time. Collaboration can occur across iDevices, Macs and PC’s so people can edit documents on different devices and different platforms.
Are you excited about all of the news from Apple? Which news is the most interesting to you? Have you updated to Mavericks yet? Which features do you wish were announced? Let us know in the Comments section below!