Where do I even begin?
The first thing that completely surprised me, Mavericks is free.
No £21 upgrade as before. You get the improved performance, longer battery, new apps, improved features, all for £0.00.
Incredible. And incredibly aggressive for the competitors. The upgrade is currently downloading, so if Apple servers hold, I should be upgraded within the hour.
Their iLife and iWork suite all got overhauled into 64-Bit territory, with all new features yet to be discovered, but it was way overdue for these apps to get the fresh lick of paint it needed, especially for better integration with iCloud and improved themes, but i’m sure that’s just the start of the improvements.
iWork finally got collaboration that Google Docs has had for a fair few years, and it’s a welcome feature that is surely to be used more as time passes.
Then once again, the ‘free’ word appeared. Only for new Mac and iOS devices, but still, for what Apple was featuring, it’s another aggressive, impressive move towards Microsoft’s Office 365 subscription. I’ve yet to meet a person who pays good money for that.
Moving onto hardware, Macbooks finally got their due, with upgrades to the Intel Haswell architecture, bringing the much improved battery life to the retina models. The new graphics architecture of ‘Iris’ was unvieled to the models. A quick look on Apple’s refreshed store, the lower end 15 inch model, and all the retina 13 inch models, lack a dedicated Nvidia card, which is sure to raise some eyebrows.
Only one Macbook Pro of the previous generation remains, with no upgrades given at all to it. I can see the next 6 to 12 months of them featuring an all-retina showcase of Macbooks, the Air included.
The Mac Pro, which looks like the size of a large tin of a Coca Cola brand you’d only remember from the mid 1990’s, is a monster of a machine. Featuring processors that haven’t been released to other manufacturers yet, they are sure to be the high end professional’s model of choice, but the price of £2100 is sure to convince the casual buyers to look at a retina Macbook model.
Finally, we get to the main event. The iPad Mini finally, got the retina display. I’m of the group that finds a non-retina screen incredibly jarring, whether it be on a 3 inch display, right up to the iPad 2’s display. Of note, I’m completely puzzled as to why it’s still on sale. Surely the iPad 3 could have been the cheaper-to-buy model, with the line up featuring an almost-all retina line-up barring the £249 iPad Mini 1st generation? Perhaps this will change for the better next October.
The iPad Air is a smart name first of all. Light at one pound, and having a bezel that now resembles the iPad Mini, with the A7 chip inside, is surely to rival even the Playstation Vita of what it can now achieve for games in the coming year.
But the lack of Touch ID was a surprise. I was half-expecting an ‘iPad Pro’ model to appear with the sensor and an A7x chip to boot, but alas it never came.
Right now it’s the period where Apple is about to ramp up Mavericks’ release on the App Store, and countless hands-on and reviews of all the announced apps and hardware is sure to cover the press for the next couple of months.
It was an incredible feat of bringing all the apps up to date with one another for iOS 7, and also using the performance given from Mavericks for their desktop counterparts.
I’m looking forward to trying out Mavericks, and finally seeing if an iPad Mini Retina will be the consumers’ point of sale.
Bring on the close to 2013.