Apple Event Round Up : The 8 Most Important Things Apple Announced
On Thursday, Apple held its second product release event in six weeks. The 90-minute event at Apple’s headquarters here was a sombre affair compared to the mega-launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple Watch and Apple Pay. This time the news was expected, however, Apple plenty of new hardware and software during the event.
The company added to its product line the two new iPads, a 27-inch iMac with eye-popping Retina display, and OS X Yosemite, Apple’s latest desktop operating system. The iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 and the devices will go on sale later next week in 29 countries (India is not on the list) while pre-orders open online today.
We are listing the important highlights of the event that will take considerably less time than it will take you to re-watch the event:
1. The New iPad Air is Skinnier Than Ever
Apple has relied on its time-tested strategy for updating a offering – make them thinner. The new device is only 6.1 mm thick, thinner than the new iPhones by almost 1mm. As expected, it is powered by the new Intel A8x Chip, a 2nd gen 64 bit architecture, which is 12 times faster than the current one. Apple claims that graphics performance of the new iPad Air 2 is 180 times faster, which gives console like gaming experience on the iPad Air 2. The tablets will feature a fingerprint scanner similar to the one found in the latest iPhones. The sensor enables people to use a fingerprint instead of a passcode to unlock the device, also can be used to make purchases using Apple Pay.
The new iPad Air 2 houses the 8MP iSight camera on the back with a f/2.4 aperture and supports HD video recording. Along with that, there is a front camera which features a new face time HD camera, burst selfie, slo-mo and more. The iPad Air 2 runs on the latest iOS 8.1 and features a LCD layer on the display and an anti reflective coating, reducing reflection by upto 56 per cent. The iPads are priced starting $499 (16GB). The 64GB version is available for $599 and the 128GB for $699.
2. There added a iPad Mini too, with Touch ID
Apple confirmed the third generation iPad Mini featuring the new Touch ID fingerprint sensor during the event. iPad mini 3’s screen is at 7.9-inches with a 2048×1536 resolution at 326 pixels per inch (ppi). Apart from the Touch ID, it has the same Retina display with an aluminum coating at the back. It will be available in gold, gray and silver colour variants.
It features a 5 megapixel iSight camera and a FaceTime HD camera. The camera carries the iOS8 features such as time-lapse and panorama. This iPad features dual microphones, on the front and back. Instinctively, when you switch cameras from front to back (or vice versa), the microphones switch, too. The price starts at $399 (Rs. 24,574 approx.) for 16GB in Wi-Fi only, while the 128GB + LTE model will cost $729. Pre-orders start tomorrow and shipping starts by the end of next week.
3. Apple Pay Will go Live on Monday (Only in the USA)
Apple confirmed it will begin rolling out the service next week on 20th October i.e. on Monday. Apple’s payment system allows people to bump their phones to pay for items in the 220,000 stores that have NFC (near-field communication) readers, as well as pay for items in apps by using the fingerprint scanner on Apple’s newest mobile devices.
Once third-party apps also use the Touch ID features, you can use this feature on other apps as well. As far as Apple Pay is concerned, it will be available only in the US and essentially allow users to replace their credit card with their device to make actual payments.
4. New iMacs come with the ‘World’s Highest Resolution Displays’
Along with Yosemite, Apple is bringing out the updated version of iOS. They’ve spent time and effort taking in user feedback and have updated the problem-prone update. iOS 8.1 brings the Camera Roll and iCloud Photo Library in beta, a feature that allows you to store all of your photos from all your devices in the cloud. The new iMac features a 27-inch display with 5210×2880 pixels resolution, which is 14.7 million pixels, which according to Apple, “is the world’s highest-resolution display”. Seven times more pixels than a Full HD TV, 67 per cent more pixels than 4k. The display is only 5mm thin at the edge.
The Oxide TF and a new low-power backlight helps it use 30% less energy despite the large display and heavy resolution. The base model runs on a 3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics card, has 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB Fusion drive. The iMacs are priced starting $2499 (Rs. 1,53,913 approx).
5. Developers can Start Working on Apple Watch Apps Next Month.
Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook remained vague about when the company’s smartwatch will go on sale, saying only that it will be early next year. But the company is releasing WatchKit, software that will let developers start working on apps for the devices.
6. Yosemite is already available
Taking continuity to the next level. Apple definitely is the first company to benefit from this because of its enormous hardware ecosystem. OS X Yosemite is the upcoming eleventh major release of OS X, Apple Inc.’s desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers and it will be available from today. It can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for Free.
Yosemite gives you mirrored access across all Apple platforms for instant access. For example, the iPad recognizes what you’ve been working on and prompts you about it. You can stop working on the Mac, pick up your iPad and start working on your project right way without a second of lag. There is no need for third party apps. There is no need to open a cloud app and download the file, it’s always there.
7. iOS 8.1 Will Roll Out on Monday
Along with Yosemite, Apple is bring out the updated version of iOS. They’ve spent time and effort taking in user feedback and have updated the problem-prone update. iOS 8.1 brings the Camera Roll and iCloud Photo Library in beta, a feature that allows you to store all of your photos from all your devices in the cloud.
8. Apple SIM is a new iPad Air 2 hidden feature
Perhaps the most interesting news about Apple’s new iPad Air 2 tablet is buried at the bottom of one of its marketing pages: It will come pre-installed with a new “Apple SIM” card instead of one from a specific mobile operator.
Apple explains, “The Apple SIM gives you the flexibility to choose from a variety of short-term plans from select carriers in the U.S. and UK right on your iPad. So whenever you need it, you can choose the plan that works best for you—with no long-term commitments. And when you travel, you may also be able to choose a data plan from a local carrier for the duration of your trip.” So far, Apple lists three of the top four US operators—AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile—as partners. In the UK, there’s EE, a joint venture between T-Mobile and Orange. Apple says participating carriers may change.