An Apple event usually takes the cherry when it comes to showcasing what’s new in their line of products. The Cuppertino based company arrived with a bang at the launch of their new iPad pro and MacBook air devices, held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Although the iPhone remains to be their headline product, Apple put in a noticeable effort to bolster the sale of its other flagships. The show was more loved than what they had set up during the launch of the new iPhones and Apple watches back in September. They kept the duration 30 min shorter than their last event. A big credit for the show’s success goes to it’s presenters, who were not only super excited to be on stage, but also managed to sway the audience along.
All the products unveiled in the event seemed quite captivating, however, the iPad Pro drew most of the attention - it being subject to maximum changes. Inspired by the new iPhones, this iPad pro features an almost edge to edge Liquid Retina Display. It comes in 11-inch (800$) or 12.9-inch (1000$) sizes and replaces the traditional home button with Touch ID. Adding to that, the company has eliminated the fingerprint reader; instead you’ll be unlocking the device with FaceID, Apple’s facial-recognition technology incorporated in the tablet that works in both portrait and landscape orientations. Now with the home button out of the picture, Apple had the flexibility to cut down on the tablet’s size, and they did! This new trimmed down version fits comfortably in your hands, while not compromising on the screen size. Furthermore, Apple offers a couple of useful accessories to go with your iPad, including a modernized smart keyboard ($200) and Apple pencil ($130). Both the add-ons get easily hooked on to the tablet with the help of some special magnets and connectors, and derive power from the tablet itself. The iPAD also gets a new USB-C style port which can be used for charging, as well as plugging it to an external monitor. However, whether this newly transformed iPad could prove to be a useful alternative to the traditional notebook, is still a question of doubt. With the equipment on, it does seem more convenient to work on, but without a mouse or a trackpad, the Pro still lags behind in tasks that demand precision.
Well in Apple’s defense, they never designed the iPad to be used as a laptop, and to fill in for the gap, comes the new MacBook Air. Showcasing a phenomenal 13-inch retina quality screen, the new MacBook Air has 4 times the pixels than the previous model. It also packs a touch ID that could be used for unlocking the device, making payment and logging into apps. Along with that, there are two USB-C ports provided which can be used for charging and plugging in external devices. Despite the new retina display which consumes more power, the company stills claims a battery life of 12 hours for the Air.
The next big highlight of the show was the new Mac mini - a long anticipated upgrade, with it’s last version dating back 4 years. It can be configured with upto six cores and upto 64 GB of RAM, and with the option of connecting countless Mac minis together, you can easily feed your computing needs.
Besides these upgrades, there were a few things the fans were hoping for, but did not get announced at the Apple event.
1. iPad mini
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had speculated that Apple had been working on a new iPad mini, however, was unsure whether the product would be ready by the October event or not. Despite marking the mini 4 as a valuable member in it’s line of products at the event, the mini 5 was nowhere to be found.
2. Air Power & Wireless Charging AirPods
Apple had first pre-announced the AirPower at the iPhone X event in 2017. The iPhone XS launched in September, but the event didn’t have a single mention of the much anticipated AirPower, which left the fans discouraged, who now eyed the October event. Much to their disappointment, it is still a pending update.
3. iMac updates
The last meaningful update to the iMac was an year and a half back. Several reports suggested that the iMac would be on the list of Macs to be updated at the recent event. There were rumors that stated several display upgrades along with some new processors, and the presence of Apple’s T2 security chip. Apparently these rumors weren’t true, and it still needs to be seen when Apple is actually planning to bring new life into this aging mac.
4. ECG app for the Apple Watch
During its launch, the Apple watch series 4 featured a cutting edge ECG app that allowed users to see an electrocardiogram of their heart activity on placing their finger on the digital crown. Surprisingly, this ECG app was not included in the watchOS 5 that came with the series 4. Even with the watchOS 5.1 releasing on the same day as the October event, this particular app was nowhere to be found.
5. 12-inch MacBook updates
Like the iMac, it seems that the current 12-inch Macbook will be sticking around for a while. However, the recently launched Retina Macbook Air poses a significant threat to the longevity of the year old 12-inch notebook. With features like touch ID, 8th-gen Intel chips, and a T2 chip, the MacBook Air definitely seems like the better option of the two.