The invite said, “Its been way too long” and right from that point onwards, we all have thrown in our guesses in the magic hat guessing what will Apple bring at the media event after announcing the new iPhones last month. The event began with a recap of all the major announcements from WWDC and the September keynote. There was a hilarious demo of the new OSX 10.10 by Craig Federighi that brought a bit of a fun element. However, there was serious business on the cards, and lets quickly run through all the major announcements that Apple had up its sleeve today.
The new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3
You did not really need an expert to tell you that the next generation of iPads will be thinner and faster than the previous generation. And that was a point validated at the event. The new iPad Air 2 is crazy thin at about 6.1 mm and brings an all new A8X chip, specifically made for the iPad based on the second generation 64 bit architecture. The tablet also brings in the popular Touch ID from iPhones and will be available in gold variant along with the usual Space Gray and Silver variants. The battery life on the new iPads will continue to be the same 10 hours though the performance will be majorly boosted. The iPad Air 2 will start at $499 and go all the way up to $699 if you pick the 128 GB variant. There is no 32 GB variant, just like the iPhone 6/ 6 Plus. For the cellular variant, you will have to cough up an extra $130.
The new iPad Mini 3 with the A7 chip will retail for $399 all the way up to $599 for the Wifi variant. The cellular variants will be another $130 over and above. Apple will continue to sell the old iPad Air as well as the original iPad Mini and iPad Mini 2, though at discounted prices.
OSX 10.10 Yosemite and iOS 8.1
Apple announced that based on the feedback received from the users it has implemented changes to iOS 8.1. The old Camera Roll will be back and Apple Pay will be officially integrated too. Apple has already over 500 banks and several brands on board for in app product purchases. iOS 8.1 has the obvious performance improvements and will be available on Monday or October 20th to download for free.
Apple also finally announced that the latest and greatest Mac OSX, Yosemite will be available to download for free, starting today, or October 16th, though the time the update will go live is not known yet. Everybody will be able to upgrade their Macs (if supported) via the App Store for free. OSX Yosemite and iOS 8 work seamlessly together, and features like Handoff and Continuity are really interesting.
The New Retina 27 inch iMacs
So, now we know that Apple was referring to the iMacs when it said that it has been way too long. Apple announced the new 27 inch iMacs with Retina display, which Apple is calling a 5K display. The internal specifications as expected are bumped up too, and the iMac will sell for $2499, almost $500 lesser than a comparable 4K monitor. The new iMac has incredible 14.7 million pixels and has a thickness of just 5 mm. It will ship with either the Intel i5 or the i7 Quad Core chip, starting today. Apple also upgraded the Mac Mini in terms of specifications and reduced the pricing of the same to $499 making it super affordable for those who want to check out the Mac ecosystem.
While we expected Apple to announce either a new lineup of iPods or even a Macbook Air with Retina display, the hero of the evening definitely went to the new Retina iMacs, simply because it was a surprise. Overall, the event was a little underwhelming and maybe we could have done with just a note, a bit like what Google did with the new Nexus devices yesterday.