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A Summary Of Announcements From Apple's October Event

If you stuck around for Apple’s livestream during their iPad release event, you would probably realise that Apple has a tendency of being long-winded with their announcements. And with the many moving parts that Apple currently has, it’s understandable that they would want to tell you about it as much as possible.

So here’s a summary of the things announced during last night’s event, with the details you care about.

Updates: “Our Greatest Lineup Of Products To Date”

As usual, Apple started off with recapping how well the rest of the products are doing, before they get to the reason why everyone’s there. Here’s a quick run-through of the updates.

iPhone 6:

iPhone 6 is doing very well. They are also releasing in China soon, in what they called the biggest launch ever.

ApplePay – “It’s easy, it’s secure, and yes it is private”

ApplePay is rolling out in the US on Monday. They have tons of brands joining them, with 500 banks supporting ApplePay. No comments on when it will extend beyond the US as of yet.

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Apple Watch – “As much about personal expression as it is about functionality.”

Apple has developed “WatchKit”- a developer’s tool to create apps. It will be rolling out WatchKit next month, so we can expect tons of apps to choose from when the Apple Watch starts shipping out early 2015.

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iOS8.1: Improvements

After blatantly saying that iOS8 is doing much better than Android’s KitKat operating system, Cook actulaly admits that iOS8 needs “improvements” after listening to customer feedback. One of which is to bring back the “beloved” camera roll.

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There will also be Apply Pay support, and a public beta for iCloud Photo Library will be available for all devices.

iOS 8.1 will be available to download for free from Monday.

Yosemite: “OS X Yosemite ushers in the future of computing”

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While Yosemite has been on beta for a while, Apple finally officially launches Yosemite for all Apple users.

“OS X Yosemite is the most advanced version of OS X we’ve ever built, with a brand new design, amazing Continuity features and powerful versions of the apps you use every day,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “OS X Yosemite ushers in the future of computing, where your Apple devices all work together seamlessly and magically. It’s something only Apple can do, and it’s available today.”

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Yosemite is available from Apple Stores now, and it is available for free. It includes new features like:

  • Notification Center, with quick access to widgets like Calendar, Weather, Reminders, and World Clock, as well as third-party apps like and social network apps
  • New Spotlight that delivering information to your desktop from Wikipedia, Maps, Bing, App Store?, iTunes Store, iBooks Store, top websites, and news;
  • iCloud Drive that stores files of any type in iCloud, accessible from all your Apples devices, and even a Windows PC
  • New Safari that’s faster and has a longer battery life for web browsing on a Mac
  • Updated Mail includes Markup for quickly filling out and signing forms and PDFs right within Mail, and Mail Drop which lets you send attachments up to 5GB for free.
  • Messages, that lets you add participants to your ongoing group conversations, see their locations on a map, quickly access attachments and even mute notifications
  • iTunes 12
  • Family Sharing, so family members can now browse and download each other’s iTunes, iBooks® or Mac App Store purchases.

Federighi also demonstrated how continuity works, from being able to pick up on presentations you’re working on, having live updates from iPhoto, and even making speakerphone calls from your iMac through your iPhone.

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Apple touched on it’s latest issues on secrecy during the demonstration, with jokes on lasers protecting the corridor to the restroom, a video of staff having to do elaborate special handshakes to get access to the Apple Labs, to having Stephen Colbert as “Supreme Commander Secrecy”. It’s funny and all, but it makes you wonder if Apple is taking it’s latest hits on security seriously.

iWork is also being released for free.

iPad – “We’ve sold more iPads in the first 4 years than any we have of any product in our history.”

The iPad is according to Cook one of the most popular Apple products ever. With over 255 Million iPads and 100% customer satisfaction.

The release of the new iPad Air and iPad Mini, therefore, is a much awaited product, and will probably be well received when it is made available late next week in several countries including Singapore.

iPad Air 2:

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  • Thinner than a pencil, at just 6.1 mm thin and weighing less than 450 grams
  • Made of anodised aluminium for durability and a solid feel
  • iPad Air 2 has a new Retina display with anti-reflective coating that reduces reflections by 56% (no need for that pesky anti-reflection screen cover now).
  • Second generation 64-bit A8X chip that works better, has better graphics, and supports a 10-hour battery life
  • Supports Metal, new graphics technology in iOS 8, with realistic visual effects – “Console-level graphics in the palm of your hands”.
  • M8 motion coprocessor that is also available in the iPhone 6, gathers motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and an all-new barometer
  • All-new camera iSight, and FaceTime HD cameras: 8MP sensor and advanced optics in the iSight camera to help capture rich, detailed images and add new features including panoramic in Photos, time-lapse video, slo-mo, burst mode, and 1080p HD video
  • Faster Wi-Fi and LTE wireless
  • Handoff: which lets you start an activity on one device and pass it to another. That means that when your iPhone is on the same Wi-Fi network, you can make and receive phone calls right from your iPad.
  • Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor, just in time to support ApplePay
  • Reduced glass to screen design to “bring images and content closer to the user’s fingertips”
  • Available in gold, silver and space grey
  • Price: From S$688

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The iPad Mini 3 also comes in the same three colours, and includes a new Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Both come with the new updated iOS8.1.

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iMac -“There are 7 times more pixels on the Retina 5k Display than there are on your HDTV”

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The iMac, which has been due for an update, will continue to be the baby for every creative professional out there.

“Thirty years after the first Mac changed the world, the new iMac with Retina 5K display running OS X Yosemite is the most insanely great Mac we have ever made,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With a breathtaking 14.7 million pixel display, faster CPU and graphics, Fusion Drive, and Thunderbolt 2, it’s the most beautiful and powerful iMac ever.”

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  • Resolution of 5120 x 2880, iMac with Retina 5K display has four times more pixels than the standard 27-inch iMac and 67 percent more pixels than a 4K display (you can view a 4K video at full resolution and still have room on the screen for editing tools)
  • Uses oxide TFT-based panel to deliver vivid display brightness from corner to corner. A single supercharged Apple-designed timing controller (TCON), with four times the bandwidth, drives all 14.7 million pixels.
  • Improved image quality and reduced display power consumption by 30 percent, even while driving four times more pixels at the same brightness thanks to highly efficient LEDs and organic passivation
  • New photo alignment process and a compensation film to deliver blacker blacks and more vibrant colours from any viewing angle
  • Calibrated with three state-of-the-art spectroradiometers to ensure precise and accurate colour
  • Comes with a 3.5 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.9 GHz, can be configured with a 4 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 4.4 GHz.
  • AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics and can be configured with AMD Radeon R9 M295X graphics, delivering up to 3.5 teraflops of computing power
  • iMac with Retina 5K display comes standard with 8GB of memory and a 1TB Fusion Drive for the first time.
  • The new iMac can also be configured with up to 32GB of memory, a 3TB Fusion Drive, or up to 1TB of super-fast, PCIe-based flash storage
  • Two Thunderbolt 2 ports that deliver up to 20Gbps each, twice the bandwidth of the previous generation.
  • Every new Mac comes with OS X Yosemite
  • iMovie, GarageBand and the suite of iWork apps come free with every new Mac
  • iWork has been redesigned with support for iCloud Drive?, new comments view in Pages, and a brand new look
  • Price: from S$3,388, available now

Mac Mini – “Apple’s most affordable Mac an even better value”

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Last but not least, Apple releases the Mac mini, an affordable powerhouse that packs the entire Mac experience into a 19.7 cm wide block. “Just connect your own display, keyboard and mouse, and you’re ready to make big things happen.”

  • Fourth generation Intel Core processors
  • Integrated graphics that are up to 90 percent faster
  • New integrated Intel HD Graphics 5000 and Intel Iris Graphics deliver up to 90 percent faster graphics performance than the previous generation
  • Two Thunderbolt 2 ports, each delivering up to 20Gbps of bandwidth to each port
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi that is up to three times faster when connected to an 802.11ac base station
  • Price: US$499

(Article Image Credits: Apple)

 

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