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Handhelds OS X Software Apple

Apple Announces iPad Air 471

Posted by Soulskill
from the listening-to-this-press-conference-is-like-mainlining-the-essence-of-marketing dept.
Today Apple held a press conference to unveil its updated software and hardware products. The biggest news was the announcement of the 'iPad Air,' which has a 9.7" Retina display. It's 7.5 mm thick, which is 20% thinner than the older iPad. The weight has dropped from 1.4 lbs to 1.0 lbs, and it runs on a 64-bit A7 chip with an M7 motion coprocessor. Apple claims performance has doubled over the previous-gen iPad. The iPad Air will be available on November 1st. The iPad Mini is getting a new revision as well. The display has been upgraded to 7.9" at 2048x1536, which is the same resolution as the iPad Air. The new Mini has an A7 chip as well.

Apple also announced that the new version of Mac OS X (10.9 Mavericks) is available now and is free to all Mac OS X users. It includes better multi-monitor support, tabs in Finder, and a number of performance optimizations. The Macbook Pro is getting updates to the 13" and 15" models, which are now running on Intel Haswell processors. They both have PCIe SSDs, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Thunderbolt 2 support. Apple also talked about the redesigned Mac Pro line. As you may recall from WWDC, the new model takes up about about 1/8th of the volume as the old one. It's cooled by a single fan, uses 70% less power than the earlier model, and puts out 12 dB of noise when idling. It'll be available in December. On the software side, Apple has been updating a lot of their software to add 64-bit support and mesh with the new iOS 7 style of design. This includes iPhoto, iMovie, and Garageband, as well as the iLife and iWork software suites. iWork is also getting collaborative work features, and it's now free with new Macs and iOS devices.
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Apple Announces iPad Air

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  • by jcr (53032) <jcr&mac,com> on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @02:29PM (#45204021) Journal

    iWork is now free, and include collaboration features that MS Office will have a hell of a time trying to match.

    -jcr

  • I gotta admit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Andrio (2580551) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @02:29PM (#45204037)

    That's pretty impressive engineering. Think it allows Android to be installed on it? :)

    • Re:I gotta admit (Score:5, Informative)

      by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot AT worf DOT net> on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @04:00PM (#45205451)

      That's pretty impressive engineering. Think it allows Android to be installed on it? :)

      Except the bootloader probably isn't designed to boot 32-bit OSes, ARMv8 isn't terribly impressive in AArch32 mode, and Android isn't 64-bit native yet.

      Most of the speed ups the A7 gets are from 64-bit code as it cleans up a lot of the architecture. 32-bit code works, but the speedup is minimal.

      And yes, the bootloader has to be 64-bit and then switch the CPU to 32-bit mode in order to boot a 32-bit OS. Running a 32-bit OS means you can't run 64-bit code at all. When you go down the privilege levels (secure monitor, hypervisor (VM), kernel, user) you can go from 64 to 32 bit mode, but to go the other way requires going up the stack.

  • by etash (1907284) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @02:31PM (#45204059)
    since every new version is twice as faster as the previous one, given the fact that we see new versions in less than 18 months.

    unless apple's engineers are optimizing this infamous loop:

    for(i=0;i1000000000;i++);
  • by WiiVault (1039946) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @02:35PM (#45204127)
    Not to bash the iPhone, but how is it that Apple seems to be so much ahead of the pack when it comes to the iPad but the iPhone seems to be just another high-end smartphone? I mean the new full-size iPad seems so much better especially in size and weight than anything else out there, while the 5s is just a nice spec bump.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by tgd (2822)

      Not to bash the iPhone, but how is it that Apple seems to be so much ahead of the pack when it comes to the iPad but the iPhone seems to be just another high-end smartphone? I mean the new full-size iPad seems so much better especially in size and weight than anything else out there, while the 5s is just a nice spec bump.

      Ahead of the pack in technology or sales?

      None of their devices are close to the head of the pack from a technology standpoint. They can hype things up well, and they sell well, but across the boards they're middle-of-the-road hardware with typically one or two "oh, but we've got this!" upgrades that can be heavily marketed for the brief interlude before Samsung or another company makes a call on its actual value and adds it.

      And, frankly, its just fine that Apple works that way.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So far ahead of the pack? iOS still can't do the stuff that Windows Pro can, including backward compatibility, keyboard, etc.

      The reason the iPhone is "just another high end phone" is because they've been behind the curve for years now. Give the market more time, and just like everything else, Apple will fall behind by sheer force of numbers. 10's and 100's of companies can make more progress than a single company - any day, all day.

      Apple makes a well polished item then gets stuck in it's own success while i

    • by BaronAaron (658646) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @02:50PM (#45204419)

      To be fair the Sony Xperia Tablet Z [sonymobile.com] is only 6.9mm thick and only 1.1 pounds... The rest of the specs are also about the same, and that's been out for a month or two now.

      • by symbolset (646467) *
        SXTZ display: 1920 x 1200 pixels. iPad Air display: 2048-by-1536.
      • If you're comparing size and weight you need to take into account the important pieces that contribute to those stats: the display and the battery. The iPad Air has a 2048x1536 display vs 1920x1200 on the Xperia. According to the product page, the iPad Air has approx 10 hour battery life, while the Xperia doesn't specify battery life on its product page (some reviews are quoting 8 hours). I don't see Xperia as having "about the same" specs at all.
        • by BaronAaron (658646) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @03:44PM (#45205225)

          The OP said the iPad seem so much better then anything out there.

          My point is both tablets are in the same class. Not arguing the new iPad edges out the competition. It should, it's the newest high end tablet, but it's not revolutionary or anything. It will quickly lose the spec crown when the next round of high end Android tablets come out.

    • Incompetent Press (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @02:55PM (#45204513)

      Not to bash the iPhone, but how is it that Apple seems to be so much ahead of the pack when it comes to the iPad but the iPhone seems to be just another high-end smartphone?

      It seems that way because the press is incapable of understanding what it means that both iPad and iPhone now ship with a 64-bit processor, and full-time motion chip - as well as strong BTLE support, something Android has only recently begun to adopt.

      The iPhone 5s is leading all of the other smartphones on the market today in terms of technology - just not in screen size.

      • by purpledinoz (573045) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @03:26PM (#45204969)
        Sweet, 64-bit processor. Now I can have more than 4 billion friends on facebook!
  • Unix Workstation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by psergiu (67614) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @02:37PM (#45204177)

    Apple haters or not, the saddest thing to realize is that the only UNIX(R) Workstation on the market is now the Mac. As Apple is the only UNIX 03 certification holder who is still making desktops and laptops. All the other UNIX 03 hardware produced at the moment is Datacenter-only rackmounted servers.

    So $2999 for a powerful UNIX(R) Workstation is a fair price.

  • Oh, wait...
  • I was really hoping the new MacBook pro would support a new 4k external display. With Thunderbolt 2 making it in, my question now is whether it will have the graphics grunt to handle it, and what sort of 4K display they are releasing in tandem with the Mac Pro?
  • thin thing (Score:4, Funny)

    by swampfriend (2629073) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @02:50PM (#45204421)

    wouldn't a better name have been "ipod hair"

    • by Guy Harris (3803)

      wouldn't a better name have been "ipod hair"

      I really do not want an iPod, or even an iPad, that I have to shave.

  • Mac PRO starts at 3K only 256GB storage base.

    Imac's at half the price have X4 storage base.

    based on new laptop pricing looking at an $800.00 add on to get 1TB build in.

  • $2600 to get a laptop with better then Intel video??

    they used to have the $2000 ones with better video but now

  • 1TB max is low and 256GB base is small.

    Also roaming costs, low caps, speed caped wifi makes cloud use not that ideal way to work.

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @03:47PM (#45205269)

    Remember the mid-90s, when Apple had dozens upon dozens of Macintoshes, Power Macs, Quadras, and so on? And how one of the first things Jobs did when he returned was slash all of those, which put them back on the road to their current success?

    Yeah, they're up to four different iPads now, all currently being sold. The iPad Mini, "iPad Mini with Retina", iPad 2, and iPad Air, and I'm sure they still have some "Fourth-Generation iPads" to sell off. Each of these has a few variants for WiFi/3G and storage. And they also have a trio of iPhones - the 4S, 5C and 5S - again with storage capacity variations.

    On the desktop, a pair of laptops (the Macbook Air and Macbook Pro) with a few size options, and trio of desktops (Mini, iMac (two sizes) and Mac Pro) has worked pretty well for them. They really need to cut down on their other models - using the old iPhone as the "cheap" model worked, discontinuing the old one in favor of a low-cost second model would also have worked, but as it is I see little purpose to keeping both the 4S and 5C around. And for the iPad? A Mini and a Pro would have been fine. Google is actually being smarter than they are on this - they have a Nexus 7 and a Nexus 10, updated as needed. Clear product differentiation - you want a small, cheap tablet? Nexus 7. Larger and more powerful tablet? Nexus 10. Apple is less clear - their high-end "Mini" costs the same as their low-end "full-size". They could probably make the iPad models make sense (iPad Mini, iPad Pro Mini, iPad, iPad Pro), but the way they currently are is crap.

    • by sootman (158191) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @05:08PM (#45206365) Homepage Journal

      No, it's not the same, or even very confusing, because the differences are mostly binary. The Mac lineup in the mid-90s was indeed a mess. The models were randomly arranged and it was like "if you want the sunroof, you have to get the leather seats" with cars. Now, all the products are just the answer to a few questions:

      Laptop: Super-thin, or powerful? Air: 11" or 13"? Pro: 13" or 15"? Retina or not? And then the typical speed/RAM/HD options.

      iPad: they don't really expect people to buy the iPad 2. It's there for educational buyers, or the small handful of people who want a cheap 10" iPad. They aren't on the main iPad page, only on the "compare" page and in the store. (I don't even know if they actually have iPad 2s sitting out in the retail stores.)

      Inventory of iPads that are, as of today, "old", will be cleared out quickly and never spoken of again. That leaves: 8" or 10"? Retina or not? 16/32/64 GB? 3G or WiFi-only? Four yes/no questions, the answer to each of which is pretty simple for most people, and in every case, "more costs more". Few people are so budget-constrained AND with such strong needs that they're really agonizing over "I want this capacity, but then I can't afford 3G..."

      Phones: You want 2 tiers, Apple wants 3. For a while they had 2, at $199 and $99; now they have 3, at $199, $99, and $0. Not THAT confusing. The choices are: free and black, $99 fast and colorful and bigger screen, or $199, staid colors, and super powerful. Beyond that, you pick your carrier (duh) and capacity (if you're getting a non-$0 phone.)

      Google isn't a big hardware maker. Neither is Amazon. It makes sense that they'd keep their lineups simple. Apple, on the other hand, makes all their money on hardware (note the free OS upgrade and free productivity apps, etc.) so naturally they want to appeal to as many people as possible, and give you the option to spend as much as you want. :-)

      • by gman003 (1693318) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @05:13PM (#45206401)

        Yes, I agree that Apple isn't back at '95 levels yet. But the point is that they're sliding in that direction. They're gaining more and more models that don't seem to serve a strong purpose.

        While the iPad line does boil down to a few simple choices, the *naming* of that line does not in any way indicate it. The Google comparison was just a demonstration that Google is managing a more Jobs-like naming convention than Apple is.

      • by EvanED (569694)

        The models were randomly arranged and it was like "if you want the sunroof, you have to get the leather seats" with cars

        Wat? To my "PC"- and desktop-byased eyes, Apple has those kinds of things all over the place:

        1. Want a big monitor for your iMac? You need a more powerful processor too. Want a more powerful GPU? You need a bigger screen.
        2. Want a 7200 RPM or >1TB hard drive or 1TB SSD in your iMac instead of 5400? You need a 27" screen instead of 21.5"
        3. Want a 1TB HDD or an SSD instead of a 500MB HDD in your
  • iPad 2? Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Cinder6 (894572) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @03:51PM (#45205323)

    It's somewhat baffling that anyone these days would want an iPad 2. The Mini outstrips it in every area but screen size, at the same price. I would also imagine that continuing to support it is obnoxious for developers.

    Anyway, I was planning on buying the iPad Air, but the Mini is looking a lot more tempting, given that the only difference anymore is screen size. I just wish one of them had Touch ID.

    • by itsdapead (734413)

      It's somewhat baffling that anyone these days would want an iPad 2. The Mini outstrips it in every area but screen size, at the same price. I would also imagine that continuing to support it is obnoxious for developers.

      I'm guessing that they've got a niche market for it that needs the screen size but doesn't want to pay for retina displays - probably schools.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @04:45PM (#45206085)

      It's somewhat baffling that anyone these days would want an iPad 2.

      It's not baffling and it's not about "want." Apple has signed a lot of contracts with school systems for large volume, fixed price delivery of iPads and most likely those contracts included qualifiers that Apple must deliver products which are "commercially available" at the time of delivery. Discontinuing the iPad 2 would probably require Apple to deliver the newer products which have a lower profit margin and a higher consumer demand.

      Those are fairly common terms to put in when you're writing long term volume purchase agreements.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @04:48PM (#45206127) Homepage

      Many people prefer a 7" tablet because it's about the right size to hold in one hand for long periods.

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @04:54PM (#45206203) Homepage

    which has a 9.7" Retina display

    Let me just pass that through my "marketing bullshit" remover:

    which has a 9.7" display

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