Yesterday's Apple event delivered quite a bit of new hardware and software. Here's a quick follow-up on my previous post outlining the pre-event predictions.
On the whole the strongest rumours were correct. The big announcement was the new iPad and iPad mini, now both with retina displays. A bit more news on the Mac Pro, although no concrete release date ("before the end of the year"), the main revelation being the price: "starting at $2999". Ouch. The MacBook Pro laptops were also refreshed with updated specs.
The biggest surprises were in the software announcements. We were fairly certain the new OS X — Mavericks — and revised iWork and iLife apps would feature, but through the entire software section of the presentation the words "free" and "available today" kept popping up. That the iLife and iWork apps (for iOS as well as OS X) would be free (although only for newly purchased hardware) was no surprise. But that Mavericks would be immediately available and free for anyone — not just as an upgrade from the previous version of OS X, but as an independent installer for anyone to download — this was a surprise. And it's downloadable right now. Good to see Apple pushing forward on OS X, when it would be so easy — at a time when mobile is booming — to concentrate solely on iOS.
For me the most interesting development, though, was the wide-ranging and forward-thinking update of the iLife and iWork software suites. Not only was a refresh long overdue — on both desktop and mobile — but Apple has until now failed to deliver proper document management and, crucially, collaboration between its apps via iCloud. I expected a redesign and a few new features, but this pushes Apple's productivity apps into a new arena altogether. 1
In the on-stage demo collaboration, management and online editing all seemed to work beautifully, and if they can actually make it work as well as it appeared to, Apple have done much to catch up on cloud-based web services. This is one area Taptivist will definitely be examining in the near future.
- Only Pages, Numbers and Keynote offer collaboration at the moment. Despite apparently improving sharing and iCloud integration, iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand do not. Unsurprisingly — considering the mountains of data involved in digital images, audio and video, this would've been quite a feat. ↩