Apple's new iPads and more: everything you need to know from this week's launch

Confused by Apple's marketing speak? We've got all the facts you need

Another Apple launch has come and gone and whilst there were no major surprises yesterday, there was at least one sort-of-new product (the iPad Air) and a bunch of welcome - if expected - hardware upgrades for the MacBook line.

In fact, the most interesting news was arguably software-based - with the decision to make Apple's latest opearting system, OS X Mavericks, and the refreshed iLife and iWork software suites free perhaps signalling a sea change in industry standards.

However, we'll have to see on that - as the reaction from Apple's competitors plays out (mainly Microsoft - who make a lot of their revenue from selling Windows and Office). Until then, here's all the news (as brief as we could make it) that you need from last night:

Introducing the iPad Air

Surprisingly enough, this was one tablet that didn’t make it through the leaks – the iPad 5 has become the iPad Air. It’s got the same 9.7-inch screen size but is 20 per cent thinner than the previous generation and lighter too - down from 1.4lb (652g) to 1lb, or 453g.

If you're doubtful that this makes a difference then we recommend picking up the device in store. When Apple introduced the mini they gave tablet use a boost by making it much more convenient - slimming down the full size iPad does the same, and will probably sway customers back to the mini's bigger brother.

The Air also gets the 64-bit A7 chip introduced in the iPhone 5s (as well as the M7 “motion co-processor” for handling movement sensors) which Apple are saying means 7 times faster performance and 72 times faster graphical performance when compared with the original iPad.  

The screen and cameras remain the same as the previous generation and it’ss available in Space Grey or Silver, from November 1. It’s available in from  £399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version and £499 for the 16GB with Wi-Fi and cellular. Memory options fit into the usual 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB slots.

The iPad mini gets Retina

The iPad mini finally gets a Retina display with a 2048 x 1536 resolution and the same 64-bit A7 chip (plus M7 co-processor) as the Air. Like the Air it’s also available in Space Grey and Silver, with Wi-Fi 16GB starting at £319 and Wi-Fi and cellular from £419.

  Phil Schiller onstage in San Francisco introducing the new pricing range for the iPad mini, iPad 2 and iPad Air.

The iPad mini without Retina is staying in the market also but with a price cut  down to £249 and £349 for Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi and cellular respectively.

OS X Mavericks goes free

It’s free and it’s available for download right now: OS X Mavericks is the latest version of Apple’s operating system for Macs and MacBooks. As updates go it’s not as comprehensive as the leap to iOS 7 for tablets and mobiles, but there are some new additions and tweaks that will be welcomed by many.

OS X Mavericks is a minor update compared to iOS 7 - but Apple are literally giving it away.

The most useful feature will probably be for MacBook users with a series of under-the-hood changes boosting power efficiency and battery life. This will mean cooler running devices, with Apple claiming that installing the update adds a whole hour of battery life to existing models.

Other changes include a new notification system that syncs better with iOS devices; new web apps (Maps and Books – they do what they say on the tin); and better support for multiple-monitors.

iLife and iWork updated

For non-Mac users these titles probably just sound like parodic iJargon, but these two software suites define a lot of the Apple experience.

At the heart of each is a trio of programs: Pages, Numbers and Keynote in iWork, and iPhotos, iMovies and GarageBand in iLife; the first three offer alternatives to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint whilst the second group are all about Apple’s promise as a ‘lifestyle’ product.

iPhoto and iMovie got refreshed to make home-movie making and scrapbooking easier. Hardly revolutionary, but part of the Apple promise.

All of these have been redesigned to work with the 64-bit architecture in the new A7 chips (this basically means more power, less lag, particularly on iOS devices) and most importantly, all of these are now free for those buying new Mac and iOS hardware.

This is perhaps most important with regards to the iWork software: combined with the free Mavericks update it means that Apple are really challenging standard industry practice on where profit to get profit from customers. 

MacBook Pros get Haswell

Apple’s high-end laptop range didn’t receive a massive makeover (the aluminium unibody looks as good as ever) but did get price drops across the board and new processors.

The new chips in question are Intel’s Haswell line, which offer greater power efficiency and better graphical processing power. They also include new Thunderbolt 2 ports, 802.11ac WiFi and faster PCI Express SSD hard-drives. Basically better performance all around.

New MacBook Pros come with Retina displays in either 13-inch or 15-inch flavours.

 Prices for the 13-inch model with Retina display start at £1099 (that’s a 2.4GHz i5 processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage) and go up to £1499 for the full shebang (2.6GHz i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 512GB storage).

Meanwhile the 15-inch with Retina drops in at £1699 (2.0GHz i7 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB storage) and £2199 (2.3GHz i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage and dedicated graphics card – the GeForce GT 750M).

Phew. Lot of numbers and stats there but basically it’s a solid refresh of the MacBook Pro line similar to that given to the MacBook Air earlier in the year. The un-advertised news though is that Apple have quietly dropped the 15-inch MacBook without Retina displays – 13-inch only starting at £999.

Prices and launch date for the Mac Pro

And if you thought Apple weren’t done with crazy amounts of numbers then you were wrong – but if you thought we were then you were right. The Mac Pro is aimed at professionals who need lots and lots of power for editing video and audio.

The Mac Pro is undeniably a feat of engineering - but it's aimed only at a tiny minority of Apple users.

It was originally unveiled back at WWDC in June but now we have a starting price (£2499) and rough launch date (end of the year). Apple says it takes up one eight the volume of the previous generation and uses 70 per cent less energy.

For the full stats, head to Apple’ site but the Pro’s basic load-out offers a 3.7GHz Xeon processor, 12GB of RAM, dual AMD FirePro GPUs and a 256GB SSD hard-drive. We did say we'd finished with the numbers, 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Your picture is everything in the shallow world of online dating
i100
Life and Style
Attractive women on the Internet: not a myth
techOkCupid boasts about Facebook-style experiments on users
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Java Developer

    £45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: JAVA DEVELO...

    Microsoft Dynamics AX Developer

    £475 - £550 per day: Progressive Recruitment: MDAX / Dynamics AX / Microsoft D...

    .Net/ C# Developer/ Analyst Programmer - Eciting new Role

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .NET/ C# .Pr...

    PMO Manager (Portfolio Management, ExCel, Cost Benefit Analysis)

    £450 - £500 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: PMO Manager - 6 month co...

    Day In a Page

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

    Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on