The Apple Special Event recently held in Cupertino was the second major keynote event in two months. Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the stage to keep enthusiasts posted on what the company has been working on. He opened the event with a moving message about Apple looking to make its technology more accessible to everyone, but did not go into much detail about how the company plans to make it happen. This was followed by a brag session that highlighted the positive reviews that iOS 10 and the iPhone 7 have received. So what can we look forward to from Apple over the next few months and what are some of their latest releases?
Memories and Apple TV
The first major announcement for the Apple Special Event was: Memories. Memories is a feature which uses a combination of facial recognition and AI on a user’s collection of pictures in order to build new slideshows every day. This has proven to be a popular application alongside the default photo app. According to Tim Cook, Mac users have viewed more than 400 million memories to date. He also says that since the launch of iOS 10, over 60 percent of the operating system’s users have downloaded and installed it.
In addition, Apple TV now has more than 8,000 apps, compared to just 1,000 only a year ago. Over two thousand of these apps are games and users can expect one major high profile app on Apple TV soon… Minecraft is set to be added to the platform before the end of the year.
A New TV App
Speaking of TV, Apple now has a new, cross-platform application simply called TV. This is a new iOS app that will allow users to track their favorite shows and movies from across the various video apps on the Apple TV platform. Through partnerships with several video providers, the company has aggregated its content in a single, unified view, letting Apple TV owners find what is available to watch easily, without having to worry about the app that actually contains the content.
When a user clicks or asks Siri for any of the programs, they are directed straight to the right app. One major negative that attendees to the Apple Special Event immediately commented on, is that Netflix is not part of this experience. Apple has not yet offered any explanations regarding this or given any promises that the service would be integrated in the future.
A New MacBook Pro
One of the most anticpated annoucments of the Apple Special event was the announcement of the new Macbook Pro. As Apple marks the 25th anniversary of its first netbook computer, the Apple PowerBook, the company announced that a new MacBook Pro is to be launched. According to Cook, the latest MacBook Pro is set to be the slimmest, lightest and most powerful version of the device to date. It will have improved graphics performance, better speakers, a brighter display as well as enhanced thermal architecture to ensure that the system stays cooler.
In this new version of the MacBook Pro, the size of the trackpad has been increased also and includes the Force Touch feature. The keyboard design has also been updated to include the ‘butterfly’ layout found on the latest MacBook. There are a couple of thunderbolt ports on either side, giving the new netbook a clean and uniform look.
However, many people who have pored over the machine’s spec sheets and price have complained that the 16 GB RAM is limited, especially given the Pro’s price tag. However, Apple has come out to explain that adding more RAM to a notebook of this size would have a negative effect on its battery life.
The new MacBook Pro is now available at a starting price of $1,499.
What is most notable about the premier models of the MacBook Pro is that the company has done away with the normal row of function keys at the top of the keyboard and replaced them with a slim retina display that it calls the Touch Bar. The Touch Bar allows users to directly interact with whatever software they may be using at the time by adjusting the touch functionality to match the task at hand.
The right-hand side of the Touch Bar has Touch ID, which uses Apple’s new T1 chip to offer enhanced security. The company has also added its virtual assistant, Siri, to the list of features available on the new machine.
An Update for the MacBook Air
Although it was not explicitly mentioned during the Apple Special Event, it would appear that Apple has withdrawn the 11-inch version of the MacBook Air from its online stores. The 13-inch, $999 MacBook Air is now the base model and it has also received a minor update and more RAM. When touting the 13-inch MacBook Pro’s specs compared to the current 13-inch Air, Apple emphasized that it was thinner, lighter and more powerful, in spite of the relatively steep price.
Apple Accessibility Website
Another key focus of the Apple Special Event was around the launch of the Apple Accessibility Website. Apple is going to place a large emphasis on providing their products and solutions to meet the needs of those with disabilities. Apple’s philosophy is that everyone should be able to work, create and be entertained without limitations. To learn more about Apple Accessibility visit: http://www.apple.com/accessibility/
Final Words for the Apple Special Event
And it’s a wrap – Apple enthusiasts will finally get the new MacBook Pro that they have been waiting for. The Touch Bar is a cool addition and the TV app is likely to make the decision to cut the cord much easier for many users.