Apple Announces Updates to Mac Pro and MacBook Air; Introduces Mac OS X Mavericks & iOS 7

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Apple kicked off their Worldwide Developers Conference today with several major announcements. They introduced several hardware updates, particularly to the MacBook Air and Mac Pro lines, as well as updates to their two popular operating platforms, Mac OS X and iOS. Read on to find out exactly what went down.

MacBook Air

With Intel’s official announcement of their fourth-generation Haswell CPUs at Computex 2013, it’s no surprise that Apple has already embraced the supposed low voltage chips for their ultraportable MacBook Air line. While the design remains fairly the same, both the 11.6” and 13.3” MacBook Air models will come standard with a dual-core Haswell 1.3 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, with a dual-core Haswell 1.7 GHz Intel Core i7 processor also available. The new Haswell CPUs utilize integrated Intel HD Graphics 5000, which supports dual display and video mirroring as well as provide up to 40% faster graphics, according to Apple. Intel HD Graphics 5000 allows the MacBook Air to simultaneously support full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 2560 x 1600 on an external display. 4GB of 1600 MHz onboard RAM is the base option while a maximum 8GB option is also available. Both MacBook Air models can also have either a 128GB or 256GB solid-state drive or up to 512GB SSD if desired.

Unfortunately, if you were hoping for a MacBook Air with a Retina display, Apple decided not to go that route. The 11.6” MacBook Air still has a 1366 x 768 native resolution and the 13.3” MacBook Air still has a 1440 x 900 native resolution. However, Apple is claiming that because of the new Intel Haswell CPUs, the 11.6” MacBook Air will be able to last up to 9 hours while the 13.3” MacBook Air can reach a lengthy 12 hours between charges. Of course, battery life will vary depending on usage, but these estimates are a vast improvement over their predecessors. Both the 11.6” MacBook Air and 13.3” MacBook Air with Intel Haswell processors are available starting today.

Mac Pro is Back

Mac Pro users rejoice! After only receiving modest updates for the last couple of years, Apple has finally decided to completely redesign their Mac Pro line. Instead of the familiar silver-grated enclosure, the Mac Pro will now feature a cylindrical chassis that is 9.9” tall and 6.6” wide. Apple announced that the Mac Pro will offer configurations that give up to 12 cores of processing power, up to 40 GB/s of PCIe gen 3 bandwidth and 256-bit-wide floating-point instructions so you’ll never be at a loss for speed. The Mac Pro will also offer four-channel DDR3 RAM at 1866 MHz. This delivers up to 60 GB/s of memory bandwidth, which means you’ll be able to multitask quickly and efficiently without being bogged down. The RAM will also be ECC memory so your render job, video export, or simulation won’t be stopped by transient memory errors.

While the new processors in the Mac Pro are impressive, the GPUs have also gotten a huge upgrade. The Mac Pro will now feature a state-of-the-art AMD FirePro workstation-class GPU with up to 6GB of dedicated memory. Oh, did we mention that the Mac Pro will have two of them? No? Well, now you know. With dual AMD FirePro GPUs, you’ll have up to 7 teraflops of computing power, which means you’ll be able to edit full-resolution 4K video while simultaneously rendering effects in the background and still have enough power to connect up to three high-resolution 4K displays.

The Mac Pro will now be using flash storage, which will offer much faster performance—albeit at a price. However, Apple is claiming that their flash storage will be 2.5 times faster than the fastest SATA-based solid-state drive and up to 10 times faster than 7200 rpm SATA hard drives. Apple designed the Mac Pro around new PCI Express-based flash controller technology to deliver up to 1250 MB/s.

The previous Mac Pro models never got Thunderbolt. Apparently, the new Mac Pro won’t either. That’s because it is skipping a generation. The Mac Pro will feature Thunderbolt 2, which provides up to 20 Gb/s of bandwidth to each external device. You’ll be able to add a PCI expansion chassis and work with the latest 4K desktop displays. And since Thunderbolt 2 still allows you to daisy-chain up to six peripherals, you can go all out by plugging in up to 36 external devices.

Other I/O ports making their Mac Pro debut are USB 3.0 and HDMI 1.4. The Mac Pro will also feature 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity for fast wireless Internet access as well as Bluetooth 4.0. The Mac Pro will be available later this year.

Mavericks Operating System: Mac OS X 10.9

Mac OS X will be featuring a new name and surprisingly, it won’t be after another feline. The next version will have the name, Mac OS X Mavericks. Safari in Mac OS X Mavericks delivers faster performance and innovative features. Shared Links in the new Sidebar shows links posted by people you follow on Twitter and LinkedIn so you can keep up with new content. The redesigned Top Sites makes it easy to organize your favorites. Thanks to the new Nitro Tiered JIT and Fast Start technologies in Safari, the websites you visit feel more responsive. iCloud Keychain allows you store your website user names and passwords on the devices you’ve approved and protects them with robust AES 256-bit encryption and keeps them up to date on each device. The new Password Generator suggests unique, hard-to-guess passwords for your online accounts. iCloud Keychain works with credit card information as well so you can check out without having to re-enter your credit card number anytime you want to make an online purchase.

Arguably the biggest improvement of Mac OS X Mavericks is its approach to multiple displays. There’s no longer a primary and a secondary display when connecting multiple monitors in Mac OS X Mavericks. Each monitor will now have its own menu bar and the Dock is available on whichever screen you’re working. You can have multiple app windows running on either display or run an app full screen on each one. Mission Control makes it easy for you to drag what you want where you want it. You can even drag it across the room because now AirPlay and Apple TV can wirelessly turn your HDTV into a fully functional display.

With OSX Mavericks, you can run an app full-screen on each display.

Finder Tabs help you declutter your desktop by consolidating multiple Finder windows into one. You can switch between tabs, customize views and reorder them however you like. This makes it easy to move files since you just have to drag and drop them between tabs inside of separate windows. Tags can also be used to organize and find your files on your hard drive or on iCloud. Simply tag files you want to organize together with a keyword then you can find them again by entering it into the search field of the Finder. Tag a file once or give it multiple tags to assign it multiple projects.

As Apple said, Mac joins the book club. iBooks will now be available on Mac computers. Now the books you’ve downloaded on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch will appear on your Mac. Of course, iCloud pushes them to all your devices automatically for easy access. Maps will also be available on your Mac so you’ll be able to get real-time traffic reports, suggested alternate routes, point-to-point directions and Flyover, which is a photo-realistic interactive 3D experience that lets you get a bird eye’s view over select cities. The Calendar has also been streamlined with a new design and features. Continuous scrolling lets you navigate between the weeks and months smoothly while a new event inspector makes it easy to create and edit events. It shows your event’s location on a map, calculates the travel time and displays a weather forecast. Mac OS X Mavericks will be available this fall.

Apple iOS 7

Apple also introduced a new iOS design, which is great news for all you iPhone and iPad users, who were getting a little bored with the iOS layout. Apple has refined the typography, redrawn every icon around a new grid system, and added a precise color palette for a minimalist design. The lock screen now requires you to slide up to unlock your iPhone.

The Notification Center now also has tabs for filtering between the notifications you received that day, see only the ones you’ve missed or just view all of them. Multitasking has also been redone. Now you can swipe between the apps themselves instead of just the app icons on the bottom of the screen.

There’s also the Control Center that gives you access to the most common setting options like Airplane Mode, volume, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Camera, AirPlay and more. iOS 7 also introduces AirDrop, where you can share photos, videos, and contacts from any app with a Share button.

Just tap Share and then select the person you want to share with. AirDrop does the rest using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Safari also gets a new tab view so you can see all your open websites in a consolidated view that lets you scroll effortlessly from tab to tab. To close a page, just swipe offscreen.

iOS 7 also introduces iTunes Radio (only available in the US), which lets you build your own stations and listen to your favorite songs. You can also view the history of everything you’ve heard and added to your Wish List and then download them off iTunes. Siri in iOS 7 also gets a new look, a new sound, and new capabilities. It features a redesigned interface and a more natural speech pattern available in a new female or male voice. Siri is faster at answering questions and checks more sources such as Twitter, Wikipedia, and Bing. Yes, we said Bing. This is Microsoft’s and Apple’s awkward moment. Siri can also take on additional tasks such as returning calls, playing voicemail, controlling iTunes Radio, and more. iOS 7 will be available in the fall of this year.

What do you think about Apple’s major changes to the Mac Pro? Will you be upgrading to the MacBook Air for the additional battery life? Do you have any thoughts on Mac OS X Mavericks or iOS 7? Leave us your questions and comments below!

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Where oh where is a new Aperture???

The new MacPro looks ugly. The new iOS colors are very female oriented. Also, they are just adding ECC RAM? I've had that on my PC since 2003 or so. No more feline names are an end to a lineage while no tougher iPhone and no color choices are still unknown and unheard responses of our requests.

was hoping they might try to beat the android operating system...

The new Mac "Pro" seems much more like a ultra-fast Mac Mini. It certainly doesn't have the internal expansion that many of us need for our work.

Frankly I think they've shown a Mac Mini Pro, and are trying to calm down those of us who need a new powerful Mac Pro. They've failed.

The design is clearly aimed at gamers looking for a trendy look, rather than professionals who need the horsepower and inbuilt expansion.

UNTIL APPLE ADDRESSES THE ISSUE OF IT'S BLUETOOTH, AND WI-FI PRINTING TO ANY PRINTER!!
IT'LL ALWAY'S BE MILE'S BEHIND SAMSUNG AND ALL OTHER ANDROID MAKER'S. APPLE REFUSES TO UNLOCK THE BLUETOOTH SO THAT IT CAN CONNECT TO ANYTHING!!!!!!! AND PRINT TO ANYTHING. THAT'S WHY I SOLD MINE AND EVERYBODY AT MY PLANT HAS GOT ANDROIDS. APPLE HAS THE BEST BUILT IPAD WITHOUT QUESTION BUT CONTINUE'S TO SHOOT IT SELF IN THE FOOT WITH IT'S SEVERE OVERSIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT A BIGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG MISTAKEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE APPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SO YOU CAN COME OUT WITH UPGRADES UNTIL YOU BLUE IN THE FACE BUT UNTIL YOU ADDRESS WHAT I SAID ABOVE YOUR WASTING EVERYBODY'S TIME TRYING TO FORCE PEOPLE TO USE ONLY APPLE PRODUCT'S.

Wow, always hearing about IOS7, but a new operating system is new to me. I have just installed Mountain Lion and hate to say this, but it kinda sucks. It has the feel of a PC and nothing against that world. Oh and the fact that a number of programs needed to be reinstalled. Maybe the will have taken care of these issues. I like the idea of full HD on Retina Display!

I have an MD510LL/A model iPad, w/retina display, Wi/Fi only. Is iOS 7 compatible? Any idea on cost? Thanks, in-advance...

Apple needed to do something as there was a distinct feeling they were stagnating in the post Jobs era. Well the new ideas certainly seem creative, the MacPro being a radical change. I just suspect that the new tube design is for effect rather than functionality. The Mac Pro's market is for people needing serious computing power, not a designer icon that takes up desk space. So here's hoping that form has followed function, rather than the other way around. I suspect that Pro users are going to have to add clutter and wires to their desks in the way of external DVD drives too. So much for 20yrs worth of backed up artwork on dual layer DVD's. The best judge, as always, is time.

It's all great!

Great changes. Will this be available to all I-phone 5 users?

What's the difference between iTunes Radio and a playlist? And will we be able (I fear not) to get NPR from FM radio directly, not via streaming on Safari?

Obviously, the big question is whether Apple has made the Mac Pro self-upgradable. I've been looking for the Elephant-Herd-In-The-Room reference and an answer, but haven't noticed it yet on any site.

OS looks very good. No retina on Air disappointing. New power of Pro awesome, but design? It looks like a garbage can. Surely they could've done better there.

I have always hated your SIRI function on the Iphone. It NEVER understand smy voice and what I ask of it. Have you taken SIRI out of BETA as yet or is it still in the testing mode?

Very interested in mac pro but I have heard it may be pricey as in developer only pricey. Has Apple hinted at the expected market it intends to aim for with the new Mac Pro,how much? I see there is no room for expansion,how will this work for 3rd party hardware devlopers and what about 16 and 32 (virtual) core machines such as currently marketed by Dell?
Thanks
Bob

Will there be any changes that will affect Mac Book Pro in the near future? I like what I read about IOS 7 and Mac OS X Mavericks, I think the changes that are being made will be great

I can't believe how ugly the IOS7 icons are!!! Why Apple? Why???

Hi, since I have my Iphone I was wondering that it would be nice to have a function that allows me to be reachable at night only for a group of contacts, as for example my family only.
If I leave the phone on line everybody can disturb me while sleeping. If I put it in airplane mode no one can reach me and I will loose important emergency calls for example.
It would be nice if you can forward this question to the proper Apple destination as I was wanting to do it through their web site but I couldn't
Best
Diego

You gotta love it! They'll decide what you like and what you need!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Apple is pushing me away. I am a retired Aerospace engineer and have thousands of documents in Word and Excel. I have several Firewire external hand drives to back up my data and personal/financial information. What I do not need is multi screen/everything displayed in graphics/social media ability/storage is the cloud/new software that antiquates my current software/non-compatability with present computers (Mac Pro & Mac Book).

We have become a "throw away" society. Nothing is to be kept permanently. Everything is geared for the here and now. Constant interaction with everyone who is hardly known. People are almost afraid to have any personal time alone by themselves. Reading is not important (except for text messages which teach improper grammar). Viewing news on the internet is terribly inefficient. Instead of being able to scan a page, it is instead filled with a graphic or two and some is only available as a video. Have people forgotten that you can scan and read 10x to 30x times as fast as watching and hearing a video?

It almost seems that the more the technology is advanced, the ability to use it in a meaningful way to improve mankind is lessened. It seems that the only ones that benefit from all of this are the companies making the products/services to sell to the public. I will not be one of those upgrading to the new Mac Pro, sadly to say.

I was around for those old computers and software - starting with IBM 360/20 on up.

Todays software and OS is significantly more complicated than earlier. I am always surprised that there are so few bugs. Especially OS X. Everything works smoothly for me. However, I do miss Steve Jobs.

I switched from Microsoft 2 years ago - after using PC's since 1988. With Mac - I am able to use my computer for what I bought it for - instead of all the problems I have had with PC's, why is it running slower, how do I - or should I, buy more software to "clean" my Registry, etc etc etc.

However, I don't want to argue about it. This is just my opinion and experience.

You did not give the information I want, but all the same I want to thank you for displaying varieties of i-pad and i-phones. What I actually need is the price range of i-pad and i-phones. Remember I told you that I want the types that can be used in Nigeria and not in America, if the expressions PAL and N.T.S.C. still apply to the items here. I want the PAL variety please. Thanks.
Joe Adeyemi
Business Manager,
JOEBEAT VICTORY VENTURES

From the limited information we have on the new Mac Pro, it appears as if there is no capacity for multiple internal hard drives and we are relegated to using all external hardware from now on. This just seems like a step backwards for the professional consumer that this machine is really geared for. As beautiful as the industrial design that Apple strives for, I wish that you would take the everyday working professional user in mind and realize that what we need is to not have to be constantly buying new peripherals and cable adapters just to keep up with your need to advance the technology with intentional obsolesence. I just want a faster machine that has everything inside that I need to do my job efficiently and that works a swell as all of my Apple products have to date.

The new Mac Pro looks an awful lot like a wastepaper basket!

When I put Mt Lion on my computer a 4 year old mac book pro I had the fastes bestest smoothest running computer that ever came acrossed my desk . i had Snow Lepord it was silky smooth so i found new apps , as well as some music stopped loading on to my computer . So i decided to take a risk and try mt lion . i downloaded it and it erased all of my adobe software , a few games , anything not standard to mt Lion. i was told can you prove it and no I could not till I found logs 3 months later , I t erased my Microsoft ofice for mac , as well i am like steve is dead and now the company will go to **** cause not only is profit im portant now more than ever but profit is the number one thing a pop up told me to get Adobe elements through the store . It ate over 4 thousound in programs just to be mt Lion compatable , adobe told me to **** up a rope no matter what code it was .
So Maveriks whats the deal is it only good on latest technology or brand new computers whats the shake down whats the scam after Mt Lion I fear what might be next , and my computer will crash and burn and i will be told **** up a rope sevice If I have a huge problem is 19.00 and hour or a call actually for real like you are not rich enough already from a great 5-8 years in the past i gues looseing all those programs has made me wonder if you just switched into microsoft where you forgot about your people and just make stuff for the sole purpose of creating revinue and not servive to its customer the app store used to be 40% pay and 60% free well now its 80 percent pay and 20 percent free and we crazy amounts for a picture app for your desktop since steave has left us i see mac going in a whole different direction entire ly too bad it peaked for a few years then is slowly sinking as thecaptian has gone down the other struggle to swim in its suction to the bottom of the sea.

I will be travelling to New York shortly and would like to get the MacBook Air 13 inch as well as the iOS 7 PHONE. Would these items be able to be used in South Africa? If so I would like to pre order these

Hello Tony -

Certainly a MacBook Air will work just about anywhere.  As for an iPhone - you will need to contact an authorized Apple iPhone reseller here in the states.  B&H does not offer cellular phones or services.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Y Not?

Two things to point out. First, it gets more and more obvious that Steve Jobs is no longer around; watch Apple fall again to the curb.

Second, Apple lies and then won't stand behind their lies, so personally I don't believe a word they say. I bought a 2009 early Mac mini and they told me it was a 64 bit machine; they even still claimed it more than a year later and all their tech support claimed it too. After the run around with them for weeks, they finally came out and admitted that the early 2009 mini's were not 64 bit machines. They refuse to make their lie good and place a 64 bit machine in my hands. Now every new (as I knew was coming) software out there requires 64 bit making my machine obsolete in a couple of years. This doesn't even happen to PC users. So consider the next time you want to buy an Apple computer, that every tech spec they claim could and probably is a lie that they won't make good to you.

Oh Apple, you never cease to make me laugh... The Mac Pro doesn't even come CLOSE to self built rigs. 40 GB/s PCIe bandwidth is NOT a lot, try 90+ from the Sandy Bridge-e 3820 i7, also, AMD SUCKS AT GPU's USE NVIDIA! I am not gonna rant more, I appreciate the attempt and respect the effort. I also am impressed with iOS7 the new Air's, but that is all.

What is Apple thinking? Are they thinking or have they simply lost their compass? BOD ***** to decide if they plan to still be a profitable business in 5 years. Ask your users what they want/ need next. Don't assume you know. I'm one fan among millions about to leave the stadium.

You still slide right to unlock. The arrow you see is for the shortcuts.

This doesn't even resemble the quality and maturity of "Apple" of the past. The graphics are "coloring book," the colors obnoxious, and the new icons look like "***** kitty." I agree with the other commentators that Apple has abandoned the pro. So sad.

I want the 11" MacBook Air and iOS 7. (:

Hello, I have an i phone 4S , IOS 7 will be available for 4S i phones? And if yes, when?
Thank you

What is the status of the Mac Book Pro?

What is the cost of the new Mac Pro????