News & Current Affairs
Say hello to iPad Air:
Toast the iPad mini with retina display
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new iPad Air (Picture: AP)
It was the moment we've all been waiting for as Apple CEO Tim Cook, confidently, revealed everything up his sleeves in a keynote speech spattered with all the old Adjectives, remarkable, faster, thinner, amazing, fantastic, and incredible. But this time they may be on to something.
In the first case, it seems like we were all right, and then again all wrong, and the knives have to go back in the box. There is no need to accuse Apple of plagiarising Microsoft's keyboard case. Just how that rumour picked up so much traction is quite unnerving, but true to Apple's word there was a lot to cover.
Ignoring the sickening hype and spin and the awkward forced laughter (and Cook's delivery) there were some really exciting announcements.
As predicted the obvious stars of the show were new iPads. So hail the iPad Air, and toast the iPad mini with retina display.
The iPad Air has a 9.7 inch retina display, but at just 7.5mm thick it's 20 per cent thinner than the previous generation and features a smaller bezel, which shrinks the footprint of the tablet down without compromising on screen size. Weighing only 454g, it is the thinnest and lightest full-sized tablet in the world. It runs the 64-bit A7 processor and M7 motion coprocessor found in the iPhone 5S, which Apple says is 8 times quicker and has 72 times faster graphics.
It also has a 5-megapixel iSight camera and FaceTime HD front-facing camera as well as 10 hour battery life. Apple says the iPad Air has twice the data transfer rate on Wi-Fi thanks to new 802.11n support. Like anything from Apple with an Air prefix, it's not cheap. 128GB model with Wi-Fi + Cellular will set you back a not-insignificant $739 inc VAT, but even without Touch ID, boy do I want one.
Same too with the iPad mini with retina display. It now comes with that same 64-bit A7 processor and M7 motion coprocessor, plus the new retina display, making it equally attractive, but just as pricey, $659 for the 128GB model with Wi-Fi + Cellular.
However, as an existing GarageBand user, the highlight of the event was the redesigned Mac version of the application. The new smart drum track that lets you choose drumming styles whilst allowing you to control how aggressive or brash the drums they are looks amazing. I think it will sadly do for drummers what Photoshop has done to photographers, deskilling the business with the cult of good enough, and what's more Apple have decided to make the software (part of iLife) free with the purchase of every new Mac.
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