The final Apple event of 2018 has come and gone. New gadgets have been unveiled, new features teased and the future looks brighter than ever – and it’ll cost you 6o% more. We’ll explain below.
The Apple event nicknamed “There’s more in the making” went eastward this time to the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, New York, instead of the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California.
So what did Apple announce this time? In case you missed the event, here’s everything you need to know.
1. MacBook Air
Finally, everyone’s favorite Apple laptop, the MacBook Air, is updated with fresh new specs and hardware.
The new MacBook Air now rocks a 13.3-inch Retina Display and sports thinner black bezels that are 50 percent smaller than the old MacBook Air. The trackpad is also 20 percent bigger and it now supports Force Touch.
The processor was also updated to the 8th-gen Intel Core i5 chip, plus it’s outfitted with a dedicated T2 security chip. Speaking of security, the new MacBook Air now uses Touch ID for a bunch of functions like logins, Apple Pay and passwords.
The MacBook Air can be upgraded with up to 16GB RAM and a 1.5TB solid-state drive. For its connections, it has two USB-C ports and, thankfully, a headphone jack. But see anything missing? Yep, no regular USB-A ports. That means you’ll need a dongle if you want to use older USB accessories.
Overall, the new MacBook Air is 17 percent smaller and 10 percent thinner than its predecessor.
The new MacBook Air starts with 8GB RAM and a 128GB SSD for $1,199. A bit pricier than I would have liked it. $1,099 would have been perfect.
You can preorder one today, and it will be available on Nov. 7.
2. Mac Mini
The Mac Mini has always been a favorite for computer hobbyists who use it as a media server, a file server or for automation because of its small footprint and cheaper price point compared to other Macs.
But the Mac Mini has not been updated since 2014 and a makeover was sorely needed.
So finally, the new Mac Mini was unveiled with beefed-up specs fitting for a computer in 2018.
For starters, the new base Mac Mini has an 8th-gen Intel four-core CPU and could go up to six cores. It could be outfitted with up to 64GB RAM and a 2TB SSD. These upgrades make it 5 times faster than its predecessor.
As for connections, it has two USB-A ports, four Thunderbolt USB-C, a gigabit Ethernet jack (upgradeable to 10 GB), and yes, a headphone jack.
Color options are only limited to Space Gray, though (which I don’t mind, it looks sleek).
The entry-level configuration of the Mac Mini gets you 8GB RAM, 3.5GHz quad-core Core i3 CPU, and 128GB Solid State Drive for $799.
It’s a bit more expensive than I expected but it is still a great option for people who want to upgrade their aging Mac Minis, which are perennial MacOS favorites for running personal home servers.
Preorders start today. Releases Nov. 7.
3 and 4. New iPad Pros
The biggest announcements of the event, in my opinion, are the all-new, redesigned iPad Pros.
As we expected from the rumors, the latest iPad Pros ditched the Home button and went with Face ID like the iPhone X. In fact, Apple has figured out a way to make Face ID work in both portrait and landscape mode in these new iPad Pros, so that’s one significant update.
With this almost all-screen design, the bezels are also significantly thinner, giving these iPad Pros more display space from a smaller form factor than their predecessors.
The new iPad Pros come with either an 11-inch screen or a 12.9-inch Liquid Retina LCD display with the same ProMotion and TrueTone technology as the older iPad Pros.
Another big change is the switch from the Lightning connector to a USB-C port. This allows the new iPad Pros to be more flexible, and the port can even be used for charging external gadgets and a host of other functions like 5K video output to external monitors. Unfortunately, like with the new iPhones, the new iPad Pros don’t have a headphone jack.
The new iPad Pros will get the new A12X Bionic chip, an even more powerful processor than the current iPhones’ A12 chip.
This chip is also said to sport an upgraded image processor and 7-core GPU for even better graphics performance than the iPhone XS, XS Max or XR. This makes these new Pros 35% faster than last year’s models and a whopping 1,000 times faster than the original iPad Pro.
The new iPad Pro is so powerful that Apple even demoed a console-quality version of the video game NBA 2K19 and a full desktop version of Adobe Photoshop on it.
As to specs, It can be outfitted with up to a whopping 1TB of flash storage space. 1TB in an iPad, we’re finally here, folks.
For accessories, the 2nd-generation Apple Pencil has been announced. This all-new stylus now has touch controls and it attaches magnetically to the iPad Pro for storage, charging, and pairing.
An all-new Smart Keyboard Folio is also available with improved keys and front and back protection.
The new 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799, while the 12.9-inch starts at $999.
Preorders start today, releases Nov. 7.
5. New iOS 12 feature you’ll love
Aside from the new gadgets, Apple also announced the rollout of iOS 12.1 after the event. What’s in iOS 12.1 that’s exciting? The much-awaited Group FaceTime feature, of course.
With Group FaceTime, Apple gadget users can finally conduct FaceTime video calls of up to 32 participants at a time. Yep, prepare for those extra chaotic group iPhone video calls with your friends and colleagues.
However, not all iOS gadgets are invited to the Group FaceTime video chat party.
The Phone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus will only get audio from Group FaceTime call and will not support video. Same with the iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, and the iPad Air. It’s apparently a processor issue. These gadgets simply don’t have the power to handle multiple video feeds.
If you’re still rocking these older iOS gadgets, at least you can still talk and listen in to your friends’ Group FaceTime chats.
Aside from Group FaceTime, other delayed iOS 12 features that might roll out in 12.1 are dual-SIM card support for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR plus Smart HDR camera fixes.
Now this all comes at a price, as we said at the beginning of this story.
Apple sales are down, so they did one of the only things they could do, raising prices by up to 60%.
Apple has done this before. Certainly, higher prices will lift Apple’s revenues. Are the new products worth the money? Time will tell.