Today's Apple Event

The Verge has summarized today’s iPad & Mac event very well and it’s worth the read to catch up on everything that happened. If you want, you can go through all of the details, article by article, by reviewing Engadget’s ‘event roundup’. The Verge has a “StoryStream" too, but I like the way Engadget did theirs slightly better.

A few brief thoughts of my own:

The iPad Air was as expected but the naming is interesting, appropriate, but interesting because the Air has been exclusive to the Mac line so far. I guess it joins the ‘mini’ as a term used across device lines.

Apple did manage to pull off an iPad mini with Retina display, but there was some compromise. Price has gone up $70 with the entry 16GB Wi-Fi only model starting at $399. Also, physically, it is slightly thicker and heavier, but not enough to make it an inconvenience, as Nilay Patel of The Verge points out. Given the performance boost thanks to the A7 SoC and improved screen, I’ll just about take that.

The new “Darth Vader" Mac Pro starts at $2,999 which is lower than what many people in the Apple world, like Marco Arment, were expecting.

Apple has discontinued the old MacBook Pro 15-inch model with the SuperDrive and left the 13-inch one untouched. Apart from that, all of Apple’s laptops are now without any sort of CD drive and come standard with SSDs and RAM that is fused directly on to the motherboard. Both sizes of Retina MacBook Pro received substantial internal updates, most important being that Haswell CPUs are finally being used. This really makes the 13-inch model so much better and an awesome option for those looking to be more portable.

iWork now supports online instantaneous collaboration à la Google Docs via iCloud. It’s cool, but I don’t know how well it stacks up against Google’s offering.

Almost all of Apple’s proprietary software was overhauled on both iOS and the Mac and they now reflect both design and performance changes on the respective platforms…and it’s now all free for new hardware purchases.

Mac OS X Mavericks has been released too and it is free for everyone, not just new hardware buyers. Apple has officially commoditized software. Unless I’m mistaken, almost every software offering from Cupertino is at no cost and that’s insane. I’m not yet sure how this will impact third party Mac developers, but at least they no longer have to compete with Apple on price for their apps; a $20 dollar operating system versus a $80 productivity tool like OmniFocus previous to Mavericks.

As I said before, there weren’t many major surprises today and you could predict what was coming next as the keynote proceeded, but the above points were interesting to note. All in all, Apple had another solid day at the office.