The event started with a video highlighting the accessibility features of Apple's products, and announced a new site to highlight all the accessibile aspects of them -- an interesting low-key departure for the company. That was followed by the usual yada-yada recap of recent announcements and products: the iPhone 7 is terrific, its camera is incredible, iOS 10 is awesome and so on. There was a lot of "awesome."
Then we started with the real interesting news, starting with Apple TV ($80 at eBay) software: Apple considers apps the future of TV, and talked about its Unified TV Experience. More importantly, Minecraft is coming by the end of the year! Next stop: interactive and social. So you'll be able to view videos and posts from social media sites, like Twitter, related to the video you're watching.
A new TV app (really, that's its name) offers unified search across all your Apple devices and your iTunes catalog to, for example, show you the videos you were in the middle off (What's Next, Watch Now). And, of course, the single sign-on capability we've been waiting for.
The new MacBook Pro is "absolutely incredible." Of course. It has an improved Retina display and the customizable Touch Bar we've been hearing about for a while, which replaces the function keys with a context-sensitive touch strip that can also extend an application's interface controls. It's really cool -- think color picker and waveform display on the keyboard. To me, it seems to make multitouch obsolete. They have an all-aluminum design in silver and Space Gray (though they're the "new gold standard"). A new Apple T1 chip drives the new Touch ID sensor, which. in addition to everything else, supports user switching. And there's still a headphone jack.
The 13-inch MacBook and 15-inch models are thinner (does anyone really care?) and weigh 3 and 4 pounds, respectively (OK, that's good). A new trackpad is larger with an updated Force Touch mechanism; the keyboard is the same as that of the 12-inch MacBook. There are four Thunderbolt 3 ports for USB-C charging -- no more older USB versions or MagSafe adapter. They can drive higher-resolution monitors, like the LG Ultrafine 5K display that Apple unveiled, which replaces the company's own external display. They offer up to 10 hours of battery life.
The cheapest version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro ($1,500) does not have the Touch Bar and only two Thunderbolt ports; the better 13-inch model with all the cool new features is $1,800. The 15-inch starts at $2,400 (ouch!). The Tool Bar-equipped models start shipping in about two to three weeks. And the 13-inch MacBook Air still exists.
Apple 2016 MacBook Pro pricing lineup
|MacBook Pro 13-inch (2016)|
|2.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz, 256GB onboard SSD, 8GB RAM||$1,499||£1,449||AU$2,199|
|MacBook Pro with Touch Bar 13-inch|
|2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz, 256GB onboard SSD, 8GB RAM||$1,799||£1,749||AU$2,699|
|2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz, 512GB onboard SSD, 8GB RAM||$1,999||£1,949||AU$2,999|
|MacBook Pro with Touch Bar 15-inch|
|2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz, 256GB onboard SSD, 16GB RAM||$2,399||£2,349||AU$3,599|
|2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz, 512GB onboard SSD, 16GB RAM||$2,799||£2,699||AU$4,249|