Having doffed our best guessing hat, we were a little concerned Apple wouldn’t unleash ALL THE MACS. And so it proved as the event resulted in the unveiling of only three new things – one of which is broadly irrelevant in the UK.
Fortunately, of the others, one will benefit the world, and the other is very nice indeed. You can watch the entire event on Apple’s website, but for just the highlights, read on!
The new MacBook Pro
Rumours had suggested a svelte new MacBook Pro was on the way, with a touchscreen strip and Touch ID. This was all but confirmed by imagery found deep within a macOS update, presumably added by an Apple staff member who’s now been fired – into the heart of the sun.
It’s also rather expensive, starting at £1749, unless you don’t want the Touch Bar, in which case your wallet will still be £1449 lighter. And that’s before you factor in dongles, given that Apple’s gone all-in on Thunderbolt (USB-C). Still, at least there’s a headphone port.
A new Apple TV TV app
No, that’s not a typo above: there really is a new Apple TV app called TV. Actually, it’s a tvOS and iOS app, designed to be a hub, to track what you’re watching and serve up recommendations, regardless of the services and apps you use – just the kind of thing we need in this era of fragmented online viewing.
Two tiny snags, though: at least a couple of major services – Amazon Prime and Netflix – aren’t on board. (Amazon Prime doesn’t even have a tvOS app, while Netflix is reportedly “evaluating the opportunity”.) And it’s initially US-only when it launches later this year – which doesn’t actually annoy us that much, given how many UK broadcasters are dragging their feet on making Apple TV apps.
A new accessibility website
Apple’s keynote started out with a film on people with disabilities using the company’s kit. CEO Tim Cook said: “We believe that technology should be accessible to everyone”. Tying into this, Apple’s launched a new accessibility website, outlining ways in which its products can be used: Apple Watch fitness algorithms for wheelchair users; Switch Control on Mac; VoiceOver on iPhone for the visually impaired; and much, much more.
Accessibility for all is a laudable goal, and Apple remains at the forefront of this particular area of tech. It’s not sexy. It’s not shiny. It’s probably not even that relevant to a broad chunk of Stuff’s audience. But it is hugely important, so we’re happy to bang the ‘well done, Apple’ drum on this one.
New UK pricing
But not this one. We were expecting the new MacBook Pros to have some eye-watering price-tags, but not so much for pricing to be tweaked across Apple’s existing line-up – despite Sterling tanking since the summer.
So if you’d been holding back on buying a new iMac in case the line was updated today, the sting in the tail wasn’t so much no new model, but instead price-hikes of 250 and 300 quid, respectively, to the existing 4K and 5K models. The Mac mini’s up 80 quid, too, and the ageing Mac Pro is now a single coin under three grand – a whopping £500 pricier than it was yesterday.
Ouch. We’re off now to glare at our guessing hat for not predicting that particular doozy.