Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Apple Drops Some News - But No Bombshells

The press conference is over. Here's our takeaway.

Apple Drops Some News - But No Bombshells

Here’s the fast and dirty on today’s Apple press conference. No iWatch. No news about  Apple TV. No fingerprint recognition or gold casings for the new iPads. Darn!

There’s a new, free operating system upgrade (Mavericks) for recent vintage computers. Better/cheaper MacBook Pro portables coming at $1299 (down from $1499) and up. Plus a super engine, cylindrical  MacPro, perfect for editing your next Ultra High Definition (4K) movie, starting at $2999.

On the software side, iPhoto gains custom book printing capability (another profit center for Apple), Garage Band  now takes 16 tracks.

 As for the star of the show, the iPad (170 million sold, and counting )  ...

There are reasons to be loving (but all were expecting)  the upgrade of the 7.9 inch iPad Mini to a higher resolution  Retina display putting out 2048x1536 pixels ($399 start). And the super light new iPad Air, weighing in at under a pound (opening price point $499.)  Less is more.

Both deploy the A7 chip with 64 bit architecture that debuted in the iPhone 5S, allowing for faster operations plus  a smaller, lighter battery with the same 10 hour playtime.

Both  also boast a better 5 Megapixel iSight camera and improved Facetime HD camera with larger pixels for better low light use.

But if you’re thinking these new tablets will radically reduce  the price of older iPad models (as Apple does with phones), think again. The now vintage, non-Retina screen iPad 2 is staying in the line at a wacky high $399. It’s a fine piece (still use one myself) and works with ye  old docking accessories. But an iPad 3 with Retina and the same 32 pin connector would have been a much nicer fall back position. The original iPad Mini also will hang around for the holiday season – slashed (hardly) to $299.   

Jonathan Takiff Daily News Columnist
About this blog
Jonathan Takiff covers all manner of high tech gadgets – and the entertaining stuff you play on them – for the Philadelphia Daily News, philly.com and the McClatchy Tribune News Service. Reach Jonathan at takiffj@phillynews.com.

Jonathan Takiff Daily News Columnist
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