Hands up if you thought the Apple Keynote in September—for the launch of iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and Apple Watch Series 4—was tech behemoth's last major announcement for the year? I admit, I'm guilty.
Just one and a half months after their keynote in Cupertino, Apple is in New York City for, wait for it… another keynote!
Esquire Singapore witnessed the announcement live at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, privy to the vital enhancements unveiled to a handful of flagship Apple products that are cherished by many. So here's what went down at Apple's first event-scale appearance in the Big Apple.
Apple MacBook Air
Thank God they didn't kill off the celebrated MacBook Air in favour of its cousin, the MacBook. The new enhancements prolong the longevity of this illustrious device and its name.
- A 13-inch Retina display. Like finally! With over 4 million pixels of resolution and 48 percent more colour than the previous generation, images will look sharp and stunning on the latest macOS Mojave
- A built-in FaceTime® HD front-facing camera—perfect for Group FaceTime calls with friends and family
- A three microphone array for better sound quality when making calls and improved voice recognition for Siri®. (Hey Siri, whassup?)
- The arrival of Touch ID—a fingerprint sensor built right into the keyboard—which allows you to instantly unlock your MacBook Air, authenticate your identity, and make fast and secure purchases using Apple Pay®
- The support of Apple T2 Security Chip to Touch ID will make your notebook more secure
- Using advanced audio processing technology, speakers are 25 percent louder with two times more bass than the previous generation for more dynamic range and fuller sound
- Powered by 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor, Intel UHD Graphics and faster 2133 MHz system memory up to 16GB
- Comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports
- The enclosure is made from a custom, Apple-designed aluminium alloy that enables the use of 100 percent recycled aluminium for the first time, which has the same strength, durability and beautiful finish as the aluminium in all Apple products
Favourite feature: The power of your fingerprint paired with the MacBook Air's Touch ID is brilliant. Apple T2 Chip’s Secure Enclave protects Touch ID information and also ensures that software loaded during the boot process has not been tampered with. T2 also features an always-on processor that enables “Hey Siri,” which lets you make requests to Siri with just your voice for things like finding files or opening an app. Nifty!
Price and availability: Available in 13-inch, the new MacBook Air starts at SGD1789. Orders can be placed now and it will be available in Apple retail stores and through Apple Authorised Resellers starting 7 November.
iPad Pro (+Apple Pencil)
Goodbye home button. This new generation goes for an all-screen design which swaps out the circular dial for a liquid Retina display that almost touches the edges of the iPad Pro. Apple has sold over 400 million iPads to-date, making iPad not only the most popular tablet, but the most popular computer in the world!
- Features the world’s (currently) most advanced LCD display—a Liquid Retina display with rounded corners that follow the curves of iPad Pro’s unibody enclosure
- ProMotion™ technology automatically adjusts the display refresh rate up to 120Hz for ultra-smooth scrolling and incredible responsiveness on iPad Pro
- The powerful eight-core A12X Bionic features four performance cores and four efficiency cores for up to 35 percent faster single-core performance and a new performance controller for simultaneous use of all eight cores for an up to 90 percent boost during multi-threaded tasks
- Face game on! Face ID comes to iPad Pro. Designed to work while holding in any position or while seated using the new Smart Keyboard Folio, Face ID takes advantage of the TrueDepth® camera system to accurately map and recognise the face to securely unlock it
- Thanks to advanced cameras and sensors and improved four-speaker audio combine with the power of A12X Bionic to turn iPad Pro, with its large viewfinder, into the best device ever for AR
- Available for purchase separately, the new Apple Pencil magnetically attaches to iPad Pro for pairing and wireless charging. We can select the tool or brush required with a simple double tap on Apple Pencil within apps like Notes
- USB-C connector replaces the Lightning® connector (translation: you can now charge your iPhone®)
Favourite feature: With Gigabit-class LTE and up to 1TB of storage enabling powerful mobile workflows—especially when teamed up with next-gen apps like Photoshop CC for iPad (coming 2019)—the new iPad Pro will push what users can do on a mobile device.
Price and availability: Available in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch models, the iPad Pro comes in silver and space grey finishes with either 64GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB option. Starting from SGD1199, orders can be made from online now and will be available in Apple retail stores, Apple Authorised Resellers and select carriers (prices may vary) 7 November.
The Mac mini may be small, but it packs a punch. Loved by customers for its ability to be used in incredibly diverse environments, the new updates make it an even more capable desktop companion.
- Equipped with quad- and 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core processors with Turbo Boost Speeds up to 4.6GHz and Intel UHD graphics, the Mac mini delivers up to five times faster performance than its previous generation
- With all-flash storage capacities (SSDs) going up to 2TB, the Mac mini can perform up to four times faster, so working with large files and opening apps are quicker than ever
- The presence of four Thunderbolt 3 ports, twice as many Thunderbolt ports as the previous generation and each with double the performance, the new Mac mini can connect to high-speed storage, 4K and 5K Thunderbolt displays, and output video in three formats
- A 10Gb Ethernet option for super fast networking performance
- An enclosure that is uses an Apple-designed aluminium alloy made from 100 percent recycled aluminium to reduce the carbon footprint
Favourite feature: A traditional desktop, it is not. Tasks like photo and video editing, music creation, and software development can be done anywhere and anytime with its portable body. You can now blaze through pro workflows like video transcoding, code compiling and live musical performances too.
Price and availability: Available in 128GB and 256GB models, the Mac mini starts at SGD1179. Orders can be placed now online and it it will be available in Apple retail stores and through Apple Authorised Resellers starting 7 November.