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The Aftermath

Can’t innovate anymore, my ass“— Phil Schiller

OS X Mavericks. iTunes Radio. iOS 7. The new Mac Pro. Speed bumped MacBook Airs. All new Airport Extreme and Time Capsule. iWork for iCloud.

Did I miss anything?

There was a lot to see during today’s Keynote. Seriously, the amount of new that was displayed felt almost too much to fit in the two hour presentation. In fact, the whole thing felt incredibly rushed, that they wanted to cram so much into it that every segment seemed to be performed really quickly. All the way through the OS X Mavericks demo, it was almost a blur to see what the new features were.

The keynote started with a new quasi-ad from Apple, entitled “Designed By Apple“, that touts the benefit of Apple’s core design values, a company that prefers do some things well than a lot of thing half-assed. It was a delightful ad to watch and it reaffirms that Apple is just as focused on providing an enriching experience as it is about delivering a powerful new device.

OS X Mavericks represents the first move away from the big cat names and, instead, opts to use California-based naming. There’s feature such as Finder tabs, Tags, Apple Maps and iCloud Keychain, but some of the biggest news was in fixing certain lingering issues within OS X, namely it’s poor handling at fullscreen apps with multiple displays and the polarising skeuomorphism that has plagued Calendar and Contacts.

Fullscreen apps now work independently on the display they’re on and you can even swipe through spaces on each screen without it affecting the others.

Speed bumped MacBook Airs feature 9 and 12 hour battery lives, thanks to Intel’s new Haswell chipsets, something I hope will soon trickle down into the retina MacBook Pros. An argument could be made that the MacBook Air refresh didn’t deserve a place during the keynote, but I’d disagree. Intel released Haswell only last week yet Apple now has them in their best-selling portable line. Whilst the refresh might be modest, I’d suggest the introduction of this during the keynote was to remind everyone that Apple and Intel have a very close relationship and Apple will have had access to those chipsets long before anyone else.

Apple even debuted a new AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule, both looking like a very tall AirPort Express and featuring 802.11ac.

The new Mac Pro preview was one of the stars of the show, a cylindrical piece of beautifully crafted aluminium and enough power to run a Death Star. The real shock? It’s diminutive size. Expansion is something that is to be taken externally in this model1. Placed next to an existing Mac Pro and it barely passes the front IO board, it’s less than 10 inches tall. That’s shorter than the diameter of the smallest MacBook Air screen, it’s amazing.

Apple seemed very keen to let us know that iWork isn’t dead and even created a slick looking iWork for iCloud, web-based versions of the iWork suite.

iOS 7. Wow. I’m actually not going to write anything about it, you just need to experience it for yourself. The change is dramatic, the features numerous and it’s genuinely the most exciting version of iOS there ever has been.

Apple also unveiled iTunes Radio, a free ad-supported service that works in a similar way to iTunes Genius, except with music located in the iTunes Store, not just your own library. For iTunes Match owners, it’s ad-free.

The only disappointment was the video stream, with many on Twitter reporting the stream was unreliable. I managed to get as far as seeing OS X Mavericks before it just choked and I had to constantly keep refreshing the page since the Apple TV wasn’t cooperating.

You can catch up on everything that happened over at apple.com, and I’d encourage you to do so. You can re-watch the Keynote as well as a whole range of iOS 7 videos and OS X information.

  1. On the most recent episode of Back to the Mac, I predicted that Apple would feature some sort of small form factor for the Mac Pro and provide expandability via external devices.