Apple finally held its long-awaited 2016 special event, let's see the last news from Cupertino. CEO Tim Cook first unveiled a video regarding accessibility and how the company will develop a new website dedicated to disabled users. “Our teams work so hard to make our products accessible to everyone and today we’re launching a new accessibility website about those features. We believe technology should be accessible to everyone, and we hope this site becomes a great resource,” he said. Apple's CEO then went on to discuss updates on the last iPhone 7 devices such as the Memories feature in iOS 10.1 that will be “easier and better”, saying 400 million memories have already been created by users. New transit support in Maps and the release of the new Apple Watch on October 28 were announced too. But let's go on with the main topics of the conference.
In just twelve months, Apple has piled up over 8,000 apps and 2,000 games for all of its TV categories. There are approximately 1,600 from video content providers alone and not to mention, users can integrate apps “to make watching TV more interesting, interactive and social,” said Cook. Speaking of social, enter Twitter’s product manager Ryan Troy who announced a slew of remarkable Apple TV features available for Twitter users. With Apple TV, users can view their Twitter feed as well as check out live reactions to occurring sports and news broadcasts on one single screen. Troy also professed that the NFL, NBA, NHL, BuzzFeed and Bloomberg are collaborating to bring original content to the innovative platform. Not only can users peruse tweets, but also send their own via their iPhones.
The Apple TV, iPad and iPhone have a new called app, simply called TV: a new, unified hub that promises to help make sense of the 1,600 video content providers that have apps on the platform. It looks useful and great, but there are two big problems: it doesn’t include Netflix or Amazon. Ok, Amazon’s absence is no surprise, given that Amazon Video has never been on Apple TV, but Netflix’s absence is a bit weird as it’s been around on streaming boxes, including Apple TV, since what feels like the dawn of time. Netflix spokesperson Smita Saran said in a press release, “I can confirm we are not participating and evaluating the opportunity.” Netflix is still on Apple TV, but when can’t binge watch Narcos or watch the latest Star Wars movie, this new TV app falls a bit flat.
Before we get into the real exciting thing (yes, that glowing touch bar you’re about to see everywhere on all the advertising boards all around the world), let’s talk about specs. The new MacBook Pro is noticeably thinner (is it really necessary?), lighter and comes complete with fingerprint scanner to finally bring Touch ID payments to a laptop. It features two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports on each side that are used for both power (no more MagSafe!) and connecting external devices. However, there are no standard USB type A ports, which are still regarded as the global standard, and are used by Apple for their Lightning cable, which notably come with the company’s iPhones. You’ll be pleased to hear there’s still a 3.5mm headphone jack, but the SD card reader and HDMI ports are still, predictably, nowhere to be seen. Talking about CPUs, the new 13in MacBook Pro can be equipped with dual-core versions of the Intel i5 or i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB storage and Intel’s Iris 550 integrated graphics chip. But the real power comes in the form of the new 15in MacBook Pro. There’s a quad-core version of Intel’s i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and it also comes with an AMD Radeon Pro 450 graphics chip that offers up to 4GB of video RAM.
Anyway, the biggest change to the design is the new OLED Touch Bar, which we’ll get to now. The big selling point for this year will be a thin touch display between keyboard and screen. It’s called the Touch Bar, and it will offer different “keys” depending on the app or program that’s being used. It will effectively eliminate the need for a row of function keys, and open up a head of new possibilities. By default, the Touch Bar will display a similar range of controls that Mac users will be long familiar with, like playback controls, screen brightness, keyboard brightness, etc. Those options will then change depending on the current App being used. For example, when browsing through your emails you’ll get buttons for flagging or replying. It will also give you suggestions to finish a word or sentence when typing, including Emoji, just like on your iPhone. Of course, the bar will be entirely customizable to the preferences of the user, and will be available to use in Apple apps like Photos, Safari, Maps and Garageband. It’s yet to be announced whether this will extend to third-party apps, but it’s quite hard as Apple has no great relationship with third-party companies. Great news is about the trackpad, which is considerably larger this year, almost doubled than the previous Macbook Pro. Also, Apple mentioned that the new MacBook Pro is capable of running up to 10 hours with just one charge.
We think Apple spent too much time on developing the new Touch Bar, it's quite interesting but not really revolutionary, it only replaces physical buttons. No HDMI and SD cards readers also are not a great move, considering also the previous choice to not include 3.5mm jack on iPhone 7. Let's consider also the new Microsoft's Surface Studio, presented at “Imagine What You’ll Do” event. Microsoft’s latest computer features a 28-inch PixelSense display that its developers labeled “thinnest display” ever produced. It comes with a Intel Core processor, a 2TB hybrid hard drive, an NVIDIA GPU, 32GB RAM, and a new haptic feedback device known as the Surface Dial. It's surely not cheap, going on market at 3,000$, but if we talk about innovation, Microsoft's new idea is quite revolutionary. Have a look at the video below to see some feature.
What do you think of this event? Let us know your comments below.