Apple introduces new iPads, Macs and more

iPad Air, top right, iPad mini, bottom left, on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Apple has made updates to the iPad Air (top right) and iPad mini (bottom left). (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Apple made several announcements Oct. 22, including new versions of the iPad and Macs. Mavericks, the new version of the operating system used by Macs, was also released.

The iPad with a 9.7-inch screen has been renamed the iPad Air. This was likely done to reflect a change in the size and weight of the device. According to Apple, the iPad Air weighs one pound and is 7.5 millimeters thick or 28 percent lighter and 20 percent thinner than the previous version of the device.

The iPad Air also has a new processor up to two times as powerful as the previous iPad processor. The expected battery life should remain about the same. It will be available Nov. 1.

The iPad mini was also updated. The new version features a high-definition Retina display and the same processor the iPad Air carries. It will be available at an unspecified date in November beginning at $399.

A non-Retina iPad mini will still be available for $299.

“It seems like Apple has taken their eyes off innovating and is just looking for little tweaks and gimmicks,” Peter Jensen, a sophomore studying electrical engineering, said about the iPad Air.

Andrew Klemme, a senior studying accounting, shares a similar underlying concern.

Mac Pro on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Apple announced Mac Pro updates on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

“I think the most appealing thing to me about Apple products is their quality,” Klemme said. “I think, in the long run, Apple’s brand will carry them fairly far, but I do think that they will reach a point when they will have to set the standard again or else they will fall out of the running of being the people to beat.”

In addition to laptops with features such as updated processors and better battery life, Apple released a new version of the Mac Pro. The Mac Pro is a black, cylindrical desktop computer aimed toward professional video and graphics editors. It supports high-quality video editing on multiple screens and is manufactured in the United States. It will be available in December beginning at $2,999.

Colton Lee, studying electrical engineering, has experience in video production and still edits videos.

“I feel that the Mac Pro will really help video editors take their projects to the next level,” Lee said. “It is packed with power, so that really helps people who need crazy power to do animation and special effects and run scientific applications.”

Lee also thinks most people would be able to use a different, cheaper computer to accomplish most video and graphics editing tasks.

Mavericks, the new version of OS X, the operating system used by Apple’s Mac computers, was released. The update, like some of Apple’s other updates, focuses on improving battery life. Mavericks accomplishes this by cutting down on activity in the CPU, which could be considered the brains of the computer.

A new version of Internet browser Safari also uses less power and is available on Mavericks.

John Siracusa of tech publication Ars Technica put Mavericks to the test. Although results varied between machines and with different usage situations, Siracusa found that battery life improved up to 30 percent after the installation of the new operating system.

“These tests may or may not be representative of how you use your Mac, but regardless, it’s clear that Apple’s efforts have not been in vain,” Siracusa said. “Mavericks really does consume less energy than Mountain Lion when performing the same tasks.”

Mavericks is a free upgrade available in the Mac App Store. The update is available for most computers made in 2007 and later.

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