After September’s unveiling of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, yesterday’s Apple announcement might strike some as an afterthought. But with a bit of new hardware and some promised software updates, the company brought one of its buzzwords to fruition.
Getting iOS and Mac OS X to talk to each other has been a goal ever since the introduction of iCloud. With iOS 8 (and the 8.1 update, available Monday), Apple enabled the concept they called Continuity on the mobile side; now, OS X Yosemite brings it to the desktop.
The idea behind Continuity is that not just files are available between devices, but your workspace itself. Get up from editing a document on your iMac and the same document is made readily available on your iPad – a technology called Handoff. Phone calls and cellular Wi-Fi hotspots can be initiated on an iPhone right from a MacBook.
Yosemite also includes a host of other new features, like a refreshed Safari web browser, signing PDFs with laptop trackpads, screen sharing, and iOS 8 screen recording.
Last year’s iPhone 5s introduced Touch ID, a fingerprint sensor on the home button that could be used to unlock the device. Both new iPads shown off yesterday now include the same sensor.
The iPad Air 2 is even thinner than the first iPad Air, and – as Apple was eager to point out – less than half as thick as the original iPad, making it the thinnest tablet on the market. Its 9.7” screen and 2048x1536 resolution are the same as before, but the laminated screen and antireflective coating should make it clearer. It does have a faster A8X processor and more advanced rear camera.
An iPad mini 3 was also announced, with only Touch ID (and a $100 price difference) to distinguish it from the iPad mini 2.
Other than a spec bump, the newest Mac mini didn’t change much from the previous generation. If the $499 base model isn’t enough, there are options for more memory and a 1TB solid-state flash storage device – which Apple is calling the Fusion Drive, despite its (presumed?) inability to generate energy from deuterium.
The latest iMac, on the other hand, trades on its Retina 5K display. The 27-inch screen has a resolution of 5120x2880, and along with a 3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and that 1TB Fusion Drive, it makes for an expensive $2,499 base model. There’s still a model with a paltry 21.5” 1080p display for $1099 for all you cheapskates, though.
Are you exited about the latest Apple gear? Let us know in the comments!
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