On Thursday, Apple unveiled its new MacBook Pro lineup in a launch event in Cupertino, California. Aside from revealing its new laptops, Apple also made a number of announcements about Apple TV. Here are all the key details about the Apple MacBook event that you need to know.
1) Smaller, lighter MacBook Pro
As was expected, Apple announced a new MacBook Pro and brought in some much-needed innovation. As expected, the new MacBook Pro comes with an OLED Touch Bar panel and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, the former replacing the function keys on top of your keyboard. Touch Bar will provide context sensitive functions for different apps.
The new MacBook Pro will be available in 13-inch and 15-inch models, starting at $1,799 and $2,399. The pricing in India was revealed to be Rs. 1,55,900 while the 15-inch model will start at Rs. 2,05,900 respectively. The 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar is priced starting at $1,499 (or Rs. 1,29,900 in India).
2) Touch Bar and Touch ID
The Touch Bar and Touch ID are definitely the highlight features of the new MacBook Pro, which also features important updates to its internals. The new features could make a real impact on how the laptops are used. Touch Bar is a touchscreen display that runs as a thin strip above your keyboard. The bar displays different options depending on the context of the app you’re in – for example, when you’re in the Photos app, you’ll see image editing tools so you can use the bar to resize the image, or apply filters. Touch Bar can also show you emoji when you’re typing, and you can press the Fn key on the keyboard to show system functions.
Touch ID on the other hand is Apple’s fingerprint authentication system, and its inclusion in the MacBook Pro opens up a number of possibilities. It could be used for quick logins for multiple users on the same machine; it was also shown in use for Apple Pay.
3) TV app for Apple TV, iPad, and iPhone
The new TV app provides a unified hub for all your TV content, which comes from various sources, as expected. Instead of having to go into one app after another to find the videos you want, Apple will now let you search all your sources from a single place.
The new app – which will be free – is coming to users later this year, and will allow you to keep all your different subscription services in one place.
You can use Siri to launch into a video just by its name, or by the name of a channel or service, or even by the name of a sports team. A queue called Up Next will show what you’ve been watching recently, and will automatically sync across devices. Recommendations curated by human agents will also be visible.
4) Minecraft is coming to Apple TV
At the MacBook event, Apple CEO Tim Cook also confirmed that Minecraft will be coming to the platform, by the end of this year. It’s likely that you’ll need a third-party controller to play, since the game was really designed to work with a standard game-controller.
This is a another version of Minecraft and not just the Pocket Edition that is currently available on phones and tablets. That said, Minecraft: Apple TV Edition is not going to be very different from the other editions, obviously.
5) The MacBook Air got sidelined
Apple gave a lot of focus to the MacBook Pro, but didn’t show a new MacBook Air model. The Air lacks the Touch Bar and Touch ID, and it also is actually thicker than the new MacBook Pro, so it doesn’t look like a good option in Apple’s lineup any more. Could Apple be moving past the Air line altogether?
These were some of the highlights from Apple’s MacBook event that took place on Thursday – what caught your eye from all of this? Tell us via the comments.
We discussed everything you need to know about the new MacBook Pro on Orbital: The Gadgets 360 Podcast. You can either subscribe via iTunes or RSS or just hit the play button below.