The new $1999 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro ($200 less than its predecessor) has a 2.0GHz quad-core Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, Iris Pro integrated graphics, and a 256GB SSD. For $600, you can upgrade that to a 2.3GHz quad-core Core i7 with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of flash storage, along with improved graphics.
All of the new Retina MacBook Pro models are available Tuesday via Apple retail stores and Apple.com.
OS X Mavericks
Speaking of Macs, Apple also provided a ship date for OS X Mavericks, the latest version of the company's desktop operating system, which was previewed last June. Mavericks is now available from the Mac App Store, and even more significantly, it's free.
Mavericks brings several key under-the-hood features to OS X, new versions of popular Apple iOS apps, and full support for multiple displays. Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi briefly outlined some of the key technology improvements in OS X Mavericks. He talked about its improved battery life for laptops, compressed memory technology to help lessen your computer's memory load, and graphics improvements. He then ran through some of the new features first demonstrated back in June, including Safari shared links, enhanced notifications, Finder tags, multiple display improvements, and new Maps and iBooks apps.
OS X Mavericks will be available as a free download from the Mac App Store on OS X Snow Leopard or later. It'll run on a 2007 iMac and MacBook Pro or later; 2008 MacBook, Macbook Air, or Mac Pro or later; and the 2009 Mac mini or later.
Finally, Apple unveiled a heaping helping of new iOS and Mac apps, including updates to the company's iWork suite, iLife suite, and professional applications.
The iWork apps—Pages, Numbers, and Keynote—now offer full file-compatibility between OS X, iOS, and PCs (via the iWork for iCloud service). They've also been completely overhauled with new designs and new features. For example, Pages gets new smart text and object recognition technology, which replaces the old Inspector and actively changes depending on what you have currently selected. The Numbers spreadsheet app gains some new interactive chart options, while Keynote contains new effects and animations, designed to work on both iOS and OS X. Apple also demonstrated a new feature for iWork for iCloud: live collaboration. The new iWork apps should be available the afternoon of October 22 from the iOS and Mac App Store.
Also, after what seems like forever, we'll finally see updates to iLife—iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand—for both the Mac and iOS. Highlights include faster Photo browsing in iPhoto and iOS-made Photo Books; easier browsing and speed controls in iMovie; and more tracks and a new Drummer feature in Garageband. Drummer plays along with your songs at your direction. You can pick the style of drumming, the virtual player, and even choose the instruments. The accompaniment is based on the work of real drummers in a variety of genres.
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