Everything “Unleashed” at the Oct. 18 Apple Event.
A quick summary, and some thoughts, on the latest Apple event.
Apple split the event into two main parts, a Music part, and a MacBook Pro & M1 part.
Listening to music with your voice
The music section started by announcing a new type of plan called the “Voice Plan,” essentially a budget version of the single Apple Music plan. It only allows for control through Siri and doesn’t have the premium features the Music app has.
More colors for HomePod mini.
Then they moved over to the “HomeKit house” to show us three new colors introduced to the HomePod mini line-up. While they showed the new yellow, orange and blue colors, they highlighted some key features the previous HomePod minis already had.
The latest and greatest AirPods.
Then we did the, at this point, infamous Apple campus whoosh over to the Steve Jobs Theater where the new AirPods 3 got revealed.
In my honest opinion, they are AirPods Pro but in a slightly cheaper to manufacture design. They gained spatial audio, and an adaptive EQ compensates for real-life audio conditions, so songs sound closer to the intended version as made by the artist.
They also have a MagSafe compatible case meaning it snaps to MagSafe chargers as the newer iPhones do as well.
Now let’s get to the MacBook Pro news, which in my opinion, was the way more exciting news of this event.
Bye, bye, touchscreen.
Let’s start with the fact that they removed the Touch bar that had a divided opinion among users of the MacBook Pros. While I won’t miss it that much, I do appreciate the versatility it brought to the table. I hope a future technology will capture the sentiment it had, but with better execution.
Old, become new.
The new design feels like a mashup of a couple of devices. The screen has the back of an iPad Pro and the front of an iPhone. While the bottom strongly reminds me of the older MacBook Pros from days gone by.
The ports are back!
So I think all the Pro users out there can rejoice that the missing SD card reader, MagSafe port, and HDMI port are back. While I don’t mind having dongles, it’s much easier for them to be in the machine itself. Also, as a bonus, the 3.5mm jack plug now supports high impedance headphones for listening to music with even higher accuracy.
Liquid XDR and ProMotion.
The MacBook Pro took many of the technologies used on the bigger standalone Pro Display XDR and applied it to a smaller, portable form factor. It now has support for HDR content and a refresh rate of up to 120HZ.
Now on to the stars of the show, new Apple silicon.
To keep a detailed story short, they took the M1 chip and made it bigger, giving much better performance than the already very performant M1. The main thing we can take away from the two new versions of the M1, the M1 Pro, and M1 Max, is that they are capable of up the 32GB and 64GB of unified memory. They also gained a bunch of cores which improves speeds a bunch compared to the previous version.
Also notable for video editors is that the new M1s now have support for ProRes acceleration, enabling way more 4k and 8K video streams to be edited simultaneously with higher quality output.
The new chips now also support up to 4 external displays to be connected.
I strongly recommend you check out all the details about the new MacBook Pro on Apple’s website, where they go into way more party than I did.