Review of the Apple news from today: iPad Air, MacPro, MacBook Pro, iLife, iWork, OS X and more…
My initial overview thoughts from today’s October Apple Event.
The biggest news here is that all of the software updates: OS X, iLife, & iWork are all FREE!
The software business has a trend of moving to subscription based services (Adobe’s Creative Cloud, Microsoft’s Office 365, etc.) and Apple has taken another path… giving it away.
The advantage Apple has is that they make money on the hardware and as a result, they can afford to give the software away, as a perk of being a part of the Apple ecosystem.
Today was a massive software release for Apple: OS X, iLife (iMovie, iPhoto, GarageBand), and iWork (Pages, Keynote, Numbers) all saw updates. iLife and iWork also saw major iOS version updates and iWork has new cloud based versions for online collaboration as well.
Along with these major updates, Apple quietly released iOS 7.0.3 with some bug fixes and new features for iCloud keychain that work with OS X Maverick. Details here on what was updated.
I plan to share more individual thoughts on each of these software updates as I have a chance to install and use them.
While Apple didn’t release any totally new products today (AppleTV, iWatch, etc.), they did make some major upgrades to existing products that matter.
First, more details (including price) were released regarding the all new MacPro. At $2999, this is clearly a PRO level machine but practically a bargain for the power it provides. This machine looks incredible and the specs on it will be a dream for anyone doing major video or audio production. For the average business, including our web design business, this is WAY more than they need however.
The MacBook Pro received a speed bump and a price reduction at the 13in size.
The largest upgrades came to the iPad lineup. The top of the line iPad has been renamed the iPad Air. It’s better in just about every way: faster, lighter, smaller footprint with the same size screen, thinner, better camera, and improved wireless connections.
The iPad mini also saw a major upgrade that is very tempting. It now boasts the beautiful retina display, it’s significantly faster, has advanced wireless capabilities, and more.
I would be hard pressed to pick between the two iPads. The new iPad Air is so much lighter and thinner it takes away the negatives of the old iPad, BUT the price point for the mini is a huge advantage.
The new iPhone 5S, iPad Air, and MacBook Pro keep Apple well ahead of the curve with regards to overall hardware offering for mobile users. Their build quality and overall software integration is hard (read: impossible) to beat at the moment.
If you want to see a full video of the announcements, you can see that on Apple’s website.
Disney pairs physical toys with iPad App. Welcome to the future. (via @macrumors)
This week, AT&T announced new data plans for iPhone and iPad users starting June 7th. The biggest change is that AT&T will no longer be offering unlimited data plans for iPhone or iPad users. What they will be offering, are two lower cost options with capped bandwidth.
There are basically 2 options now for data usage.
- DataPlus: $15/mo for up to 200MB of data ($15 for each additional 200MB after limit is met)
- DataPro: $25/mo for up to 2GB of data ($10 for each additional 1GB after limit is met)
In addition to the above two plans, AT&T is also now allowing “tethering” on the iPhone for $20/mo. Unfortunately this does not include any additional data and seems to be a mear convenience charge. In my opinion, this would be fine with an unlimited plan, but the $20/mo should include some amount of additional data since it will be using data already paid for in the DataPro plan.
Note to current iPhone and iPad users, if you already have the unlimited plan, you can keep it at the current price but if you ever downgrade or change the plan, you will never be able to get the unlimited plan again.
Overall, I am happy with the new options AT&T has to offer and will be taking advantage of some of the savings.
Currently in our home, we have 2 iPhones (mine and my wife’s) and 1 iPad 3G. We currently pay a total of $90/month for data with AT&T ($30 for each iPhone and $30 for the iPad 3G), this includes unlimited data on all 3 devices. My wife uses less than 200mb/mo, so she can downgrade to the $15/mo plan (savings of $15/mo), I never go over 500mb, so I can downgrade to the $25/mo plan (savings of $5/mo). We can add tethering to my iPhone and remove the 3G from the iPad (savings of $10/mo).
Total savings with new setup, $30/mo (or $360/year). Not to mention the fact that I could potentially sell the iPad 3G and switch back to an iPad WiFi since the iPhone will now act as the WiFi hub.
Not a bad deal at all.
UPDATE: A recent post on TUAW seems to indicate that it will not be possible to tether an iPad to an iPhone. As a result, I will be keeping my unlimited 3G plan on the iPad but still downgrading my iPhone plans to save a few bucks come Monday. Overall savings is now $20/mo (or $240/year). Still not too bad.