Apple Event Recap - October 2013

On Tuesday, October 22, 2013 Apple had an event where they made several announcements. The highlight of the event was the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display. In this blog post I will recap what was announced and share my thoughts.


iPad Air

The iPad Air is the new large screen iPad. The iPad Air offers numerous improvements over the previous large screen iPad (iPad 4).

Some of the improvements include:

  • New A7 processor which is faster and more energy efficient
  • M7 Coprocessor
  • Improved cameras
  • 28% lighter and 20% thinner

I am most excited about the new A7 processor because I have an iPhone 5S which has the A7 processor and it is extremely fast! I am also looking forward to the iPad Air being lighter than its predecessor.

The iPad Air will come in two diffrent colors: Space Gray (black front) or Silver (white front).

The iPad Air will be available on Friday, November 1st. Pre-orders are not available for the iPad Air through Apple. The best way to get an iPad Air would be to head to your nearest Apple Retail Store or carrier store (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon) the morning of November 1st.

The iPad Air will come in numerous configurations:

  • iPad Air Wi-Fi >> 128GB >> $799
  • iPad Air Wi-Fi >> 64GB >> $699
  • iPad Air Wi-Fi >> 32GB >> $599
  • iPad Air Wi-Fi >> 16GB >> $499

  • iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular >> 128GB >> $929

  • iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular >> 64GB >> $829
  • iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular >> 32GB >> $729
  • iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular >> 16GB >> $629

I will be purchasing a space gray iPad Air Wi-Fi with 32GB of storage. I am choosing space gray to match my iPhone 5S and for the first time will be purchasing the 32GB model (normally I buy the 16GB model but I think having a little extra storage may come in handy).

I am choosing the iPad Air over the iPad mini with Retina display because I like the slighly bigger screen over the iPad mini.


iPad mini with Retina display

The iPad mini with Retina display is a fantastic update to last year's iPad mini which did not feature a Retina display. The Retina display makes the screen extremely sharp and clear making it easier to read. If this was the only thing that Apple updated it would be a great update (the Retina display makes that big of a difference), but Apple chose to also include all of the following:

  • New A7 processor which is faster and more energy efficient
  • M7 Coprocessor
  • Improved cameras

The iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display are identical now except for the screen size. If you are looking for the smallest and most portable iPad I would highly recommend the iPad mini.

The iPad Air will come in two diffrent colors: Space Gray (black front) or Silver (white front).

The iPad mini with Retina display will be available later in November. My gut feeling says we will see it become available on Black Friday and it will be in short supply. Your best bet to get one when they are available will be to head down to your local Apple Store.

The iPad mini with Retina display will come in numerous configurations:

  • iPad mini with Retina display >> 128GB >> $699
  • iPad mini with Retina display >> 64GB >> $599
  • iPad mini with Retina display >> 32GB >> $499
  • iPad mini with Retina display >> 16GB >> $399

  • iPad mini with Retina display + Cellular >> 128GB >> $829

  • iPad mini with Retina display + Cellular >> 64GB >> $729
  • iPad mini with Retina display + Cellular >> 32GB >> $629
  • iPad mini with Retina display + Cellular >> 16GB >> $529

My wife Britta is already asking if we can sell her iPad mini and purchase an iPad mini with Retina display. She says that the non-Retina display on her iPad mini isn't very good compared to her iPhone screen and she would like to upgrade.


OS X Mavericks

Apple announced that the newest version of the Mac operating system called Mavericks would be available for FREE starting on 10/22/13. Mavericks offers 200+ new features!

Some of the changes include:

  • New apps (iBooks & Maps)
  • Significant improvements to apps (Safari, Mail, Calendar)
  • Advanced Technologies
  • Tags (for organizing your files)
  • Improved Notifications
  • iCloud Keychain

OS X Mavericks is available as a free download from the Mac App Store. 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.

I have updated my 11-inch MacBook Air to Mavericks and have been using it for the past week and it has been fantastic! I have noticed improved battery life (one of the major features) and I have been very happy with the significant improvments to Safari, Mail, Calendar.

Before upgrading to Mavericks, I would recommend that you make sure you have your Mac backed up fully just in case something went wrong in the upgrade process.

Apple has instructions on how to upgrade to Mavericks on their website.


MacBook Pros

Apple announced updates to the MacBook Pros. Here's a quick summary of what has changed:

  • Better battery life
  • Faster processors
  • Better graphics
  • Lower price

The new MacBook Pros are available now for purchase at Apple Stores. You can learn more about the new MacBook Pros on Apple's website


iWork & iLife

Apple announced new versions of the iLife (iPhoto, iMovie, & GarageBand) and iWork (Pages, Keynote, & Numbers) apps for both the Mac and iOS devices (iPhone & iPad). Check the App Store on your device to update. For those who have not purchased these apps they are now FREE with the purchase of a new device.

The iWork apps (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) now offer full file-compatibility between OS X, iOS, and PCs (via iCloud website). This means I can start a document on my Mac and finish it on my iPad or another computer.

Other Announcements

The iPad 2 will continue to be available for sale at the price of $399.

I would not recommend that anyone purchase this iPad at this point. I believe that it is still offered because businesses will purchase it if they want a bigger screen iPad for a specific purpose and want to save money. Educational institutions seem to be buying the iPad 2 for students as well. I would advise someone to purchase the iPad Air or the iPad mini with Retina display.

The iPad mini (without Retina display) will continue to be available for sale at a reduced price of $299 (original price was $329). Again, I would recommend that a person purchase the iPad mini with Retina display if they can afford the extra $100. It is worth the extra cost!


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