All New iMac Pro, iPad Pro 10.5″, HomePod Debuts Along with Updated iMac & MacBook Pro
Apple announced a variety of hardware updates at the annual WWDC event, including an updated iMac, the all new iMac Pro, an updated MacBook and MacBook Pro, the all new iPad Pro 10.5″, and the new HomePod Siri speaker system.
Below we’ll briefly review the spec bumped updates and new products, each announced at WWDC alongside the next generation system software of macOS High Sierra and iOS 11.
The iMac has been refreshed with an all new brighter display, Kaby Lake Intel Core CPU processors, 64GB RAM maximum on the 27″ display and a 32GB RAM limit on the 21.5″ display models, and better GPU options. The Fusion drive is now standard on the 27″ configurations, and all new iMac models come with 2 USB C / Thunderbolt 3 connectors.
All New iMac Pro
Apple gave a sneak peak of an all new iMac Pro. The iMac Pro will debut in December with a 27″ 5K display, space grey finish, and is said to be the most powerful Mac ever. The iMac Pro will include an 8-Core CPU by default but can be upgraded to include an 18-core Xeon CPU and a maximum of 128GB RAM, 4TB SSD, a powerful GPU, four Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C ports, pricing will start at $4999.
Below are two brief videos from Apple showing off iMac Pro:
The new extended Space Gray keyboard for iMac Pro does not appear to include the Touch Bar that remains a prominent feature on MacBook Pro.
Updates to MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air
The MacBook Pro and MacBook get spec bumped processors to Kaby Lake Intel CPU architecture and faster SSD drives, and a minor spec bumped CPU arrive on the MacBook Air.
The MacBook Pro and MacBook remain hardware limited to a maximum of 16GB RAM.
The Touch Bar, which removes the function and escape keys in lieu of a secondary tiny touch screen with virtualized buttons, remains standard on the MacBook Pro, though a slightly cheaper 13″ model with two (vs four) ports offers the ability to have a regular keyboard. Interestingly, there was no mention of the Touch Bar itself during either the WWDC presentation for MacBook Pro updates nor macOS High Sierra.
New iPad Pro 10.5″, and iPad Pro 12.9″ Updated
Apple unveiled a new iPad Pro with 10.5″ display to replace the iPad Pro 9.7″ display model, it looks largely the same as prior iPad models but with slightly smaller bezels. The iPad Pro 10.5″ display weighs 1lbs and features an improved display, faster A10X CPU, and improved graphics performance. The iPad Pro 10.5″ model also includes the same built-in camera from the iPhone 7. The iPad Pro 10.5″ starts at $649 for a 64GB model.
The iPad Pro 12.9″ display model also received CPU spec bumps and starts at $799.
The iPad Pro lineup will really shine with some new iPad specific features in iOS 11 which is set to be released this fall, including new multitasking capabilities, drag and drop support, an improved Dock, and an ability to browse files on the device. The brief video below from Apple shows off some of what to expect of iOS 11 on iPad Pro:
HomePod – Wireless Speaker Device
Apple unveiled an all new wireless music speaker product called HomePod, a Siri-assisted hardware accessory to the Apple Music subscription that arrives as a 7″ home speaker system, featuring seven built-in speakers and a subwoofer.
The HomePod speaker device has an A8 CPU and also offers Siri voice controls to command the hardware to play music with Hey Siri voice commands, and also query weather, stock prices, give you news headlines, traffic updates and sports scores, and more.
HomePod will be available in December, and is available in white or space gray at a cost of $349.
If you’re interested in reading more about any of these products, or interested in purchasing them, head on over to apple.com for more.
I’ve used Apple computers since the days of the Apple II. I still have a working Mac SE, in fact. However, it may be my imagination or coincidence or a result of his demise but my impression is that, since Steve Jobs death, Apple has lost its way.
The mishmash of upgrades, many of which offer little; the tragic errors such as the touch-bar, the butterfly keyboard, and the iTunes debacle all point to a loss of clear focus & a lack of a clear pathway forward.
The last MacBook Pro with a 17″ screen was a great machine and I still use one. The iMac is neat & reasonable but the difficulty or impossibility of accessing internals and upgrading Apple models is depressing. 4, 8, and even 16gb RAM just don’t cut it with today’s bloated software and generally sloppy software development. Support is, in my experience, now somewhat dismal.
The ever shorter period of base operating systems is another problem, in my view. I have a late 2013 iMac 3.1ghz, 1.2gb Fusion drive, 16gb RAM and can no longer connect my Apple TV to home sharing because it simply refuses to recognise my Apple ID and password. Even the elite gurus on the Apple support forum don’t have any answers for me and Apple don’t want to know unless I pay for support. Even then, I doubt they’d have an answer for their latest support note for the problem says to use a menu setting that doesn’t exist on my machine and Apple TV.
I still believe that Apple make reliable machines that are certainly more aesthetically appealing and have a better OS than their consumer level competitors but I do despair at the lack of cohesion in their range and what now seems to be an almost ad hoc approach to changes.
If this doesn’t stop, the only thing that will stop me from moving to another platform is that I’ve used the other major competitor OS’s and many brands of hardware and most of it sucks.
Perhaps I’ll go back to pencil and paper.
I love my macbook 12″. i7 is good news for an update. But no thunderbolt? :(
“The Touch Bar, which removes the function and escape keys in lieu of a secondary tiny touch screen with virtualized buttons”
No, actually those keys appear on the TouchBar in a contextual manner. In fact you can see the esc key in the photo you used! Duh!
People rag on the TouchBar without really thinking about it. Most of the time people never use the F keys. That’s why Apple mapped them to do other things, like change the display brightness, Mission Control, DashBoard, and media keys, etc.
Now that area can change to whatever you need, including those same keys.
I use Escape key probably 50x times a day and the brightness and volume buttons constantly too. Maybe YOU don’t use the FN or ESC keys, but anyone who works outside, works in mixed lighting, works with audio, works in various environments with different lighting or ambient sound, or works in vim uses these features constantly.
There’s a reason the escape key has been a hardware key for 40+ years and there’s a reason the pro community does not like the Toy Touch Bar, which may be “fun” on a consumer product but has no business on a pro product. We spent our entire working lives learning to NOT look at the keyboard and to touch type, and now Apple wants us to stare at the keyboard at a microscopic screen to manipulate data that is already directly manipulatable on the large screen in front of our face? Nobody thought that product through, it should have never made it beyond an internal demo. Maybe they could use it for iPad on a virtual keyboard where you struggle to type on a screen anyway, but it needs to be removed from the Mac.
Apple is never one to acknowledge mistakes but they must be aware of this, which is maybe why they did not put it in the iMac Pro keyboard and have not released a keyboard with it. I personally have not met a single pro user who has a good thing to say about Toy Bar.
One big problem with The Fusion drive that is now standard on the 27″ configurations is that Apples new file system isn’t compatible with it, so are the new iMac’s worth buying.
Well since the new iMacs will be coming with macOS High Sierra, they will indeed be using APFS. They must have updated the file system. Also previously it was case sensitive only.
I would buy a HomePod for $150 but not for $350. Do they offer an unlimited lifetime membership to the music service in the price?
The iPad Pro will be interesting after iOS 11 comes out, it’s clearly an iPad update mostly.
MacBook Pro, totally forgettable. No interest in Touch Bar, hate the keyboard, need 2x more ram at least preferably 4x at 64GB.
MacBook Air? That is still around? Who knew?
iMac, minor, but OK for iMac.
iMac Pro, very nice, but quite expensive. Too bad it doesn’t start at $2999.
What about Mac mini?
Makes you wonder what will the next MacBook Pro and next Mac Pro be?