Gadgets

Recap: Apple’s iPad Air, iPad Mini with Retina, and OS X event (liveblog)

Image Credit: Dylan Tweney, VentureBeat

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple unveiled the iPad Air, a thinner version of its big tablet, and iPad Mini with Retina Display at a huge press event today.

Below you can find a recap of our liveblog, as well as all of the major news.

With Apple holding a dominating — but declining — 32 percent of the worldwide tablet market, today’s announcement is a critical one for the company. Will it be able to hold on to its market share against Android tablets, led by Samsung, which has 18 percent (and has more than doubled its share in the past year)? Note: Apple’s iPad still commands 81 percent of North American tablet usage, and typically iPad usage (as opposed to unit sales) far outstrip that of competing Android tablets.

Complicating things for the company is the fact that Microsoft’s new Surface and Surface Pro tablets start shipping today, and Nokia (which Microsoft is in the process of acquiring) has just released its own Windows RT-based tablet this morning.

John Koetsier October 22, 20139:05 am

The show starts in 55 minutes when Apple kicks off the presentation at 10AM PST …

John Koetsier October 22, 20139:49 am

Apple just started the music … something’s happening soon. 

Caught one line: “let it burn” and “I feel something so wrong … doing the right thing.”

:-)

John Koetsier October 22, 20139:50 am

One Republic – Counting Stars … “everything that kills me makes me feel alive.”

Hmmm … trying to find an Apple-Android parallel there?

Devindra Hardawar October 22, 20139:57 am

What are you looking forward to readers? I find it kind of funny that once again, the small and cheaper iPad is more interesting than the big daddy.

John Koetsier October 22, 20139:57 am

“Ladies and gentlemen … switch all devices to silent mode.” Especially Android ones.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 20139:57 am

OK, we’re in! After standing around in a pen-like corral for an hour or so, Apple let the crowd of journalists into the chute that leads into the auditorium. We’re all sitting here expectantly waiting for the event to begin. And the Wi-Fi works!

John Koetsier October 22, 20139:58 am

Journalists are cattle, aren’t they?

John Koetsier October 22, 20139:59 am

Music: “It’s all better now … wait for me … wait for me. …”

We’re waiting, Apple, we’re waiting.

John Koetsier October 22, 201310:00 am

And it begins!

Meghan Kelly October 22, 201310:01 am

Here’s a look at that corral. So very many journalists. …

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:01 am

Here we go. Lights are dimmed, and the screen starts showing a video with relaxing piano music.

Meghan Kelly October 22, 201310:01 am

Here’s an interior shot as we get started! Look at those rays of glorious Apple sun coming down on the stage.

Devindra Hardawar October 22, 201310:01 am

Hold on to your butts!

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:02 am

“What do we want people to feel?” the video asks. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a little nauseous. This is cloying.

John Koetsier October 22, 201310:02 am

Hmm … we’ve seen this before … Apple pean to simplicity mini-ad.

Jason Wilson October 22, 201310:03 am

All the feels, Dylan. All the feels. 

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:03 am

“I really love that video,” Tim Cook says, as he comes onto the stage. “It reflects our unique values.”

John Koetsier October 22, 201310:04 am

“You’re going to see some amazing products this morning,” Cook says. But first … some updates … .

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:04 am

Another damn video!

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:05 am

Apple CEO Tim Cook, coming out onstage and waving to the crowd.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:06 am

People in this crowd clap for commercials, apparently.

Meghan Kelly October 22, 201310:07 am

Glad that wasn’t the same video Apple supposedly stole to herald the launch.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:08 am

Over 200 million devices were running iOS 7 within five days after launch. Now 64% of the iOS devices out there are running iOS 7.

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201310:08 am

Exciting is watching Apple’s video about iPhones being stocked and sold.

Devindra Hardawar October 22, 201310:08 am

Nobody stocks ‘em like Apple, Tom.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:09 am

“Artists love iTunes Radio. Justin Timberlake called it ‘an amazing way to discover new music.'” And with that, Cook has now quoted Harry McCracken of Time, Walt Mossberg of the WSJ, David Pogue of the NYT, and Timberlake.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:09 am

Twenty million users of iTunes radio. Over 60 billion cumulative downloads from the App Store to date, generating $13 billion for developers.

Meghan Kelly October 22, 201310:10 am

Justin Timberlake loves it?! Well, that’s enough to make me use it. 

(Is she sarcastic? Is she serious? The world may never know.)

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:11 am

Craig Federighi comes onstage to talk about OS X Mavericks.

Meghan Kelly October 22, 201310:13 am

Apple’s competition is a hidden Mickey!

Devindra Hardawar October 22, 201310:14 am

“Now our competition is different. They’re confused. They chased after netbooks. Now they’re trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs. Who knows what they’ll do next?” – Tim Cook, with a sick burn.


Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:17 am

Here’s Apple’s Craig Federighi, going over the benefits of Mavericks, including power management, graphics processing, and more.

John Koetsier October 22, 201310:17 am

OS X Mavericks demo time. …

Devindra Hardawar October 22, 201310:17 am

I’m really interested in seeing how OS X Mavericks improves battery life for older hardware. Trying to crank out some extra life from my 2011 MacBook Air here.

John Koetsier October 22, 201310:18 am

Two-thirds of (upgradeable) iOS devices now running iOS 7, Cook says.

Dean Takahashi October 22, 201310:18 am

Hi, all. I’m across the street at the very crowded Global Mobile Internet Conference. So close to the distortion field.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:18 am

This demo is focused on iWork and how tagging works in the file system. If you’ve tagged your documents with tags, it makes it easier to find them wherever they are in your file system.

Nothing especially new about this demo, but it does help explain why you might want tags with your files.

Meghan Kelly October 22, 201310:19 am

Federighi is trying to convince us of the awesomeness of Mavericks by showing us videos of rocket launches and pictures of Mars.

You know your audience, sir.

John Koetsier October 22, 201310:20 am

Sadly, I have approximately 0% interest in tagging my documents. Search is the new organization, isn’t it?

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:20 am

Notifications in OS X Mavericks work similarly to the way they work in iOS: A little box pops up in the upper right corner of your desktop, and you can deal with it from there. Federighi gets a message from his “wife” warning him that his shirt is untucked, and he’s able to message her back right from the notification.

John Koetsier October 22, 201310:21 am

Federighi is awesome. Funny, personable, geeky, approachable. I like this guy.

Devindra Hardawar October 22, 201310:21 am

This feels like having a hip press event for Microsoft Office.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:21 am

Other iOS-like features built in to Mavericks: a Passbook-like credit card manager that works with Safari to help you buy things, auto-detection of calendar times and locations in email messages to help you schedule trips, and more.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:23 am

“Upgrading your OS is as easy as downloading an app from the App Store.”

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:23 am

Pricing for OS X Mavericks: Free.

Now that’s a surprise!

John Koetsier October 22, 201310:23 am

Mavericks gives you an extra hour of battery life on the exact same hardware, Federighi says.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:24 am

You can upgrade from Snow Leopard, Lion, or Mountain Lion, and it’ll work on most machines Apple has sold since 2007.

Availability: today.

John Koetsier October 22, 201310:24 am

“Free is good,” Federighi says. Gotta agree.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:24 am

Here’s Phil Schiller, to talk about the MacBook.

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201310:25 am

I’m really trying to refrain from having an Oprah moment but, EVERYONE GETS A FREE MAVERICKS!

Devindra Hardawar October 22, 201310:25 am

Well that’s one way to fight fragmentation. It also feels like Apple is setting up a full new OS XI reveal for sometime soon (which you’ll actually have to pay for).

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:26 am

“The Macbook Air may be the best-reviewed MacBook we’ve ever made,” Schiller says.

John Koetsier October 22, 201310:27 am

New MacBook Pros coming up today. … 

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:27 am

New 13-inch MacBook pro will be upgraded: It’s lighter and thinner (0.71 inches). It’s powered by a 4th-generation dual-core Intel “Haswell” chip with integrated “Iris” graphics, which Schiller says is 90% faster than the previous generation.

Up to 9 hours of battery life, he claims.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:28 am

Faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Thunderbolt 2 port (two-times faster than previous generation).

Dean Takahashi October 22, 201310:28 am

Haswell at last. It’s taken a while.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:28 am

Previous generation of the 13-inch MacBook Pro started at $1,499; this version will start at $1,299 for 2.4GHz processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD. Shipping today.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:29 am

15-inch MacBook Pro will be powered by a “Crystal Well” chip — 4th generation, quad-core Intel chip, with Iris Pro integrated graphics or NVideia GeForce GT 750M, for those who want faster graphics.

Up to 8 hours of battery life.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:30 am

Previous gen of the 15-inch Pro started at $2,199; this one starts at $1,999 for a 2.0GHz quad-core, 8GB DRAM, 256GB SSD.

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201310:31 am

So just to confirm, Schiller did indeed refer to The Batman as “The Black Knight”. He must be equal parts nervous and excited to talk new Macs. (I certainly would be.)

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:32 am

Schiller with a giant image of the 13-inch MBP.

Meghan Kelly October 22, 201310:34 am

It looks like he could hop up there and sit on it, Dylan.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:34 am

And here’s Schiller with the impressive, ominous-looking Mac Pro.

He’s laying a bunch of specs on us. I haven’t been able to catch them all but the message is clear: This is a fast, fast, fast, powerful machine.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:35 am

The Mac Pro is exclusively solid-state: You cannot put a spinning hard drive in it any more.

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201310:35 am

Internal specs for the Mac Pro. (I got your back boss.)

Eric Blattberg October 22, 201310:35 am

“It’s 10 times faster than a hard drive if we put one in,” said Schiller

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:36 am

“The Mac Pro makes real-time 4K video editing a reality.” — some moviemaker quoted by Schiller.

Devindra Hardawar October 22, 201310:36 am

The description of the Mac Pro alone sounds like the biggest spec-gasm in years from Apple.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:37 am

New Mac Pro will cost $2,999 for 3.7GHz quad-core Xeon with 12GB RAM, Dual FirePro D300 with 2GB of VRAM each, 256GB SSD. Available “before the end of the year.”

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201310:37 am

Baby got back.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:38 am

The Mac Pro is very quiet and power-efficient: just 12 decibels and 43 watts of power consumption at idle.

Dean Takahashi October 22, 201310:39 am

Spec-gasm? A new word. 

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201310:40 am

Mac Pro will be built in the USA. Presumably, Apple will play Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” for factory workers from 9 to 5.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:40 am

Schiller’s message: This Mac Pro is going to look great in Lady Gaga’s and Madonna’s recording studios. (Note: That’s a picture of Stuart Price, an actual music producer for those artists.)

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:41 am

Schiller rolls a video showing Mac Pro construction — in U.S. factories. Cool factory shots.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:41 am

Next up: Eddie Cue to talk about apps.

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201310:41 am

Mac Pro will be built in the USA. Presumably, Apple will also play Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” for factory workers from 9 to 5.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:42 am

64-bit apps: Why do you need all those bits? Cue is going to explain.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:43 am

iPhoto, on Mac and iOS, is faster and has new features.

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201310:43 am

Refreshed native iOS apps. …

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:44 am

iMovie enhancements as well. It’s interesting that he’s lumping together desktop and iOS versions of these apps, barely distinguishing between the two platforms. It’s not entirely clear which features are available on the Mac, iPad, or iPhone. The implication is that all features are on all platforms, but I’m not sure that’s entirely true.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:45 am

GarageBand now supports 32 track recording. (And its dials go to 11!)

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:46 am

I was kidding about the dials. But 32 tracks is a lot: Pro studios record on just 24 tracks.

John Koetsier October 22, 201310:46 am

The new Mac pro is a gorgeous beast!

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201310:47 am

Screenshots of the new Garage Band for iOS and OS X.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:47 am

GarageBand has a built-in robot drummer, “Kyle,” who you can control using a quadrant that lets you adjust on two dimensions: soft to loud, and simple to complex. Kyle rocks out!

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:48 am

Other robot drummers each have their own names and styles. Gavin, for instance, “plays complex indie rock beats on a gritty-sounding kit.”

John Koetsier October 22, 201310:48 am

Kyle is awesome. Wow.

Of course, my ability to make anything cool with GarageBand is probably fairly limited. …

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201310:48 am

“Kyle” means you can tell you aspiring musician children “no” when they say they want to learn how to play the drums. Tell them to chose another instrument.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:49 am

These three apps (iPhoto, iMovie, and Garage Band) are all free with the purchase of any Mac or iOS device.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:49 am

Kyle is way better than the robot drummer in a college band I once knew: Korg.

John Koetsier October 22, 201310:49 am

And available today. Common theme?

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:50 am

Yes, everything so far has been available today — except the Mac Pro.

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201310:51 am

Cue talking about the refreshed iWork apps.

John Koetsier October 22, 201310:51 am

Mr. Cue: Context-sensitive menus and controls are not really anything very new, my friend.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:53 am

Eddy Cue, showing off the new iWork suite: Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

John Koetsier October 22, 201310:54 am

Share via iCloud … hmmm. No more Dropbox?

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:54 am

“Millions of people” have tried the iWork for iCloud apps so far — these are the web-based versions of the iWork apps. Today, they’re adding collaboration features, which the suite hasn’t had before.

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201310:54 am

Cue seems pleased with his poster design.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:55 am

Nice split-screen demo showing Cue and the other guy collaborating in real time on the cloud-based version of Pages. It’s snappy and responsive.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:57 am

All of the iWork productivity apps are also free with the purchase of any new Mac or iOS device, and they’re available today, too.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:57 am

Tim Cook, back onstage.

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201310:57 am

I can’t imagine this kind of coworker ribbing being permitted onstage during Steve Jobs’ era.

John Koetsier October 22, 201310:57 am

Apple is getting serious about iWork and iLife.

“Can even collaborate with a friend who’s stuck on a PC,” Cue says.

Free with a Mac or iOS device. 

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:58 am

“We want our customers to have the latest software and access to the latest features,” Cook says, explaining why Apple is making all this software and the OS free.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201310:58 am

Next up: The iPad news we’ve all been waiting for.

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201310:59 am

Cook doing some happy pacing as he begins talking about iPads.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:00 am

Cumulative iPad sales are now over 170 million. Cook shows a graph going up and to the right — but it’s a graph of *cumulative* sales, so of course it goes up: Each year includes all the previous years’ data too. A more honest graph would show sales per year.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:00 am

iPads have 81 percent of tablet usage, Cook says. (Note: As we reported earlier this morning, that’s just North American usage.)

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:01 am

The iPad is No. 1 in customer satisfaction, too, Cook says. That fact, at least, is pretty incontrovertible.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:01 am

475,000 iPad apps in the App Store.

Dean Takahashi October 22, 201311:02 am

Is there an app to keep track of all the apps?

John Koetsier October 22, 201311:02 am

It’s called the App Store. :-)

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:02 am

Oh, god, here’s a video celebrating their customers.

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201311:03 am

Cook notes that these aren’t “stretched out” or repurposed apps — all native.

Ricardo Bilton October 22, 201311:04 am

Apple’s video features people taking videos with their iPads. We love those people. 

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:05 am

Message: You can use an iPad anywhere. Even bivouacked in a tent suspended thousands of feet up a vertical rock face in the mountains.

John Koetsier October 22, 201311:05 am

Drive cars, run heavy equipment, save lives, improve sports performance, serve food … you can do it all with iPad. :-)

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:05 am

They are definitely making a statement that it’s OK to hold up your iPad to take photos or make videos.

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201311:06 am

You know what? I was wrong. Excitement isn’t watching a video about people stocking iPhones. Excitement is actually a video about people using iPads.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:06 am

Schiller: Finally he’s going to show a new iPad. Right after one more video.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:07 am

And it’s called the iPad Air.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:07 am

Same 9.7-inch display, but a bezel that’s 43 percent smaller. The thickness is just 7.5mm, which is 20 percent thinner.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:08 am

Now it’s just 1 pound, instead of 1.1 pounds.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:09 am

The iPad Air contains the new 64-bit A7 chip.

Devindra Hardawar October 22, 201311:09 am

It may not sound like much, but tiny weight changes make a huge difference in big tablets, especially when you’re holding them with one hand.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:10 am

Two times faster at opening files, rendering images. 

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:10 am

802.11n speed should be two-times faster as well thanks to the internal MIMO antenna (the first in an iPad).

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:10 am

It has a 5 megapixel iSight camera that captures HD video, an HD front-facing camera, dual microphones.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:11 am

Comes in silver and white, or “space gray” and black.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:11 am

How they make the iPad Air so thin: Everything inside is skinny.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:12 am

Will start shipping Nov. 1 in many countries around the world, including in China.

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201311:12 am

Here’s some shots of the new iPad Air.

Devindra Hardawar October 22, 201311:12 am

iPad 2, still “good enough!”

Dean Takahashi October 22, 201311:13 am

I like that name.

Ricardo Bilton October 22, 201311:13 am

The iPad 2 will stay on the market for $399, while the iPad Air will run for $499. That’s a big deal. 

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:13 am

A lighter iPad means an iPad that’s less likely to break if you drop it, Jony Ive says in yet another video.

Dean Takahashi October 22, 201311:14 am

With 64 bits, this is going to be pretty juicy for games.

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201311:14 am

Some comparisons between the old iPad and new iPad Air.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:15 am

Next: Let’s talk about iPad Mini.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:17 am

The new iPad Mini, as expected, will have a Retina display, with a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 pixels. It too will have an A7 processor.

Devindra Hardawar October 22, 201311:17 am

Correction: iPad 2 will stay at $399, not as amazing as what we originally though!

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:18 am

The Mini will also get a faster MIMO Wi-Fi antenna and improved 4G LTE support. Comes in silver and white or space gray and black.

It will start at $399 for 16GB, $529 for 16GB with wireless. Will be available “later in November.”

The original iPad Mini will go down to $299.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:20 am

Here’s the whole holiday lineup for the iPad line.

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201311:20 am

Some shots of the new iPad Mini.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:21 am

Hey, gang, how about another video?

Ricardo Bilton October 22, 201311:21 am

I wonder how long it will be until we get a $199 iPad. Android still rules that price point. 

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:21 am

This is a commercial showing iPads hiding behind pencils on various surfaces.

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201311:21 am

And we’re finally getting some iPad Mini cases, plus refreshed iPad leather cases in a variety of colors.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:23 am

“Other companies would be incredibly proud to have just one of these products,” Cook says, “but we couldn’t be more pleased to present all of them to you in time for the holidays.

Dylan Tweney October 22, 201311:23 am

And with that, the press briefing wraps up. I’m going to try and get some hands-on time with these products next!

Tom Cheredar October 22, 201311:24 am

That’s it, folks.

Dean Takahashi October 22, 201311:25 am

Any singing?

Dean Takahashi October 22, 201311:25 am

Any one more thing?

Devindra Hardawar October 22, 201311:27 am

Our dreams of a new Apple TV live on. … So long folks.

More information:

Apple designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes t... read more »

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