Category Archives: Apple Updates

iPad Pro goes on sale

After much anticipation, the iPad Pro is available for purchase. The starting price is $799 for the base-line 32GB model with the most expensive model priced at $1079. Like its predecessors, the iPad Pro is available with silver, gold and space-gray finishes.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 19.28.08 Despite the similarities in color, the latest iPad model is 78% larger than the iPad Air 2. With a 12.9″ screen and a 5.6 million pixel display, the iPad Pro has the highest resolution display of any iOS device.

The large screen makes the most of the multitasking features introduced in iOS 9 earlier this year. Users are able to run two apps simultaneously on the equivalent of a full-size vertical display.

In addition to the large screen, the iPad Pro has two additional speakers built in to create a stereo sound system that has 61% more back volume than other systems. This will provide a wide frequency range with three times the output of previous models.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 20.05.41Because of the iPad Pro’s massive size, it is difficult to hold in one hand, but the addition of a Smart Connector along the side of device allows it to connect to a Smart Cover, which houses a keyboard encased in two-way conductive fabric.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 20.26.54
An additional accessory unique to the iPad Pro is the Apple Pencil. A new multi-touch subsystem enables pressure and tilt sensors to allow for variation in line weight, shading and other artistic effects. A lightning cable connector at the end of the pencil allows it to be charged directly from the iPad. Fifteen seconds of charging allows for 30 minutes of use.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 22.06.09The iPad Pro, pencil and Smart Keyboard are available for sale in stores and online as of Nov. 11.

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OS X El Capitan review: update brings welcome changes

Two weeks after the iOS 9 update release, OS X El Capitan was released for download. As Apple’s latest Mac operating system, El Capitan retains the minimalist aesthetic of last year’s Yosemite update while also introducing a few new features and tweaks to older ones.

Setup

What you’ll need before installing the update:

  • a computer with at least 2 GB of RAM
  • 8 GB of available storage running a current software OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) or higher
  • a decent amount of free time (it could take up to an hour to complete the download)

OS X El Capitan should run on the following systems:

  • MacBooks from 2008 or later
  • MacBook Pros from 2007 or later
  • MacBook Airs from 2008 or later
  • Mac Minis from 2009 or later
  • iMacs from mid-2007 or later
  • Mac Pros from early 2008 or later

The (not so) new look

Very little has changed visually with the El Capitan update. The style is minimalistic in the same ways introduced in Yosemite with 2D icons and translucent menu bars. Two new system fonts, San Francisco and PingFang, have been implemented for optimal readability with dynamic word and character spacing depending on font size. The few other visual changes made primarily relate to the new multitasking features.

Multitasking

Multitasking Screen Cast

One of the biggest new multitasking features introduced is Split View, which allows users to run two apps side-by-side in a way that greatly resembles the multitasking feature introduced in the iOS 9 update released in September. Similar to Windows Snap, Split View allows users to run two apps simultaneously in full screen while using a slider separating the two to adjust the width of the windows. By hovering the cursor over either window and scrolling, users can navigate through each window individually without having to click on them.

As can be seen in the gif above, there are two ways to access Split View. One method is clicking and holding the green button typically used to enter full-screen. Another option is to draw the desired window to the Space Bar in Mission Control to create a Split View screen or new desktop.

Mission Control

Mission Control Screen CastChanges to the Mission Control feature allow for all windows to be arranged in a single layer rather than stacked or hidden as they were in previous versions. The update also places windows in the same general location, making it easier for users to spot their desired window quickly.

Spotlight

Spotlight Screen Cast

The built-in search feature for both OS X and iOS 9 has been revamped to be more user-friendly and intuitive. In addition to searching for results for weather, sports, stocks, web video and transit information, users can now find a file using casual language. This means that “document I worked on last week” is now a viable search option.

Spotlight can also be used to access system settings. For instance, a search for “Sound Output” will bring up “Sound” in system preferences.

Notes

Notes Screen Cast

The Notes app in OS X matches the updated iOS 9 version, meaning that users can now format to-do lists as checklists and can drag in multimedia elements such as photos, video, PDFs, audio clips, map locations and iWork documents.  Users can also save content to Notes directly from other apps, making it easier to save websites and then view all of their added attachments in one simple view through the Attachments Browser.

Tuning out tabs

Muting Tabs Screen Cast

Perhaps the most exciting of the new OS X features is the ability to mute the music from a tab without having to hunt for it. Tabs can now be individually muted from the Smart Search field. If complete silence of the web browser is ideal, all of the tabs can be muted at once.

Conclusion

The OS X El Capitan update, like the iOS 9 update, introduced a handful of new and useful features while making refinements to  older futures. The multitasking features are especially user-friendly and will appeal to long-time Mac users who are not accustomed to the split-screen multitasking Windows has had for years.

What do you think of the new features? Which one is your favorite?