The Latest from Apple: Springing Forward
Today, Apple announced a new thing, finished giving us the information on another thing, updated some older things slightly, and announced a few software-related things. Oh, you want more details? I guess we can pull some of those together.
The New MacBook
The MacBook is back (in a way) and this time in a monstrous package. Featuring a 13.1mm thin, 2 pound body, a 12″ Retina screen, and an (almost) all day battery. This is all well and good, but the real big news is the double-edged sword of it all. The new MacBook has two ports, one is a headphone port (which for some reason, Apple doesn’t actually consider to be a port, but it totally is), and the other being the shiny and new USB Type C port. The USB-C port on the new MacBook handles not only data from USB connections, but is also how the power supply charges the battery and the MacBook sends video via DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI or VGA, which sounds pretty neat and simple for the user who doesn’t need to use the port for anything more than charging at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day.
However, the users who want to actually use the USB-C port to it’s fullest extent might be a little more disappointed. There are currently two Apple-made adapters that convert from USB-C to with a VGA or HDMI port, one USB-A port, and one USB-C port (presumably for charging) and the best part is that these adapters cost $79 each. On the other hand, if you’d just like a USB-A port, the adapter would cost you $19. In the coming weeks leading up to the actual release of the MacBook, I do get the feeling that we’ll start seeing third parties’ own adapters for much less.
Apple Watch: The Rolex of the Future?
We learned the rest of the story about the Apple Watch. Most importantly, we learned that Apple has redefined time as we know it. Not necessarily in the sense of the Watch being revolutionary (which it, arguably, is) but also Apple has defied science and shortened the day by 12 to 14 hours. Once again, the all day battery of the Apple Watch lasts, roughly, around 10 hours. Thankfully, though Apple has tested the battery life on the Watch and has released its findings. Of course, it’s good to keep in mind that there could still be a difference between test results and results in the real world. What we do know for certain, though, is that there are three versions of the Watch, with their own features and price points. Let’s take a look at them.
The Classic Watch (I’m calling it that, get over it) is stainless steel that’s apparently 80% harder than regular stainless steel. The glass on the face is scratch-resistant Sapphire. Price: $550-$1050 for the 38mm version and $600-$1100 for the 42mm version.
The Sport edition is the cheapest of the Apple Watches. Instead of the super strong stainless steel, it’s made of anodized aluminum. These are only compatible with the sport straps, so no long list of customizations. Instead of the sapphire glass, it uses X-Ion glass, which is… well, to be honest, I don’t know what that means, I just assume it’s not as good, despite the more awesome name. Here’s the prices: $350 for 38mm and $400 for 42mm.
I feel as though this one should read the newspaper to me or something. Overall, it’s pretty much the same as the regular Apple Watch, but this one is make from 18 karat gold. It’s pretty much the version to buy if you drive a $100,000 car, especially seeing that the Edition costs between $10,000 and $17,000. Which, speaking as a person who drives a Honda Civic, is a whole heck of a lot for a watch, for me.
New Trackpad for all MacBooks
Coming with the new MacBook, as well as being added to other MacBooks as well, is a new trackpad that Apple is calling Force Touch. This isn’t some new thing inspired by Jedi Master Yoda, although, maybe, in a way it is. Force Touch includes the the same Taptic Engine that’s found in the Apple Watches. With the Force Touch, you also get a new gesture-based featured called Force Click which allows certain features (such as definitions, maps, and calendars) depending on how much pressure is applied to the trackpad. Also being added to the trackpad is the addition of haptic feedback, so you feel a slight vibration when you click. This feature leads me to believe that there will no longer be that satisfying **CLICK** of the mechanism, which may be something new to get used to, but you never know, maybe this will be the next big thing for all notebooks.
This new iOS addition is certainly interesting, although, I don’t have many personal medical problems, so I wouldn’t find much use for this. However, for the rest of the world, this is awesome. This is something that can give healthcare professionals like doctors and scientists access to patients who are willing to participate in studies helping research things like asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. What a better tool to help doctors help their patients than one that they’re already carrying around with them anyway?
The Beard Breakdown
New MacBook: AWESOME! If only I didn’t need a bazillion (in comparison) ports. Having written this on a Mid-2012 15″ Retina MacBook Pro, I don’t think I could ever really need any more (or less, for that matter) out of a portable computer.
The Apple Watch: Not bad, if you’re willing to spend the money. I’ve broken around $100 in watches in the past 12 months, so I don’t think I’ll be getting one. For now, I do believe that I will stick to my Casio calculator watch that, after replacing the wristband, has lasted me the longest out of any other watch.
Overall: We’ll have to see… The only way I’ll be wearing an Apple Watch everyday is if Apple sends us one. The only way I’ll be getting one of the new MacBooks is if I somehow need another notebook, which I doubt.