Show re­port

All the hot news about the new MacBook Pro

Mac Format - - APPLE CORE - by ALEX BLAKE & ALAN STONE­BRIDGE

Well hello, Brexit. When Ap­ple launched a new MacBook Pro line-up at its spe­cial event on 27 Oc­to­ber, one of the big­gest talk­ing points was the large price hike that came at­tached. If you want to buy a new Mac – of any kind – it’ll cost you sig­nif­i­cantly more now. Ouch!

So what did Ap­ple an­nounce to jus­tify this brave new world of higher prices? The most in­ter­est­ing thing was un­doubt­edly the new MacBook Pro. As with all Ap­ple prod­uct launches these days, pretty much ev­ery­thing wass leaked be­fore the event (and un­can­nily pre­dicted by us in MF302), but the new fea­tures did not dis­ap­point.

Most eye-catch­ing is the new Touch Bar that re­places the func­tion keys at the top of the key­board with app-spe­cific con­trols rel­e­vant to what you’re do­ing at the time. So in iTunes, you might have but­tons to skip through a track or tog­gle shuf­fle. In Mail, you can flag a mes­sage, send it to a spe­cific folder and more.

Touch ID has also come to the Mac as part of the Touch Bar, and it has a num­ber of uses. As with iPhone, you can now log in to your Mac with a touch of your fin­ger. But you can also quickly switch user ac­counts – if two peo­ple share a MacBook, one per­son can use Touch ID while another user’s ac­count is logged in to switch to their own pro­file. And, of course, you can use it to pay for your on­line shop­ping quickly and se­curely.

Craig Fed­erighi demon­strated how you can cus­tomise the but­tons that ap­pear on the Touch Bar by sim­ply drag­ging an al­ter­na­tive icon from a set­tings win­dow down to the bar. De­vel­op­ers will also be able to use the bar in

their own apps, and com­pa­nies like Adobe, Mi­crosoft and Serif have al­ready cre­ated their own of­fer­ings.

Use the Force (Touch)

Another vis­ually ob­vi­ous change is the en­larged track­pad – it’s now twice as large as the one grac­ing the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion MacBook Pro, leav­ing more room for swipes and ges­tures. It re­tains the pres­sure-sen­si­tive Force Touch tech Ap­ple added last year, too.

The key­board has also been re­vamped to fea­ture an up­dated ver­sion (or ‘2nd gen­er­a­tion, as Ap­ple calls it) of the but­ter­fly mech­a­nism found in the 12-inch MacBook. This de­liv­ers an up­dated switch mech­a­nism, more travel, and greater re­spon­sive­ness.

Else­where, the MacBook Pro has re­ceived a whole heap of in­ter­nal com­po­nent up­grades. The 15-inch ver­sion sees up to 130% faster graph­ics per­for­mance, 60% bet­ter gam­ing per­for­mance and 57% bet­ter video edit­ing per­for­mance. Stor­age, mem­ory and dis­play all see im­prove­ments too. You get two or four Thun­der­bolt 3 ports de­pend­ing on the model, which use a USB-C con­nec­tor, com­pat­i­ble with USB 3.1 de­vices at up to 10Gbps.

Of course, there are all-im­por­tant size and weight changes, too. The new 15-inch model is 14% thin­ner and takes up 20% less vol­ume than its pre­de­ces­sor. The 13-inch model has seen sim­i­lar re­duc­tions.

“The fu­ture of TV is apps”

Ap­ple’s event wasn’t all fo­cussed on hard­ware, though. It in­tro­duced a new app for Ap­ple TV sim­ply called TV. The idea be­hind it is to unify all your TV apps into a sin­gle hub. So in­stead of watch­ing a show in one app and hav­ing to switch to a dif­fer­ent app to watch some­thing from a dif­fer­ent net­work, you can view ev­ery­thing in suc­ces­sion in one place.

Like Ap­ple Mu­sic, TV will fea­ture cu­rated rec­om­men­da­tions from ed­i­tors. It’ll also work across your Ap­ple TV, iPhone and iPad, so you can watch on all your de­vices.

Un­for­tu­nately there’s no UK re­lease date for the TV app, though – Ap­ple only said it will launch in the US in De­cem­ber 2016.

Ad­mit­tedly, the app wasn’t as ex­cit­ing an an­nounce­ment as the MacBook Pro. If you can stom­ach the wal­let-bust­ing, eye-wa­ter­ing, palm-sweat­ing price hike, that looks to be Ap­ple’s most in­trigu­ing MacBook Pro yet.

The key­board has an up­dated ver­sion of the MacBook’s but­ter­fly mech­a­nism

This year’s MacBook Pro adds an en­tirely new in­put de­vice, the Touch Bar, to pro­vide you with con­tex­tual short­cuts for the app you’re us­ing.

All mod­els with a Touch Bar fea­ture four Thun­der­bolt 3 ports, but two on 13-inch mod­els have re­duced band­width.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.