Apple unveiled exciting new hardware updates at its October 2018 event. See what you missed here.
Today, Apple unveiled a number of new hardware updates, including all new hardware refreshes for the MacBook Air, Mac mini, and iPad Pro and the release of iOS 12.1. The theme of today’s lineup is performance and security, with many products adopting Apple’s T2 Security Chip and shifting authentication to include Touch ID and Face ID.
New Mac Mini 2018
The Mac mini received its first upgrade in four years, now with quad- and 6-core processors, up to 64GB of faster memory, and all-flash storage, delivering a five-fold increase in performance. For IT departments looking to their next refresh cycle, the new Mac mini offers a significant upgrade with the same small footprint, with Thunderbolt 3 ports, the Apple T2 Security Chip, and a 10Gb Ethernet option.
Upgraded MacBook Air
The MacBook Air has had a major upgrade, packed full of features including Retina display, Apple T2 Security Chip, the latest processors, and an array of attractive features including all-day battery life and the third-generation keyboard with Force Touch trackpad. The new MacBook Air features a 13.3-inch Retina display, built-in FaceTime HD camera, and Touch ID embedded into the keyboard, adding strong features to an affordable notebook. The upgrade ticks the box on security features, ease of use, and performance. Although there could be some training hurdles around the addition of Touch ID to a notebook, we believe this a strong alternative to user authentication that relies only on passwords.
iPad Pro Design Refinements
The iPad Pro is the most dramatic change in today’s line-up. Aside from performance upgrades and a sleeker design, the iPad Pro now features 11-inch and 12.9-inch all-screen Liquid Retina displays with integrated Face ID, again leveraging a stronger authentication protocol that is appealing for our enterprise clients. Always strong in the design world, the large Multi-Touch display is being leveraged in an upcoming 2019 release of Photoshop CC on iPad. For our education customers leveraging these design features, we have to point out that the new Apple Pencil will magnetically attach and charge wirelessly on the iPad Pro, helping alleviate the problem of lost peripherals.
New iOS 12 Release
iOS 12 was a welcome upgrade, with performance enhancements and the announcement of Group FaceTime, which became a reality in iOS 12.1. Group FaceTime opens up creative opportunities for remote work and virtual classrooms, with options to join using audio or video from iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Launched directly from Messages, Group FaceTime is familiar to end users and doesn’t require additional apps to be installed - always a boon for IT. This iOS update also enables the much-anticipated Dual SIM feature of the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR lineup, enabling simultaneous support physical SIM and eSIM.