Apple held its second major autumn press event last week, and as expected, it included the launch of the next-generation iPad tablets, as well as a few other upgrades to Cupertino’s Mac and OS X line-ups.
Prior to big reveal, we put our heads together to create a wishlist of what we were hoping to hear from Tim Cook, Phil Schiller, and Craig Federighi in San Francisco. And this article is all about taking a look at the list of our most-wanted announcements from Apple, and seeing what we got from that wishlist.
So, we shall begin with…
Wanted: Retina iPad mini
Did we get it? Yes, we're off to a good start here. Apple did indeed give its smaller tablet a display boost, adding its popular Retina display to the 7.9in iPad mini. That dazzling display comes with a price hike though: The Wi-Fi version will start at £319 (16GB) while the Wi-Fi plus cellular model will start at £419. The device arrives in late November in silver and white or space grey and black. For more, check out our hands-on with the iPad mini Retina.
Wanted: A7 processor for the new iPads
In questioning whether we'd get an iPad mini with Retina, Joel Santo Domingo urged Apple to, "at the very least," add the new A7 processor from the iPhone 5S to its new tablets. The good news is that Apple delivered here, with the A7 coming to both the new iPad Air and iPad mini Retina. For more on the processor and why it’s important to Cupertino’s new tablets, check out: Apple’s 64-bit A7 chip is really all about the iPad Air.
Wanted: Touch ID for iPad
We didn’t get this one, sadly. Despite the rumours – including a photo of a gold iPad with Touch ID – Apple's fingerprint sensor is not coming to the iPad Air or new iPad mini. For now, it will be exclusive to the iPhone 5S. For more, check out our analysis of why Touch ID is missing.
Wanted: "Radical" new battery tech
This one wasn’t delivered, either. For the iPad Air and iPad mini Retina, Apple promised "up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music." Which isn’t too shabby, but that's the same promise Cupertino made for its previous-generation tablets, so there’s certainly nothing "radical" here.
Wanted: USB port on the iPad
Did we get it? Jony Ive is laughing from his pristine design studio as I type this. No, silly, we didn't get it. Why would you want to load anything onto your iPad anyway? Anything you could ever want you just get from iTunes or the App Store, right? Right.
Wanted: Something exciting
Did we get something thrilling? Both Sascha Segan and Neil Rubenking wanted to get excited about a new Apple product. "I'm bored with the iPad," Sascha wrote. While Apple's announcements might not have been revolutionary, Sascha was impressed by the lightweight iPad Air; "the Air's weight is its killer app," he mused. Still, he did also note that "it's so light, I'm afraid it makes the iPad mini irrelevant." Neil, meanwhile, did not get his "holographic display."
Wanted: Mac Pro
Yes, we got this one – Tuesday's event was not all about the iPad. There were also some revamps to the Mac line-up, including the long-awaited reveal of the new Mac Pro (pictured right). Apple said the device will arrive in December, but it won't come cheap, starting at £2,500. For more, check out our hands-on with the new Mac Pro.
Wanted: Overhauled MacBook Pro
Joel Santo Domingo and Brian Westover both requested a Haswell bump for the MacBook Pro, and they got it. Brian also urged Apple to finally drop the optical drive, and the company complied. Joel also wanted some major battery life ("can we get 20+ hours?" he asked), but Apple is only promising 9 hours on the 13in Pro and 8 hours on the 15in model. For more, see our closer look at the new MacBook Pro.
Wanted: iPhone 5C-like Retina MacBook Air
We didn’t get this one – the MacBook Air will have to wait for a Retina upgrade. Brian also suggested that Apple make the Air less expensive with an "unapologetically plastic" version – a la the iPhone 5C. But the MacBook Air remains unchanged since its June Haswell boost.
There was no mention of Apple’s much-rumoured smartwatch – which is good news for Wall Street analysts. They now have a few more months to speculate about when this mythical gadget will appear. Apple reportedly hired some Nike execs recently, lending credence to the iWatch rumours, but Apple is not one to rush a product out of the door, so you'll just have to wait and make do with the Galaxy Gear for now.