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Apple Launches the NextGen Mac Pro, updates iOS & OSX

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Apple unloaded a metric ton of hardware and software at the WWDC keynote today. New supermodel MacBook Pros, software upgrades everywhere, so many peripherals and updates that some didn’t even get mentioned—it was all pretty overwhelming. Here are the most important bits….

 

&This thing is a space monster. Apple just dropped a Next Gen MacBook Pro with the highest resolution screen in laptop history, and the thinness of the air. Retina Display spewin’, HD chewin’ supercomputer. This is Apple’s crown jewel of computing.The Next Gen Pro is mind-boggling: a 2800 x 1800 resolution on a 15.4-inch screen—that’s well over 5 million pixels, dwarfing your HDTV. That also means the computer qualifies as a retina display, with a pixel density of 220 PPI—seamless when you’re staring at it from a normal computer distance. By comparison, the current 15-inch Pro drives a mere 1440×900. I guess that’s puny as of today. But let’s get beyond the display.
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You can get a staggering 768 GB—yes, that number is correct—SSD drive. That’s mammoth. More? Two Thunderbolt ports, HDMI, an SD card, USB 3.0, and “MagSafe 2.” No ethernet port or optical drive, but it’s time to shed some old tech—and that’s a big part of what keeps this thing so svelte. DVDs are dead. Bye. This computer is essentially the pinnacle of Apple technology. Little flourishes like dual microphones and a custom-designed asymmetrical internal fan (for quiet cooling) abound.
&The best part? The “MacBook pro with Retina Display,” the starship’s official name, starts at $2200 with a 2.3 GHz Ivy Bridge processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 SSD. Ships today. If you want to max it out—2.7 GHz processor, 16 GB of RAM, and the 768 GB SSD, it’ll hit you $3750. Which is a lot,but, hell. This is the computer we were all dreaming for today—the inevitable unification of the Air’s impossible lines and the Pro’s, well, professionalism. It’s an aluminum synthesis that makes a power computer seem as gentle for us humans as it is astoundingly capable. And it’s the most exciting thing Apple’s done in years Give Sunlight.&

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Apple is certainly making WWDC a hardware conference this year — it just unveiled a refresh of the existing MacBook Pro running Intel’s newer Ivy Bridge processors on the San Francisco gathering’s opening day. The 13- and 15-inch portables run up to 2.7GHz quad Core i7s (turbo up to 3.7GHz), carry up to 8GB of RAM and have GeForce GT 650M-based graphics 60 percent faster than the previous generation. Like the new MacBook Air, they tout USB 3.0 ports. If you’re more comfortable with Apple’s conventional MacBook Pro design than the new variety, Apple will ask $1,099 for the base 13-inch version and $1,799 for a 15-inch version, with an upgraded 15-inch model going for $2,199.
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Apple has announced that it’s bringing new iPad-style dictation to Mountain Lion. In the same way that you can tap the button on the digital keyboard, hitting the microphone button will allow you to speak directly into native software, websites like Facebook and even third-party applications like Microsoft Word.
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Apple just introduced a new OS X feature here at WWDC 2012 called Power Nap. It lets your Mac update email, notifications and photos in the background, as well as back itself up while charging. Whether or not Apple ever drops the word “Ultrabooks” (and trust us, it won’t), this addition is a clear retort to all those Windows-based ultraportables that promise to keep web-based apps up to date. In addition to the new MacBook Pros announced today, the feature will work with the second-generation Air, which makes us think all other legacy Macs might be excluded. Supposedly, too, the technology goes easy on the battery and won’t stir up the fans, though Apple claims they’re quieter on the new Macs anyway.

&Apple’s fresh new hardware may have gotten the headlines thus far during Apple’s 2012 WWDC keynote, but there’s also some good news for browser aficionados, too. Safari has taken a page out of Chrome’sbook by offering unified search for the web, your history and bookmarks. Additionally, Safari now syncs your web-browsing info across all your devices. Called iCloud Tabs, the feature lets you see the tabs you have open on any device simultaneously. That means you can surf the web on your iPhone while you’re out and about, and continue your web session seamlessly on that shiny new MacBook Pro when you get home by clicking the new handy dandy iCloud button. Not only that, Safari’s picked up some new multitouch tricks, letting you swipe all the way out to tab view, then pinch on the page you want to dive back in.Safari’s Mobile version has also gained the ability to upload images directly and it now has an Offline Reading List that downloads and caches anything you add. Furthermore, Safari can now provide a notification if there’s an app for the website you’re browsing. Tapping the notification brings you to the App Store, and once downloaded, the browser pushes the URL to the app so you can pick up the content right where you left off.&

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