Wednesday Morning News

iMac+bigAs the rumours predicted last week, Apple did indeed add a 4K option to the 21-inch iMac overnight, but what the rumours didn’t predict was that the 27-inch iMac now comes with a 5K display as standard, and the entire iMac lineup was upgraded to Intel’s sixth-generation Skylake processors. Ars Technica has a review of the 21-inch iMac with 4K display, saying it’s the same great design with a much higher resolution display.

Ars also checks out the new range of Apple peripherals (also predicted via code found in the latest OS X beta), with the Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad 2 all getting upgrades. All Magic accessories now have in-built rechargeable batteries and charge via Lightning port, negating the need to swap out AA batteries and making Apple’s battery charger something of an oddity. The new accessories also come with an automatic pairing mode that simply requires you to connect the device to your Mac via the included Lightning cable.

Over at Six Colors, Jason Snell takes a look at the Magic Trackpad 2 and Magic Keyboard (the changes to the Magic Mouse 2 are minor, besides the aforementioned built-in rechargeable battery, new charging/pairing via Lightning, and also a smoother glide over any surface). The Magic Trackpad is now more rectangular and brings Force Touch to OS X for the first time, but also requires Bluetooth 4.0, restricting it to 2012 machines or later. As for the Magic Keyboard, minor adjustments to the function keys, but the jury’s out on whether it includes the new butterfly switches as found in the MacBook — Snell writes that typing on it feels “better” than the MacBook, even though there’s less key travel than the old wireless keyboard. Oh, and there’s also no per-key backlighting, so it looks like I’m giving this one a miss this time around.

While Apple’s peripheral refresh is nice, I’m not entirely sure the upgrades justify their new prices, thanks to the Aussie Dollar. The Magic Keyboard is now AU $165, while the Magic Mouse 2 comes in at $129. And if you’re wanting to get in on some OS X Force Touch action, the Magic Trackpad 2 will set you back $199. All are available via the Apple Online Store, shipping in 1-3 business days.

Something I missed from Apple’s App Store price increase in Australia was that developers don’t have to charge more for their apps. “Alternate” pricing tiers mean that developers choosing to sell their apps in Australia can charge 99-cents, bringing us in line with the 99-cent tier on the US App Store, despite our currency disparity.

Apple has updated iMovie on the Mac to support 4K video, bringing it up to speed with the iOS version which was updated shortly before the release of the iPhone 6s.

If you change your mind about AppleCare+ coverage on any Apple product, Macworld says you can get a pro-rated refund on your unused coverage.

Marco Arment discusses pragmatic app pricing, saying “Big Money” is coming to podcasts, and they won’t care about finely-crafted iOS podcast apps, or which app is the best, because that doesn’t make “Big Money”.

An exploration of 3D Touch over at Medium experiments with the public APIs to work out what’s possible with the new interaction method.

Alongside the iMac refresh this morning, Apple has put up a webpage comparing the iMac of today to the one released in 1998. There’s a lot of numbers showing how things have changed, but at the end of the day, it’s still Apple’s goal to craft the ultimate desktop computer.

Notable Replies

  1. tcn33 says:

    Crap. Less likely to get one now.

  2. I always preferred mech keyboards for actual typing anyway :smile:

  3. I have no proof of this, but I’m pretty sure prices went up in the US, it’s not all about currency fluctuations. And again, I may be wrong, but I don’t remember such high prices for peripherals or on the iTunes Store even when our dollar was in the mid 60 cent range.

    A mouse that you have to flip over to charge? A 5400rpm hard drive in a 2015 machine? A lower capacity SSD in the base offering than last model? The same chassis we’ve had for years now?

    I don’t know this Apple, but I’m being haunted by ghosts of the 1990s.

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