MacBook with retina display
When I learned that another new photo editing application was coming, one that claimed it would be able to take on the juggernaut of the industry, Adobe Photoshop, I rolled my eyes. “First this software will need to be able to knock off Pixelmator,” I thought. I downloaded Affinity Photos immediately, and within one day of using the software I realized that Affinity was no competition for Pixelmator – it easily surpassed it.
The company in charge of Affinity is Serif LTD., located in Nottingham, England. Serif has been around since 1987, and has a host of web and creative editing tools, largely focused on the consumer and educational markets. If you have never heard of them, as I had not, there is a big reason for that. Until Affinity Photo, all Serif's software was built exclusively for Windows. However, with the Mac continuing to grow and stay firmly entrenched in the creative markets, Serif set off in a new direction. Affinity Photo was engineered from the ground up for OS X. There is no Affinity Windows counterpart. There no shared code or pallet design ported from the platform best forgotten. Affinity Photo is 100% OS X goodness, and already includes Force Touch capability.
Apple’s practice of not conducting focus groups or looking to the outside world to decide what products it will make and what features will, or will not be included, is well known. But then is Apple solely working behind closed doors in making decisions for the next amazing Apple products? No. Despite what you may think, Apple does look to understand the consumer, as I personally witnessed via an Apple email survey that arrived in my Inbox last week. The email obviously follows on the heels of my recent MacBook purchase.
After finally receiving a MacBook, that went on sale April 10th, I’ve been able to put it through it's paces. I've used the MacBook in coffee shops, traveled over 700 miles with it, pushed a full NBA playoff stream through it, crushed out hundreds of emails, edited a dozen or so Pixelmator images and worked over the charger and keyboard thoroughly. To quickly summarize this new MacBook — it is the perfect road warrior laptop and business companion, eliminating any need for an iPad, and for many the MacBook Air.
If you are looking to purchase a new MacBook, perhaps it would be best to order it online, but be prepared to wait until June to receive it. According to Apple's online store, MacBook orders are still backlogged by as much as 4-6 weeks, and they are unavailable at any retail location. Apple claims this is due to incredible demand, but is the backlog due to incredible demand or incredibly slow productions times leading to few, if any, available MacBooks?
Apple packed a host of new technologies into the new MacBook. Force Touch trackpad, layered batteries, a new keyboard design, and efficient retina display are all new Apple-led inventions that put the MacBook in a category unto its own and could be weighing heavily on production. But perhaps the biggest problem isn't Apple's new display, keyboard, trackpad or battery. What if the biggest hold-up in MacBook availability is because of Intel.
On Monday, Tim Cook and Phil Schiller introduced us to a new MacBook that is a pound lighter than the MacBook Air, has a superior keyboard (including individual LEDs for each key during back lighting), retina display, faster SSD and comes in three colors: silver, space gray and gold.
After watching the keynote a second time, it is clear this is the direction for Apple’s entire notebook line. The engineering marvel that was the MacBook Air had an impressive run, but Apple has taken this new MacBook to an entirely new level. But it begs the question: what is to happen to the MacBook Air?
Next Monday, March 9th, Apple is holding a special event in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Invitations Apple sent to the media were titled “Spring Forward” hinting at Saturday night’s U.S. time change, and therefore the Apple Watch. A few new features are expected to be unveiled, along with pricing and more details on battery life. Apple has again constructed another demonstration “tent” just outside Yerba Buena for what should be a hands-on after-event. The initial announcement of Apple Watch also showcased a temporary facility for the watch, but the media’s time with Apple Watch was strictly controlled. Monday’s event promises a liberal hands-on policy for journalists to explore the watch’s abilities, as it is a launch ready product. But could the event be more than just a rehash of Apple Watch with price points and a few new features thrown in for good measure?
As I stated in January, the highly rumored 12-inch MacBook may be a strong possibility for this event. Apple Watch is the main draw for Monday’s event, therefore it dictates any other announcement being the first product to be discussed. Apple has a specific cadence to their events. Apple CEO Tim Cook is likely to give a State of the Apple Union address, touching on various points of interest, ending his discussion with MacBook lineup. Apple's Sr. VP, of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller would then take the stage, introducing the all-new laptop.
Rumors of both a 12-inch MacBook and iPad have surfaced in recent months. Where there is smoke with Apple rumors there is often a form of fire, and claims of the an iPad Pro have been heating up quickly. We have put our stamp of approval on a 12-inch MacBook, but a 12-inch iPad (now with a stylus?) have us questioning the merits of why a product should exist.