On October 16, Apple announced iMac with Retina 5K display, a new iMac with four times the number of pixels compared with a regular 27 inch iMac. This makes text sharper and images more detailed to the point that, when viewed from a normal distance, the human eye can’t actually discern individual pixels. In fact, with 14.7 million pixels, the display is higher resolution than 4K HD (4K being itself four times standard 1080p HD), clocking in at 5K.
Still, with four times the pixels, the 27 inch iMac is no thicker or larger in any dimension than Apple’s last iMac, which tapered to 5 mm thick at the edges. Additionally, the display panel itself consumes 30% less power than the previous version. That’s incredible. Apple says they had to create their own new timing controller — the device that tells each pixel to turn on or off or what colour to be — because no single currently available timing controller was capable of driving 14.7 million pixels. To a techie like me, this sounds like a technological work of art, and the artists (or magicians) who designed this work of art should be mighty proud of what they have accomplished.
A 5K iMac isn’t all Apple introduced on that Thursday morning. A pair of new iPads also appeared, along with iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay (for Americans only, at this point, since Canadians are obviously more technologically advanced with chip-and-pin, and therefore don’t need Apple Pay … right?), and a new Mac mini. Here’s what’s new:
iPads: The iPad mini remains virtually unchanged with the exception of the addition of a gold colour option and a Touch ID sensor. This fingerprint reader allows a tap to unlock the iPad and also allows the user to make purchases online via Apple Pay and in the iTunes Store without entering a password. The iPad Air has been overhauled with a slimmer profile, a better camera, and Touch ID, making iPad Air 2.
iOS 8.1 brings the Camera Roll back after its brief time as Recently Added in iOS 8.0, adds Apple Pay, and adds support for things like answering phone calls on your Mac or texting SMS messages from your iPad by taking advantage of your nearby iPhone.
Mac: Besides the new iMac, there’s another fresh upgrade. The Mac mini now has better performance, a Fusion drive, and costs less at $549. All new Macs ship with OS X Yosemite, the latest edition of Apple’s desktop operating system. It has a pretty new look and is particularly aesthetically pleasing on Retina displays.