Apple Reveals New MacBook Pro, Mac Pro and Free Software Upgrades

CEO Tim Cook says Apple was hard at work on the new Macs.

Oct. 22, 2013— -- Remember when Apple made computers? CEO Tim Cook does, and he reminded Apple users today that the company hasn't forgotten its roots.

"We have been very hard at work on the Mac," he said at Apple's event in San Francisco. The company's hard work yielded new MacBooks and a new desktop unit called the Mac Pro. In addition to the overhauled hardware, Apple revamped much of its software, including a new operating system dubbed OS X Mavericks, which the company is offering for free to many existing users.

While software may be compliments of the house, the hardware still carries a hefty price tag. Apple's newest computers include two sizes of MacBook Pros (13 inch and 15 inch), as well as a cylindrical desktop unit, the Mac Pro. The laptops come in at $1,299 and $1,999 respectively, while the Mac Pro costs $2,999.

The laptops offer up to nine hours of battery life, comparable to the new iPads' 10 hours. Along with new Intel processors to boost the computers' performance, the MacBooks have continued to get sleeker and lighter, with the 13-inch model weighing just under 3.5 pounds. Both laptops are available for shipping starting today.

The Mac Pro comes with its own impressive spec sheet, including the ability to have a 12-core Intel Xeon processor. Phil Schiller, Apple's VP of Marketing, said that the Mac Pro's hardware is capable of outputting up to three different displays at 4K resolution, well beyond the normal 1080p. The desktop unit will be ready to go by the end of the year, he said.

Apple also overhauled its software package.

"Today, we are announcing a new era for the Macs," said Craig Federeghi, VP of Software Engineering, said of Apple's software pricing strategy. The new operating system, Mavericks, as well as upgrades to the iWork and iLife family of applications, will be free for Apple users.

So what does a free upgrade actually get you? For people upgrading to Mavericks, the new operating system promises better battery life and accessibility options. Users can individually tag files and categorize them for easy finding later on. In addition, applications like Maps and iBooks have also been improved.

As for the iLife and iWork software packages, free means better sharing options, both between devices and among other users. One example is the GarageBand upgrade, which Apple says will sync music files in iCloud between both computers and mobile devices, allowing any musician to tweak their songs no matter where they are. Pages, iWork's word processing program, will allow multiple users to collaborate on the same document, similar to Google Drive, though it will be done in the app itself and not through an external browser.

The invitation to today's event in San Francisco said, "We still have a lot of cover." Based on the reveal of a three new computers, two new iPads, and a whole array of software updates, Apple kept its word.