Apple made several new product announcements on Thursday, most notably a new MacBook Pro laptop with a touchscreen strip above the keyboard.
Here’s what you missed:
New MacBook Pro
Apple introduced a pair of new MacBook Pro laptops with what’s called the “Touch Strip.” It’s a touchscreen bar that sits above the keyboard and takes the place of the function keys. The strip offers different functionality depending on the software being used — when you’re using iTunes, for instance, you would see playback controls. The new laptops also have Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner, enabling Apple Pay as well as quick user-swapping on shared computers.
Apple’s new MacBook Pro units with the Touch Strip start at $1,799 for the 13-inch version, up to $2,799 for the higher-end 15-inch model. There’s also a new MacBook Pro without the Touch Strip for $1,499.
Apple TV Upgrades
The Apple TV set-top box is getting a handful of upgrades, including a new app that helps users find video content across a range of services and providers. Notably, Netflix isn’t included on the app, which is called, simply, “TV.” Siri is also getting some new abilities on the Apple TV that will make it better able to handle requests like, “what football games are on right now?”
The popular LEGO-like video game Minecraft is coming to the Apple TV by the end of this year, said Apple CEO Tim Cook.
No New MacBook Air
Apple’s still selling the 13-inch MacBook Air starting at $999, but it didn’t get a significant update today, signaling it may be killed off. (The 11-inch model has disappeared.) That’s a bummer for Apple fans looking for a lower-cost laptop. Apple is also still selling a non-upgraded 12-inch MacBook starting at $1,299. There was no news on the iMac, Mac Pro or Mac Mini fronts.
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