macbook pro 2013

Yesterday, Apple held a large keynote which unveiled a great many new pieces of hardware, software, and updates that will definitely appeal to photographers. From new pro-machines down to free software, there’s a lot to unpick.

On the hardware front, Apple announced a new set of MacBook Pros which are cheaper than previous generations by about $200. However, they’re a significant break from previous models, as they now support flash storage up to 1TB, and no longer have optical drives, essentially removing one of the last strongholds of the DVD on Apple’s lineup. The 13-inch version now starts at $1299, and the 15-inch at $1999. Both also have boosted battery life, which could be a lifesaver if you’re out shooting. The 13-inch now gets around 9 hours, the 15-inch around 8.

The bizarrely cylindrical Mac Pro has been given an official date and price — it’ll ship in December, with prices starting at $3,999. Significantly smaller than previous Mac Pros, it’s still very expandable thanks to four USB 3 ports, six Thunderbolt 2 ports, and an HDMI port.

On a portable front, the iPad Mini has been gifted a Retina Display, and the new iPad Air has a full-sized screen, but an overall smaller body.

For software, the big announcement is that the new version of Mac OS X, dubbed Mavericks, is totally free to download. Amidst the host of other features, tagging files is now natively supported by the OS, meaning it should be that much easier to keep track of your files. It also features improved multi-monitor support, for those who work on multiple screens at a time.

Aperture received an update for the new OS, bringing iCloud sharing; Places support; integration with SmugMug; iOS 7 filters support; and a raft of minor fixes. iPhoto received a similar update, but also saw something of a visual redesign.

If you use Adobe products, the company has released an advisory for the new OS, and there are already some problems. As always, if you’re worried about something breaking, it probably wouldn’t hurt to wait a couple of weeks for the kinks to be ironed out.