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Apple announces all-new Mac Pro, 6K display, and Mac OS 'Catalina'

JP Mangalindan
Chief Tech Correspondent

Apple (AAPL) announced an all-new Mac Pro desktop, a large, higher-resolution external display, and a major update to its Mac operating system on Monday.

At Apple’s worldwide developers conference on Monday in San Jose, California, Apple unveiled a new design for its Mac Pro desktop that lets users more easily upgrade components on their own, macOS 10.15 or “Catalina,” and a 32-inch external display with 6K resolution — the highest display resolution in a Mac product yet.

“Utility and function define the new Mac Pro,” said John Ternus, Apple’s vice president of hardware engineering on Monday, adding that the new computer should meet the “incredible diversity of Pro needs.”

Apple’s new Mac Pro sports an all-new design with aluminum housing that lets users easily open up the tower and upgrade their desktops on their own. Available this fall starting at $5,999, the Mac Pro will include an Intel Xeon processor with up to 28 computing cores, up to 1.5 terabytes of RAM, and a proprietary graphics module that Ternus called “quite simply the world’s most powerful graphics card.”

That’s a significant change for Apple, which in more recent years has focused on appealing industrial designs that made it incredibly difficult — and in many cases, downright impossible — for users to upgrade their Mac computers.

Also new to the company’s line-up: a standalone 32-inch display called the Pro Display XDR with 6K resolution. Also available this fall for $4,999, the screen provides 40% more screen area than Apple’s 5K iMac. It puts out 1,000 nits of brightness, which is double the brightness of a MacBook Pro’s display and more than three times the brightness of a 12-inch MacBook’s screen.

Meet macOS Catalina

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 03: Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi speaks during the keynote address during the 2019 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) at the San Jose Convention Center on June 03, 2019 in San Jose, California. The WWDC runs through June 7. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

With Apple’s new macOS update, dubbed “Catalina,” Apple announced it would replace iTunes with an Apple Music app, which will let people use Calendar and Safari directly inside the app. The company showed off a standalone Podcasts app for users to download and listen to podcasts, as well as a separate Apple TV app for downloading and streaming TV shows and movies.

Apple also rolled out a new handy feature for users who multitask frequently, letting them use an iPad as external display or send any windows of apps they’re using on the desktop or laptop to another display. Meanwhile, an updated Voice Control feature, found under the Accessibility settings, uses Siri technology so users can issue voice commands to navigate around much of an Apple device. And Apple is also bringing Screen Time to the Mac so users can track how much time they spend on their devices, as well as how much time they spend using different apps.

Turning its attention to developers, Apple also played up Project Catalyst, which lets app makers more easily port iPad apps to the Mac. Apple previously offered a look at the technology last year, using it to bring apps like News and Home to the Mac. Now, developers will also soon be able to use the technology to quickly bring their own iPad apps to the Mac.

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