WWDC 2019 notes: Sidecar, Catalyst, Mac Pro, and Pro Display XDR

WWDC 2019 notes: Sidecar, Catalyst, Mac Pro, and Pro Display XDR

At its annual developers' conference held at San Jose, California, Apple announced the all-new 2019 Mac Pro-a professional-grade workstation.

The design is reminiscent of the old Mac Pro, with an aluminium body that takes the traditional tower case PC but gives it the Apple industrial design treatment. The new 6K Retina screen is created to pair with the company's upcoming Mac Pro, offering an advanced imaging workstation solution.

The 2013 "trashcan" Mac Pro was roundly criticized for a complete lack of upgradeability.


Apple is also introducing a new Sidebar feature, that lets you use your iPad as a second display for Mac, making third-party solutions, such as Astro HQ's Luna Display, largely redundant.

The Mac Pro will come in various configurations, but Apple spent its time talking about the fully decked-out version because the numbers are objectively impressive. Developers will be able to get their hands on a beta today, while the public will have to wait until July for their chance to test out the new macOS features. There are holes covering the entire front and back of the Mac Pro's aluminum chassis and holes all along the backside of the Pro Display XDR.

The introduction of the Apple TV app for macOS is also highly anticipated. Its housing is largely made of aluminum, with stainless steel handles for moving the device as needed as well as a set of "feet" on the bottom.


"The new Mac Pro is insanely fast - it's by far the fastest image editor we've ever experienced or seen", said Simonas Bastys, lead developer of imaging software company Pixelmator. All three apps have similar design approaches, and I don't think you could pick the Catalyst version out of a line-up. Apple teased a new Mac Pro for years, and now, finally, it is here.

There are eight internal PCI Express slots, including four double-wide slots, three single-wide slots, and a final slot that is populated with an I/O card.

One of Apple's biggest announcements at its recent WWDC event was for its long-awaited refresh of the Mac Pro. Pro Display XDR starts at $4,999, the Pro Stand is $999 and the VESA Mount Adapter is $199. Most people do not need a 6K Retina display with 10-bit color and a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. As an added benefit, Apple Watch users can approve security prompts on Mac using the side button on their wearable device. For now, all Apple will say is that the base model starts at $6,000. But Mac Pro users will find it hard to use this display without a stand - one is not provided in the box with the display. Other users would be better served by Apple's 2019 MacBook Pro or the iMac Pro.


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