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

Posted June 06, 2019

You can install the macOS Catalina beta on your Mac today so that you can test out all the new features before it arrives to the public this fall, but you will want to make sure that you take time to prepare your Mac - especially if it isn't a secondary machine that you only use for testing. John Turnus, Apple's vice president of hardware engineering, boasted while introducing the device from the stage: "It's the most configurable, the most expandable, and the most powerful Mac Pro we've ever made". "Users will appreciate how they can expand their workspace with Sidecar, enabling new ways of interacting with Mac apps using iPad and Apple Pencil".

The tower design is distinctive, thanks in part to the chunky steel handles on top and feet on the bottom, raising the Mac Pro a good inch or so off of your desktop surface. Scroll down and you'll see a "See Mac Pro in AR" option. One PCIe slot is reserved for a card featuring two USB-A ports and two Thunderbolt 3 ports. The computer will sport Intel's latest Xeon chips with up to 28 CPU cores, drawing 300W of power.

Starting with the $6,000 base model, which includes the motherboard, PSU, and cheese grater-style chassis, The Verge estimated that filling its 12 DIMM slots with twelve 128GB sticks of DDR4 EEC memory would cost $17,867.88-1.5TB of RAM definitely doesn't come cheap. (That's not a typo).

The new professional display offers advanced "Extreme Dynamic Range" performance. Further, it is also unclear how much some individual components (like the Radeon Pro Vega II) would cost.

The Find My feature earlier only let you search for your MacBook when it was turned on, however, Apple isn't satisfied with offering you just that functionality. macOS Catalina is souping up "Find My" and giving you the power to look for your Mac machine even when your MacBook is turned off.

The bottom line: Apple's revamped Mac Pro, while expensive, appears to represent a return to excellence, a back-to-roots move that tosses the trash can in favor of earlier, beloved generations of the computer.

The Pro Display XDR will be available in the fall. The Vega II nomenclature is all-new for the Mac Pro, and I probably don't have tell an audience of gerbils that it is fundamentally a Radeon Instinct MI60 with four Thunderbolt 3 ports and a single HDMI jack.

Even iTunes' most ardent fans - and surely, there are dozens - would have to admit that Apple's music player has gotten bloated over the years, adding all sorts of multimedia and device syncing features on top of its original mission of just managing your music.

Apple is also coming out with a new Cinema display, which will be a 6K HDR Retina display, which they are calling XDR.

The Pro Display XDR is created to be an ultimate editing display for photographers and other creatives, and for that, you'll pay a pretty penny: the display itself starts at $4,999 without the special stand - the Pro Stand costs $999 by itself.