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Apple brings Retina displays to iMac family

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Apple has updated the entire iMac family, bringing a new Retina 4K display to the 21.5-inch iMac for the first time and the Retina 5K display to every 27-inch iMac.

The new Retina displays make photos and videos more immersive and true-to-life thanks to a wider colour gamut and spectacular image quality. The updated iMacs also feature more powerful processors and graphics, two Thunderbolt 2 ports and new storage options that make the high-performance Fusion Drive more affordable.

Apple this week also introduced a new lineup of wireless accessories including the Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2. The Magic devices have been redesigned to feel more comfortable than ever, and feature rechargeable batteries that eliminate the need for disposable batteries. The new Magic Trackpad 2 also brings Apple’s Force Touch interface to the desktop, adding a new dimension to the iMac experience.

“From the first iMac to today, the spirit of iMac has never wavered — deliver the ultimate desktop experience with the latest technologies, gorgeous displays and cutting-edge designs,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “These are the most stunning iMacs we’ve ever made. With our gorgeous new Retina displays, more powerful processors and graphics and all-new Magic accessories, the new iMac continues to redefine the ultimate desktop experience.”

Apple provided the following information:

With Retina display, text appears sharper than ever, videos are unbelievably lifelike and you can see new levels of detail in your photos. The 21.5-inch iMac is available with the all-new Retina 4K display featuring an amazing 4096 x 2304 resolution and 9.4 million pixels, 4.5 times more than the standard 21.5-inch iMac display. Every 27-inch iMac features a Retina 5K display, the world’s highest resolution all-in-one display with a stunning 14.7 million pixels, 7 times more pixels than an HD display. With a Retina display now on the 21.5-inch iMac and every 27-inch iMac, iMac with Retina display is more affordable than ever.

The new Retina displays feature a wider colour gamut that brings more brilliant and true-to-life colours to your desktop. With standard sRGB-based displays, many of the colours you see in real life never make it to your screen. The new Retina 5K and 4K displays feature a wider P3-based colour gamut that provides a 25 percent larger colour space, and with more available colours, images are more vivid, reveal even greater detail and appear more lifelike than ever.

Faster and more powerful than ever, the new 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display now comes with sixth-generation Intel Core processors and the latest AMD high-performance graphics that deliver up to 3.7 teraflops of compute power. The new 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display features a fifth-generation Intel Core processor and enhanced Intel Iris Pro Graphics. Two Thunderbolt 2 ports now come standard on all iMacs and deliver up to 20Gbps data transfer speeds for external drives and high-performance peripherals. And three stream 802.11ac Wi-Fi allows iMac to support up to 1.3Gbps wireless networking.

Fusion Drive combines the large storage capacity of a hard drive with the high performance of flash to deliver shorter boot times and faster access to apps and files. Fusion Drive works in conjunction with OS X to adapt to the way you use your iMac and automatically moves the files and apps you use most often to flash storage. The incredible performance of Fusion Drive is now more affordable with a new, lower-priced configuration that pairs a 1TB hard drive with 24GB of fast flash. Fusion Drive is also available with 2TB and 3TB configurations with 128GB of fast flash for more demanding workloads. For the ultimate in storage performance, optional all flash storage is available up to 1TB and is now up to 2.5 times faster.

The all-new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 are more comfortable, capable and environmentally friendly. Designed around a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, all three accessories eliminate the need for disposable batteries and feature a noticeably more solid internal structure and quality feel. The new Magic Keyboard features a full-size keyboard in a sleek new design that takes up 13 percent less space on your desktop. With a new scissor mechanism and lower profile, the Magic Keyboard provides an incredibly stable, precise and comfortable typing experience. The new Magic Mouse 2 is lighter, sturdier and features an optimised foot design for a smoother glide. The new Magic Trackpad 2 features a 29 percent larger surface and brings Force Touch to the desktop for the first time. Force Touch enables a range of new ways to interact with your Mac, including the new Force click to quickly look up a word, preview a file or bring up a map from an address. The new Magic devices pair instantly with your Mac as soon as they are plugged in via the Lightning-to-USB charging cable, and can last about a month or more on a full charge.

Every new Mac comes with OS X El Capitan, the latest version of OS X that refines the Mac experience and improves system performance. El Capitan builds on the groundbreaking features and beautiful design of OS X Yosemite, with updates to window management, built-in apps and Spotlight search, and performance improvements to make everyday activities — like launching and switching apps, opening PDFs and accessing email — faster and more responsive. El Capitan was specifically designed for the Retina display and features a new system font called San Francisco that has been fine-tuned for optimal readability on a Retina display.

iMovie, GarageBand and the suite of iWork apps come free with every new iMac. iMovie, updated today to support 4K video, lets you easily create beautiful movies, and you can use GarageBand to make new music or learn to play piano or guitar. The iWork suite of Pages, Numbers and Keynote makes it easy to create, edit and share stunning documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iCloud let you create a document on iPhone or iPad, edit it on your Mac and collaborate with friends, even if they are on a PC.

Pricing & Availability

The 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display is available today at Apple.com and select Apple Authorised Resellers. The 27-inch iMac comes in three models and additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at www.apple.com/imac.

The 21.5-inch iMac is available today at Apple.com and select Apple Authorised Resellers. The 21.5-inch iMac is available in three models and with a Retina 4K display. Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at www.apple.com/imac.

Every new iMac comes standard with the new Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2, and customers can order the new Magic Trackpad 2 as an option. The new Magic accessories are also available at Apple.com and select Apple Authorised Resellers.

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YouTube Music announces Smart Downloads, SA playlists

The service has introduced Smart Downloads which takes allowing users to store and play hundreds of tunes offline, automatically.

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The latest updates from YouTube Music, for subscribers of its Music Premium and Premium services, include a new feature that allows users to switch seamlessly between a song and its music video for an uninterrupted experience.

It has also introduced Smart Downloads which takes the work out of downloading music, allowing users to store and play hundreds of tunes offline, automatically. YouTube Music has also announced new playlists for South Africa. 

The updates all reflect features that are popular on the global leader in music streaming, Spotify, and that have been key to its growth.

YouTube said in a statement on Friday: “Imagine listening to a new track by your favourite artist in the YouTube Music app and having the ability to seamlessly switch over to watch the music video – no pauses, no interruptions, just a simple tap that keeps the music flowing. This standout new feature from YouTube Music allows YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium subscribers to make a seamless transition between a song and its music video for uninterrupted listening and/or watching. Whether you’re in the mood for listening or watching (or a little of both)… it’s all here – no app switching required.”

With Smart Downloads, YouTube Music automatically saves music at night, when connected to Wi-Fi, helping subscribers to use less mobile data, enjoy a smoother updating experience and save up to 500 songs offline using Liked Songs playlist as well as other playlists and albums. 


Previously, music lovers could use the Offline Mixtape feature to download up to 100 songs, specifically chosen for them based on what they listened to most on the platform. Now, with Smart Downloads, they select the number of songs they would like automatically downloaded by toggling their YouTube Music Settings. This means YouTube Music Premium subscribers with Smart Downloads enabled on their mobile devices can now access hundreds of tracks regardless of connectivity. 

This feature is currently available on Android, with plans to bring it to iOS in the future.

Click here to read more about YouTube Music playlists, and find out what is inside them.

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Make cars, not waste

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Jaguar Land Rover is trialling an innovative recycling process which converts plastic waste into a new premium grade material that could feature on future vehicles. 

It’s estimated that the amount of waste plastic is predicted to exceed 12 million tonnes globally by 2050*. Today, not all of this plastic can be recycled for use in automotive applications – especially in vehicle parts that are required to meet the most exacting safety and quality standards.

Working in conjunction with chemical company, BASF, Jaguar Land Rover is part of a pilot project called ChemCycling that upcycles domestic waste plastic, otherwise destined for landfill or incinerators, into a new high-quality material. 

The waste plastic is transformed to pyrolysis oil using a thermochemical process. This secondary raw material is then fed into BASF’s production chain as a replacement for fossil resources; ultimately producing a new premium grade that replicates the high quality and performance of ‘virgin’ plastics. Importantly, it can be tempered and coloured making it the ideal sustainable solution for designing the next-generation dashboards and exterior-surfaces in Jaguar and Land Rover models.

Jaguar Land Rover and BASF are currently testing the pilot phase material in a Jaguar I-PACE prototype front-end carrier overmoulding to verify it meets the same stringent safety requirements of the existing original part.

Pending the outcome of the trials and progression in taking chemical recycling to market readiness, adoption of the new premium material would mean Jaguar Land Rover could use domestically derived recycled plastic content throughout its cars without any compromise to quality or safety performance**. 

Chris Brown, Senior Sustainability Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Plastics are vital to car manufacturing and have proven benefits during their use phase, however, plastic waste remains a major global challenge. Solving this issue requires innovation and joined-up thinking between regulators, manufacturers and suppliers.

“At Jaguar Land Rover, we are proactively increasing recycled content in our products, removing single-use plastics across our operations and reducing excess waste across the product lifecycle. The collaboration with BASF is just one way in which we are advancing our commitment to operating in a circular economy.”

This is the latest example of Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to addressing the challenge of waste plastic. The company has collaborated with Kvadrat to offer customers alternative seat options that are both luxurious and sustainable. The high-quality material, available initially on the Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque, combines a durable wool blend with a technical suedecloth that is made from 53 recycled plastic bottles per vehicle. 

Jaguar Land Rover has already met its 2020 target for Zero Waste to Landfill for UK operations. This includes the removal of 1.3 million m2 – equal to 187 football pitches – of plastic from its manufacturing lineside and replacing 14 million single use plastic items in business operations. 

Together, these efforts are driving towards Jaguar Land Rover’s vision for Destination Zero; an ambition to make societies safer and healthier, and the environment cleaner. Delivered through relentless innovation to adapt its products and services to the rapidly-changing world, the company’s focus is on achieving a future of zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion.

Editor’s notes:

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/7/e1700782.full

** All Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles tested have achieved a Euro NCAP 5* rating.

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