Apple’s commitment to professionals was impressively underscored at NAB18 with the reveal of ProRes RAW and yet another significant (and free) update of FCPX. That said, Apple’s future direction has become much more uncertain with official-seeming leaks about a switch to ARM, a rethink of the iOS / Mac divide and more.
Pro Workflow Group
Let’s begin with TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino being invited back to Cupertino with senior Apple executives including John Ternus, Vice President of Hardware Engineering and leads for professional video and music marketing. This was effectively an update of the April 2017 mea culpa to professionals.
The first point to be made was that while Apple had never promised the Mac Pro for 2018, the fact was it was now clear it would be a 2019 product. The delay was disappointing, but out of respect for the time-lines on which professional purchases are planned, Apple wanted to clear away any ambiguity. Anyone needing a new professional product before 2019 should be looking at the all-new iMac Pros rather than scouring forums for Mac Pro hints.
In the past such product delays have been read as Apple simply not caring all that much about the professional market. Panzarino’s visit was designed to show that simply wasn’t the case.
The new Mac Pro is now part of a much broader initiative within Apple to better understand and serve professional customers, so much so that the company has hired on permanent and contract basis a range of award-winning professionals to work on site, side-by-side with the hardware and software engineers.
“We’ve been focusing on visual effects and video editing and 3D animation and music production as well,” commented Ternus.
The idea is not simply to enable new features and higher system performance, but to achieve a smoother workflow rhythm and eliminate any disruptive bottlenecks. An example called out was a pop-up window for fine tweaks in a 3D animation program that might take 6-10 seconds due to lack of optimisation rather than lack of processing power. It’s the entire stack of hardware and software, with Ternus noting this work includes third-party software as well as Apple’s....read more