There and Mac again: Apple anniversary, iOS in cars and Darth Vader's dustbin

There and Mac again: Apple anniversary, iOS in cars and Darth Vader's dustbin
From then to now, we celebrated the age of the Mac

As The Beatles very nearly sang: it was 30 years ago today that Steve Jobs taught the world to play. As Dan Grabham explains, the original Apple Macintosh is "the computer that kick-started the PC revolution" - and it's celebrating the beginning of its fourth decade.

The Mac's 30 years haven't all been brilliant - it went through a bit of a bad patch in the mid-90s, the combination of Windows 95 and Pentium chips giving it a serious kicking - but since the 1996 return of Steve Jobs and the subsequent launch of the iMac it's been on a roll.

Meet the professional

We'd love to take the new Mac Pro back in time to see what Steve Jobs would have made of it - but since that isn't possible we've done the next best thing and asked our very own Ian Osborne to put Darth Vader's dustbin under the microscope in his Mac Pro review.

Week in Tech

The new Mac Pro looks extraordinary and has performance to match

Apple's most powerful PC combines "stellar" design and "incredible" performance in one unbelievably tiny package, and while it's ridiculously over the top for the average user (not least because it's quite expensive) "wouldn't you just love one? It's a masterpiece of engineering," Osborne says: it's "the ultimate high-end workhorse".

It may be amazing, but that doesn't meant the Mac Pro is perfect. "Not everyone will welcome the switch to the new, smaller form factor," Osborne writes, noting that the small footprint means limited internal expansion and a reliance on external devices. And we're surprised that Apple's missed a minor but very noticeable detail: "With its sleek black looks, it's crying out for special-edition black versions of the Apple USB or wireless keyboard, Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad."

Apple innovation

Did someone say trackpad? A newly uncovered patent suggests that Apple wants to banish the click from its trackpads, heralding a new age of very slightly quieter computing. The patent isn't really about the click, though; it's about removing the hinge to free up a few more millimetres in the chassis of the MacBook.

Could your next car be Apple-powered? Apple certainly hopes so, and with the imminent release of iOS 7.1 - which will also fix the so-called "white screen of death" that's really annoying many iPhone users - we're seeing more clues about how iOS in the car will look and work.

Week in tech

iOS 7.1 will do away with the white screen of death

The latest iOS 7.1 screenshots "show iOS 7 looking a lot more like a GPS module than previous incarnations," Marc Chacksfield reports, and "you will be able to make phone calls through the interface, control your music and access - obviously - Maps through the system."

We're very taken with iOS in the car and its Android equivalent: we'd much rather our smartphones take care of in-car media, mapping and communications than rely on manufacturers' own instantly-obsolete hardware.

The rumour mill hums on

Last but not least, the year has barely begun and we're already hearing a whole bunch of iPhone 6 rumours: the latest suggests that Apple has decided to make the iPhone 6's screen a significantly larger 4.8 inches.

You might recall that the same number was floated before the iPhone 5S turned up, so this might be one of those rumours that works like a stopped clock and comes true eventually. Analysts also predict a 13-inch iPad. Could the Mac Pro and MacBook Pro soon be joined by an iPad Pro? It might be a good idea to start saving those pennies.

The TechRadar hive mind. The Megazord. The Voltron. When our powers combine, we become 'TECHRADAR STAFF'. You'll usually see this author name when the entire team has collaborated on a project or an article, whether that's a run-down ranking of our favorite Marvel films, or a round-up of all the coolest things we've collectively seen at annual tech shows like CES and MWC. We are one.