WWDC, officially known as the Worldwide Developers Conference, was held Monday at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. The conference is a time for Apple to show off the success of their previously created products and announce new products and services. Today, Apple certainly didn’t fail to excite those invited and others who looked on live streams and blogs. From a new MacBook model to advancements in iOS, we’ve heard all that Tim Cook and Philip Schiller and it’s now time to look back on a very successful and eventful day for Apple and fans of the company.
The New Generation of MacBook Pro
The big news to come out of WWDC is the newly revamped MacBook Pro. The new MacBook Pro now includes an exceptionally fast Intel Ivy Bridge processor with Intel Core i7. Aside from the speed of the processor, the laptop’s Retina display is another great addition to the MacBook Pro. Despite the fact that the Retina display, in terms of pixels-per-inch, isn’t revolutionary when compared to the iPhone and iPad, the Retina display on the MacBook Pro compared to other laptops is something exceptional. The MacBook Pro’s capacity is up to 768GB of flash storage, still while having very thin hardware. The MacBook Pro 13-inch, without the Retina display, runs for $1199, 15-inch for $1799. The Retina display MacBook Pro 15-inch runs for $2199. Both models are available on the Apple Store today for purchase.
Minor Changes for MacBook Air
The MacBook Pro wasn’t the only laptop to receive amazing updates and additions. The MacBook Air may not receive a Retina screen, however MacBook Air also improved the MacBook Air’s processor with the Ivy Bridge addition. The MacBook Air received a $100 discount (applied to 13-inch models only) compared to the previous model and also has an improved FaceTime camera, giving it 720p HD quality. The MacBook Air 11-inch will sell for $999, the 13-inch starting at $1199. As an entry level Mac, the MacBook Air should expect a spike in sales due to the additional features making the MacBook Air more competitive than last year. It may not be a Pro, but for a majority of light to regular users, it could be just enough.
Mountain Lion: Looks More Like iOS
More on the Mac front, OS X was also a hot topic at WWDC today. Mountain Lion, the OS X software we previewed back in February, was officially announced today. Mountain Lion included many of the features previewed back then. For this reason, if you want a more in-depth view of Mountain Lion, please check out that article. It is important to note however, that Apple announced more additional features, we weren’t able to preview back then, today.
The first feature we learned about today was Voice Dictation for Mac. This allows you to dictate documents and even status updates on Mac. Power Nap is also a new feature announced today. Power Nap allows your Mac to update your Reminders, Notifications, Time Machine, and more while it charges and sleeps. The last “sort-of” surprise was Facebook. Many of us in the tech world knew about this possibility for iOS, however it threw us a loop to see it a feature for Mountain Lion as well. The Facebook addition allows you to update your Facebook with photos from iPhoto, share links from Safari, and your location. Despite Mountain Lion being available for $19.99 next month, the Facebook feature will be a separate update in the fall.
iOS 6: Amazing Additions; Long Wait
Lastly, we will talk about iOS 6. Personally, due to the fact that I’m content with my current MacBook, the iOS 6 announcement was what I looked forward to most and was most excited for. One announcement was the revamped mapping technology, replacing Google’s integrated mapping technology, in favor of 3D graphics, traffic information, and turn-by-turn directions. Another announcement was Passbook, the ability to hold store cards, plane, sports, and train tickets all in your iPhone. When you arrive at a store, you can use Passbook to scan and pay/check-in.
Siri received a great update, now providing more features and capabilities. For example, Siri can give you restaurant and movie information. This is done with collaboration with Yelp, OpenTable, Rotten Tomatoes, and IMDB. Tickets can be purchased with Fandango and sent to – you guessed it – Passbook. Siri also comes to iPad. Facebook also comes to iOS, similar to the current Twitter integration.
With FaceTime being available over a cellular network, iOS 6 connects people in the same breath it allows you to cut yourself off. With the new Do Not Disturb feature, iOS 6 allows you to turn off notifications, calls, and messages. You can allow certain individuals or applications to alert you though, insuring you don’t miss an important call. Also, separate from Do Not Disturb, if you are in a meeting and can’t answer the phone, iOS 6 allows you to simply slide up the screen and choose a readily available message to send to the caller. To conclude with iOS 6, Safari is revised, Photo Stream is now made more social, and more features for the handicapped. iOS 6 will be available sometime in the fall, Apple does not confirm a date or month.
I’m excited about Mountain Lion’s release next month and will get my hands on iOS 6 soon for a full in-depth review. What is your favorite feature to come out of WWDC? My personal favorite feature from the Mac announcement was the Retina Display and cheaper prices for MacBook Air. For Mountain Lion, my favorite announcement was Dictation (because I smell Siri in the future) and Power Nap. For iOS 6, Passbook, the phone additions, and Maps are my favorite updates.