Apple Announcements: Live from WWDC 2012
Watch This Space: Live Updates from WWDC 2012
WWDC 2012 is starting momentarily, and we will be parsing the highlights of Apple CEO Tim Cook's opening keynote speech. We already know that iOS6, complete with a native mapping application, is a given. We're also expecting several new toys.
AppleInsider has the full WWDC 212 keynote liveblog, but we'll be skipping the circle-jerk elements (sorry, but it's true) and just posting the main points. The keynote address starts at 10am PT/1pm ET.
Regarding iOS6, Mashable lists which devices will get iOS6, and, of those devices, which will get which feature. Confused? Welcome to OS fragmentation.
Key Apple Announcements
- New MacBook Air: The notebook everyone else is copying, even as they deny copying it. MacBook Air will now have up to 8GB RAM and 512GB flash HD, running on Ivy Bridge architecture, with up to 3.2Ghz processor speed. Price point starts at $999, with a slight price drop for the 13" model.
- New MacBook Pro: 15" models start with 2.3Ghz quad-core i& processors, 500GB HD, 4GB RAM. Price starts at $1799, with claimed battery life of 7 hours.
- New addition to the MacBook Pro line, with no ethernet port or optical drive. Just 0.71" thick, and less than 4 1/2 lbs. Up to 16GB RAM/1GB VRAM, and up to 768GB flash HD storage. Unlike the MacBook Air, it has a 2880x1800 Retina display (Aperture will be great on this, and hopefully the revamped Aperture will suck a bit less). Ports include SD card slot, two USB2/3 ports, an HDMI port (!!!) and two Thunderbolt video ports. Don't worry, Firewire 800 and ethernet users: you'll have the opportunity to purchase yet more Apple adapters for these connections. The price point for the MacBook Pro with Retina display: starting at $2199.
- OSX Mountain Lion: OSX 10.8 will feature Facebook integration; as well as iCloud-based reminders, notes, and documents; Documents will sync with Pages. Mountain Lion include a Growl clone for internal notifications. One hopes that these notifications can be set to automatically disappear when not in fullscreen mode: mandatory manual control would be annoying.
Safari's one-touch sharing will also include Twitter and Flickr. Also, swipe and pinch tab control. This is pretty cool. Will Safari ever have anything like Android's Chrome-to-Phone, for insta-sharing to an iPhone?
Fullscreen mode in Mountain Lion will have a smartphone-like Notifications bar. Also, Power Nap: allows for system updates while your Mac is in Sleep mode.
HDTV AirPlay mirroring and GameCenter support. Lots of CamelCase.
OSX Mountain Lion ships in July 2012, and will cost twenty bucks. Hopefully speed and multi-display support will be improved as well, since those are pretty weak with Lion. Developerc can get a nearly-final preview version of Mountain Lion as of today.
- iOS 6: Features an improved Siri, which isn't saying much. Siri (which will be coming to iPad in iOS6) can now launch apps. We're interested to see what happens in real-life attempts at using this feature (remember how radically different Siri performance is when you use it, than in the initial demo and current iPhone commercials).
Eyes Free will allow Maps integration with the talk feature in your car (if your car has a talk button).
iOS6 will also include Facebook integration. Should provide less UI friction than a standalone Facebook app.
iOS6 can also respond to incoming calls with an SMS; Android 4.0 already does this. The "remind me later" feature is really nifty, though. Also, FaceTime over cellular. Why was this not a feature before? Anyway, it is now.
Safari for iOS6 is getting jazzed up as well, with in-app photo upload and similar iCloud integration to Mountain Lion.
Passbook: location-aware handling of boarding passes, movie tickets, and other digital replacements for slips of paper that get you into places. (Good idea, even if most airlines and airports are not quite ready for prime time when it comes to tickets on mobile displays)
Guided Access: controlling the iPad experience for kids.
Maps will include traffic-alert service, 3D modelling, and local search. Seriously taking a swing at Google with this one. We see the real-time crowdsourced traffic alerts as most likely feature to fail in the wild, sadly enough; especially since it integrates with Siri.
iOS6 dev beta is available today.
So, we were wrong about the new iMacs and the new iPods. the Mac Pro line also continues to go begging. Meanwhile, you'll notice that the 17" MacBook Pro is no longer offered.