A few days ago, the internet was buzzing with rumors about what Apple could possibly have in store for its customers at its 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference. The line to get in the door of the Moscone Center in San Francisco was as electric as it was long. It seemed as though the entire internet was live updating in hopes of getting the first glimpse at the newest Apple tech.
Once everybody was seated, the show began. The lights dimmed and the audience was greeted by a familiar voice. Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant for the iPhone was the first to welcome everybody to the conference. In atypical fashion, Siri decided to warm up the crowd with a short, but sweet stand-up comedy routine complete with GarageBand rim shots on an iPad.
Cook did a great job taking the reins with the keynote. He was excited, funny, and focused. After a brief presentation on the success of the App Store, Cook played a short video that showed, quite emotionally, the true power of iOS and the apps it runs lies with the people. After the video, Cook introduced three new upgrades to the Apple lineup. There would be new MacBook changes, OS X and iOS 6 presentations.
The Next-Gen MacBook Pro with Retina Display
Phil Schiller took the stage to present the latest MacBooks which will now tout upgraded 3rd
-gen Core processors, up to 8GB of RAM, and graphics up to 60% faster. Additionally all MacBooks will utilize USB 3.0, and have an HD FaceTime camera. MacBook Air was the recipient of a price decrease as well. Three out of the four models dropped $100 in price.
All the upgrades were impressive, but it wasn’t until Schiller unveiled the new MacBook Pro that the room really came alive. Schiller revealed the computer to be impossibly thin (just 0.71 inches thin and only 4.46 lbs). The display has been upgraded to a stunning, immersive Retina display with a 2880×1800 resolution. The computer will also feature new cooling technology to keep noise to a minimum.
Download OS X Mountain Lion from the App Store in July for only $19.99
Next Craig Federighi presented the new OS X. Mountain Lion has been long anticipated since the Vista-like uproar regarding OS X Lion. Mountain Lion brings over 200 new features and updates to OS X. Federighi went over improved iCloud integration, messages, Safari upgrades, social media sharing support, voice dictation, AirPlay mirroring, game center, and my personal favorite, power nap. Mountain Lion will be available for download from the App Store in July and will come with a modest $19.99 price tag.
Scott Forstall was up next for iOS 6. Yet another 200 new features were added to iOS 6 (it must be the magic number at Apple). These new features included enhancements to the oft-criticized Siri virtual assistant that allows users to get sports information, dinner reservations, movie tickets, and app launching. Additionally Siri will be available on the iPad. It would appear that Apple chose not to address Siri’s voice recognition problems that have been plaguing it recently.
New features in iOS
iOS 6 will feature thorough Facebook integration, phone enhancements, FaceTime over cellular, Safari and photo stream upgrades, and a great feature called Passbook that allows you to keep boarding passes, membership cards, and coupons on your phone. The biggest update to iOS 6 would have to be Apple Maps. As long rumored, Apple will no longer be using Google maps, and will have integrated its own mapping service that has 3D view, traffic reports, business info, and best of all turn-by-turn navigation with spoken directions and Siri integration.
iOS 6 seems like a huge leap, but it won’t mean anything until the new iPhone is released as a majority of features will only be available on the 4S or newer. It’s been a long time since an Apple event has seen a one more thing slide, and Apple’s WWDC 2012 did not deliver. However, with radical gains made in MacBooks, OS X and iOS 6 Apple is paving the way for a bright future. If you would like to see the Keynote in its entirety, visit Apple’s site