There are days I ask myself, “Can you be a bigger geek?” Yesterday was one of those days. After logging onto multiple live blog feeds and video streams from others like me, I was ready for the Keynote from Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC).
While some may think that the coverage of Apple can get a bit overloaded, to ignore what is coming out of Cupertino is nuts, since many segments of the mobile market are based on Apple innovations (MP3 players, smartphones, tablets).
Unlike many tech events, Apple still does not live stream the keynote so you’re left reading along as those inside the Moscone Center in San Francisco live write and tweet about it. Here’s a quick look at the big points covered in the two-hour event.
The keynote delivered on many of the rumored topics, and since desktop hardware wasn’t addressed at all, I’m going to consider this all “mobile” focused. I think the folks at Apple would agree, since Siri actually warmed up the crowd with some jokes about competition and more.
As always the event began with Tim Cook sharing the numbers.
- 400 Million Apple store accounts with credit card numbers
- 650,000 apps in the App store. 225,000 of them designed for the iPad
- 30 Billion downloads from the App store
- $5 billion in checks written to Apple developers (Cheering ensues. Remember: this is a developer’s conference.)
- App stores operate in 120 countries with 32 more being added this year
As was suspected, Apple’s notebook line is getting an overhaul. The popular MacBook line saw upgrades in performance in both the Air and Pro lines, with little price changes. The big rollout was the Next Generation MacBook Pro (Now on my wish list). The rumored upgrade to Retina Display (2880 x 1800, 220 ppi) would represent the world’s highest resolution notebook display. Other features include:
- Insanely thin (0.71 inches)
- Lightest MacBook Pro ever
- Upgrading both standard OS (mail, Safari, etc) and Pro Apps (Final Cut Pro, etc)
- Faster CPU
- More battery to maintain 7 hour battery life
- 768 GB of Flash storage
Here’s something freaky…no Ethernet port. You’ll need to use one of the Thunderbolt ports. This also means you’ll need to buy an adaptor. The need for these sorts of adaptors does make the low $2199 price more understandable.
All of the notebooks shipped yesterday.
OS X Mountain lion
The upgrade to Lion includes better integration with iCloud with the addition of messages, reminders, notes, and what they are calling Documents in the Cloud. Yep, their own Dropbox. Dictation is now baked right into the OS, even in Microsoft Word. Safari is upgraded as well. Power Nap is a fun name for the ability to update software while the computer isn’t in use. There are a host of other upgrades as well. OS X Mountain Lion will be ready to ship next month at just $19.99 for the upgrade.
The updates to the mobile OS were mostly as expected. 200 hundred updates are in store for you and they include many to Siri:
- Siri upgrades including better integration with more granular information including scores, etc.
- Yelp, Rotten Tomatoes, and OpenTable integration
- Siri now launches apps and tweets
- Currently working with car manufacturers to integrate a Siri button on the dash
- Siri will also now speak more languages
- SIri will now be available on the new iPad
- Like Twitter, Apple partners with Facebook for direct integration
- Facetime is available over cellular
- Shared Photo streams
- Upgraded Safari
- Addition of Passbook that offers a way to organize your reward cards and other electronic memberships. It’s only a hop and a skip to credit cards.
Big news here was the abandoning of Google maps and the integration of Apple’s own map app including 3D and Flyover views (in response to Google Earth). Of course, turn-by-turn navigation will be provided by the voice of Siri.
While the list of announcements from WWDC is impressive, I still miss the “One more thing…” from Steve Jobs. I guess we’ll wait until fall for that… In the form of the iPhone 5.