WWDC 2012 Roundup

Yesterday at the WWDC event Apple announced loads of things, covering a wide range of products. This post is a compendium of what they released, and promised to release today. For convenience of the viewers of this website, the order of this post mirrors the order of the event.

The arena was jam packed and the media was mixed with a strong developer contingent. It was as always a successful classic event from APPLE! Apple reported that there were more than 1,000 of its engineers present at the event. This was the 23rd WWDC lasting 1 hour and 43 minutes to be meticulous. People from over 60 countries made it to the venue to witness this marvellous event.

App Store

With a list of staggering figures apple announced that there are now more than 400 million app store accounts and each with a credit card on file. In the store as of now there are more than 6,50,000 apps, of which 225,000 are designed for the iPad. Customers have downloaded around 30,000,000,000 apps in total which for a company like apple isn’t a big deal but as a dedicated apple products reviewer I’m shocked, amazed and what not!

All this has led Apple to pay out above $5,000,000,000 to the developers which again is massive. The App Store is now in more than 120 countries, with 32 more being added by the end of the month which would make the app store live in more than 150 countries.  Apple quoted 155 countries but i guess i’ts too massive to math up to it.

Apple’s CEO Mr. Tim Cook made the following comment about the company’s work:

“What we do together is much more important than any set of numbers could reflect. Our goal has always been to do great work and make a difference in other people’s lives.”

And to what we believe they have surpassed their own goals. Not once but always!

Notebooks

Apple announced a number of changes to the notebook line, which was well explained by Mr. Phil Schiller. Both the Mac Book Air and Mac Book pro have received performance up hills.

The Mac Book Air will now be produced with Ivy Bridge-class processors from Intel which is not too surprising. They will run up to 3.2 GHz. Graphics performance will improve up to 60% and the solid state drives of up to 512 GB have been installed. The Mac Book Air will not integrate USB 3.0, which is 10 times as fast as USB 2.0.

The Mac Book Pro will also imbibe Ivy Bridge processors. They will integrate processors up to a quad-core 2.7 GHz Intel i7 processor. The 15 inch Mac Book Pro has increased graphic support and the new Processor can use GeForce 650M Kepler architecture cards.

The New Mac Book Pro

Apple announced a new Mac Book pro in the event, one that is insanely thin from the side. Phil Schiller laughed on the fact stating that its thinner than his finger and is shockingly true. The new Mac Book Pro, which looks like a Mac Book Air in some aspects, is only 0.71 inches thick.

It has a Retina display which we had thought of earlier and weighs only 4.6 pounds. The screen is 15.4 inches (across), and has a 2880×1800 resolution, for a total of 5,184,000 pixels (again staggering figures). Apple claims that this is the only laptop to have such resolution display in the world. The company also claimed that it has managed to reduce glare and reflection by about 75% which again makes it unique.

OS X Lion has been updated to take cent percent advantage of the new retina display. Other applications will have to be updated by their respective developers to support the new available pixel density which would be out soon in the updates. Adobe, of course, is working on a Retina-enabled version of Photoshop and will be out soon.

The new laptop is far more than a petty screen swap, according to Apple “everything inside this new Mac Book Pro has been upgraded.” Users will not be able to configure the new Mac Book Pro with a quad-core i7 processor with up to 16 GB of RAM, and a graphics card with 1 GB of its own memory. A 768 GB SSD will also be available. Apple has a claimed a battery life of 7 hours for the same notebook.

This is the first Apple laptop to have a built-in HDMI and also includes two Thunderbolt ports. To save space, the Thunderbolt ports have provision of Ethernet and FireWire 800. Mac Book Pro incorporates Bluetooth 4.0, Facetime HD, and dual microphones.

OS X

There are now some 66,000,000 Mac users in the world which again is an insanely high number. Apple’s growth has been impressive.

Apple officially announced the next version of OS X named Mountain Lion.

There is a new file interface that will show your cloud documents, as well as local documents which is great. More support for the cloud based users have been added for applications like Keynote, Preview, TextEdit, and Pages. There are now around 125 million iCloud users and Apple is definitely proud of it.

With the new Notification Centre, once a projector is attached to the notebook, it will be muted automatically. And the twitter love hasn’t faded out; it has been integrated into Mountain Lion for universal login to Twitter. New about the Mountain Lion is the ability to dictate. Any place where text can be typed this dictation can be used. A new version (5.2) of Safari has been launched which features a new ‘omnibar,’ which will allow for searches and URLs to be typed into the same area, much like with Google chrome. In the new Safari, tabs can be synced across your devices using the new ‘iCloud Tabs’ feature. This will keep your iPad in sync with your Mac Book Pro. Safari will now support Chinese users, including a Chinese dictionary, and Baidu support also.

Share buttons have been integrated into Mountain Lion, providing access to both Twitter and Facebook. A new feature called ‘Power Nap’ that, in the words of Apple, “keeps your Mac up to date while it sleeps” has been installed. Essentially, the tool will push email, photo stream or video stream and much more while it’s on sleep mode. It will also back up to Time Capsule and install system and App Store updates automatically.

AirPlay Mirroring was demoed as well. The tool allows you to mirror your Mac, in 1080p, to any connected TV or projector. AirPlay Mirroring also supports the Apple TV device. This feature was already thought of by the reviewers and apple proved them right.

iOS 6

March 30th 2012, there were around 36,50,00,000 iOS devices. More than 80% of Apple’s customers have updated to iOS 5. Apple compared that to Android and notably only 7% of Android customers are on the most recent version (ICS). According to Apple, some 7,00,00,00,000 push notifications are sent every day, adding to the 1.5 trillion already sent (I got confused with the number of zeroes).

There are 14,00,00,000 iMessage users now and have sent 1,50,00,00,00,000 messages so far and still counting. Congratulations to the people sitting in the conference and using iMessage to be a part of these enormous numbers. Twitter has seen a 3 times growth on iOS, with around 10,00,00,00,000 tweets having been sent from iOS 5 only. A humungous 47% of photos shared on Twitter were sent from iOS 5 devices.

However, all that is old to what Apple has now launched.

iOS 6 contains 200 new features, including additions to Siri, which was something that was needed since a long time. Sports capabilities have been added along with new abilities to handle restaurant related queries and movies. Siri will also support more languages in its coming version, including Mandarin, Cantonese, French, German for Switzerland, and Korean.

You can now tweet by talking to your phone which is an add-on to integrated twitter.  Apple has been working with car manufacturing companies to install Siri buttons in their vehicles which will be out in the next 12 months. Some of the companies are:

  1. GM
  2. Mercedes
  3. Honda
  4. BMW
  5. Jaguar

And other companies are also joining into the program. Siri will be coming to the new iPad.

One of the major attractions of iOS 6 is Facebook integration. Users will be able to use Facebook to share apps, movies, shows, photos, and other content and is integrated with the Notification Centre. The Facebook integration is also coming to both the App Store, and iTunes. Facebook events are integrated into iOS stock calendar.app. Facebook integration is coming to the Mac as well.

In iOS 6, Apple has revamped and rejuvenated the phone app itself, adding Message and Remind Me Later capabilities that should ease the pain of phone calls a bit. You can even have the phone to send a text for you, to the caller if u are unable to pick up the call at that instance.

Apple is bringing a Do Not Disturb, to iOS. Do Not Disturb, will collect notifications, but not ping your screen at all. You won’t lose any call info, and you won’t be bothered. Given how noisy a modern smartphone can be, this is a smart move made by Apple. One can, of course, decide which calls, if any, make it through. Settings will even allow for a repeated call to make it through, in case it’s an emergency which again is a very thought of move by apple.

Facetime will now run over 3G and 4G cellular connections. Apple is unifying your phone number and Apple ID. You can answer Facetime calls from either a Mac or an iPad now. Your phone number is also being integrated into iMessage.

Mobile Safari will now support the new iCloud tabs. You can now upload photos to websites from Mobile Safari.

Mail in iOS 6 is set to improve, with the inclusion of ‘Flagged’ and ‘VIP’ mailboxes, sorting your mail. Mail will now allow users to insert photos and videos into mail on the phone. Pull to refresh will work in Mail.

All the features which once had to be added by tweaking with Cydia are made possible by Apple.

A new app is being added, called Passbook. It will collect and store all a person’s boarding passes, and other cards, in one place which is an intelligent development. Obviously, this will be best suited for the airport, and the movie theatre. What’s interesting is that the cards can update, changing your Starbucks balance, for example, or flight gate. Apple has thought this through pretty neatly and has implemented it right on!

Also iOS 6 has Guided Access, which allows for the disabling of individual elements of an application. You can use this to disable the home button. The beta of iOS 6 is out today. It can be used by the iPhone 3GS, but not the first generation iPad

Mapping

As expected, Apple announced its mapping solution in the event which has pretty cool features. The company is now doing all its cartography itself, a massive blow to Google, who had previously provided Apple’s maps tools. The interface is new and contains local search data, custom mapping tiles. Around 10,00,00,000 business listings are integrated in this app. Apple’s new Maps will crowd source traffic data, anonymously, of course. Turn by Turn navigation is included and is smart enough that it will route your around traffic, to avoid delays. Of course, it’s integrated with Siri and can be used from your LockScreen. Apple flew over a number of metro areas and shot pictures, allowing for it to build 3D images of big cities and show them on screen making it amazing but was quite similar to what Google announced last week. You can move the camera angle yourself, creating a very dynamic experience as your camera angle changes.  It seems like apple does not need help from Google for maps now but then it doesn’t have a search engine so it ends at a tie

All in all it was an amazing event. I have tried my best to go through the event that Apple shared with us today. Please tell us what you’re excited about what feature intrigues you or upsets you. Please share your valuable feedback and comments for the same.

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