Big news today from Apple today – their Worldwide Developer Conference kicked off this afternoon, and their keynote address actually ended up being more like three keynote addresses. There’s big news on three fronts: MacBook laptops, OS X Mountain Lion and iOS6.
I’m just going to hit the highlights – only because there are dedicated writers out there will have much more comprehensive reviews and opinions of things. I’ll include some links you should check out at the end of this post.
Updates to the Existing MacBook Air/MacBook Pro lines, including:
- New processors (meaning faster)
- Better graphics processing (crisper images)
- Expanded RAM/Disk Storage options
- USB 3.0 support (faster peripheral devices)
- MacBook Air starts at $999
- MacBook Pro starts at $1,199
IN SUMMARY: Some nice updates/upgrades, with no change in price.
Brand new MacBook Pro with Retina Display:
- 15″ Only
- Display supports 2880×1800 resolution (meaning it’s sharper than a Blue Ray player – wow).
- Supports up to 16GB of Memory
- Dual Thunderbolt Ports, and now an HDMI Port and USB 3.0
- Ultra Thin (.71 inches) and very light (4.46 pounds)
- Starts at $2,199
IN SUMMARY: This is a beast of a machine for the price, and I want one. It’s targeted at high-end users to be sure – video and photography types in particular have to be drooling over this thing. What’s noticeably missing from this machine is no RJ45 (network) port and no optical (DVD) drive. For network there’s a Thunderbolt adapter, and for optical there’s a USB-based SuperDrive option.
It also appears that the 17″ MacBook is going away – it’s not listed under the MacBook Pro family on the store site. My guess is that the new MacBook w/ Retina is the replacement for it.
OS X Mountain Lion:
- Available In July.
- If you buy a machine today or later, the upgrade is free. Otherwise, it will be a $20 upgrade via the App Store that can be applied to all of your home Mac machines. This is the same plan as the Lion upgrade – only cheaper.
- 200 New features in it, but a handful were highlighted.
- Reminders, Messages and Notes (all available in iOS) will be available in OS X. All iCloud enabled.
- Dictation will be available.
- Some really wild integration with Safari and iCloud – and how it will also integrate and extend to your iPhone/iPad.
- Will have full screen AirPlay, and Game Center will be a part of the OS. Oh, and AirPlay will run at 1080p to the new AppleTV device.
- Mixed in with this is the announcement of a new AirPort Express (still $99), which will now support dual band wireless (2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz)
- IN SUMMARY: Some really great features and integration is on the way. If you’re world is heavily laden with Apple “things” (like mine), the integration of them will continue to be incredibly seamless. It will be well worth the $20.
iOS 6 (iPhone, iPad and iPod):
- Available in the Fall 2012 (if tradition holds, expect sometime in October).
- Upgrade can be applied to iPhone 3GS and later, iPod 4th Generation and later, iPad 2 and later.
- Much tighter Facebook integration into the device OS – very similar to how Twitter is integrated in iOS5.
- Very interesting and long overdue incoming notification management, with a Do Not Disturb option for incoming mail, texts and calls. This also includes what they’re calling VIP lists – which to me translates to defining what a priority call/message should be.
- Better Siri stuff, with integration into things like Yelp! and OpenTable (for you foodies out there).
- The ability to launch apps with Siri, and do things with them. Again, long overdue.
- New Maps app (to replace the current Google Maps) – including turn by turn directions and ridiculous 3D and flyover capabilities.
- Facetime over cellular – it used to only work if you were on a WiFi connection. That limitation is now gone.
IN SUMMARY: This will be a great upgrade for mobile devices. I also find the timing interesting – fall is usually right in line with the update cycle for the iPhone.
Each of these sections could be a couple of posts each – and probably will be in some form as these things land in people’s hands. This is where you, our faithful readers, can help. If there’s something in particular you think we should expand upon, please tell us. For now, I’m really excited to see these things deliver.
If you want more detailed information , here are a few site you should visit (because they do a great job):
If you’re interested in watching it, Apple has posted the video of the Keynote (beware – it’s almost 2 hours long).
And if you’re interested in going shopping, the Apple Online Store sure beats waiting in line at a physical Apple Store.
Questions, comments, concerns? Please post them in the comments – we’d love to hear from you.