Apple delivered us three surprises today, their first beta preview of iOS 6, new MacBook hardwares, and the release date of OS X Mountain Lion.
The start of WWDC was prompted by Siri’s ridiculing statements on Google’s Android release names Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean. This seems like a payback on what has Google done when they jested Apple’s expense during Google’s developer conferences. This is also a between-the-line statement of reducing supported apps Google introduced to Apple.
Secondly, Tim Cook, Apple’s current CEO, reviewed the success of the App Store. He said that the App Store already reached 400 million App Store customer accounts and 30 billion free and paid apps downloaded.
Also, he said that Mac users tripled in the course of five years. There has been originally been 66 million Mac users last 5 years ago, confirmed by Apple’s VP of Mac software engineering, Craig Federighi.
Apple also announced that they remodelled the MacBook Air and its MacBook Pro. It will now sport 15” display screen and will have the finally confirmed high resolution Retina display.
They also presented a sneak peek of their latest desktop operating system, the Mac OS X Mountain Lion which is due this July, and the iOS 6, Apple’s mobile operating system (smartphone OS).
What seems like missing in the WWDC was the Mac Pro, Apple’s desktop workstation, which was last updated August 2010. Apple didn’t even release a single word on Apple TV’s potential apps and features. Still, even though wordless, Apple did update Mac Pro. It now has a two six-core 3.06-GHz Intel Xeon X5675 chips and a AirPort Express with support for 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi.
Apple’s innovation of their Mac OS X was centred on convergence and cross-pollination. Their Safari Browser is now synced with iCloud. OS X users now has access to the Notifications system introduced previously in iOS. AirPlay and GameCenter were being brought to the OS X which were originally on the iOS.
In the iOS 6, they dumped Google Maps and released their own version of it with real-time 3D enhancements. They also enabled Facetime videoconferencing through cellular connections than just using WiFi connections. Apple also released Siri for iPad3, integrates Facebook on the iOS 6, and they continue to improve their iCloud.
The MacBook Air now has the Intel’s new Ivy Bridge processors. Two models were introduced: 11” ($999) and a 13”($1199 and $1499). They are running on dual-core i5 and i7 processors ranging from 1.7-GHz to 2.0-GHz in which they can be boosted up to 3.2 GHz using Intel’s new technology called Turbo Boost. It supports 8 GB of 1600-MHz RAM and integrated Intel HD 4000 in which Apple stated that it is 60% faster than previous models. It has a 512 GB of flash storage with a speed of 500 MBps, 2x faster than previous flash storages. It also sports two USB 3.0 ports and a 720p FaceTime HD camera. Downsides are it does not have a retina display and it just supports 1366 x 768 and 1440 x 900 displays.
Good news for MacBook Pro users because instead of just having 13” and 15” models, you also have the 15” model which has the Retina Display.
The 13” model has a 1280 x 800 display; the 15″ model has a 1440 x 900 display, and the 15″ Retina model features a 2880 x 1800 display, with a pixel density of 220. It is quarter thinner and weighs lesser than older models. Bad news is that, it no longer has a optical drive.
The price of this is of course sky-rocketed. It starts with a price of $2199. The 15” model has a quad-core 2.3-GHz i7 processor, with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of Flash memory, and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics chip.
With these new technology news and announcements, Apple just made a great leap. Thrashing Google could be either good or bad but we’ll see about the outcome. For now, Apple has made a great step forward.