Apple revealed most things it was expected to.
Apple wrapped up their Worldwide Developer’s Conference last night announcing major upgrades to their operating systems as well as a hardware refresh for some of their products. Let me take you quickly to what was revealed and what I think of it.
The event started with a refresh for the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro bringing them up to speed with Intel’s Ivy Bridge CPUs and HD Graphics 4000. The laptops also received a USB3 upgrade but other than that, there were no surprises for the current line up. What was a surprise was the introduction of the new MacBook Pro. Apple has only introduced a 15.4” version for the time being but it is a beast of a machine along with being a beauty.
Starting off, the retina display comes to Apple laptops with the 15” panel featuring an unheard of 2880×1800 resolution screen. Needless to say, everything from text to images will look super crisp on this display. Helping power up such a power-packed display is the NVIDIA GeForce 650M Kepler GPU and a quad core Intel i5 or i7 processor along with 8GB RAM and up to 768GB SSD. Apple has also cut the fat and the optical drive out of the MacBook Pro reducing it to 0.71” in thickness. If you currently own a 15” MacBook Pro then this is an upgrade designed for you.
For me, a 15” laptop is too big- I currently carry an 11” MacBook Air and am very happy with it. I might have thought about upgrading had the new MBP been available in a 13” screen but I just cannot see myself going back to lugging a 15” laptop. I am pretty sure that the 13” MBP will see an upgrade to the retina display sooner than later. Sadly no updates to iMac whereas the Mac Pro received a minor bump. What is awesome is that these new models are already available in the UAE.
Next up was Mountain Lion and it’s going to be available as a $19.99 upgrade for not only Lion users but also Snow Leopard users which is a good thing. Integration with iOS devices is pretty tight and you’ll be able to play in Game Center with someone on an iOS device. Apple has updated many of the built-in apps to support retina display on Mountain Lion.
Last but certainly not the least, Apple formally introduced iOS 6 that should be making it’s way to iPhones, iPads and iPods later in the year. Sadly 1st gen iPad owners are left in the cold but anyone with an iPhone 3GS or later as well as the 4th gen iPod Touch should be able to apply the update.
News things in iOS include Maps with turn-by-turn navigation and Apple has ditched Google Maps for their own solution and whether Middle East maps are on it is not completely known. Other than maps, Siri has been updated to launch apps as well as work with sports and movies queries. Apple has also added some phone features to silence it during certain times or send an SMS/reminder when ignoring a call. A new app called PassBook has been added that lets you add your passes such as an airline boarding pass or Starbucks pass to pay for coffee.
Overall, I’ll say that it was a satisfying WWDC for Apple fans- good new hardware, decent software updates. Now we have to wait until launch details for the new iPhones is announced later in the year.