News from Apple WWDC

Yesterday Apple announced a number of hardware, iOS and OS X updates. I’m not going to rehash all of the coverage you can find elsewhere on the web, but I’ll pick out a few things that I think are interesting. If you want to read more I’ve added a few links at the end.

First up, hardare. There are a number of updates to the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. However, the big news is the new laptop  MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The big selling point is the retina display, obviously. The pixel density is not has high as the iPhone or the iPad, but it is pretty significant. The $400-$600 difference between the retina display and the new updated MacBook Pro models is not just in the display. They have also added SSD drives and made the body  thinner and lighter. Given the difference in price it’s hard to ignore.

Next are the improvements to to the new Mac OS X version labeled Mountain Lion. First of all, the OS update is only going to cost $20. That’s pretty impressive considering the laundry list of items included in this release. The list is long, so go check it out if you are a mac user at home or at work and see what is coming. Some of the highlights for me are the inclusion of “Messages” across your devices/machines. Facebook and Twitter are embedded in the OS so you can more easily share from applications like Safari, iPhoto and more. There are deeper connections to iCloud which allow for more cross device compatibility (iPad, iPhone and computer sync).

The other big announcement were the updates to iOS 6. With over 200 updates I will again spare the list of things to come, but highlight a few interesting ones. Facebook integration is coming so you can be signed in ‘all the time’ and share from iOS applications easily. Maps have been completely redone without Google. Apple will use their own mapping service which will include turn-by-turn, 3D maps, traffic and more. Siri is also getting supporting more services. (Please no more Zooey Deschanel commercials.) One interesting service that my be of interest to many of you is “Passbook”. This will allow the Starbucks card, airline boarding passes, movie tickets, etc to be stored in one area for easy access. Dictation and notifications are also available. The convergence of device and computer OS is not far off. It wouldn’t surprise me if by OS 11 everything was merged.

The new macs are available now. OS X Mountain Lion is coming in July. The updates to iOS 6 will be available for iPhones 3G S and newer this fall.

Ars Technica


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