WWDC: a new MacBook, iOS 6, FB integration, and 3D maps

Faith Merino · June 11, 2012 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/2765

The Apple team unveiled some exciting new updates and features, including a new MacBook Pro

Today marked the 23rd WWDC and Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked things off with a few updates.  The App Store now has over 400 million accounts, with 650,000 apps—225,000 of which were built just for the iPad.  Thus far, some 30 billion apps have been downloaded and $5 billion has been paid out to developers.  The App Store will expand to reach 32 additional countries this year.

Cook then deferred to Phil Schiller, who announced updates to the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro.  In addition to 512 GB of flash storage, the Macbook Air is also getting updated with USB3, which is up to ten times faster than USB2.  They’ll get up to 60% faster graphics, and the Facetime camera will now be 720p.  Additionally, they’ll be two times faster with 500 MBps read speed.  AND, they’re now $100 cheaper, starting at $999 and $1099.

But the big news was the new MacBook Pro, which Phil Schiller called “the most beautiful computer we have ever made.”  It’s not quite as light and thin as the MacBook Air, but definitely thinner than the traditional MacBook at 4.46 pounds and 0.71 inches thick.  It also boasts a Retina display with 5,184,000 pixels, more than any other notebook in the world.  The OS X apps, including Mail and Safari, have been optimized for the screen.  It comes with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 768GB of flash storage, as well as seven hours of battery life and 30 days of standby.

And of course, everything about the notebook is custom designed, even down to the fan blades so that the sound is distributed more evenly.  Apple doesn’t settle for stock parts.  So is it any surprise that the notebook starts at a cool $2199 for 8GB and 256GB of flash storage?

Mountain Lion was also updated with more than 200 new features, including support for iCloud-synched documents, notifications and banners that can be disabled, and a new version of Safari that comes with a faster javascript engine as well as a unified search bar, new iCloud tabs that lets you see open documents across multiple devices, and more.  It also comes with a new Power Nap feature that updates email and photo streams while the MacBook sleeps.

And due to the MacBook’s rising popularity in China, several China-specific features have been added, including support for Baidu, China’s largest search engine.  It will also include new fonts and input means to connect to China’s main email services.

Next up followed the unveiling of iOS 6, with more than 200 new features and a new and improved Siri that can now clue you in to all the latest sports info.  And Siri can now make reservations for you and help you leave reviews via Apple’s new partnerships with Yelp and OpenTable.  She (because Siri has a virtual vagina) can also tell you what movies are playing, bring you reviews, and even show you trailers.  Siri will also be able to launch apps for you (i.e. “open mail,” or whatever you want to go into), and it has added a bunch of languages, including Spanish, Italian, French, German, Korean, Mandarin, and Cantonese.  Siri will also work on the new iPad.

And as anticipated, Apple revealed iOS’s new integration with Facebook.  Now you can log in once and post to Facebook from Safari, Maps, and Photos.  It’s also been integrated with Siri—presumably so that you can post directly through Siri, and you can also “like” apps.

The Phone feature also got some cool new updates, including the option to reply to incoming calls with a text message (automated or custom-written), or a reminder to call them back later.  There’s also a new “Do Not Disturb” feature, which still allows notifications and texts to be pushed to your device, but it won’t light up your screen.  

Mail is getting some new updates, most notably in the form of a new VIP service that allows you to select certain people as VIPs, and then when they email you, you can get a notification as you would with a text message.  You can also now insert photos when composing emails instead of emailing photos from the photo app.

And finally, the new Maps feature was announced.  There’s been some talk about this for a while—Google decided to do a pre-emptive strike by jazzing up its maps with 3D before Apple announced its own maps feature.  Apple is now doing its own cartography and the new version of maps has 100 million local listings, complete with Yelp integration for local search.  The next version of iOS will include a traffic service to let you know where delays are, as well as turn-by-turn navigation that will even work from a locked screen.  It will also be integrated with Siri so that you can ask a question like “where can I get gas?” and Siri will find the nearest gas station.

And Google isn’t the only one with 3D.  A new fly-over feature will allow you to get 3D maps for some areas.  The fly-over shots are pretty amazing.

AAPL stock was up over one percent this morning on open, but has since dropped by 1.2%.


Image source: Allthingsd.com

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