I am a huge Apple nerd. I have two iPhones – a 3GS and a 4S. I correctly use the terms "text message" or "iMessage" in everyday conversations. Hell, I am writing this on my 2011 MacBook Pro. Today was the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC for short. While you can find specific details other places, here's my rundown of today's announcements.
New MacBook Pro
- Without being hyperbolic, I agree with Gizmodo that it's "the most amazing laptop we’ve ever seen." Check out some of specs here. I have no doubt in my mind that this is a game-changing laptop.
- The biggest drawback is its price tag. The base price is $2,199 sans tax. Twenty-two hundred dollars, without tax, and without any additional bells and whistles. Damn.
- Its main feature is its super high definition screen, called Retina Display:
The Next Gen Pro is mind-boggling: a 2800 x 1800 resolution on a 15.4-inch screen—that's well over 5 million pixels, dwarfing your HDTV. That also means the computer qualifies as a retina display, with a pixel density of 220 PPI—seamless when you're staring at it from a normal computer distance. By comparison, the current 15-inch Pro drives a mere 1440×900.
- There is (literally) no competition.
- Apple is ceasing to make 17-inch MacBook Pro computers. One of my ex-girlfriends once told me that "the 13 inch [MacBook Pro] is too small, the 15 inch is just right, and the 17 inch is a behemoth." I concur – this isn't too much of a loss.
Mac OS X Mountain Lion
- The new OS will be released on July 25 for $19.99 – a 33% decrease in cost from Mac OS X Lion.
- Folks are talking about Power Nap, a new app that updates one's laptop while it's in sleep mode. This is another game changer, as most folks don't update their computer, (or smartphone or iPod, for that matter) nearly enough.
- People who download this will be able to use their own voices to dictate items to the computer. It's nice to see Apple taking on speech-to-text programs.
- There might not be too much that I'm announcing here, mostly because WWDC basically announced stuff that we all knew before.
- My personal favorite feature will allow folks to FaceTime using 3G/4G, instead of just wifi. As much as Apple changed the game in introducing FaceTime to the world, I have no doubt that this will popularize video calling. Requiring both users to be on wifi was extremely inconvenient.
- The iMore blog reports the following. I'm not sure if they mean that we'll be able to answer voice calls using an iPad or a Mac, or just FaceTime ones. I hope it's the former:
In addition to FaceTime working over cellular networks, Apple will also be bringing unification of Apple ID and phone numbers. […] In iOS 6, when it becomes available this fall, you will be able to answer calls anywhere you wish to do so; be it on your Mac, your iPhone or even your iPad.
- There is a new Maps app without contributions from Google. It has 3D maps, spoken directions, speed updates, and more. You can also ask Siri questions such as "Are we there yet?" I feel bad for Siri.
- Speaking of Siri, she now will be able to answer sports related questions ("what is the score of the Oakland Raiders game?"), show you movie trailers, gives you movie and restaurant reviews (courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes and Yelp), and she can now open applications
- Siri will also be available in 60 non-American countries. I'm hoping for Korean Siri. (UPDATE: Korean Siri will be a reality!)
- It now lets iPhone users be dicks. I love it:
Want to ignore someone? You can reject their call with a reminder to hit them back later, or send a pre-programmed "hey sorry man I'm busy what's up" excuse text while simultaneously rejecting the call. All it takes is a quick swipe up while the clal is incoming, choose your method of avoidance, and with a couple taps you've managed to dodge another call. If you want, you can customize your reply messages with all sorts of zany excuses. It's brilliant.
- A much-welcomed update to the Music app:
- Finally, Facebook will be integrated into iOS.
- Folks will now be able to share certain "streams" using iCloud's Photo Stream power. I cannot overstate how useful this will be.
My friend Pong has still not sent me the photos from a cruise I took with her and it's incredibly annoying to have to remind her over and over and over again to send them.UPDATE: SHE DID IT!! If she had iOS 6, she could merely create a stream of them.
- The "Find My iPhone" app becomes over 9,000 times more useful:
Find My iPhone has been enhanced. You can lock your phone with a four-digit number remotely, no matter if your iPhone wasn't set to automatically lock. What's better: you can send a message to the phone with a contact phone number and a big "Call" button, so whoever finds it can call you back. The iPhone will automatically record all its locations after you lock it remotely.
- My personal favorite feature is Passbook, Apple's newest app. Utilizing a QR code, users will be able to purchase airline boarding passes, buy a coffee at Starbucks, get movie tickets, or other features right on the iPhone.
- The slated release date for iOS 6 is Fall 2012.
Full disclosure available here.