Every year Apple's WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference) is ushered in on the heels of tons of hype and rampant speculation. Right up until the lights dim and formally Steve Jobs, now Tim Cook, walks out on stage, people are blogging about what's to come. The 2012 WWDC was no exception. In fact, it went above and beyond previous years.
Apple was rumored to release updates for five products on their Mac line, OSX Mountain Lion, iOS 6, a bunch of new apps, and countless accessories. As is the course with WWDC there were a few let downs (no new iMac), but this year was a resounding success in my eyes.
An improved line of MacBook Pro and Air's were introduced, as well as a brand new MacBook Pro with the much anticipated Retina display. More power and better graphics pushed the Air and Pro lines, while the new MacBook Pro's incredible 5.1 million pixel Retina display is sure to be a game changer.
What does that mean for developers like myself? Well just as the retina screen on the iPhone doubled the pixel density making it necessary to have image files twice the size, applications on the new MacBook Pro will need to update their software to accommodate the high density screen.
My favorite part about the new Retina MacBook Pro is the push away from the disc drive, microphone input and ethernet port (a USB adapter is available for those working at home or the office). So no more CD's without an after market superdrive, applications will now all be downloaded from the app store.
The incorporation of USB3 and Thunderbolt ports will offer the fastest data transferring available and flash storage will replace the standard serial hard drive. These changes allow the computer to be 25% slimmer. Some cool additions under the hood include a new cooling system that Apple claims will create a silent fan.
Operating Systems and Apps
Operating systems for both desktop and mobile devices will be getting major updates with the upcoming Mountain Lion and iOS 6. Mountain Lion. Shipping in July for only $19.99, both were demoed and bring more than 200 new features, including:
- Voice to text dictation
- Notification center
- Game Center
- Facebook and Twitter integration
- Full iCloud integration with your other apple devices
- And much much more
iOS 6 will bring Maps, Apple's brand new GPS and mapping App, to your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. I have personally been looking forward to this as I believe Android has held the edge over iOS in the GPS department. Turn-by-turn navigation and 3D maps all wrapped up in Apple's beautiful design aesthetic, sounds good to me!
Siri will also be getting an update as well as making her way onto iPads. Passbook, is another new and exciting App that will bring your wallet and phone one step closer. Brands can now offer coupons, boarding passes, movie tickets and more that will be scannable through your phone.
FaceTime is losing the WiFi ball and chains allowing you to talk over your normal cellular network.
After the festivities ended, we learned of a few more updates and products that didn't make the big stage. A new iPad Smart Case will provide front and back protection for the world's favorite tablet. The Mac Pro and AirPort Express also saw slight improvements to their hardware.
Overall, the event was as good as advertised. I will be ordering a Retina Display MacBook Pro, so be on the look out for an unboxing and review.
What products are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments!