Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off WWDC 2012 in San Francisco, announcing the new MacBook Pro, Mountain Lion and iOS 6
The all-new MacBook Pro
Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worlwide Marketing took to the stage to announce the latest generation MacBook Pro. Apple’s new 0.71″ thick notebook sees the optical drive ditched in favour of a thinner and lighter design packed with 768GB of internal flash storage, 16GB RAM and a quad-core i5 or i7 processor. Other notable updates include HDMI output, USB 3.0 connectivity and a second Thunderbolt port. As is typical with WWDC hardware announcements, the latest addition to the MacBook Pro lineup ships today, starting at a somewhat pricey $2199.
Later on, developers were treated to an extended preview of Mountain Lion with Apple’s Craig Federighi showing off iCloud integration, Siri-style dictation, Notification centre and the newly introduced iCloud tabs, allowing you to sync the tabs you have open in Safari across every device. Safari on OS X was also updated to include a tab view similar to that of iOS. Power Nap, a feature that wasn’t made available in Mountain Lion’s earlier preview, was also introduced, allowing owners of the new MacBook Pro and 2nd generation MacBook Airs to have their machines updated and backed up automatically while their devices are sleeping. Mountain Lion will be available to download publicly next month for $19.99 on the Mac App Store.
Senior Vice President of iOS Software Scott Forstall also took to the stage to announce iOS 6. The new mobile operating system, available in Autumn, contains over 200 new features. Siri has been updated to include sports knowledge regarding players and teams, advanced restaurant information and reservation capabilities, film reviews, third-party app support, as well as new language support. Eyes Free, a new car integration feature, allows manufacturers to place Siri buttons on car steering wheels for easier access whilst driving. Local search in Siri, which was previously US only, is now available around the world. Siri is also now integrated into the new iPad.
iOS 6 also saw the introduction of Facebook integration which looks incredibly similar to the previous Twitter integration introduced with iOS 5. The phone app has also been updated to allow users to reply to a call with a message or set a reminder to call back later. Do Not Disturb mode was also introduced, putting a stop to this late night phone calls that disturb sleep. iOS 6 also, finally, sees phone numbers and Apple IDs unified, making it much easier to work with Messages and FaceTime across multiple devices. Share Photo Streams were also introduced, allowing friends or family to choose selected photos to share with specific people. Friends and family can also comment on shared photos. A new app, Passbook, was also introducing – allowing users to store store cards, film tickets, boarding passes and more on their iPhone.
As was widely reported, Apple announced a new Maps app, ditching Google’s offering altogether in favour of an in-house option featuring better local search, crowd-sourced traffic info, turn-by-turn navigation. In a move that directly competes against Google’s latest maps update, Apple also announced 3D maps, all built in-house.
iOS 6 will be launched in the Autumn with support for the iPhone 3GS and up but not for the original iPad.
As ever, we’ll have all the latest on Apple’s announcements and products in the coming weeks both online and in the Magazine.