The first WWDC convention since the passing of Steve Jobs (23rd overall) commenced on Monday of this week. Although some may say that it lacked the luster that Jobs used to bring, it certainly wasn’t short on innovation. Developer’s were able to hear the latest news from the company that essentially created a developer ecosystem around iOS with attendees from over 60 countries and over 1000 apple engineers present. Steve Job’s successor Tim Cook and a string of Apple execs took the stage to make some pretty exciting announcements. There were no huge product reveals, no news of a crazy iPhone 5, but rather incredible improvements to the products we’ve already become accustomed to. The keynote presentation was all about the next generation MacBook Pro. I can say with certainty that it is now one of the best and most powerful laptops money can buy - not to mention sleek and beautiful! The MacBook Pro has a ton of new features including a stunning retina display with more pixels than ever (2280x1800). It truly is a powerhouse with the latest quad core processors, fastest ram available, 7 hour battery life, and best software optimization at only .71 inches and just under 4.5 pounds. In the words of Apple, it is “innovation in every dimension”. Although the MacBook Pro was certainly an exciting and shiny announcement, it was really the features of the new iOS 6 that got everyone talking. With plans to release in the fall, iOS 6 has the most new features of any iOS upgrade to date. iOS comes complete with Apple native maps, significants improvements to Siri (now available for iPad), Facebook integration, Passbook, and FaceTime capabilities on cell networks - to name a few.
When it was announced that Google Maps would no longer be included on iOS there was certainly some skepticism. Apple brushed away all of this doubt with the announcement of Apple Maps. Not only can they do everything (almost) that Google Maps could do, but they can do more! Maps are incredibly detailed and include turn-by-turn directions (dictated by Siri) and Flyover capabilities so you can see your favorite city by air. Sadly, where Apple Maps is lacking is that it is missing street view capability (where Google has established dominance), and no longer has transit instruction. The inability to direct users to nearest (and fastest) public transportation is going to be a pretty big deterrent. Of course you could always download a third party app, but shouldn’t Apple take care of those details?
Siri is a whole new woman on iOS 6. Sports lovers, foodies, and movie buffs rejoice! Siri is able to more accurately answer questions that matter to you. Siri also understands more than 15 languages and is optimized for use in 15 countries around the world as well. Siri is now integrated into Facebook and Twitter, and can be used to launch third party apps. Unfortunately, Apple did not release it’s API for Siri, thus making it impossible for developers to write Siri into their apps.
Everyone is abuzz with the Facebook integration in iOS 6. What was possible through iOS 5 with Twitter is now all possible with Facebook. Share from any browser, message, or app instantly to Facebook. This capability is pretty awesome, unless your Aunt Marge takes advantage of it... who doesn’t want their Facebook news feed filled with pictures of cats?
We’re really excited to get our hands on these new products and updates, and can’t wait to share our experiences with you.