Apple brass took to the stage recently for another Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), an event at which they directly address all of the people who make developing for Apple computers and operating systems their business. As a company, Apple typically uses this event to make announcements about the future of their products, and 2012 was no different. Read on to check the biggest changes out of Cupertino.
New Macbooks and Mac Pros – The biggest news from the event is a complete refresh of all Apple computers. 17” Macbook Pros are now extinct, leaving only 13” and 15” as an option for those laptops, though the Air is still around in 11” and 13” sizes. Upgrades to the whole line include bumped up processors and graphics, as well as USB 3 ports all around. And if you want the best display in the laptop computer market, Apple is–for the first time ever–offering an optional Retina Display upgrade to the 15” Macbook Pro. Even Mac Pro towers (yes, they still make those) got a mild spec bump!
Siri Strikes Back – If you think Siri has had room to improve since it was announced, we’re right there with you. And so is Apple, who continue to add functionality to the service, including additional languages and a handful of new partnerships. Siri can now launch apps on your phone as well as dig through Yelp and OpenTable, among other information databases, and within the year you’ll be seeing Siri buttons on new cars’ steering wheels for “Eyes Free” iPhone operation.
$19.99 Mountain Lion – The next version of Apple’s OS X has been priced at a penny under $20 and will be out this July. Among the many tweaks and updates included are talk-to-type dictation throughout the operating system, a function called “PowerNap” that will update the computer while it’s asleep, and desktop access to cloud based storage.
Airport Express Refresh – Still priced at $99, the Airport Express now supports simultaneous dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless connections, an extra ethernet port, and a whole new look.
Goodbye Google Maps – Apple has introduced their own 3D maps for use on their devices and will finally provide turn-by-turn navigation. Get ready for a whole new format, as well as a bunch of new features such as automatically re-routing directions because of traffic, flyover views, and a deeper integration with Siri.
If you want to check out Apple’s 2012 WWDC keynote address for yourself, they’re now streaming the whole thing online.
Alexei Bochenek is a lifelong tech nerd & film buff based in Los Angeles. When he’s not playing with his phone, it’s because the movie has started. Shhhhh!