The WWDC keynote just wrapped up a few hours ago, and as always, Apple didn’t disappoint. If you missed out, here’s a brief overview of what Apple had to show us today:
It’s flatter, and Jony Ive’s removed a lot of the frills (read: steel, felt, stitched leather textures). Control Center will allow a user to access settings far easier than digging deep into the settings, and there’s now multitasking with window previews when you switch apps. AirDrop will be available, so you can share files OTA with other iPhone-using friends and family, and photos will group smarter based on location and dates. Siri got a revamp, with additional functionality and a male voice as a second option (if you want your virtual assistant to be a guy).
Apple made iOS 7 available to developers today, with the full roll out to consumers likely arriving shortly before (or alongside) the next iPhone launch this Fall.
OS X Mavericks
The newest version of OS X was also announced: OS X Mavericks. The big cat naming protocol traditionally used by Apple has been set aside for California landmarks and locations, and the OS brings with it an updated, more fluid feel. Multiple displays will operate independently, Finder gets a tabbed explorer window (finally!), and Notifications will now have ‘quick reply’ and ‘delete’ options for apps like Twitter and Mail.
A couple of iOS apps will make their way to OS X Mavericks with some new tricks: iBooks, which will include textbook support and expanded note features; and Maps, with the ability to push directions directly to a user’s iPhone and launch iOS Maps at unlock. Safari will incorporate iCloud Keychain, suggesting complex passwords for each website you register for and keeping them available for login across your iCloud devices.
OS X Mavericks is also set to launch later this year (Fall 2013), but we didn’t get an official date or price point.
Macbook Air Refresh
The Macbook Air didn’t see the retina display refresh many had hoped for; however, there were some major leaps in battery life, with the 11-inch MBA gaining 4 hours of work time, and the 13-inch MBA grabbing another 5 hours. That seems to indicate Apple is actively working on bringing retina screens to the MacBook Air line, but it’s going to be a while (maybe another year) before we see that come to fruition. The Air line also saw upgrades to processor speed and memory, so there’s never been a better time to pick one up, if you’ve been on the fence about it.
If you’ve been waiting for a refresh, you’re in luck. The new Macbook Air is available to purchase today, and the 13-inch Macbook Air also saw a price drop, with the base model available at $1099, a full $100 cheaper than it was yesterday.
We were a little surprised to hear Phil Schiller announce a sneak peek of Apple’s new Mac Pro. It’s a serious machine, with dual GPUs, flash storage, Thunderbolt 2 (with six ports!), the new Intel Xeon E5 chipset, support for 4K video, and a beautiful black aluminum body.
Oh, and did we mention it’s less than 10 inches tall and 6.6 inches in diameter? That’s a lot of punch packed into such a small tower.
The new Mac Pro will be available for purchase later this year, just in time for the holiday season, so start saving up those extra quarters.
Lastly, Apple unveiled their iTunes Radio service, which provides a Pandora-esque service to iTunes users. If you’re an iTunes Match subscriber, you’ll get to enjoy iTunes Radio without ads; however, if you haven’t yet shelled out the $25/year for Match, you’ll be able to use an ad-supported, free version of the software. We don’t know how Genius will stack up against Pandora’s Music Genome Project, so we’re looking forward to spending some time with iTunes Radio and seeing if the Genius playlist algorithms have been adjusted for this new offering.
I’ve got my thoughts in the video above; what do you think of Apple’s offering today? Is iOS 7 enough for shareholders and consumers alike to feel Apple is still neck and neck with Android in the mobile space? Do you feel more or less confident now that you’ve seen the direction Jony Ive is headed? Tell us in the comments, and keep checking back right here for everything WWDC 2013.