My initial thoughts on what was announced at WWDC. First the good, the new Macbook Pro with retina display was definitely the highlight of the show. The display has over 5 million pixels on the 15.4 inch display with a resolution of 2880×1800 resolution. The Macbook Pro with the retina display weights only 4.46 lb. and is 0.71 inches thin. It has a HDMI port, 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports, SDXC card and 2 Thunderbolt connections. The fire wire port is gone. It has a Quad-Core Intel Core i7 processor. It starts at $2,199 for the base model. They also are updating the Macbook Pro 13- and 15-inch without the Retina display. They are both getting the latest Ivy Bridge chips along with other hardware upgrades. Ports included are 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 Thunderbolt ports, and an SDXC card input and a Gigabit Ethernet connection.
Mountain Lion will be available in July for anyone using Snow Leopard or Lion. It will only be $20.00 for the upgrade. iCloud update will allow users to drag documents into the cloud and then they will be available on all your Apple devices. The documents can then be edited on all devices. There will be a dedicated sharing button in Safari, making it easy to share your webpages to your Social networks. Notifications will be coming to Mountain Lion. Facebook integration will be available in the Notification center. There will be a share button integrated into the system allowing you to easily share your photos, videos and other files out to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Vimeo. It appears the Facebook integration is not coming until the fall. A new feature Power Nap will allow you to set your computer to sync with iCloud, email and Time Machine while it sleeps. With Mountain Lion you will be able to use AirPlay to mirror content up to 1080p from your Mac to your TV. Game Center is also coming to the Mac and will work across all mac platforms.
Siri is coming to the current iPad and iPad 2 and will offer more information about sports, restaurants, movies and more. Facebook integration is also coming with iOS 6 with a tap to post option in the Notification Center. You will be able to turn on a Do Not Disturb feature which will silent alerts or incoming calls for a set amount of times. FaceTime will now work over 3G. Your phone number and Apple ID will be united under FaceTime. iOS 6 will include a Passbook feature which will allow you to store and access electronic versions of tickets, boarding passes and merchant cards. If you are near a store or movie theatre that uses the reward card or ticket that is in your Passbook an alert will pop up notify you. As expected Apple is getting rid of its dependency on Google Maps on iOs 6. It will use its own mapping solution with Yelp and crowd source traffic information integrated. There will also be turn by turn directions using Siri.
There were some disappointments. No mention of a new iPhone, although it seems to be a given with the introduction of iOS 6. It appears that Apple will no longer be upgrading the 17 inch Macbook pro and that line is going away. There is no upgrade for Mac mini or the iMac. There was no mention of the mythical Apple TV and no sdk was released for the current Apple TV, I found that disappointing. All in all I was happy with what was announced at WWDC. I will continue to watch what else is coming out of WWDC the rest of the week.
WWDC is a week-long event with over a 100 sessions of which the Keynote is just one of them. It is for both iOs and OsX developers There will be sessions on everything from developing graphical applications including game, media rich books, video and audio application to sessions for Web kit developers and how to make money by using StoreKit.
We already know that both Mountain Lion and iOS 6 will be front and center in both the keynote and the various sessions. If you read the Apple about WWDC page it is also clear that they will be emphasizing the retina display and how to take advantage of it. Another point of emphasis will be the integration of social media including Twitter. It is rumored that Facebook integration will be introduced, however that has not been confirmed. Even Tim Cook has admitted that Ping, which was Apple latest attempt to make iTunes social has been less than successful. It appears that Apple has given up creating its own social network and instead is concentrating on integrating already existing social networks into its ecosystem. I think this makes sense, social networks have never been Apple’s strength. Apple will probably also announce its own mapping solution under iOs 6 removing its dependence on Google maps.
These are things we know are going to be introduced at WWDC unless something unforeseen happens, but what about the unconfirmed rumors. The first is Siri for iPad. This is most likely just for the current iPad and iPad 2, but not for the original iPad. I have to admit being an owner of an iPad, but not an iPhone I am looking forward to trying Siri out, although I am not sure what I will use it for. Also under iOs 6, A Do not Disturb, mode for reminders appears be coming. I would love it if they would add a clear all box to reminders, so I didn’t have to click on each section. Some people expect iCloud to be upgraded to include new web apps including notes and reminders. Since Mobile Me is shutting down at the end of June it would not be surprising to see an enhanced photo sharing option under iCloud to replace it.
Most people also expect new hardware to be released during the week of WWDC including new Macbook Airs, Mac Pros and MacBook Pros. Some of the upgrades that are rumored are the introduction of USB 3.0, the employment of Intel’s Ivy Bridge CPUs, retina display in a notebook, and the 17-inch Macbook being discontinue. All these rumors have their plus and minuses, which Techcrunch does a good job at articulating in the post Which Apple WWDC Rumors Are Most Likely to Come True. Most people don’t expect the new iPhone to be introduced at WWDC, although out of focus pictures of iPhone 5 parts keep showing up on the Web. The Boy Genus site says that Apple will release an SDK for the current Apple TV to third-party developers. This would open it up to third-party applications. If this happens, some people see it as a step toward the release of the mythical stand alone Apple TV. There are even a few who expect the mythical stand alone Apple TV to be introduced at WWDC. I do hope the SDK rumor is true, the current Apple TV has so much potential if only Apple would open it up to developers.
How many of these rumors will come true, only Apple knows, however there are a couple of things I can guarantee. The first is that there will probably be at least one surprise. The second is there will also be at least one rumor that will not come true because of a last-minute hiccup. Third the various tech sites will spend at least a week after WWDC talking about where Apple failed and why. Finally there will be an in-depth analysis clearly showing that Apple is falling apart because Tim Cook’s hair was out-of-place or his shirt was untucked or a slide didn’t work perfectly during the keynote. All I know is at 1 pm EST on Monday I will probably have one of the many tech sites who will be live blogging the keynote open and TWiT.tv playing in the background. How about you? If you are a Mac user have you been following the rumors and will you be following the keynote live.