Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage this afternoon at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference with rumors of new hardware and software announcements buzzing. Cook began the first WWDC keynote since the passing of Steve Jobs by stating the company had some “really cool stuff” to show off.
He didn’t disappoint.
Perhaps the most compelling news items of the keynote were the official iOS 6 announcement and the reveal of the new MacBook Pro line, now featuring high-definition Retina displays. The rest of the presentation included updated MacBook Air hardware, new details about OS X Mountain Lion features, as well as a release date and pricing for the new operating system.
New Macs Shipping Immediately
Now thinner than ever, the new MacBook Pro measures 0.71 inches thin. Weighing in at 4.46 pounds, the Pro is still heavier than the Air, but it packs a punch. Containing the new Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge Processors, the Pro runs at 2.6 GHz (up to 3.6 GHz with Turbo Boost) and is configurable with up to 16 GB of RAM. The updated MacBook Air line will also run on Intel Ivy Bridge Processors (up to 2.0 GHz) and will start with 4 GB of RAM with the option to upgrade to 8 GB.
Though unannounced, the Mac Pro tower has also been updated in the wake of the keynote, and new models are available on Apple’s website. The new models will have a slight speed bump over their predecessors and are now available in a server configuration. Many are concerned that this means the Mac Pro is currently being phased out, as Apple took similar steps when discontinuing Xsan.
All the new hardware will ship today.
Mountain Lion Launching Soon
Though we’ve been aware of what OS X Mountain Lion will look like for some time, Apple unveiled some new features of the upcoming operating system. Power Nap is a power-efficient way to back up your hard drive and install updates while your computer is asleep. The new app will sync your computer’s email, calendars, Time Capsule, and your App Store purchases while your computer is not in use.
Mountain Lion will receive deeper iCloud integration, including the ability to sync Documents in the cloud. This feature had previously been available for only iOS devices, but will now receive desktop integration.
Other features include an updated Safari, system wide Dictation integration, and a Notification Center similar to iOS. Mountain Lion will release next month and be free to anyone who purchases a new Mac from today forward. The update will cost $19.99.
iOS 6 Brings Heaps of New Features
iOS will be getting a makeover this fall with the release of iOS 6. Among its new features are a more advanced Siri, who can now launch apps, check sports stats, make restaurant reservations, integrate with Yelp and Rotten Tomatoes, and many other new features. With iOS 6, Siri will also finally be available on the iPad.
As rumored, Apple will no longer be partnering with Google Maps when iOS 6 launches. Instead, they will be integrating their own in-house system with an upgraded Maps app. Chief among its new features, the app will feature turn-by-turn directions, a feature Android users have enjoyed for some time. Maps will also feature more Siri control, Yelp integration, crowd-sourced traffic info from other iOS users, a beautiful 3D mode, and Flyover, which will allow users to see their route from the perspective of a helicopter or airplane.
Also showcased were updated Phone, Safari, and Mail apps, FaceTime over cellular data networks, sharable Photo Streams, Guided Access for stricter app control, and a new digital wallet app named Passbook.
iOS 6 is being made available to developers immediately and will launch sometime later this year.
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