Monday kicked off the start of Apple’s week long conference WWDC. This year’s event marks Apple’s 24th show, which, according to Tim Cook, is the longest running conference of its kind. The Keynote presentation delivered by Cook and Apple’s top minds introduced a multitude of new features and products we can expect to see from Apple in the near future.
To start, the latest iteration of OS X was announced. Due to a dwindling number of cat species, the clever folks at Apple chose to code name the next generation of operating systems after famous landmarks in the California area. The upcoming version will be called OS X Mavericks — after a famous surf destination in Cali. With the latest OS will come new features like a Maps app, Finder tabs and performance optimizations (just to name a few).
Of course, Apple isn’t going to forget about the mobile developers it has in the crowd — and so we saw iOS 7 unveiled. iOS 7 has a radically new and simplistic design. The rumors of a flat design turned out to be true — and I, for one, love the new look. The home screen will sport a new parallax design that makes the icons truly feel like they are on top of your background. Stunning full-screen animations bring apps like Weather to life. But Apple didn’t just focus on the aesthetics with iOS 7. New features in some old favorites like Photos plus some new apps altogether like Control Center make iOS 7 a sure fire hit when it gets officially released this fall.
Apple also introduced iTunes Radio. I’m sure some of you are familiar with the concept of streaming radio. Some of you may have even used a service like Pandora or Spotify to listen to a mix of music. Now Apple is stepping in to deliver a similar service, but with the Apple twist of ultimate integration and usability.
Software wasn’t the only thing that got some stage time. Apple also released an update to their MacBook Air line. Now you will be able to go all day long without requiring a power outlet (according to Apple). They boast that the 13-inch model’s battery will last up to 12 hours. Of course, this depends on what you are doing, but Apple stated you could watch the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy (or 10 hours of iTunes movie playback) on a single charge.
Apple also “broke away from tradition” with this year’s Keynote by giving everyone a sneak peek at the future. Long forgotten at these events, the former powerhouse Mac Pro got a much-needed upgrade. With plenty of teaser clips and fancy music, Apple piqued the interest of the entire audience with this sneak peek.
Finally, the unsung hero award of the presentation has to go to the AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule. The new AirPorts sport the latest 802.11ac standard giving you up to 3x the performance. Its unique design allows for what Apple is calling “Beamforming”, a technology that targets your device to give it the best performance it possibly can. Don’t worry though, these new AirPorts are still just as easy to configure as their older brothers and you still have the ability to plug in a hard drive or printer.
Overall, this year’s WWDC Keynote was a hit. We have a lot to look forward to in the coming year, and I am definitely excited to see it all.
Check back all week as we push out more detailed reports on each of these topics.