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Apple WWDC 2013 keynote round-up

Team Smartbuy June 11 | Updated on March 12, 2018

Craig Federighi, vice president of software engineering at Apple Inc., speaks during the keynote of the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Monday, June 10, 2013. Apple Inc. introduced a new version of its Mac operating system called Mavericks, aimed at delivering tighter integration with iPhones and iPads.   -  Bloomberg

Attendees sit in front of an Apple logo at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2013 in San Francisco, California June 10, 2013.   -  REUTERS

An attendee photographs the new Apple Inc. Mac Pro computer displayed during the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Monday, June 10, 2013. Apple Inc.'s latest version of the professional computer will be available later in the year. Apple Inc. introduced a new version of its Mac operating system called Mavericks, aimed at delivering tighter integration with iPhones and iPads.   -  Bloomberg

For more than six months, the maker of the iPad, iPhone and iPod had been mum about any new developments. Apart from rumours and speculations, there was no concrete news. However, on Monday, in San Francisco, Apple Inc. went public with a hoard of announcements that defines the Cupertino-based computing giant – making its laptops thinner and more powerful, adding a new, more user-friendly update to its iOS operating system and announcing a new product that could revolutionise desktop computing.

At the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple’s annual gala event for App developers, Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President Worldwide Marketing gave a sneak peak into the next generation of Mac Pro. Outfitted with the latest Intel Xeon processors (configurable up to 12 cores), two AMD FirePro graphic processing units and PCIe-based flash storage that is up to ten times faster than conventional hard drives, the new Mac Pro’s performance will be packed into a new design that’s one-eighth the volume - a fitting answer to its detractors who claimed that there was nothing more to innovate.

The next-gen Mac Pro’s processing power would be architected around a unified thermal core design that will allow the desktop to share its entire thermal capacity across all processors efficiently. Futher, Mac Pros will now support 4K resolution displays and will come with six Thunderbolt 2 ports, each of which can achieve a transfer rate of 20Gbps, and multiple PCI expansion options along with audio and video breakout boxes.

While the Mac Pros would be available later this year, the new MacBook air lineup has been made available from today. The new MacBook Air variants (11 and 13-inch) will ship with fourth-generation Intel Core processors and flash storage which is claimed to be 45 per cent faster than the predecessor, along with extended battery life. The new 13-inch MacBook Air is claimed to have 12 hours of battery life, and the 11-inch variant can deliver up to 9 hours.

These ultra-thin notebooks are also being upgraded to support next-generation 802.11ac Wi-Fi for wireless performance that is up to 3 times faster. The new MacBook Airs will also have updated graphics performance, with Intel HD 5000 graphics. New AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations have also been made available, that support a maximum data rate of 1.3Gbps Wi-Fi connections.

At the WWDC, much to everybody’s expectations, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system was also unveiled. According to Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior Vice President of Software Engineering, “iOS 7 is the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone.” From the user interface to features, iOS 7 has been completely redesigned in such a way that users will get a new feel about using the phone, while being familiar with the interface.

iPhone 4 and onwards, iPad 2 and onwards and iPod Touch 5{+t}{+h} generation onwards will get this update later this year, which puts redesigned icons, typography and wallpaper appearance, to augment the already stunning Retina Display. Siri, the voice assistant, gets Wikipedia integration, Twitter search and now offers Bing search within the app, with iOS 7 update.

iOS 7 also brings with it Control Centre, a feature that can be accessed by swiping from the bottom of the mobile device’s screen, to reveal essential controls for Bluetooth, WiFi, Airplane Mode, Do Not Disturb mode, screen brightness etc. It also gives instant access to apps such as Camera, Calculator, Clock and Flashlight. The Notification Centre is now accessible from the lock screen. The camera app too has been redesigned to offer filters and effects among other new features. With iOS 7, users will also get a redesigned Safari with new features and iCloud Keychain along with new multitasking for all apps.

Apple’s Mac OS also got some major updating. The new Mac OS X Mavericks deeply integrates Maps to Mail, Contacts and Calendar. Directions can also be sent from a Mac to an iPhone. Apart from Maps, Apple’s iBooks library service has also been brought to Mac, along with Finder Tags to enhance search experience.

Mac users will also get multi-display support and Tabs in Finder to increase multitasking ability. New core technologies like Timer Coalescing and App Nap will reduce power consumption, and at the same time Compressed Memory Technology will work on keeping the Macs powerful when needed. There are more than 200 new features that have been incorporated with OS X Mavericks, such as iCloud Keychain (to keep all passwords, credit card numbers etc secured and encrypted in one place), new notification features. A refreshed Safari browser will deliver more energy and memory efficient performance along with more security and stability.

Stating that iCloud has been the fastest growing cloud service, Apple also introduced iWork for iCloud, which now gets multi-platform support. Users will be able to work on iWork documents, spreadsheets and presentations even from browsers on Windows 8 PCs. iTunes Radio, a free internet radio service, was also announced. This service will be available in the US first, with 200 radio stations, and will slowly expand to other countries.

Although these announcements made the developer communities’ and fanboys’ day brighter, some of the predicted announcements like a slimmer MacBook Pro and any news about the next iPhone did not pop up at the WWDC Keynote.

The Developer Release of OS X Mavericks has been made available to developers, and users will get the final release later this year. iOS 7’s Beta Version has also been made available for iPhone developers, and will come to other devices later this year. The new MacBook Air has been made available and the range starts at Rs 67,900. The new Mac Pro will also be made available later this year.

Published on June 11, 2013

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