wwdc_2013

It’s that time of year gain, Apple’s annual WWDC in San Francisco. Every year Apple has something up its sleeve with a few surprise announcements and this year was no exception. As expected, Apple launched a completely new and redesigned iOS 7 along with an updated MacBook Air and offerred a rare sneak peak at the new MacPro. Also in the cards was Apple’s new Mac OS X Mavericks.

MacBook Air

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Apple introduced an upgraded MacBook Air with Intel’s latest Haswell chipset offering up to 40% more battery life. The MacBook Air now features all-day battery life (9 hours for 11″ and 12 hours for 13″ models), fourth-generation Intel Core processors with faster graphics, faster flash storage, and new 802.11ac Wi-Fi for increased wireless capabilities.

MacPro

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Apple announced a successor to the long awaited MacPro with a completely redesigned configuration. The new MacPro is tiny in comparison to it’s older sibling, standing less than 10″ tall and only 6.6″ in width. The new MacPro boasts a radical new concept in computer design with a single unified internal thermal core, and standard dual next generation Xeon processors. Engineered around workstation graphics with dual GPUs, PCI Express-based flash storage, high-performance Thunderbolt 2, ultrafast memory, and support for 4K video, the new Mac Pro should deliver state-of-the-art performance across the board.

OS X Mavericks

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Apple finally ran out of big cats and has now moved on to a new naming system with theoretically more options for versions. The initial offering is OS X Mavericks, named after a California surfing mecca. The new OS X Mavericks supports several new key features including:

    Integrated iBooks
    Maps (with send to phone feature)
    Calendar (minus the leather, no virtual cows hurt here)
    Safari
    iCloud Keychain
    Multiple display support (allowing full screen, and dual toolbars/docks)
    Notifications (including reply/delete from the notification)
    Finder tabs
    Tagging
    Advanced Technologies

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iOS 7

It has long been rumoured that with the departure of Scott Forstall from Apple, we would see a completely revamped and new look for the upcoming version of iOS. Apple did not disappoint, eliminating many of the skeuomorphic design elements present in previous versions and releasing a transparent almost cohesive transition of elements inside the OS. Apple has kept the familiarity of iOS and made it better, simple, more useful and more enjoyable. Notable new features are Control Center, AirDrop for iOS, and much improved multitasking.

Control Center

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Control Center gives you quick access to the controls and apps you always seem to need right this second. Just swipe up from any screen including the Lock screen to do things like switch to Airplane mode, turn Wi-Fi on or off, or adjust the volume and brightness of your display. Apple does not seem to allow customization of Control Center, allowing user selected options such as location or Hotspot.

Notification Center

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Notification Center lets you know about new mail, missed calls, to-dos that need doing, and more. Apple introduced a new feature called Today which gives you a convenient summary of, well, today. One glance at your iPhone and youll know if its a certain someones birthday, if youll need an umbrella, or if traffic will slow down your commute. Youll even get a heads-up on tomorrow. You can access Notification Center from any screen, including the Lock screen. Just swipe down. And get up to speed.

Multitasking

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Apple’s new Multitasking is multitasking done right. It borrows on features found in Android and WebOS and conveniently gives the users control over which apps are in the tray. A simple flick will close an app although there’s no mention if all apps can be killed at once. Multitasking is now available for all apps and is reportedly smarter. iOS 7 learns when you like to use your apps and can update your content before you launch them.

Camera

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The camera in iOS 7 is another complete redesign, with still, video, panorama, and insta-square. With a swipe, and image can be captured the way you want. Live filters allow for real time viewing of how the processed image will look.

Photos

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Apple introduces us to Collections, Moments, and Years. Smart groupings of your photos and videos based on the time and place they were taken. Tap a Collection, like Paris, and see photos from your trip organized into Moments according to date and location. The Year view displays every photo and video you’ve ever taken onscreen and allows a “thumb-over” or scrolling view of the images.

Air Drop

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Air Drop for iOS lets you quickly and easily share photos, videos, and even contacts along with anything else from any app with a Share button. Simply tap Share, and select the person you want to share with. Apple uses a combination of peer-to-peer WiFi and Bluetooth to accomplish the encrypted transfer.

Safari

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Browsing is bigger, better, and cleaner with Safari for iOS 7. Buttons and bars, like the unified smart search field stay hidden until you scroll to reveal them. So you see more content than ever on your screen. And with a swipe, you can go back or forward a page. Apple has added a unified smart search field, shared links, reading list and new tabs. Another swipe will effortlessly delete a an existing tab or browser window.

Siri

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Siri in iOS 7 gets a new look, a new sound, and new capabilities. It features a redesigned interface that fades into view on top of whatevers on the users screen. Apple has introduced more natural speech pattern with a choice of either a female or male voice which is reportedly even easier to understand. Siri is faster at answering questions and checks more sources, such as Bing, Wikipedia, and Twitter. And Siri takes on extra tasks, like returning calls, playing voicemail, and controlling iTunes Radio.

iOS 7 and Business

iOS 7 includes many new features designed to make it easier for businesses to put iOS devices in the hands of employees. Features such as better protection of work and personal data, management of app licenses, seamless enrollment in Mobile Device Management, wireless app configuration, enterprise single sign-on support, and default data protection for third-party apps.

Available Fall 2013

With the exception of the MacBook Air which is shipping today, all of these products will be available in the fall. With no word of a new iPhone or iPads, it’s safe to see we won’t see any until Apple’s hardware update in the fall.

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