Review: Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference
by Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Apple iTV is still a rumor, and there’s nothing confirmed about the next iPhone. Still, Apple had a lot of hardware and software to show off on Monday at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Apple has put its flagship MacBook Pro laptop on a diet.
“It takes out the optical drive and makes it thinner and lighter than a MacBook Pro has ever been,” says CNET executive editor Roger Cheng.
It weighs in at just over four pounds and is less than 3/4″ thick.
With Retina Display on its 15″ screen, Apple boasts that it’s the world’s highest-resolution notebook. $2100 is the starting price for a model — which ships immediately — with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB of flash storage.
The current MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, the ultra-thin model, are getting a performance boost courtesy of new Intel processors. The Air, which uses a solid state drive instead of a hard drive, now will have up to 512 GB of storage space.
Next month, there will be a new operating system for Apple’s laptops and desktops, dubbed Mountain Lion ($20). The update adds features such as cross-device messaging and web browsing, cloud-based document syncing, and voice dictation. There’s a new function called Power Nap, which updates, syncs, and performs a backup on your system when it’s ‘sleeping.’
Then, there’s new mobile software for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Apple says iOS 6 will be available for download in the fall.
“Apple is booting Google Maps from its operating system and bringing in its in-house 3D maps,” Cheng says.
Built from the ground up, Apple Maps will offer turn-by-turn directions and traffic information.
iOS 6, which will be supported on iPhone 3GS and newer models, as well as second-generation iPads, also integrates Facebook for posting pictures and links, allows FaceTime video chat over the cell network rather than WiFi (watch your data bill), and adds slick access to digital boarding passes, movie tickets, and store loyalty cards.
Apple says Siri has been learning: the voice-activated assistant will help with sports scores and schedules, movie and restaurant recommendations, and can launch apps.
Apple also announced a partnership with vehicle manufacturers: Siri will be integrated in new cars from Toyota, Honda, Chrysler, GM, Audi, BMW, Land Rover, Jaguar, and Mercedes via a button on the steering wheel.
Still, Cheng says some tech analysts expected — but didn’t get — fireworks from Apple, such as the long-rumored iTV:
“There was nothing shocking, nothing surprising. As overused as the word is, there was nothing magical about this presentation. There were a lot of things we expected to come out,” he says.