For all the Apple fans out there, I am sure you have waiting long for the WWDC event to see what big announcements are being made and which products are being launched. For those who have missed the keynote, here is the summary of the update and great features you are going to see in the near future.
MacBook Pro and MacBook Air
The first announcement at WWDC was a new Macbook Air. The new MacBook Air is much thinner than its predecessor. Aside from the MacBook Air’s thinner face, the laptop also includes an improved Intel Core i7 processor and an HD FaceTime quality camera. You have two screen size options, the 11-inch and 13-inch, with the 11-inch being available for a base price of $999. The 13-inch has a base price of $1099.
The highlight is the “next generation MacBook Pro“. The new Retina MacBook Pro will feature a newly introduced Ivy Bridge processor and comes with a 13-inch and 15-inch model with Intel Core i7. The 15-inch goes for $2199.
One big improvement for the MacBook Air is the introduction of Ivy Bridge, a replacement of Sandy Bridge. Aside from the 11-inch model, staying at $999 for MacBook Air, the 13-inch model receives a $100 discount from last year’s $1299 price. The USB port is upgraded and a 512GB storage option is also available. Graphics has also improved, memory has doubled. The difference for the Pro is a thinner build and of course, the retina display.
More About Retina
The Retina display for the MacBook Pro now sports a 2880×1800 resolution. Due to the larger screen compared to the iPad and iPhone 4S, the MacBook Pro doesn’t boast a better Retina pixel per inch measurement compared to both devices. However, when compared to high quality screens like on a television or a fellow computer, the MacBook Pro has an upper hand in terms of display quality.
The New OS X: Mountain Lion
Mountain Lion includes everything that we mentioned in our February preview. Reminders, notes, notification center, they all appear in Mountain Lion. Aside from these features, new features, it also include Voice Dictation, improved searching in Safari, and Power Nap. Power Nap allows your Mac to update all of your notifications and photos while it charges. The Mountain Lion will be available in July for $19.99. The new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air won’t come shipped with them if you buy them in June, however, from today on, Mountain Lion will be free for those buyers. To my disappointment, Siri was a no show for Mac, well not yet.
iOS 6: Your iPhone – Revised
If hardware was the star of the show, iOS 6 was at least the opening act in terms of excitement. iOS 6 featured everything from an improved Apple built-from-the-ground-up maps application with turn by turn directions, to Siri for iPad, Passbook, and even Facebook integration.
Along with directions, maps includes 3D imaging and high quality traffic information reported by iOS users, for iOS users. Siri for iPad is the first instance of Siri growing out of it’s iPhone 4S parent. More on Siri, the voice application now has support for game scores, movie information, restaurant reservations and info through OpenTable and Yelp. Passbook allows you to have all of your tickets and cards all in one place. If you have a baseball game ticket for this weekend, Maui tickets for next month, your Fandango movie ticket for Friday night, along with your gift cards, Passbook holds all of these in one app. Finally, Facebook is fully integrated into iOS, allowing you to share photos, location, and links on Facebook.
When And How Much?
The price of the MacBook Air line begins at $999 for an 11-inch model.
The MacBook Pro line begins at $1099 for the 13-inch base model.
Both MacBook models will be available today, and Mountain Lion will be available in July.
Mountain Lion will be available for $19.99 for existing Mac users, new users will have Mountain Lion available to them for free.
iOS 6 will be available this fall.
Developers will have access to iOS 6 today.
Apple’s Focuses for The Future
From the WWDC Keynote, it is rather obvious that Apple is integrating the iOS and OSX and have them operate in harmony. This is best shown with the myriad of iOS features now available in OS X, including Reminders, Notes, and others. In addition to the merging of iOS and OS X, WWDC showed how Apple hopes to connect individuals together. FaceTime now having support over cellular networks and Facebook having integration in iOS 6 shows that Apple is looking into making things more social. The integration with Facebook allows users to show music and apps they like from the App Store. Photo Stream in OS X now allows you to create shared folders that allow you to share groups of photos that can be made accessible to iPhoto and other applications. Users can comment on the photos shared as well.
While it amazes me to say, reviews of this year’s WWDC have been mixed. Some, including myself, have touted this as the best WWDC yet, others believe that it could be better. What is your opinion of WWDC 2012? Let us know in the comments below.
Last year, Apple announced that it was phasing out developer access to UDIDs, the unique iOS device identifiers that allowed developers and advertisers to not only track usage of their own content, but also in some cases track users’ movements across apps and browsing sessions. The company earlier this year began rejecting apps that continued to use the UDID rather than implementing unique identifiers that would enhance privacy by remaining unique to the developer’s app.
The Wall Street Journal now reports that Apple is preparing to release new tools to assist developers with tracking usage of their apps without using the UDID, maintaining user privacy while still making it easy for developers to gather usage data on their apps.
Apple Inc. is planning to release a new way for mobile app developers to track who uses their software, according to people briefed on Apple’s plans, the company’s latest attempt to balance developers’ appetite for targeting data with consumers’ unease over how it is used.
The new tool, which could be detailed in the coming weeks, aims to better protect user privacy than existing approaches, these people said.
The report notes that Apple has been inconsistent about blocking apps that use the UDID for tracking purposes and that the new tools will provide developers with ways to collect important data anonymously without being linked to the UDID that when combined with data from other apps could be used to identify the specific user of a given device.
No other details on the tools have yet been revealed, but the company could share more information at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
Yesterday, 9to5Mac reported that an iPhone user running on T-Mobile’s network had observed the curious phenomenon of 3G connectivity showing up on his device when in the immediate vicinity of the Moscone West convention center where Apple is holding its Worldwide Developers Conference next week. The user, who frequently passes by the convention center, had never seen 3G network support there before.
iPhone users on T-Mobile USA have historically been limited to the carrier’s slower EDGE network due to frequency incompatibility, but late last year the carrier began refarming its spectrum in select areas to move 3G service over to the 1900 MHz frequency band compatible with the iPhone. Just one month ago, T-Mobile announced that it would betaking the initiative nationwide, making the carrier ready for the iPhone by the end of 2012.
In response to the observation of 1900 MHz 3G service showing up specifically at Moscone West to beef up service for its users and speculation that Apple could make some sort of announcement about a T-Mobile iPhone at the event, the carrier issued a statement acknowledging the testing but calling its alignment with Apple’s WWDC keynote “coincidental”.
While upgrading coverage inside the West side of the Moscone Center, T-Mobile has also deployed 4G HSPA+ service in the 1900 MHz band to test the live network on a small scale. As part of the company’s previously announced $4 billion network modernization effort, T-Mobile plans to launch 4G HSPA+ service in the 1900 MHz band in a large number of markets by the end of the year, which will make our 4G network compatible with a broader range of devices, including the iPhone.
NOTE: The time and location of this test is just coincidental.
T-Mobile is the only one of the four major U.S. carriers to not offer the iPhone, due to its current frequency incompatibility, and the carrier has been increasingly disadvantaged as even small regional carriers and prepaid networks have begun rolling out the device to an increasing number of customers.
Following up on its report from last week claiming that Apple will show off the operating system for its future television set product at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference, BGRnow briefly reports that Apple will be using the event to introduce a new software development kit (SDK) to allow third-party developers to build apps for the Apple TV.
We have heard from a trusted source that Apple will be introducing a TV SDK at WWDC next week. This would enable third-party developers to create software for Apple’s TV products.
The report reveals no other details on Apple plans, but we do note that Steve Jobs himself admitted just as the revised Apple TV was launching in September 2010 that the company could open an App Store for the Apple TV “when the time is right”.
With rumors of an Apple television set continuing to build, Apple may now consider the time right to begin allowing developers to build apps for the existing Apple TV set-top box ahead of the company’s larger entry into the market.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today issued a new report outlining his belief that Apple’s thinner, Retina-equipped Mac notebook will arrive next week as a new model, referring to the machine simply as a “MacBook”. Kuo believes that this MacBook will be offered alongside upgraded versions of the existing 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models, with Apple being reluctant to do away with the current 13-inch design in particular due to its massive popularity.
We expect Apple (US) to unveil a new MacBook series independent from the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines at Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. We expect the new MacBook to have the following features:
(1) Basic 13” model to be priced at US$1,199
(2) No disc drive
(3) To come in both SSD and HDD
(4) Lighter and slimmer than MacBook Pro, with equal computing power
(5) Retinal display with tapered edge, larger battery capacity
Kuo also reiterates his earlier claims that Apple will discontinue the 17-inch MacBook Prothis year, citing estimates that the model makes up only 1% of Apple’s notebook sales.
The introduction of this new “MacBook” model would leave Apple with a lineup of six notebooks, although Kuo predicts that issues with display yield and heat dissipation will push the release of the 13-inch MacBook back until August, leaving only the 15-inch model to make its debut next week.
Mention of an independent graphics chip on 13″ MacBook Pro is an error – should be integrated graphics
We should note that this configuration of models is not accounted for in our speculation on part numbers that leaked earlier this week, but we did receive an unconfirmed tip of a different configuration that would match up with Kuo’s claims fairly closely. In that scenario, new iMacs are not accounted for in the list and the J30/J31 model numbers represent updated 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models while the D2 model represents this new Retina-equipped 15-inch MacBook.
Kuo believes that Apple will wait until next year to re-simplify its notebook lines with Intel’s Haswell platform, at which point the company will merge the MacBook Pro and this new MacBook model, leaving a set of four models: 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs and 13-inch and 15-inch MacBooks.
We do find Kuo’s claims to be somewhat difficult to believe, as we fail to see how this new “MacBook” model is substantially different in performance from the MacBook Pro and thus do not see why users would be interested in a non-Retina MacBook Pro given the existence of this new MacBook line. Given the scenario outlined by Kuo, the only “advantage” of the thicker MacBook Pro would be an included optical drive, but users are finding such a feature to be increasingly unnecessary and easily replaceable by digital downloads such as through the Mac App Store, direct file transfers, and cloud-based storage, with an external optical drive available to be connected only on the rare occasions when necessary.
Still, Kuo has offered accurate information on Apple’s notebook plans in the past, being the first to outlined the MacBook Air redesign that included the new 11-inch model, and thus we feel that his claims are worth some consideration and discussion.
Flurry Analytics today released a new report highlighting developer interest in iOS and Android as measured by downloads of Flurry’s tools for integrating analytics into apps. With a new high of over 18,000 SDK downloads by developers during the first quarter of 2012, Flurry found that iOS continues to hold a substantial lead over Android with 69% of those downloads being for iOS.
For every 10 apps that developers build, roughly 7 are for iOS. While Google made some gains in Q1 2012, edging up to over 30% for the first time in a year, we believe this is largely due to seasonality, as Apple traditionally experiences a spike in developer support leading up to the holiday season. Apple’s business has more observable seasonality.
Flurry points to Apple’s dominance in the tablet market as one significant driver of its popularity with developers, with Flurry’s numbers showing that the iPad accounted for 88% of all user sessions on tablets during the first five months of 2012. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab placed second with just 9% of the market with Amazon’s Kindle Fire representing 3%.
Flurry also offers data on fragmentation within the Android ecosystem, illustrating how both multitude of devices and operating system versions leads to developers having to design their apps to be compatible with an increasingly complex variety of user setups.
Looking at revenue generation, Flurry calculates that for every dollar of revenue per active user generated on iOS, a developer can only expect to earn 24 cents on Android, demonstrating the main reason why developers continue to choose iOS as their first priority for app development.
At the end of the day, developers run businesses, and businesses seek out markets where revenue opportunities are highest and the cost of building and distributing is lowest. In short, Android delivers less gain and more pain than iOS, which we believe is the key reason 7 out of every 10 apps built in the new economy are for iOS instead of Android.
Flurry’s report comes as TechCrunch reminds readers of Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s claim from December stating that within six months most developers would choose to develop for Android as their first priority. With six months having passed and developers clearly still choosing iOS first, TechCrunch reaches a similar conclusion that fragmentation, particularly on the operating system side, has been a major contribution to Android app development falling short of Schmidt’s predictions.
Most notably, seven months after the launch of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Google’s own data reveals that only 7.1% of Android phones are running the latest operating system, a number in line with that observed by Flurry. In contrast, iOS 5 is reported to be installed on 75-80% of active devices as measured from a sample of downloads from the popular Audiobooks application.
BGR reports that it has received a set of blurry photos showing portions of the new Maps app that Apple is said to be preparing for launch in iOS 6. Based on those photos, the site has put together a composite mockup demonstrating how the app would appear in its entirety.
BGR has obtained exclusive information and photos of parts of Apple’s new Maps app from a trusted source, and the app features a refreshed user interface including a brand new navigation bar. This bar, we’re told, is silver instead of blue. Since the current Maps app follows the standard blue iOS color scheme, we think it’s possible Apple might shift toward a silver color theme in iOS 6 like on the iPad.
The iPhone version of Maps has a floating locate me button (it sounds very similar to Android’s Google Maps app) in the bottom left corner. To access 3D mode, which will make use of Apple’s C3 Technologies acquisition, you have to peel back the lower right corner of Maps just like the current version and enable 3D mode. Once enabled, you can switch in and out of 3D mode by tapping a 3D icon in the lower left corner.
The full set of actual screenshots, which show the 3D map toggle button, a new silver-themed “Directions” button and several closeups of map content, are available in a photo gallery.