WWDC 2012 – Apple’s big announcements

The Worldwide Developers’ Conference took place last week in San Francisco where Apple’s keynote address showcased their latest developments.

From a hardware perspective, Apple has updated their entire MacBook range. The new MacBook Airs remain at the same retail price as their predecessors but receive a welcomed chip set overhaul. Ivy Bridge processors and USB 3 have been included throughout the range. Apple’s slight improvements to the MacBook Air range will ensure that they stay ahead of any Ultrabook rivals.

The MacBook Pros receive a similar re-vamp to the MacBook Air: Ivy Bridge processors, USB 3 and increased RAM capacity. As the keynote continued, a new laptop was unveiled. Apple has introduced Retina displays to the MacBook Pro. Furthermore, the Apple design team has taken to the MacBook Air design and dropped optical media, also slimming down the new MacBook Pro. With a resolution of 2880 by 1800, no laptop monitor can match the amount of pixels Apple has pushed into its new 15 inch display. Scalability in programs on the new screen may be the only deterring factor for users.

The new Pro has also moved to Flash storage, which will speed up boot times and general processing. But even with these new innovations Apple has managed to keep long-lasting battery times. A notable exclusion to the MacBook range was the 17inch MacBook Pro, sparking rumours that this line may be discontinued in the future. On the software front, all new Macs ship with Lion but once Mountain Lion is officially released in July, users will be able to upgrade.

Apple also announced iOS 6, which is currently available in beta form for developers. With over 200 new features many users cannot wait to upgrade. The official release is expected sometime in September.

SIRI has been upgraded so that the user can open apps, request sports scores and make a few more general commands. Facebook integration has also been included into iOS 6; now users can ‘Like’ apps.

Apple has officially dropped Google Maps and introduced their own mapping system, including turn-by-turn navigation and traffic congestion detection. 3D photographic rendering will also be incorporated into the app. Passbook is another new app which will ensure that you never miss a flight or movie. Tickets or boarding passes will be saved on the iDevice so that you are always on time. FaceTime will now be available through 3G and WiFi. The Phone call and Mail apps have also been updated to freshen up the user experience.

Overall, the keynote address has showcased some interesting developments. Many of Apple’s competitors have a number of innovations that are competing directly with the tech giant, and fans will have to wait until September to see what Apple’s next move is. Perhaps we will even get a glimpse of the iPhone 5?

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