After an odd introduction by Siri, which wasn’t as funny as the classic Mac and PC, but still pretty good, the keynote was ready to start. The keynote kicks off with a much more witty it seemed Tim Cook who highlighted the usual year on year overview of progress and numbers, then a video showing just how powerful iOS devices and Apple devices in general have been around the world, highlighting those with disabilities such as the blind.
Phil Schiller came on stage set out to updating the MacBook line, starting with the MacBook Air. The Air updates were spec only, bumping up the processors with new Intel Ivy Bridge, up to 2GHz now of Dual Core i7, turbo boosting up to 3.2GHz, and now 8GB of RAM. Flash storage has also been bumped up to 512GB. USB3 was another addition to the MacBook Air, but added in their own way by integrating the USB3 and USB2 in to their own ports, and the MacBook Air finally get the FaceBook HD camera. The MacBook Air also, at least in the US, gets a price reduction of $100 across the line.
Next were some updates on the MacBook Pro, starting with the Ivy Bridge processors up to 2.7GHz Quad Core i7, up to 8GB of new 1600MHz RAM, and powerful NVidia Graphics up to 1GB graphic memory. Whilst the 13 and 15 inch were noted, no information was noted on the 17 inch, in fact its now gone. Only a 13 or 15 inch MacBook Pro.
Next generation MacBook Pro
With a big introduction of mystery, Phil introduced, not replaced, but introduced the next generation MacBook Pro in an old standard way, on a rotating board, how oldskool Apple. The MacBook Pro is visibly thinner, as thin as the thickest part of the MacBook Air, but with all the performance that makes it Pro. The big update to the next generation MacBook Pro is the display, even with a 0.71 inch thin computer, they’ve still managed to pack a Retina Display with resolution on a 15 inch display of 2800×1800, thats 220ppi! I think its fair to say this is gonna be a massive breakthrough in the computer industry. They showed of Final Cut Pro with a full 1080P pixel video able to be played in the thumbnail whilst editing, this is just incredible. One thing I do find weird is its the first Mac notebook that doesn’t say its name on it, except on the bottom. Spec wise its Pro, whilst there is no disc drive, it does have powerful Quad Core i7 processors up to 2.7GHz, up to 16GB RAM, NVidia graphics at 1GB, and whilst it only supports Flash Storage it does support up to 768GB, and features 7 hours of battery life. Port wise it has 2 Thunderbolts, 2 USB3s (1 on each side), headphone, SD Card slot and an HDMI port. Whilst Ethernet and Firewire 800 weren’t included, Thunderbolt port adapters were noted.
Apple mentioned some features coming in Mountain Lion, whilst we tried to be impressed we have to say this is going to be another sadly stale version of OSX. You can check out all the features in Mountain Lion by checking out Apples Mountain Lion website. Things not previously announced were the new Safari, which copies Google Chrome by combining the search field and the address bar as well as iCloud tabs which shows all tabs open on other Macs or iOS devices on your network. One interesting addition to the keynote was the introduction of “Racer OSX”, which strongly resembled Top Gears The Stig. Playing a racing game, which The Stig .. I mean Racer OSX, beat him at. The most important information was that Mountain Lion will be released in July at the lower price of £19.99, and free to all those who purchase a Mac from 11th June 2012.
Scott was introduced to announce iOS 6, with an additional few banta against Android including how a terrible 7% of Android users actually have the latest version. Followed by an overview of how iOS 5 has been doing. Then the big guns, the release of iOS6 with allegedly 200 new features.
Siri can now do so much more, Siri can find a restaurant, sports information from Football, Pretend Football (American Football), Rugby and more. You can also FINALLY launch apps using Siri. It also integrates with applications like Yelp and OpenTable to find and reserve dinner at a restaurant for example. It also works with movies to find information about them, where shown and even to watch one. Local Search now finally works outside of the US. Social integration also works within Siri too, post to social via Siri. Apple have also gone one step ahead by asking car manufacturers, 9 of which say they will, to build in a Siri button with their cars. Many more countries were announced too, including multi-languages for multilingual countries. Siri is also now available for the iPad.
Apple have now, as they did with Twitter, integrated FaceBook in to the OS. Allowing you to share everything you could with Twitter, to FaceBook. You can also post general statuses, like now with Twitter, in the Notification Centre. Also integrated with Siri. FaceBook is also integrated with the Stores where you can Like content, and Content and Calendaring can also be synced across. The same similar integration is in Mountain Lion too.
Apple have gone oldskool again with this feature, by introducing a feature that was in Nokia Symbian phones and is in Blackberrys, where when you receive a phone call you can set a reminder or instant message back to the caller.
Do Not Disturb
Do Not Disturb does what it says on the tin, prevents notifications, phone calls and more from alerting to your phone, which also has levels of customisation by setting “only” lists. They will also allow calls previously unallowed if they call you twice or more in under 3 minutes, i.e. emergency.
FaceTime will be the same old FaceTime, but now finally available over 3G, as well as unification of Phone Number and Apple ID.
Features previously announced like iCloud tabs coming to iOS, as well as Offline Reading List, where you can add stories to read later, but now it will download and cache it to read offline. Finally you can now upload photos from Safari on standard websites with standard upload controls. Full Screen support in landscape is also now available.
An update was announced for Photo Stream too, you can now share Photo Streams with other iCloud accounts, which will share between yours and their iOS, Mac and PCs, comments and like also available.
Some new features of Mail were announced too. VIP Messaging was announced too, delivered mails from VIPs will get same notifications as Messages. Improvements also allowed to insert media easier and quickly. You can also open protected Office documents now too.
A new app in iOS, Passbook allows you to collect boarding passes and tickets in to one application, allows you to have synchronised tickets too. Could this be Apple’s answer to NFC, or maybe a preview of an NFC upcoming iPhone.
Apple made some immense improvements to Accessibility features on iOS. New features include Single App Mode, meaning Home button doesn’t leave the app and controls are temporarily disabled, this is great not only for accessibility, but for tests, museums etc.
This was a major update from Apple. Maps has been completely re-written, completely abolishing Google’s services, but by the looks of things, its the best decision they ever made. The graphics look rich and graphic and very impressive. Local Search in the new Maps has over 100 Million business listings, Yelp integrations for businesses too. A Traffic service has also been introduced in the new Maps too, including updates on traffic too, even with anonymous updates from users. But one of the biggest features was Turn-by-Turn navigation is now finally available in iOS. Siri integration also included. Another feature introduced was a feature called Flyover, this is very impressive, it allows a completely 3D view of everywhere around the world, images recorded with aeroplanes and more, really really impressive, Google could learn a few from this.
Other features will later be announced in the “Fall” when iOS6 is finally released, a beta was released. Next iPhone definitely expecting in the “fall”.
Summary from Tim Cook, then the keynote ends. But whilst the keynote was going ahead, Apple did secretly update the Mac Pro, Apples beasty computer which hasn’t seen an update in a couple of years, with some pretty insane performance upgrades.
The Mac Pro has been updated too and what a beast it has become, you can check out the specs yourself, but bare in mind the Mac Pro can be customised all the way up to 3.06 GHz 12-Core Processing Power, 8 RAM slots in the top model delivering up to 64GB of RAM, 4TB of Hard Drive space or 2TB of SSD space on RAID, up to 2GB of ATI Graphics, and dual disc drives. Incredible performance is now back in the hands of the Mac Pro. On the graphics side of things, the Mac Pro can out to up to 6 displays all with resolutions of 2560, 1440 resolution. A server addition has been released as well with similar spec configs. This is just insane and the best way for you to check out and geek out is on the Mac Pro website.
So thats the Apple updates, what do you think, let us know below!