A Glance Back At Apple WWDC 2012
Looking back through the leaps in consumer technology over the last decade or so it’s sometimes a challenge to imagine life without some of the everyday tools and devices we so readily take for granted. Even more so, it’s hard to actually recognize that we all have been affected by the technology we use, and in one way or another been affected by the presence of Apple Inc. – One of the largest and most successful technology innovators to date.
Apple recently concluded its long anticipated Annual Developers Conference (WWDC 2012) so I can finally review the announcements and hopefully provide some sound buying insight for you anxious birds.
Preview of the upcoming new Operating System (OS) – Mountain Lion OSX
The new OS introduces hundreds of features. Highlights include better integration with all your Apple Mobile devices with iMessages and iCloud, Notification Center to keep you connected to online platforms, such as twitter, Facebook, and Mail, and overall the OS becomes more automated. Release date is set for Mid July, and for a $19 purchase, you can upgrade all your Macs in your small-office, it’s a steal! (In comparison to Microsoft’s Windows 7 priced at a $100 or more for a single user license).
Preview of the new Mobile Operating System; iOS 6
Like Mountain Lion, iOS 6 also becomes more incorporated with your Mac to provide a seamless experience. Everything you do on a mobile device can later be picked up from you Mac whether it be editing a document, reading a article or sharing photos. The “BIG” updates include, Social networks now having native support, Apple 3D-Maps, GPS navigation with Directions, Enhanced location services, a more intelligent and tweaked version of the Mobile Voice Guided Assistant (Siri) and a new feature Apple is trying to push similar to an e-Wallet called Passbook;
The interesting point is the features also interact with each other, so for instance you can use Siri to make reservations, the reservation ticket is sent to your E-wallet, Your phone can then direct you to the location using the GPS, and when your nearby location services can automatically bring up your reservation ticket to your home screen. How much lazier can we get?
I’m reminded of a Walt Disney feature animation film, Wall-E, where humans can no longer walk as they’re confined to moving chairs; yeah, quite accurate depiction given the direction we’re headed with this overwhelming level of automation.
Brand new MacBook Pro With Retina display and Updated MacBook Airs, and MacBook Pros
Arguably, the show was stolen by the release of the brand new, redesigned MacBook Pro With Retina display (Yes! That’s what they’re calling it) essentially, it’s a thinner version of the existing MacBook Pro lineup, which ships in a 15” configuration. The device quite frankly is stunning, but not without fault; It’s a machine aimed at IT professionals with a quad core Intel Core i7 processor and a complete flash-based Architecture, giving it very high performance ratings.
So here’s the catch if you’re an “IT professional” or an enthusiast, you probably like to get your fingers dirty and upgrade and tweak little things to make your device feel a little more personalized. These new devices have their memory (RAM) soldered onto the board, and the Hard drive is using an Apple Proprietary cable, so forget about messing with the basics. You’re left with the option to configure it from Apple during your initial purchase.
Moreover, Windows users won’t benefit from the Retina Display screens as Windows and most other software running on Windows has yet to provide support for such a high resolution. That being said, the screen is unheard of and brings unprecedented state of the art clarity and quality to your daily computing and for many will be the selling point to this machine.
On the other hand, the updated MacBook Air and MacBook Pro keep the original design since 2009, but get brand new hardware architecture on the inside, featuring Intel’s New Ivy Bridge Processor: supposed to provide slightly better performance while consuming less power. With the new MacBook Pro you can still get into and configure yourself, a little bit anyway. All 3 devices also get updated I/O ports with USB 3.0 and thunderbolt and are all solid updates to their predecessors.
The New MacBook Pro with Retina display does give up a few features, the ability to upgrade and an optical drive. But maybe its stunning design and ridding of “outdated” technology will bring on a fresh phase of high-end, thin and powerful notebooks. If you are unsatisfied though, the updates to the existing MacBook Pro bring its credentials up at a slightly lower price tag. I also want to differentiate the MacBook Air, and mainly its processing power; making a computer that thin results in heating issues, that’s why its using an Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) version of the processor, so its performance isn’t quite on-par as its other 2 counterparts, it’s aimed more at the everyday user.
Like previous years, Apple will most likely hold a second conference later this year, (Where we expect the other 2 big announcements the new iPhone, and the new Apple TV), before the Holiday season, with slightly updated models of the entire Mac Line up, so I always suggest waiting till then. However, if you are a student (or know a student) Apple just introduced its Back to School promotion, where you will receive a $100 iTunes gift card – which might convince you otherwise.
The New OS, Mountain Lion is a formidable update and at a low price tag, I highly encourage it particularly if you own other Apple Mobile Devices. But make sure you have a 2009 or later model of a Mac, as the new OS will definitely bring security updates, stability and performance enhancements, but will also be more demanding on the hardware.
Lastly, iOS6 will come as a free upgrade to anyone using an iPhone 3Gs or newer and an iPad 2 or newer the list of features depicts Apples direction and dedication with its mobile platform and is sure to be “change everything all over again” as Apple claims, but of course watch out for the battery life issues you might face particularly on the older iPhones.
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