Wednesday, June 13, 2012

World-Wide Developers Conference

I know I'm late to this party, but I only just watched  the Apple World-Wide Developers Conference keynote address yesterday evening.  I usually don't like watching events like that in real time unless I have to.  I like to pick the time that is convenient for me.  Plus, sometimes you can get the initial reactions from other people and learn whether it is even worth spending the time at all.

Well, I was completely blown away.  It is just unbelievable the technology that Apple is providing to its users, both in hardware and software.  It was like watching a two hour show of magic tricks.

Just one example, and then I'll move on -- the ability to walk into a Starbucks with just your phone, purchase a coffee, show your phone to a scanner to pay for the coffee, and walk out without ever pulling out your wallet or even unlocking your phone.  I really think that Apple's goal in life is to make our lives easier.  They fail in their attempt at times, I know.  But it is a great goal to have.

So, the show was divided into three parts--Mac computers, Mountain Lion, and iOS6.

After talking about their laptops (and ignoring the desktops and towers completely), the "one more thing" was a 15.4" MacBook Pro with a Retina display and without a hard drive.  The display has more pixels than your high-definition television.  In place of a hard drive, it uses SSD storage configurable up to 768GB.  Which means that it is now less than 3/4" thick and weighs 4.46 lbs.  Someday I'll have to learn how the heck they can get the screen to be so thin.

Mountain Lion will be shipping in July for just under $20, and like Lion will only be available through the Mac App Store.  It will have many interface changes to make the computer work more like an iOS device, including improvements to Mail, Safari, Messaging, Notifications, etc.

iOS6 will be available in the fall.  It will include an application called "Passbook" which you will use at Starbucks as I described above, or at the airport with your ticket stored in Passbook, or to get discounts by displaying a store coupon in Passbook to the cashier at the check-out register.   It will also include improvements to Siri and Safari, built-in integration with Facebook and Twitter, and perhaps the most talked-about addition, Maps.  Maps is Apple's move away from Google Maps to create their own, independent map solution, which not only locates you on a map and gives you directions to where you want to go, but will give you a 3-D view of the map in the United States and allow you to "fly" through the scenery.  You may be able to completely ditch your GPS, and just use your iPhone, because it will give you oral turn-by-turn directions as you proceed to your destination.

And this is just the briefest of overviews of what was presented.  The keynote address where you can see what was disclosed at the conference is available by clicking here:  Apple WWDC June 2011 .

I'm excited.  I won't wait too long to get Mountain Lion when it is released.  I'll have to get closer to fall to decide what to do in terms of iOS6.  As far as a new laptop, it may be hard to justify since I don't really "need" a retina display, and I do want at least the 512GB storage.  I'll probably break out my wallet for one of these one day, but probably not this year.

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