"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Monday, June 10, 2013

Apple's WWDC 2013 Introduces iOS 7

Today Apple held their WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) that is used to introduce their next six months of products to the world. The keynote address showed off their updated late of laptops, new Mac Pro desktop, OS X Maverick update and iOS 7 for iPhone and iPads. The biggest news is for iOS 7 which is a radical change (for Apple) in how iOS 7 looks and feels. The over all result clearly takes design cues from Android and Windows 8 but with few flourishes from Apple. The announcements did not provide updates to iPad, iPhone, or iPod line of products as that will likely come in October when iOS 7 is expected to be ready for release. Lets get into some of the details.

iOS 7
- release date: Fall 2013
- For iPad 2 and up, iPhone 4 and up and iPod Touch 5th Gen and up; not all devices will get all the features (see table)
- New User Interface - focus on simplier icon design, pastel colors, and other tweaks and updates to native iOS apps to match new design scheme including Calendar, iMessage, Weather, Mail, and Notification Center
- Control Center: Swipe up from bottom for access to on/off toggles to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc, brightness, music player and more.
- Multitasking update: Using iOS tracking of usage, will update app in background so less delay in getting data from it if say a news or twitter app.
- Safari: Updated with new tab design, iCloud Keychain (for password tracking/protection), and other tweaks
- AirDrop: Apple version of the Android "bump" to transfer files between devices but doesn't require proximity to do it
- Siri: updated with access to data from Bing, Wikipedia, and other online sources along with improved ability to command device itself (ex: enable bluetooth)
- Camera Filters: App re-designed and includes various filters like Instagram along with Panorama and Square format
- iTunes Radio: Ability to create personal radio stations, aka Apple's answer to Pandora, iRadio, Last.FM, etc.
- Analysis of new design here
- iOS 7 demo

OS X Maverick
- release date: Fall 2013
- price: not mentioned
- Notification Center: Updated to allow simple commands based on object so can reply to email without having to open email app or a tweet without opening the twitter app
- Apple Maps: Turn by turn directions that can be pushed to iPhone
- iBooks: Same as iOS app but for OS X so takes better advantage of screen real estate, useful if take notes and the like when reading a book
- App Nap: Improves battery power by redirecting power to programs as needed instead of constantly (so if minimized or hidden behind another window, doesn't draw as much power to run)
- More to come with Apple's fall keynote

- Mac Pro: New black cylindrical design, 12-core Intel Xeon E5 processor, flash storage, 6 thunderbolt ports (with hubs can take up to 36 devices total), 4 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out, built-in wireless Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0
- Video of Mac Pro
- MacBook Air: Hardware updates for 11" and 13" with faster CPUs (Core i5 and i7), 40% faster graphics and $100 cheaper starting price.

So to sum it up, it seems that Apple is finally trying to compete with Android in the software portion. Where they were several generations behind in usability, now they are just one. For the average user, they will probably not notice or care but for many these improvements might be enough to prevent people from jumping to Android tablets and mobile devices.

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