By Josh Bickham: Originally posted on GizmoCube.com
WWDC has come and gone, and for those not caught drowning in the wake of awe and amazement, the wave of anticipation is almost too much to handle for the things that are about to come.
Apple did not introduce their new iPhone, nor did we see a new iPad at this year’s WWDC 2013, but that’s not really a big surprise. What they did do was provide a shocking new look at their complete redesign of iOS 7, the new OS X Maverick, and the new Mac Air and Mac Pro.
Starting off the keynote, Apple wanted to run the numbers. This is Apples 24th Worldwide Developers Conference where the tickets sold out in 71 seconds. There were 66 separate countries in attendance, 64% of attendees were there for the first time. The App Store celebrates its 5th anniversary, 50 Billion apps downloaded, 900,000 apps in the app store (375,000 iPad apps), and $10 Billion has been paid to developers ($5 Billion paid in 2012 alone.) They have the fastest growing cloud service ever, with 300 million iCloud accounts, and 575 million Apple ID’s. 28 Million copies of OS X Mountain Lion have shipped; 600 million iOS devices have been sold. Apple devices have sent over 800 billion iMessages, 7.4 Trillion push notifications, and they have a 97% overall customer satisfaction for iOS.
Ok Apple, we get the point. You impressed us with all those big numbers, but why?
So they can show us how they are going to make those numbers even bigger.
Starting with the new brilliantly designed iOS 7.
Basically, take everything that “looked” familiar about your iPhone and throw it out like your first gen iPhone. Jony Ive’s new design is quite literally, going to change the way we look at Apple’s mobile devices.
The word “Flat” has been used and tossed around from article to blog all over the net to describe the new iOS 7 design. But finally seeing it, it’s anything but. The new UI is based on the idea of layering. You start with your background layer, then your layer of icons and pictures, and finally a layer for the all new text face. The new UI uses it’s varying translucent layers at a clever advantage. By simply changing your background you can cause the color scheme of your entire phone’s UI to change. The colors of the menus, status bar, and buttons change to reflect the main color of your background image. Awesome right?
One other shining new feature that takes advantage of this layering affect is the new Parallax. Para-wha?? Parallax.
To try and simplify an explanation, the phone uses the accelerometers and front facing camera as a sensor
that adjust the lighting angles in between the layers of the display making them appear to float above each other. So as you move your phone the layers shift in the UI giving the display a near 3D view. Cool huh?! But it gets better.
The next new major feature has been long awaited as a form of functionality to the iPhone. The all new control center is just a swipe away. Here you can toggle screen rotation lock, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Airplane mode. Adjust brightness, change volume and music tracks, and have access to apps like the Camera, Calculator, Clock, and even a Flashlight. All with just a flick up on the screen, no more confusing double-triple tap tap of the home button.
Gestures and Multitasking got overhauled as well. As was rumored somewhere in the past, you now get a preview of the different app’s screens as you swipe back and forth through the ones running in your background. And to add a little sprinkle of “Wow” to the top, your iPhone will now keep track of the apps you use the most and keep them organized and updated in the background.
What else did they mention?
- A redesigned notification center that is accessible from the lockscreen to get an overall view of your day.
- New Siri with features that include male and female voice options.
- A new music app which includes iRadio.
- Revamped Photo and Camera app features that will help organize your photos by locations, dates, and “Moments”.
- The new Air Drop that allows you to share things with those located around you.
- Safari’s new full screen browsing, unified search bar, and tabs view
- And the new iCloud-based Keychain that will save and encrypt your credit card numbers, passwords, and even suggest new passwords if you need one.
Whew! And those were just a few of the features they had time to discuss. There is a lot more to the new iOS 7. Even apple admitted “There’s more to iOS 7 than we had time to talk about”.
Here’s a list of some of the features that didn’t get their time in the spotlight.
- FaceTime Audio
- Notifications Sync
- Activation Lock for stolen devices
- Smart Mailboxes
- Per App VPN
- Enterprise Single Sign-On
- Phone, FaceTime, and Message Blocking
OS X Maverick
iOS 7 wasn’t the only OS to get a major overhaul by Apple.
Not only did Apple change the OS, but they completely changed direction with the name. Steering clear of a name that specifies a species of feline, they went with something a little more unorthodox, a little rebellious, you could even say ruggedly independent.
The first feature OS X users will find most useful is Finder. Finder gives your mac a browser-like tabbed system that makes using your computer a little more like surfing the internet. By clicking the plus in the window of a program you can open up other programs in tabs just like you can in your browser, taking them all the way up to full screen view. You can even tag files based on their location and keep all your tags in a sidebar that makes them more easily accessible.
Most of the new features of Maverick will be more in line to power users. Apple promises that Maverick will give full screen app support to multiple displays; something they had promised would be available in the future. The new support for displays will include the ability to use your Apple TV as a display option. This means you can surf the web or read your favorite tech blog on your Apple TV while you listen to music on your laptop sitting on the couch.
Maverick has also integrated functions and features from your iOS devices and made them compatible with your desktop. You can now receive notifications that you would normally get on your iPad or iPhone right on your desktop. And the redesigned Maps and Calendar Apps have interface improvements that will include live weather reports and updated travel times, all of which can be sent from your Mac to your iMobile devices.
What else does Maverick include just to name a few?
- Tech improvements that will help increase battery life and make your computer run 1.5x faster
- Improvements to Safari that include AppNap to shore up extra memory.
- iBooks! Yes, iBooks on your Mac
- And the new iCloud-Keychain that stores your passwords, credit card numbers, and personal information in a 256-bit encrypted format that can be shared among your devices.
Although iOS 7 and OS X Maverick were probably the biggest headliners at WWDC, Apple didn’t leave without throwing in some new toys for people to play with. Cause what good would a new OS be unless there wasn’t something more expensive to buy and use it on?
Mac Air & Mac Pro
The new Mac Air’s will be packing Intel’s new Haswell Processor, which pumps in some life giving breath to the battery of your Mac Air. The new processor is said to allow your computer to gain 50% more life, meaning you can have 9 hours of HD video playback rather than 6 hours. That, with the new dual microphone design and 802.11ac Wi-Fi boost, gives the new Mac Air a more advanced longer lasting laptop experience. The outward design of the Air hasn’t changed much, but as every exploited beauty will tell you, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
But, if you’re looking for something slick and streamlined, search no further than the newly designed Mac Pro’s. This new power house has a slick black cylindrical design that’s 1/8th size of its behemoth predecessor. But don’t let its smaller look fool you, dynamite comes in small packages. The new Pro will be packing the fastest Error-Correcting Code memory Apple has ever put into a computer, a 12-core, 256-bit Intel Xeon E5 processor with 1,866MHz DDR3 RAM capable of 60GB/s data transmission. It will support FireWire, the new Thunderbolt 2 standard, and have Dual AMD FirePro graphics that will make it capable of running 4K through all of its ports to up to 3 UltraHD displays at the same time. Pixar demoed their animation software to show the new Pro’s staying power and it performed without even breaking a sweat. This thing screams professional.
The new Pro is also made in America, but a key point that friends across the pond will enjoy is that the fresh model Pro uses a new thermal core design that helps it conform to electrical shielding regulations allowing it to be shipped and sold into Europe. Fancy that don’t ya!?
Although WWDC has ended, the information we’ve gained and the changes to come are enough to appease my appetite for the time being. I am personally excited about the new iOS 7 above anything else. Many of the new features are things every iPhone, iPad, and iTouch user has been waiting to see for the last 2 years. I think Tim Cook is finally taking Apple to the next level. By making good moves towards collaboration and design he has hinted at some major things to come. iOS 7 is the first real glimpse of the iPhone 5S, and if what he says is true, the iPhone 6 won’t be far behind. The next great leap forward in advanced integrated technology is just around the corner.
- WWDC MMXIII Round-Up on Gizmocube.com
- All the New iOS Features Your Old iPhone Won’t Get (gizmodo.com)
- Apple Scores Big with iOS 7, ‘Biggest Change Since the Original iPhone’ (masonsmusings.wordpress.com)
- iOS 7: Everything you need to know (features.en.softonic.com)