Apple unveils new iOS, Mac Pro at WWDC
At its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, Apple gave the world a glimpse of the next products in its pipeline, with the next version of its Mac operating system leading the way.
Read on for a quick recap.
Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks
After years of gracing OS X with cat-related names (Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, and so on), the company has moved on, shifting now to California-themed titles for future versions of the operating system. And the first in that new line is OS X 10.9, aka Mavericks.
Named after the world-famous surfing competition held near Half Moon Bay, Calif., Mavericks will be available today in a preview for developers, and for everyone else this fall. The new operating system will feature improved battery life, many new applications, better power management, tabs in Finder, and the ability to add tags to file names so they're more searchable.
In addition, Apple has built the ability to use multiple displays into Mavericks, giving power users (such as the developers who have filled WWDC to capacity) more screen real estate, and more multitasking capabilities.
The next new product is an updated Safari, Apple's browser. The latest Safari will feature a new home screen with top sites, and what's known as a Reading list, a tool that lets users keep scrolling from the end of articles to the next stories on a site. And on the performance side, the next Safari has Nitro tiered JIT, Nitro fast start, background tab optimization, and better memory usage.
Given Apple's lost relationship with Google, the company has been forced to develop -- with very mixed results -- its own mapping tools. And now it is bringing Maps to OS X. The newest version of the tool features 3D maps, and the ability to get an instant estimated time of arrival for any address in a calendar event.
Fans of Apple's MacBook Air line may be happy with the release of several new models, all of which are available today.
The new Airs will cost $999 for an 11-inch display with a 128GB Flash drive, or $1,099 for one with 256GB. A 13-inch model with 128GB capacity will be $1,099, while $1,299 will get you a 256GB Flash drive.
The new line is said to offer all-day battery life and 802.11ac Wi-Fi support, which is supposed to be three times faster than 802.11n.
Although it's not what the bulk of Apple's marketing is about, the company still supports pro users, and as such, it announced an all-new Mac Pro computer. Although it didn't say when the new machine would be released -- other than to say that it would be out later this year -- and didn't reveal any pricing, Apple did say the Mac Pro will have an all-new cylinder shape, and will feature the Intel Xeon chip, with up to 12 cores. It will have a PCIe controller, with 1.25Gbps reads and 1Gbps writes. And it will have Thunderbolt 2, with 20GBps throughput. Finally, it will support as many as three 4K displays.
Short of Apple having announced new iPhones or iPads, the most hotly anticipated new product of the day was certainly iOS 7, the latest version of the company's mobile operating system.
As expected, Apple unveiled the new OS and its new "flat" design style. The brainchild of longtime Apple senior vice president and head of design, Jony Ive, the new style abandons the traditional iOS skeuomorphism in favor of a much flatter look and feel.
For the most part, iOS 7 -- which will be available for iPhone 4, 4S, and 5; iPad 2, 3, and 4th generation; iPad Mini; and 5th generation or later iPod Touch -- has been totally revamped. Apple said that an iOS 7 SDK would be available for iPhone today, but didn't say when consumers would get their hands on it, nor how much it would cost.
The new version of iOS new icons, buttons, and color schemes, as well as translucency in the keyboard, and the sense of 3D when moving the device around.
One of the major new features of iOS 7 is called "Control center," a tool that is accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, and which offers users instant access to brightness, volume, airplane mode, Bluetooth, Do not disturb, and a flashlight app. Control Center will also allow control over AirPlay and all music playback settings.
Apple said that iOS 7 enables multitasking across all apps, and better battery life than ever. As well, it offers intelligent scheduling, adapts to a user's network conditions, and does automatic app updates.
A new version of Safari is part of iOS 7, and one of the key features there is an end to the eight-tab limit.
Another new feature is AirDrop, a file-sharing tool that will be available for iPhone 5, 4th-generation iPads, and iPad mini.
The new OS also comes for the first time with iTunes Radio, Apple's Spotify and Rdio killer, which will be free, and ad-free for customers of iTunes Match. It will be available in the United States first, and then other countries later. The iTunes Radio streaming-music service will be available on iPhone, iPod Touch, iPads, Macs, and PCs, as well as on Apple TV.