Today marks the first day in more than a decade that Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is kicked off by Tim Cook, the company’s new CEO following the death of its co-founder and visionary genius, Steven Jobs.
From 1998 to 2011, Apple’s annual developer conference started off with a keynote presentation delivered by CEO Steve Jobs. Usually filled with product announcements, the keynote address took on the name of “Stevenote.”
Many Apple fans knew they had to let it go of the dubbing when Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in the autumn of 2011.
Today doesn’t mark the first Cooknote, as the company’s new CEO has had several on-stage appearances since, but it’s certainly the first time Apple’s WWDC opening keynote falls entirely on the shoulders of Timothy Cook, the company’s former chief operating officer, and one of the best minds in tech, and in the business industry alike.
Cook doesn’t have Steve’s charisma, nor his temper. He also doesn’t have the vision that made Apple into what it is today. But he does know how to keep Apple on the right track. Today, he’ll prove whether he can continue to do so for more than a year.
Before we turn this story into a full-fledged profile on Tim Cook, here's what you can expect from today’s event. The bullet points are not assembled in any particular order, meaning Apple could well start off the ceremony with the last one: New Macs
Cupertino is said to have been working on at least one completely redesigned MacBook Pro with a Retina display and new ports and connectors, with no optical disc drive. The rest of the MacBook Pro family is said to get the usual speed bumps (CPU, memory, storage). New Mac Pros are also expected, which should put an end to all the negative rumors, as well as a line of updated iMacs. iOS 6
This one’s confirmed. The announcement, at least. The underlying software powering iPhones and iPads worldwide is getting major new Maps application that renders images in 3D, rumors say. The software is launching as a beta for developers today, and as a finalized product later this year. It’s said to work with most iDevices starting with the iPhone 3GS. Strangely, sources say it’s not compatible with the first-generation iPad. OS X Mountain Lion
Promised for late-summer 2012, the ninth major version of Apple’s Mac OS is also being discussed today. Whether it’s taking a new beta form, or whether it’s getting released to the public as soon as today, we’ll just have to wait and see. Keeping fingers crossed for free upgrade from Lion. Apple TV SDK
Reports have suggested that Apple’s initial foray into the real television business would be a software development kit that allows third-party programmers to create apps for the platform, paving the way for an HD TV that not only supports cable subscriptions via “apps,” but one that also works as a home appliance device. We wouldn’t go as far as the last point, but anything’s possible with Apple.
Other key announcements that pundits believe will be made today include a redesigned iTunes Store, tweaks for the well-established iOS and Mac App Stores, and even a new version of the iBookstore. In fact, there’s a good chance Apple will cram these all inside a single interface. Hopefully it’s not iTunes again.
Stick around this page (and refresh from time to time) to get the latest updates from San Francisco's Moscone West in a timely manner.
As usual, we'll be posting nothing but the hard facts here, and we'll discuss each one in part soon thereafter. Update #1
Everyone's in line waiting to be allowed inside Moscone West for the ceremonious unveiling of whatever Apple feels like unveiling today.
Media gets seated in, asket to mute their cell phones as the event kicks off.
Apple's event is kicksrarted by Siri, the digital assistant on the iPhone 4S, with a bit of standup material.
Tim Cook now on stage, welcoming everyone for their attendance. The Apple CEO starts off with a few updates, as usual, to get warmed up.
- 400 million accounts on the App Store
- 650,000 applications (225,000 designed specifically for the iPad)
- a whopping 30 billion downloads
- over 5 billion dollars have been paid to developers
- 32 new countries coming to the App Store for a total of 155 Update #2
Cook confirms new upgrades to the notebook lineup
, promising exciting news for iOS and OS X alike. Should be fun! MacBoook Air upgrade:
- Ivy Bridge processors
- up to 2GHz dual-core i7
- up to 8GB of RAM
- up to 60% faster graphics
- 512MB flash storage
- USB 3.0
- 720p FaceTime camera
- 1440x900 pixel resolution
- starts at $999 for the low-end processor version MacBoook Pro upgrade:
- Ivy Bridge
- up to 2.7 GHz quad-core i7
- turbo boost to 2.7 GHz
- Kepler GeForce GT 650M
- up to 1GB of video memory
- USB 3.0
- 7 hours of battery life
- optical disc drive still there (might as well, since there's no redesign)
- starts at the same $1,199 for the 13-incher
- goes all the way up to $2,199 for the fastest 15-inch version Update #3
Phil Schiller announces the Next-Generation MacBook Pro!
The laptop that's willing to ditch old technologies, as he puts it. Probably means no optical disc drive.
- 0.71 inches thin (1/4 thinner than the current MacBook Pro)
- weighs 4.46 pounds - Retina display (Apple fanboys will sleep well tonight)
- 15.4-inch display with 2880 x 1800 pixels (four times the pixel density of the previous-generation MacBook Pro), with higher contrast, reduced glare and better viewing angles
- Phil throws in some application updates for the higher-density screen, including the company's very own Aperture photography software, and Final Cut Pro
- third party devs also to work hard to deliver this performance, including Adobe with their Photoshop
- asymetric batteries to include as many packs as possible
- up to 2.7 GHz quad-core i7
- up to 16GB of RAM
- the same 768GB of SSD storage like the high-end Airs
- up to 7 hours of battery life with 30 days of stanby time
- ports: SD, HDMI, USB 3.0, MagSafe 2 (thinner than the previous-generation MagSafe), Thunderbolt, and headphone jack
- backlit keyboard and glass trackpad
- 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
- FaceTime HD camera
- two microphones and dual stereo speakers
- SDK for devs looking to create optimized software
- starts at $2,199
Apple now running through a demo of the new MacBook Pro featuring OS X Mountain Lion. Nothing new so far - Mail, Notification Center, Message, etc. Update #4 OS X Mountain Lion gets some new features
(I think at least one person predicted that earlier today).
- OS X Mountain Lion gets Dictation. That's Dictation, not the full-fledged Siri assistant.
- Comes with new version of Safari
- you can zoom in and out of a web page via multitouch gestures
- Power Nap: allows your Mac to work for you when you're away
- support for the Chinese search engine Baidu
- $19.99 upgrade price (10 bucks less than Snow Leopard and Lion)
- free for whoever buys a new Mac starting today (should be a bargain for the high-end Retina MacBook Pro buyer)
no launch date just yet, looks like Apple is holding tight to its late-Summer predictionUpdate: Apple has confirmed Mountain Lion will be available from the Mac App Store in July Update #5
Scott Forstall (SVP of iPhone Software) now on stage to discuss (what else?) iOS 6! Significant Siri enhancements!
For example, you can ask her to launch an app for you; it tells you what movies are playing nearby; you can ask for football scores and stuff like that; car-integration enhancements (think hands-free); new language support on the way (Spanis, Italian, German, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Canadians get theor own Siri in English and French). - Facebook Iintegration! - Do Not Disturb feature (below) - FaceTime now works on cellular networks too
- Mobile Safari gets the enhanced tabs, and an updated Reading List feature
- users can now upload photos directly from their favorite sites
- Photo Stream updated with shared streams
(That last one should make it dead easy to destroy someone's life. Or your own) - VIP feature
puts stars in front of the messages you get from important people (you assign who's important and who's not, of course)
- you can now pull-to-refresh your inbox - Passbook: new app acting as a centralized hub for all of your tickets, (movie, airplane, cards, coupons etc.) - Guided Access
: Single App mode (so kids don't accidentally exist the app they're in), as well as other functions Maps is (are?) up next!
- all new version with Yelp integration
- turn by turn navigation
- real-time info from iOS users to keep you up to date with information on traffic (I have a feeling this time around data sourcing won't be frowned upon) - Siri integration: just tell her where you're headed and she'll do her best to guide you there (this is really beginning to sound awesome!)
- maps are vector-based - Flyover: 3D mode for maps
Other iOS 6 enhancements: enhanced privacy settings, store modifications, Game Center challenges, and Lost Mode (sends a phone number to your lost device for the finder to call). iOS 6 beta to be released today
to developers enrolled with Apple. First-gen iPad (indeed) not supported, whereas the iPhone 3GS is. Apple must know something about that ARM processor inside the 3GS that no one seems to be aware of.
And that's it!
No release date for iOS 6 (not that we didn't know it was coming later this fall already). Tim Cook now reviewing all of the announcements made on-stage today.
We hope you weren't disappointed. Either way, you always have the comments column to share your thoughts with us.
We thank you for your continued support, and we'll be dissecting each and every one of these new products in featured stories really soon.
Image credits go out to Engadget
, ars technica
, and GDGT