Just some random thoughts on the WWDC keynote.
Got to hand it to Apple, in that despite the huge build up of anticipation and numbers of rumours floating round, they managed to pull off the keynote without a huge backlash of disappointment. Mainly by producing a pretty spectacular number of announcements all paced at the right time.
Quickly skipping past my predictions, the core announcements were a refresh of the MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros, a next generation MacBook Pro with Retina Display, Mountain Lion and iOS6.
The masterstroke was to introduce “One More Thing” only a quarter of the way into proceedings. After announcing some speed bumps and price reductions for the current line up, Apple dramatically introduced a new model under covers. At that point, all the disappointment of Apple not refreshing the entire laptop line with new processors, new form factor and retina displays were dismissed in an instant as the new beast was unveiled. A brand new “next generation” MacBook Pro – completely redesigned and re-imagined from scratch. Thin, extremely powerful and with the hugely anticipated retina display.
Apple could have finished the keynote right there and everyone would be ecstatic.
It’s so obvious when you think about it. No way could Apple refresh the entire line, that would be madness. But a single new machine brimming with new technology and connectivity. The introduction and timing was a masterstroke.
If you’re a regular follower to my blog, you’ll know that I’ve pretty much switched to the 11″ MacBook Air as my main production machine. I’m still happy with the arrangement but I have been waiting for the revisions to the range, mainly to upgrade the processor speed, the RAM and perhaps a bigger screen. With the introduction of the next generation MacBook Pro, I think I’ve found the ideal combination of speed and portability. So immediately after the keynote, I placed an order for this configuration:
- 2.7GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7
- 16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
- 512GB Flash Storage
Not cheap, but less than I would have spent actually going to WWDC which was originally planned.
Will keep you posted on my thoughts once it arrives and I put it through its paces.
The rest of the keynote covered Mountain Lion and iOS 6.
Some new features in Mountain Lion and Apple are aggressively pushing it as a must have upgrade – just $19.99 and available from next month. For it to be so close to WWDC, you have to think that it may have been targeted for release at WWDC and slipped. Some solid new features, well worth upgrading for, but it remains to be seen just how many people will be excluded from upgrading due to machine limitations. It was surprising to me to see the new Power Nap feature only being available on the most modern machines.
iOS6 also delivered some pretty neat features. The new Maps feature looks a solid 1.0 release but I remain to be convinced that the “Flyover” feature is nothing more than eye candy. and extremely limited at the initial release. Still, Apple must be applauded for delivering such a enormous undertaking as rolling out your own mapping solution. Google mapping has an enormous head start over Apple so it may take Apple a while to produce a truly comparable service.
Some big updates to Siri too, especially in its functionality and coverage – but Sports? Meh
The application I think will be a sleeper hit and will probably mature into something that will be seen as revolutionary is the new “PassBook”. Most definitely Apple’s first foray into turning the iPhone into your electronic wallet or payment system – I expect big things from “PassBook” in the future.
There’s so much to cover in the keynote I’m going to leave it at that for now, except to say I was shocked to see the earlier rumours of iOS 6 not being available for the iPad1 come true. iOS6 is available for the 3GS but not the iPad 1? That doesn’t seem right to me, although out of the two, the 3GS is still the only one still on sale.
The big omission was the non appearance of the Mac Pro, although it did receive a minor speed bump following the keynote. No Thunderbolt or USB3. Apparently, there are technical reasons for this, all not under Apples control, so I’ll give them a let on this for now. I find it interesting that they didn’t kill it stone dead, and that leads me to think that they still have plans for the Mac Pro line, now is just not the time.