WWDC Round Up

After months of waiting and speculation we finally got to see last night what’s next for Apple, and what a delight it was. There were a few surprises and of course a few things were quite well predicted. Here’s a round up of what was announced at WWDC 2013.

1. iOS 7

iOS 7 was one of the most predicted, and hoped for, releases of the day. It was widely expected that the next version of Apple’s mobile software would do away with the slightly tacky and old fashioned skeuomorphic design but I don’t think anybody really predicted how great the new OS would look and the new features it would contain.

First up is the completely new flat design. Everything looks so much more crisp with new typography, all new app icons and colour pallet. It’s a lot better to see the new designs for your self so take a look at the gallery below.

The new design is only half of the story though, there’s a nice range of new, and much needed, features added too.

First up is the new notification center. Apart from a major redesign it’s got a couple of new features. You can now access it from the lock screen which should come in handy. The new ‘Today’ tab aims to give you all the information you need today, everything from birthdays to a weather forecast.

Multitasking has been given a major upgrade and provides a live view of the apps as you flick through them. Multitasking is also intelligent and learns when you use your apps, this means it will push updates to, for example, your BBC News app before you even use it. It knows what you want to do before you even do. It also does this intelligently so as to not rinse your battery, for example, when your phone is plugged in or connected to wi-fi.

The camera app has had a little update too and now offers filters, although I don’t think it’ll compete with the likes of Instagram.

One of the most asked for updates though is Control Center. Swiping up from any screen allows you to control basic settings such as brightness, wi-fi, bluetooth, music and turn on the camera’s light to use as a a torch. It’s nothing revolutionary and already exists on Android but it is much needed and welcome.

Apple have done something quite cool with photos too. Rather than having a ridiculously long list of 1000s of photos they are now organised in collections, moments and years. All of this is done automatically.

Other features and apps to get an upgrade include Siri, Safari, App Store, Find my iPhone, and air drop is now a major feature.

Something that everybody was expecting is iRadio and sure enough it was demoed at the WWDC Keynote. It’s a major competitor to the likes of Spotify, Pandora and Google Play. Given the massive number of account holders Apple has (575,000,000 to be exact) it’s sure to have these other services shaking in their boots.

Other features and quirks that have surfaced through the developer beta include being able to ‘swipe to unlock’ on any part of the screen. It seems as though that so long as it’s a general left-right swipe it’ll unlock, which his handy. Also, when you have a panoramic photo as your background it will pan with the tilt of the phone, which is cool.

So iOS 7 turned out to be almost everything and if not more than what people were expecting. Some of the new features look great and are much needed. The design looks phenomenal and is clean and crisp. Apple have needed to update their mobile OS for a while now and this is great step. iOS 7 will be released to the public in the Autumn but a developer beta is available now.

2. Mac Pro

Mac Pro 2013
Mac Pro 2013

Apple did something that they’ve never done before and that is to give a sneak peek of a product in development. They say it was a sneak peek but in fact quite a lot of detail was given about the revolutionary new Mac Pro. They’ve done away with the traditional tower design and have opted a cylinder instead. It looks quite Dyson-esque but hey, Dyson’s are a triumph of design so I guess that’s ok.

As you would expect they’re going to be packed with the latest graphics and memory capabilities and will feature the next version of Thunderbolt. It’s been years since the Mac Pro got it’s last update and people had feared that Apple had ditched it’s power users but this completely new product should change that.

3. MacBook Air

The MacBook Air got a little upgrade at WWDC too. They now feature much extended battery life with the 13-inch now going for up to 12 hours on a single charge. Along with this are new Intel Core processors and faster flash memory.

4. OS X Mavericks

OSX Mavericks Logo
OSX Mavericks Logo

Seeing as this was the developers conference it was fairly certain that there’d be some sort of update to the Mac OS and it came in the form of the next version of OS X, called Mavericks.

In the same fashion as iOS, Apple have done away with the tacky skeuomorphic design and opted for clean flat design – Calender no longer looks like leather and they’ve finally got rid of all the stitching.

OSX Mavericks Calender
OSX Mavericks Calender

Maps and iBooks now join the desktop OS and the increasingly popular concept of tags is now introduced which should make collaborating, organising and finding documents a lot easier.

The best thing to come to OS X Mavericks though is the long overdue multiple display support. You can now run full screen apps on all displays without the others blacking out, in Mission Control you can move windows and desktops between displays and the menu bars and Dock move to the display you’re working on. Although this seems like a minor update it certainly got one of the biggest applauses at the Keynote and as a multiple display user I cant express how much this is needed.

Finally, it should become a whole lot more power efficient with technology that knows what you’re viewing and so can give that window the most power while giving less to the windows that are in the background.

Overall, not a major update the OS but some much needed features added.

What features do like most from OS X and iOS 7? Do you think the Mac Pro will be a success and what else would you have liked to see from the Keynote. Comment below.

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