The fresh fruit was falling hot and heavy at Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference presentation in San Francisco today.
Laptop Finesse: Transferring the jargon of a high def “Retina Display” from its iPads and iPhones, Apple introduced a super thin (no hard drive) “Retina” grade MacBook Pro boasting the “World’s highest resolution notebook display.” The laptop’s 15.4 inch screen display boasts 220 pixels-per-inch and can be yours for a mere $2,199 (and up.) Image conscious programs like Photoshop, Final Cut Pro and Aperture are being duly upgraded for Retina, likewise games such as “Diablo 3.” Adding more clarity – MacBook Pro’s new GeForce GT 650M graphics processor runs 60 percent faster than predecessors.
Also introduced were refreshed MacBook Air laptops, shipping today, running faster with 2GHZ Core i7 processors and then Turbo Boosted to 3.2 GHz.
The Lion Roars: The next iteration of the Mac Lion operating system dubbed “Mountain Lion” adds Dictation and Power Nap to “Keep your Mac up to date” (email, photos, calendar) “while it sleeps.” Safari browser adds unified searching (a-la Chrome) and syncs information between Apple products. Upgrading to Mountain Lion (available July) will cost a mere $20.
The Next Operating System: iPad and iPhone users can look forward to iOS 6, promising 200 improvements – from Facebook integration with core apps to FaceTime on 3G cellular networks. (The video calling is no longer limited to just Wi-Fi network use.)
Apple aims to eliminate paper (and perhaps earn processing fees) with Passbook, loading boarding passes and concert tickets onto your device. Apple aims to dismiss Google’s popular traveler’s aid with its own Maps app.
App developers for, say, a museum tour, will have a new lock-down tool to keep users' attention – Guided Access. Everyone will gain more control with a new iOS 6 “do not disturb” feature” for muting unwelcome, middle-of-the-night dings and lit screens from crazed emailing/calling friends.
Siri-Ously: The voice command/response system Siri – who opened today’s Apple event with a standup comedy routine - will soon answer “what’s the score” for sports fans and find you a good movie or restaurant with help from Rotten Tomatoes and Yelp.
Siri voice command functionality is coming to the current (aka “new”) iPad. And for safety’s sake, the push of a dedicated button on the steering wheel of some forthcoming car models (from GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Land Rover) will awaken Siri to your voice requests. Truth is, I can already pull that off with a button stab on a Blue Ant Bluetooth accessory speaker phone.