I don’t think most people base their lunch hours around tech announcements, but I do. I have been eagerly awaiting this event––the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC)––for weeks now. The WWDC is where Apple usually introduces software updates and new products (the iPhone first appeared during the 2007 WWDC).
Monday Apple introduced iOS6 and some of its more than 200 new features. Here are some highlights:
-Siri, the Apple darling, has gotten smarter––she can speak many new languages, will be able to launch apps, and can now tweet for you.
-A new Do Not Disturb feature allows you to silence alerts and incoming calls for meetings or sleep.
– Apple has cut its ties with Google as far as maps are concerned, but it now offers turn-by-turn directions, real-time traffic, and flyover views of the world as only Apple can. http://www.apple.com/ios/ios6/#maps
– FaceTime will now work over cellular networks and from any Apple device.
– Apple also introduced Mountain Lion, which will be available next month for $19.99. It will fully integrate the services of iCloud, allowing users to access files from everywhere (including Notes and Reminders from all Apple devices).
-Voice dictation will also be standard in Mountain Lion––it won’t be as helpful as Siri but is useful in its own way.
-Messages are not just for the phone anymore––they can be sent from a Mac.
-Power Nap is a powerful new feature that refreshes data and allows the computer to stay up to date and back up data while sleeping.
And as far as hardware is concerned:
-The Macbook Air has been improved––the lowest model has a 1366×768 display with 1.7GHz dual-core i5, 4GB RAM, and 64GB for flash storage ($100 more will double the storage).
-The MacBook Pro has the Retina display, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, and weighs only 5.6 lbs.
Author: Susan Hallinan