Tag Archives: WWDC

Apple Lays Framework for GravyPort

Apple’s GravyPort requires a new infrastructure to be laid to accommodate this new data transition medium. Researchers at MIT discovered the incredible data transfer properties of the late Steve Job’s grandmother’s traditional gravy in 2010 and have been diligently working on a new specification to use this new medium to its fullest extent.

OK, so GravyPort doesn’t exist, but during its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday, Apple basically bet the farm on mobile with some standout points covered by Utterly Orange contributing blogger Susan Hallinan yesterday (check out her post here).

Plus, Siri opened for Tim Cook in true Apple style.

At the core of the WWDC event were glimpses of the future of computing from Apple’s perspective. With killer MacBook Pros, updated MacBook Airs, and iOS6 updates that will push mobile computing forward, Apple clearly still has innovation as its focus, at least for the foreseeable future. Consider the insane 30 billion (that is 30 followed by nine zeros) app downloads––the Apple App Store continues to prove its supremacy in the market. All that being said, WWDC emphasizes the third letter in the acronym, the D for Developers. The event offers insight into the next generation of features that the legions of iOS and Mac OS developers can leverage to prompt new app downloads or improve their market share for a given piece of software. The symbiotic relationship between developers and the hardware/software giant is at the heart of “bet the farm on mobile.”

WWDC didn’t expose anything earth-shattering (big surprise). The event simply reinforced the  Cupertino darling’s trickle-style feature release to keep Apple followers around the planet happy. The fine balance between just enough to keep things fresh and just far enough ahead of the competition to stay on top was ever present. If Apple’s bet on mobile pans out, this blogger/Apple fan/lover of innovation sees a desktop-less world with powerful tablets and stellar smartphones in the five-year outlook.

So, now more than ever before, ask this of yourself, your brand, and your company: Are you ready for mobile to dominate your experience with consumers? Build a strategy where a strong and long-term mobile presence is one of your top three objectives and learn how your consumers/customers/clients are––or are not––interacting with your company (or competitors) in the mobile arena. The BlackBerrys and Treos of the late 1990s and early 2000s were ahead of their time, and Apple came into the market with a new user experience that exploded into the mobile-centric ecosystem that we live in today. One has to trust Apple’s innovation (and luck) and see that mobile (tablets and smartphones) will be a significant part of our future. Are you ready?

Author: John Carew

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WWDC Keynote

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

Apple WWDC Recap

On Monday, June 6, Apple opened its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California. The rumor mill has been running full tilt over the last few weeks with speculation about iCloud, the confirmation of the Mac operating system new release––Lion––and the iPhone/iPad release of iOS 5. While there were no huge “wow” moments, there were certainly a few utterances from the crowd of developers on hand. Steve Jobs was in attendance for the keynote even though he is currently away from his post at Apple on medical leave. Jobs and his gaggle of presenters wowed the audience for 2 hours. Here are some of the highlights:

Mac OS X Big 10 Features

1.     Multi-Touch – In what is clearly the future of the Mac platform user experience, Apple has extended scrolling, tap to zoom, pinching, and swiping as basic user gestures across the OS.

2.     Full-Screen Apps – In this era of small screens, developers have struggled to use the full-screen real estate to its fullest potential, and now full-screen apps come baked into Lion.

3.     Mission Control – This new feature––a combination of Exposé and Spaces––lets you see everything occurring on your Mac.

4.     Mac App Store – Apple claims that its Mac-oriented App Store has become the #1 PC software channel for buying software. Lofty claims, but regardless, it makes downloading content easy. Apple will, however, take a cut of every transaction, similar to the 30% from the iOS App Store.

5.     Launchpad – This iPhone/iPad home screen meets Mac offers instant access to all applications, with the ability to group them into folders like the iPhone.

6.     Resume – This brings you back to where you left off system-wide.

7.     Auto Save – This automatic saving and versioning feature is presented with a Time Machine–like interface.

8.     Versions – This gives the everyday person the ability to roll back to any version easily.

9.     AirDrop – This peer-to-peer, Wi-Fi–based network for file sharing is built in, with no setup required beyond both the sender and receiver accepting a request to share files.

10.  Mail – This brand-new email interface has intuitive search, conversation view, and tagging features.

Lion will be available only in the Mac App Store––no more optical media––and will work with all authorized Macs for a mere $30.

iOS Big 10 Features

1.     Notifications – All notifications are combined into one unobtrusive interface, very similar to how Android handles notifications including info on the lock screen.

2.     Newsstand – This “news rack” for all media is able to download new content as a background task.

3.     Twitter – Since it is now integrated directly into the OS, sharing anything via Twitter will be very simple using a single sign-on.

4.     Safari – Features have been added to enable easy, uncluttered viewing of websites, with Reading List built in and shared with all iOS devices via iCloud.

5.     Reminders – This task list is complete with location alerts and iCal and Outlook integration and can be shared with multiple devices via iCloud.

6.     Camera – The iPhone’s camera now offers grid lines, auto focus, exposure lock, pinch zoom, and the ability to use the volume button as a shutter button as well as the ability to access the camera from the lock screen.

7.     Mail – You can now send email with rich formatting (bold, italic, underline) and indents. Flag support and the ability to do a full-text search also top the list of new features.

8.     PC Free – There’s no need to own a PC to have an iOS device––wireless updates come to the OS with software updates over the air (OTA).

9.     Game Center – Extensions of current Game Center features allow comparison with other users, including support for turn-based games, directly from the OS [?].

10.  iMessage – You can send unlimited text messages to other iOS 5 users via Wi-Fi or 3G––it’s BlackBerry Messenger meets iOS.

iOS 5 is slated for release later this year.

Finally, the long-awaited and much-rumored iCloud: Apple states, “iCloud stores your content and wirelessly pushes it all to your devices.” MobileMe was the basis for the development of iCloud and was written from the ground up, sharing contacts, calendar events, documents, and mail-syncing with folders and inboxes synced on all devices via an @me.com account. iCloud offers once-a-day backup of all content via Wi-Fi, including purchased music, movies, apps, photos, and books. 5GB of storage comes free, but if you want to sync your music library with iTunes Match, it will cost you $25 per year.

Author: John Carew

Microsoft’s High Hopes for Windows 8

On June 1, Mike Angiulo, corporate VP of Windows Planning, stated that Windows 8 offers “huge opportunities for our hardware partners to innovate with new PC designs.” Innovation, on a PC running Windows? The Windows market has not seen any real innovation between hardware and software since Windows 98 in 1998. Other leaders in the personal computer market, specifically Apple, have provided innovative interaction between hardware and software with virtually every major new release. Microsoft’s Windows 8 venture presents a few interesting technical points that are worth considering:

Multi-Device Support
Windows 8 is expected to support touch-friendly interfaces flawlessly across tablets, desktops, and laptops. This is the first significant push by a software company to move a mobile OS to non-mobile hardware.

Supports Dual-Processing Architectures
According to Microsoft’s Angiulo, Windows 8 will support both x86- and ARM-based architectures.

Legacy Hardware Support
Based on the information presented on June 1, it appears that Windows 8 will be supported by legacy Windows 7 hardware. In addition, Windows 8 will already have many of the Windows 7 features baked in and back-supported.

CNET posed an interesting question: Did Windows Phone 7 have “the kind of consumer impact that warrants this elevation?” The article goes on to state that “Windows Phone 7 commands only 1 percent of the U.S. smartphone marketshare”––a measly number to be hedging a new OS release against.

A closing thought: Apple will launch iOS 5 at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) next week and release iOS 6 next year, just in time for the Windows 8 launch. Will the two new operating systems clash in a head-to-head death match, or will Microsoft’s newest stepchild cower, forlorn in a corner, while Android, Apple, and maybe even RIM or––gasp––HP steal the spotlight at the 2012 laptop/desktop/tablet/smartphone party?

 

Author: John Carew