Apple gets sweeter

The 2012 edition of the revered Apple WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) kicked off this Monday at San Francisco. An annual affair, Apple Inc. holds this weeklong event of labs and workshop sessions, conducted by its engineers, to empower software developers working on its Mac and iOS platforms. The WWDC is also used to showcase Apple's new product previews and launches through impeccably executed keynote presentations.

Whenever the highly secretive company announces such events, rumour mills churn high. The entire tech-savvy blogosphere builds up to cripple bandwidth as they ponder over the next big thing that the Cupertino-based fruit company has ready for harvest. Things were no different this time round. With WWDC tickets selling out in less than two hours and people queuing up outside from as early as 4 am on Monday, the air around Moscone Centre was saturated by excitement.

On Monday, the keynote started on a light note with Siri, the personal assistant star of the iPhone 4S doing a standup routine, pulling legs of ice creams and jellybeans, and stated its excitement for the new Samsung product; “not phone, but the refrigerator”. Apple CEO Tim Cook then took stage to brief the media and technophiles from over 60 countries who've gathered for the event, and played a video about how apps on the iPad are making a positive dent on the lives of the differently-abled. It also included the clip of an Indian teacher using the iPad to teach anatomy to kids in a Mumbai school.

Resolutionary hardware

The popular MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines of portable computers got a major hardware refresh while keeping to the elegant and precisely engineered aluminium unibody construction. They boast the latest generation Intel Ivy-Bridge processors, USB 3.0 compatibility, higher graphics, and a leap in flash memory storage capacity for the Air.

However, the show stealer clearly was the launch of the next generation MacBook Pro at just 0.71 inches thick! It's killing feature, other than the 10Gbps Thuderbolt port or 768GB of internal flash storage, among others, is the astounding Retina display of iPhone 4-fame. With a pixel density of 2880 x 1800, and five million pixels, it's three million pixels more than you could find in a HDTV.

The Big Cat Leaps ahead

In desktop software, the Macintosh cat just got mightier. 10.8 Mountain Lion leaps ahead, replacing Mac OS 10.7 Lion. Mountain Lion borrows a lot of innovation from its mobile cousin, iOS, it's fully refined to be one of the finest and quintessential desktop OS available. Apps such as Game Centre, Reminders and iMessage (a free messaging service across Mac and iOS platforms) are beautifully ported to the OS, along with iOS style Notification Centre and native Facebook and Twitter integration. The Voice Dictation feature also comes into this Mac version, with its precise comprehending capabilities letting you write an email, tweet or update your Facebook status by talking to the Mac.

iOS, the slick mobile operating system for the iPhone moves into generation 6. Siri gets more prominence, and can now do a multitude of tasks right from giving you sport updates to launching apps, even on the iPad. iOS 6 also sees a couple of new apps like Passbook, that could organise your passes such as tickets and boarding cards, and a brand new Maps app designed from bottom up by Apple, replacing the Google Maps service. It consists of 3D mapping, real time traffic data and of course with Siri guiding you through the route or finding a fuel station along the way.

Verdict: Overall, Apple fans definitely have reason to celebrate, and it's just started. However, with the kind of quality and refinement Apple is acclaimed for, it's time for competition to get on their toes, especially on the hardware front. Perhaps, for some it's even time to get their ‘photocopiers started' as Apple once mocked!

Vivek is currently pursuing I.T. at SRM University

Our code of editorial values

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 1:53:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/nxg/apple-gets-sweeter/article3522901.ece

Next Story