Top Apple executives took the stage today at the company`s annual World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco to announce several major updates to the Mac, OSX, and iOS product lines.
First up was OSX 10.9, named `Maverick` after the well known surfing competition in Half Moon Bay, California. Maverick will include new apps, such as iBooks and Apple Maps that are ported from iOS as well as a new release of the Safari web browser. Additionally, Maverick adds the ability to open tabs in Finder windows and tag files with color codes for easier organization. Maverick will also include technical features such as `app nap`, `compressed memory`, and `timer coalescing` which will improve the performance and extend the battery life of Mac computers.
Apple also released information about some new hardware for the MacBook Air and Mac Pro product lines. New 11" and 13" MacBook Airs will ship with 802.11ac WiFi, the latest standard in wireless internet, and `all day` battery life. The big hardware news for the Mac was the tantalizing glimpse we got of the new Mac Pro. Since its release in 2006, the Mac Pro has kept basically the same design with minor upgrades each year. Not so anymore. The few pictures we were shown today were of a shiny, black, cylinder shaped enclosure that is dwarfed by the old silver tower design. All of the computer`s very advanced components are arrayed around a `thermal core`, presumably for keeping everything cool.
Those willing to fork over the TBA amount of cash for this gleaming piece of Apple engineering will have access to 12 cores of next generation Intel Xeon power, 1866MHz DDR3 memory, PCIe Solid State storage, and up to two top of the line AMD video cards capable of handling three 4K displays simultaneously. The release date is pinned at sometime `later this year`.
Next Apple execs discussed the long awaited iOS7. The new iOS, which will be compatible with iPad 2, iPhone 4 and later, completely revamps the traditional iPhone interface and adds numerous new features. iOS7 will feature a transparently glassy, but flat and ultra simplistic interface that is at once very familiar and new. Probably the most useful addition to the regular iOS feature set will be the brand new Control Center, visible by swiping up from the bottom of your iDevice to give you access to handy features such as music controls, flashlight, wifi on/off switch, airplane mode, camera, AirPlay streaming, etc.
The iOS Notification Center is also redesigned with a transparent background and a cleaner overall appearance. Other new features will include an online radio service called iTunes Radio, more visual multitasking featuring a mini card view of your apps, AirDrop bluetooth file sharing between iDevices, and new minimalistic interfaces for all of the out-of-the-box apps. iOS7 will be available sometime this fall, possibly coinciding with the release of a new iPhone.