We’ll be talking more in-depth about Apple’s announcements today, but for now here are the highlights from the keynote at the World wide Developer Conference:
Apple announced a new operating system, iOS7, with a complete design overhaul. All of Apple’s apps, including Photos, Safari, weather, calendar and Game Center, have all been redesigned with a sleeker, more modern feel, including a new font choice (Helvetica) and completely updated color palette.
iOS7 also offers keychain storage through iCloud (which will communicate with OSX Mavericks), AirDrop, smarter multitasking, easier access to device settings, and the ability to update apps in the background. iTunes will now offer radio, a la Pandora or Spotify. Plus Siri’s got a new voice and some new search tricks. Activation Lock, a new security feature, will build on the ability to remotely erase your iPhone. Basically, if someone steals and wipes your iPhone, or you wipe it after it has been stolen, whoever has your phone will be unable to unlock the phone and activate it with new service unless they also know your Apple ID and password.
iOS7 was made available to developers today. Everyone else will have to wait until the fall, when it will presumably ship on new devices.
New MacBook Air
The new MacBook Air starts shipping now. Apple promises all-day battery life, improved CPU responsiveness from updated Haswell processors and much more affordable flash memory prices. 11″ models start at $999 with 128GB of flash storage, 13″ models at $1099 with 128GB of flash storage.
New Mac Pro Sneak Peek
Apple is promising a complete overhaul of their desktop the Mac Pro. This machine is all about power, and the preview promised Intel Xeon E5 processors, full flash storage and support for 4K displays. The new Pro won’t go on sale till the fall, so presumably we will see more at a September Apple event.
iWork for iCloud
iWork will now be available through the cloud so it can compete with Google Docs. Perhaps the most interesting feature is drag and drop support for Microsoft Office docs. Only available to developers as of now – expect a consumer-ready product later this year.
New AirPort and Time Capsule
Time Capsule will still come in 2TB and 3TB models, but both AirPort and Time Capsule will support faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Refreshed and revamped operating system. Key features include being able to use tabs within Finder (like a browser), tagging for documents (more experimentation in file storage), better support for multiple displays, better responsiveness, more efficient CPU usage, and improved design for the calendar.