June 18, 2012
by Mark Ollig
The much anticipated 2012 World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) took place last week at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook took the stage for this 23rd WWDC, attended by people from more than 60 countries.
“This is truly a worldwide conference. We have a great week planned. Over 100 sessions, 100 hands-on labs [where] you can take in your code, [and] get some help,” Cook said during the keynote address to the audience, which consisted of many software application (app) developers who write the code for Apple’s computing devices.
There were 112 informational sessions and 125 Apple labs set up for the app developers to work on their code, and to obtain assistance from more than 1,000 Apple engineers available.
Looking out into the audience, Cook referenced the Apple App Store when he said “. . . and thanks to you, we have over 650,000 apps in that store.” This was received with much applause.
The Apple CEO also pointed out, to the delight of the software app developers in the audience that Apple has written checks for more than $5 billion to the developers who created those apps.
Cook stated 225,000 of those apps are specifically designed for the iPad, and that customers have downloaded over more than 30 billion software apps from the Apple App Store.
He said there are now more than 400 million accounts on Apple’s App Store.
The Apple App Store is adding 32 additional countries where it will be selling its software apps. This makes for 155 countries their App Store will be available in.
It was confirmed Apple’s newest release for its current operating system (OS X) is version 10.8. It is called Mountain Lion. This latest version will be available from the Mac App Store as an upgrade next month for $19.99 to Mac desktop computer users.
Mountain Lion will come with more than 200 new features.
Of the now 66 million Mac users, 40 percent are using the current OS X 10.7 version called Lion, which was released in July 2011.
Apple’s next mobile computing operating system, called iOS 6, will officially be released for public use this fall.
This new mobile computing operating system is being made available to WWDC developers now so they can create new apps with it for the iPads and the new 3GS, 4, and 4S iPhones, along with the next iPhone, which is also expected to be available this fall.
The new iOS 6 will incorporate its own mapping system; replacing Google Maps altogether.
“In iOS 6, we have built an entire new mapping system from the ground up; and it looks beautiful,” said Apple’s vice president in charge of mobile systems Scott Forstall. “This is a worldwide effort. We’re covering the world,” Forstall went on to say.
Apple’s new mapping system (called Maps), includes turn-by-turn navigation using Siri voice assistance. Apple will also use its new “Flyover” 3D rendering images recorded from planes and helicopters. Flyover will provide panoramic views of specific locations from just about any angle.
Sharing photos to Facebook seamlessly is another new feature integrated into the iOS 6 mobile platform.
Apple’s popular Siri, a voiced, digital assistant, is also being improved. It will be more user-intuitive, and will soon be available on the iPad. Siri also has an improved voice-activated search, and is now available in China and Canada.
Apple also announced its Facetime video-telephone communication software app is now useable over a cellular, as well as a Wi-Fi connection.
After about 20 minutes into the keynote address, Cook introduced Phil Schiller, Apple senior vice president.
Schiller went over a few of the MacBook Air notebook computer improvements, but saved the best for last.
The audience became excited as Schiller announced a new MacBook Pro notebook computer.
The audience cheered and applauded when Schiller revealed the brand new, thinner, next generation, MacBook Pro with a Retina display using 2,880 x 1,800 pixels (220 pixels per inch) on its 15.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit screen.
Those 5,184,000 pixels make this next generation MacBook Pro the world’s highest resolution notebook display screen.
“The pixels on this display are so small, that from a normal working distance your retina cannot discern those individual pixels” Schiller explained.
Apple computers have always been pricy.
Apple prices the new MacBook Pro with 15-inch Retina display screen at $2,199. It is equipped with a third generation 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor chip (known as Ivy Bridge). Using Turbo Boost, processing speeds go up to 3.3GHz. This configuration includes a 256GB flash storage drive.
For fun, I found out what their highest-priced, 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display would come in at.
I chose every option available, including the most storage, which was their $2,499 Promise Pegasus 12TB R6 RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) system.
The grand total for this next generation, fully-maxed-out, and with all the extras Apple MacBook Pro notebook computer was $8,746.94 – not including tax.
After giving it some thought, yours truly will stick with his still-usable Hewlett-Packard Pavilion notebook computer for a little while longer.