WWDC2012 – Day One and THAT Keynote



Tecmark’s Andy Scott blogging from WWDC2012 in San Fransisco.

wwdc2012 san fransiscoI started the day by turning on the news in the hotel room to see all the Apple fanboys queuing up already with 4hours to go before the keynote. Panic ensued and I rushed down to the Moscone Centre to join the line! I walked down one side of the building then down another side then down another side – the queue wrapped a full loop around the Moscone West! There were geeks galore, most of whom were sporting the WWDC jacket that was given out at registration. Quite how they were wearing a jacket at all in the sweltering heat is beyond me.

It took an hour to move around the building but everyone was in good spirits. Then when we were no more than 50metre away from the entrance when they stopped letting people in! A further 40 minute wait in the blistering sun was something I didn’t need after the 20 mile trek I’d done the day before without sun cream.

 

Eventually we were allowed in and I hurried to the conference hall, but not before I grabbed a bit of cake (I do like my cake).

WWDC 2012 San Fransisco

A Joke with Siri and Some Serious Numbers

The show started with a warm up video from SIRI who joked about the competition and mocked Facebook’s purchase of Instagram amongst other things. Obligatory whooping and cheering ensued when then Tim Cook took to the stage he went on to dazzle us with numbers;

  • 400million accounts
  • 650 thousand apps on the app store
  • 225 thousand of them are for iPad
  • 30billion app downloads

This was followed by a stirring speech and a video that highlighted how some apps had really made great changes in peoples lives. It was apparent Apple doesn’t see itself as justa tech company anymore. They see themselves as much more, kind of evangelists of the modern digital world changing and shaping lives for the better. Thats a big task and they need help achieving that from developers (and of course UX designers)!

 

Improvements to MacBooks

Retina Display MacBooks

Next up was Schiller to announce improvements to the hardware lineup everything was getting a boost in speed, in graphics and some were getting a drop in price. I was a bit disappointed. No retina display? No new design? Had Apple turned all its attention to building new software? No.

Phil went on to unveil a new MacBook Pro. It was thinner at 0.71 inches, lighter at 4.46lbs and had all the power of a tank finished off with a beautiful retina display. Schiller played a video on the creation of the new MacBook. The one thing I took from that was that the attention to details is still prevalent even though Steve Jobs is no longer with us. The changes to the fan system proved that point. Whilst the design is still the brushed aluminium (not pronounced aloominum as so many people round here seem to think it is).It looked sexy and it knew it with a price tag of over $2000.

 

OSX Mountain Lion

Schiller left and we moved onto OSX Mountain Lion. I was underwhelmed. My battery was dying and my Tweets we’re falling flat because the networks were being hammered. There was no new radical changes that I could take away from the OSX news other than the price point of $19.99.

 

iOS 6

Now the fun bit: iOS 6 with Scott Forstall. We were treated to some more mind blowing numbers:

  • 365 million devices with a massive 80% of users on iOS5
  • 75% of them are very satisfied with their device.
  • 7 billion notifications are sent every day, with 1.5 trillion sent so far.

 

There was some talk about Siri. Siri has been learning sports over the last few months and a demo was given. It was announced that Siri will now work in the UK! At last! Facebook integration will be deep and we will be able to post from most Apple apps. An API will be available for those that want to include it into their apps.

A new ‘call me later’ feature was announced which has been a long time coming and should have been in the iPhone from the beginning, it always amazes me that Apple can make a big song and dance about some features that should be standard.

FaceTime will now be available over 3G and 4G networks, just in time for all the capped data services we now have in the UK! Passbook looked cool but more investigation needs to made into what it can do.

Onto Maps. The big news is that Apple has given Google the boot! Apples own maps look as incredible as you would expect from Apple. They offer turn by turn navigation, another feature which has been long overdue is now here. They have done a good job with it, but will it work in the UK?

3D Map view is something else! You have to see it to understand it! Again its only major cities so it is more gimmicky than functional at the moment.

Overall the keynote was everything and more than I could have imagined. Attending was a real dream come true for a self-confessed Apple fanboy. And I got cake!

Well be at WWDC2012 throughout the entire event and will post further updates here during the week.

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