Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is Apple’s way of connecting with developers, showcasing the latest OS and hardware changes and upgrades.
While historically this time has been used to reveal the latest iPhone and iPad products, back in April Tim Cook revealed to investors that the major product releases would instead happen Quarter 4 2013 and on throughout 2014. The focus of this WWDC, as with Google’s I/O, is the software.
The keynote began with a video describing Apple’s vision: perfection.
If everyone is busy making everything, how can anyone perfect anything? … Designing something requires focus. The first thing we ask is: what do we want people to feel? … Then we begin to craft around our intention. It takes time. … We simplify, we perfect, we start over, until everything we touch enhances each life it touches. Only then do we sign our work.
It’s a beautiful video, highlighting a simple, thoughtful approach.
Tim Cook highlighted some developer numbers (over 6 million developers, 1.5 million added since WWDC 2012), then talked about Apple’s retail stores (over 407 in the world). He then mentioned App Store numbers:
- App Store has existed for five years.
- Over 50 billion apps downloaded.
- Over 375,000 apps built for the iPad.
- Over 575 million accounts linked to the App Store.
- Apple has paid developers over $10 billion, with over $5 billion in the last year – three times all the other platforms combined.
- For “App download revenue by platform,” Apple has 74% of the market, with Android at 20% and others at 6%.
They then did a demo of a product called Ankidrive from a company named Anki. Small cars zoomed around on a race track, controlled by an iPad. Cars can even be set to “collision mode,” where they aggressively attempt to knock other cars off the track.
The gears then switched to talking about Macs, sharing some more stats:
- Apple’s new iMac (released last year) is the number one PC in the world.
- The new MacBook is the number one notebook.
- Over the past five years, Mac has had a 100% growth rate, while the PC has had 18% growth.
- But the push was for customer satisfaction.
- Adoption rate of OS X Mountain Lion was 38% over the past six months.
Tim Cook then transitioned to talking about OS X. They decided to move away from naming the OS releases after big cats (makes me think of the XKCD cartoon talking about how all the cool names were taken), and instead name them after things in California. The next release will be called OS X Mavericks (coming Fall 2013), after the “surfing location in Northern California.” It contains the following features:
- Finder Tabs: The Finder windows of OS X now contains tabs, and windows can be dragged and dropped on top of each other.
- Tags: Files can now be tagged, so all your “Work” tagged items will show up when you click on “Work” in the left-hand side of the Finder window, etc.
- Multiple displays: The menu bar and dock now show up on multiple displays; you can have one monitor full-screened and the other not; you can pan your Spaces; and the Apple TV can be used
as an additional monitor.
- Battery life: Smoothing CPU load to reduce usage spikes by up to 72%, saving battery life.
- Wake time: By compressing inactive memory, wake time has been improved by up to 1.5x.
Safari was next:
- Bookmarks: Now stored in a new top site.
- Memory and energy usage: Improvements to memory and energy usage; less than Firefox.
- Accelerated scrolling: Smooth scrolling at 60 frames per second.
- CPU usage: Only at the halfway point during a demo of famo.us (“a pretty intense CSS 3D demo”), and the meter goes down even further when the window isn’t in use.
- Homepage: Shows bookmarks, and can access a reading list on the left; when you finish one article, another comes up.
The keynote switched back to OS X in general:
- iCloud Keychain: Passwords synced to your iCloud account with 256-bit AES encryption; even works with Safari, across all iCloud devices.
- Notifications: Can respond to notifications from within the notification.
- App updates: OS X App Store will automatically update apps in the background.
- Calendar: Cleaner, simpler look; adjusts events based on if you’re walking, driving, etc.; and will remind you to leave for a scheduled event.
- Maps app: OS X will get a Maps app, which includes features like sending directions from your Mac to your iPhone, as well as 3D mode and adding locations to bookmarks (which then syncs across devices).
- iBooks: Mac will now have access, including iBooks Textbooks; and can take notes.
Next Phil Schiller talked about Macs:
- New MacBook Air:
- Newest Intel chip (Haswell)
- More energy-efficient CPUs
- 2x GPU execution units
- Up to 40% faster graphics
- Smarter low-power states
- Regarding battery life, the 11-inch will go from 5 to 9 hours, and the 13-inch will go from 7 to 12 hours.
- Wi-Fi improved to 802.11ac
- Price: $999 for 11-inch, $1099 for 13-inch
- New AirPort base station line
- New Mac Pro
- New, cylindrical design
- Double CPU performance of previous line
- Double RAM performance of previous line
- Internal storage is all PCIe-based flash (up to 2.5x faster)
- New Thunderbolt 2 connections (up to 2x faster than Thunderbolt 1) – up to 6 devices per port, backwards compatible
- GPUs are up to 2.5x faster than previous GPUs, with support for 4K displays
- Designed and built in the US
Tim Cook returned to the stage to talk about iCloud:
- Over 300 million iCloud accounts (“fastest growing cloud service ever”)
- Game Center has over 240 million users
- Over 800 billion iMessages have been sent
- Over 7.4 trillion push notifications have been sent
- iWork is being added to iCloud, allowing you to create and edit documents in the browser
- Includes Pages, where you can drag-and-drop pictures from your desktop into the Pages file on your browser
- Also includes Numbers and Keynote
- Available for IE and Chrome as well
- Released later this year
Now the big kahuna of the presentation, iOS:
- Over 600 million iOS devices sold.
- Reiterated that making the best products that people love is what drives them.
- iPhone users use their device 50% more than Android users.
- iPad has 82% of tablet web market share.
- Customer satisfaction for iOS is 97%, with 73% of users saying they are “very satisfied.”
- “Over 93% of users are on the latest version of iOS…The most popular OS in the world is iOS.”
- iOS 7 is announced, “with amazing new features, and amazing new interface…we see iOS 7 as defining a new direction, and in many ways, as defining a new beginning.”
Now for the main features of iOS, as displayed by Craig Federighi:
- Slider bar is gone, replaced by fullscreen image with “Slide Up To Unlock.”
- App UI
- All apps are redesigned to fit in with the “new flat design theory.”
- Weather app redesign
- Calendar app
- You can pinch to go from day to week to month.
- Folders can have multiple pages – swipe to go to the next one.
- Messages app redesign
- Notification center
- Has sections – Today, All, Missed
- Today view shows: calendars, stocks, weather, small preview of tomorrow
- Control Center
- Swipe up from the bottom
- Access to airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, volume, music playback, flashlight
- Multitasking now available for all apps
- App Store now updates apps automatically
- Will prioritize updates based on if the device is unlocked or if there’s a strong data signal
- App developers can push update notifications to apps
- Fullscreen view
- URL bar also functions as a search bar
- Can also access bookmarks, reading list, and a shared list from social networks
- Open tabs can be viewed in a 3D scrolling interface
- Can sharing pictures from device to device wirelessly
- Options show up in the Share screen
- Can swipe the screen to move between modes
- Filters are built in
- Broken up into Moments – determined by time or location
- “You can zoom from a view showing all of the photos taken at a location, to all of the photos taken on that day, all the way out to all of the photos taken in a certain year.”
- Photo streams can be shared and viewed by others.
- Voice upgraded to sound more human.
- Added features: play last voicemail, toggle settings, access Wikipedia data without launching the browser
- Car integration
- 95% of cars have integrated iPhone playback control
- iOS 7 can push an interface to your car’s touchscreen (select cars from Honda, Mercedes, Nissan, Chevy, Kia, and Hyundai, for starters)
- Music / iTunes Radio
- Can listen to Featured Stations or create your own station
- “Any song played through iTunes Radio can be purchased with one click, and will be supported on iOS, Apple TV, and the Mac.”
- Other features include Facetime and iMessages blocking, per app VPN, cross-device notification sync, and Activation Lock (if your phone is stolen it can’t be activated by the thief)
- Release date is this fall, and will be available for:
- iPhone 4 and later
- iPad 2 and later
- iPad mini
- iPod touch (5th generation)
Tim Cook concluded the keynote:
I’d like to remind everyone that our goal at Apple is to make really great products, things to improve people’s lives. The words you saw in that video are more than just words; they’re the words we live by. You see them reflected in our products over the years, in the products we showed today, and the products we show in the future.
Hope you enjoyed this little recap! Let us know what you think of the keynote, and stay tuned for a Google I/O 2013 and Apple WWDC 2013 keynote comparison.