Apple WWDC 2013 Highlights: Software And Hardware

Apple’s annual developer conference starts today and as expected the Redmond-based tech company has unleashed a number of highly anticipated announcements including those about iOS, Macs and a few other things.

Apple’s annual developer conference starts today and as expected the Redmond-based tech company has unleashed a number of highly anticipated announcements including those about iOS, Macs and a few other things.

If you’re an Apple fan boy (or girl), you’ll be delighted to know that Apple didn’t hold back much as it made a lot of changes this year with their products and services. Although some of the things we were expecting didn’t make an appearance in the event there were some that definitely made their presence felt. And so without further ado, here are the highlights of WWDC 2013.

 

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iradio MacBook Air OS X Mavericks Mac Pro
iOS 7 iTunes Radio MacBook Air OS X Mavericks Mac Pro


 

iOS 7: Completely redesigned with new interface and features

   iOS 7   

Apple has completely overhauled its mobile operating system and added new features that further add value and appeal to the company’s mobile devices. These new features include a Control Center that lets users access quick toggles and settings with just one swipe from the bottom of the screen.

There’s also a revamped Notification that can be accessed from the lockscreen, a more visual multitasking feature, a new sharing feature called Air Drop which provides a new way to quickly and easily share content with people nearby and redesigns of a number of iOS basic apps.

Some of the apps that were updated include the camera app which now features a square camera option (good for Intagram uploads) and photo filters. There’s also a redesigned Safari app that allow for full-screen browsing, enhanced parental controls and a 3D view when switching tabs. The music app has also been updated and comes with the new iTunes Radio.

Lastly, Apple also updated Siri which now has male and female voices and Twitter and Wikipedia integration.

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iTunes Radio: A music Service that listens to its user

iTunes Radio

Apple also introduced iTunes Radio in WWDC. iTunes Radio is a free (ad-supported) Internet Radio service that features over 200 stations and a catalogue of music from the iTunes Store.

The service learns the type of music a user listens to and provides personalised music suggestions based on what the user has downloaded, uploaded and listened to from iTunes. The service will also be home to special events including live streams direct from the iTunes festival in London and other exclusive iTunes sessions.

iTunes Radio will be coming in Q3 2013. The service will be ad-supported except for iTunes Match users. The service will also be integrated with Siri so users can utilise voice commands to take control of the feature.

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MacBook Air: More Fun with More Power

Mac Book air

Another device to be updated today is the MacBook Air. Apple’s super-thin notebook gets some performance upgrades including new Intel Core processors with a faster Intel HD Graphics 5000, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and flash storage that is up to 45 percent faster than the previous generation.

The new 13-inch MacBook Air will be able to last for up to 12 hours while the 11-inch model will be able to deliver up to 9 hours of battery life.

Apple also introduced a redesigned AirPort Extreme and AirPort time Capsule base stations that feature three-stream 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology with a maximum data rate of 1.3Gbps. The new AirPort base stations feature improved hardware components that maximise range and performance.

The new MacBook Air is now available through the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and authorised resellers. The 11-inch model comes with a 1.3 GHz processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.6GHz, 4GB of memory and either 128GB or 256GB of storage which is priced at RRP AU$1099 inc. GST and RRP AU$1499 inc. GST respectively.

The 13-inch model will have the same basic configuration as with the 11-inch model but will be priced starting at RRP AU$1249 inc. GST for the 128GB version and RRP AU$1449 inc. GST for the 256GB version.

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MAC OS X Mavericks: 200+ New Features

Mac OS X Mavericks

Apple is also introducing a refresh for its Mac operating system with a developer preview version of the 10th major release of Mac OS – OS X Mavericks.

The new OS boasts more than 200 new features including the adoption of Maps and iBooks, Finder Tags and Tabs, enhanced multi-display support for power users, a new version of Safari and new core technologies for improved power efficiency and performance.

The preview release of OS X Mavericks is available to Mac Developer Program members starting today while regular Mac users will get the chance to download the new OS from the Mac App store this spring.

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Mac Pro: Apple’s Vision of the Future of Desktops

Mac Pro

Apple also showed a sneak peek of the next generation Mac Pro. The new Mac Pro is designed around a unified thermal core and introduces a completely new architecture and design that is optimised for performance inside and out.

The Mac Pro is powered by the next generation of Intel’s Xeon processors with up to 12 core configurations, AMD’s FirePro dual-workstation-class GPU’s thunderbolt 2 ports, PCIe-based flash storage and ECC DDR3 memory running at 1866 MHz.

It also has multiple PIC expansion slots, audio and video breakout boxes and the latest external displays, including 4k desktop displays. The next generation Mac Pro will be available later this year.

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