Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference kicks off June 11 at 10 PST and InformationWeek's Fritz Nelson live blogs the event right here. Join us for the latest on iOS 6, iPhone, and much more.
The game is finally about to end--you know, the one we all play where we try to predict the virtually unpredictable, namely what Apple will announce at its Worldwide Developer Conference taking place in just a few moments (10 a.m. Pacific) at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.
Why do we do it? We're depending on the likes of Apple--and its rival, Google, holding its own Google I/O developer gathering later this month--to inject some excitement in our lives. You'd think it was Christmas, and we're all trying to figure out what's under the tree.
On a crystal clear morning in San Francisco, the typically enormous crowds line up for another Apple developer shindig. Either that or it's an audition for The Voice.
Likely to be big stories at WWDC 2012: iOS 6 and Mountain Lion, the next versions of the company's mobile and desktop operating systems, respectively. We don't know much about the former, though the speculation includes iCloud updates, Facebook integration, 1080p AirPlay, and/or new 3-D map technology. Mountain Lion was announced back in February; there could be some last-minute surprises, including price and release date.
At Apple's developer conference you get all kinds. In this case, a mobile device management company making a visual pitch. Either that or what the homeless push around in shopping carts here in San Francisco is just a little different than anywhere else.
After that, it's anybody's guess: new Mac hardware (updates across the board), including a rumored Retina-display update, processor updates and modifications to system design; Siri enhancements, including support on other devices (we're hoping for a better Siri); more news on iPhone 5; 802.11ac AirPort devices; and more enhancements and announcements around Apple TV.
If signs make things official, Apple's new OS Mountain Lion will have AirPlay support. Either that or someone at the Moscone convention center hung the wrong sign.
We create all of this speculation using a combination of tactics: listening to sources in the Apple supply chain, referencing history (these announcements follow particular patterns), and rooting for changes that Apple's customers want. But now it's time to shut up and listen. I'll be working hard to do just that, and to relay, minute by minute, every juicy WWDC tidbit, with a little perspective as we go along.
Outside the Apple developer conference keynote room, the mysteriously covered sign. Readers: Write your own caption.
I hope you enjoy the coverage. Feel free to offer your own perspective along the way using our comments section (further below) or by following me on Twitter.
10:00 a.m. PST: Apple is about to start. The music is Paradise, from Coldplay. A bit of a departure. And maybe overshooting things a bit?
The last time we were here, we witnessed Steve Jobs' last address, outside of the city of Cupertino dragging him before the town council to pitch his new building. Sad memories.
10:01 a.m. PST: Siri is introducing the conference. Funny.
Siri found a bunch of venture capitalists to help all the developers in the crowd.
10:02 a.m. PST: Makes fun of Google's Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean: "Who made up these names, Ben & Jerry?"
Suddenly Siri is a comedian(ne).
10:05 a.m. PST: Starting with the App Store. Over 650,000 apps. About 1/3 are designed for the iPad. "This compares to just a few hundred for our competitors." 30 billion downloads, Apple CEO Tim Cooke says.
Apple CEO Tim Cooke.
10:10 a.m. PST: This is the part of the standard issue keynote: Cook gets to brag. But also to give credit to all of the developers in the audience, some 5,000, who have, in his words, changed people's lives. Apps that help the blind, apps that help teach human anatomy.
10:15 a.m. PST: Part of this video demonstration shows a speech language pathology app on the iPad -- makes the learning seem like a toy. Another shows a blind man walking through a forest. Very inspiring. Feels good. Announcement time?
10:16 a.m. PST: New changes in Notebooks, OS 10 and iOS, Cook says. That's what he'll talk about.
10:17 a.m. PST: marketing chief Phil Schiller now about to talk about the MacBook lineup.
10:18 a.m. PST: First, the MacBook Air -- absolutely my favorite. Schiller says: "Every one is trying to copy it." He's right.
10:19 a.m. PST: Latest processor. Ivy Bridge, a 3rd generation core. 2 GHz dual core i7. Up to 60% faster. 512 GB of flash storage now. Big applause. Means faster boost time. 2x faster. Over 500MB of read speed. Also USB 3 -- a bit of a surprise here, given the Apple Thunderbolt moves of late.
USB 3 -- a bit of a surprise here, given the Apple Thunderbolt moves of late.
10:20 a.m. PST: Facetime camera -- the same one that is on the MacBook Pro.
11 inch. 1366 x 768 displa y, 1.7GHz dual core i5. 13 inch. 1.8 GHz dual-core i5 and 1440 x 900 display Starts shipping today. No price yet?
10:22 a.m. PST: MacBook Pro. Ivy Bridge. Speeds up to 2.7 GHz, quad core i7. Can be turbo boosted to 3.7 GHz. GeForce GT 650M graphics. Up to 1 GB video memory.
10:23 a.m. PST: 13 inch and 15 inch. Looks like no more 17 inch. Base unit $2199 for 15 inch.
Actually $2199 is the higher end unit. MacBook Pro ships today. Faster processor, faster memory, faster graphics, faster i/o, faster storage.
10:24 a.m. PST: Fritz E Nelson: One more...Next generation MacBook Pro!
10:25 a.m. PST: Key concepts: killer new display (like, um Retina?); radically thin and light, newest technology.
10:26 a.m. PST: This new MacBook is super thin. Very beautiful screen. Schiller says it is for "professional use."
10:27 a.m. PST: .7 inches thin. 4.46 pounds. About as thin as the Air.
10:28 a.m. PST: It is, in fact, a Retina display. 15.4 inches across. Pixel density = 2880 x 1800. 4x the previous generation (220 ppi, 5,184,000 pixels).
10:29 a.m. PST: Also the dispay has high contrast ratio, IPS technology, glare and reflection reduced by 75%. Lion is updated to take advantage of Retina display. Like mail ("like reading fine print," Schiller says).
10:30 a.m. PST: Safari is updated. Aperature, the pro photo app has been upgraded for the display. "A breakthrough event for photography." Final Cut 10 also upgraded.
10:32 a.m. PST: Adobe is working on a version of Photoshop to take advantage of the display. Autodesk is working on a version of Autocad. Also some games: Diablo 3.
10:33 a.m. PST: Now the insides, the guts. Up to 2.7 GHz of i7 quad core.
10:34 a.m. PST: Now the insides, the guts. Up to 2.7 GHz of i7 quad core.
768 GB of flash storage. 16 GB of memory. Nvidia GPU. 7 hours of battery life, he says.
10:35 a.m. PST: 2 Thunderbolt ports, USB 2 and 3, and HDMI. Showing RAID and cameras with Thunderbolt connectivity. Also Apple created a Thunderbolt Gig Ethernet adapter.
10:36 a.m. PST: 802.11n WiFi and BlueTooth 4.0. Facetime HD camera. Dual mics. Stereo speakers. (Why no 802.11ac?)
10:38 a.m. PST: In case we doubted Schiller, a video is telling us how great this next generation MacBook Pro is. (5 million pixels is 3 million more than on an HDTV, the video tells us. It uses an all Flash architecture. Delivers data 4x processor.)
10:39 a.m. PST: The previous MacBook Pro was .95 inches. At .7 inches, it's about 1/4 thinner for those doing the math.
10:41 a.m. PST: From the too-much-information-for-now department: Thermal system -- vents bring in outside air, and the blades of the system are asymmetrical, so it's more efficient and the sound is lower. The Apple people are ooh-ing and ah-ing for us.
Maybe next they can regale us with the process by which they pack in so many pixels. Actually it's kind of interesting, but much more to get to.
10:43 a.m. PST: Price: $2199 to start. That's 8 GB RAM and 256 GB of storage.
It's also Arsenic free, thank goodness. For those times when your enemies might make you eat one.
STOP RUSHING TO THE APPLE STORE. Still 1-1/2 hours to go.
10:44 a.m. PST: Now onto OS X.
8th major release of this OS. 70 million users, triple what they had 5 years ago.
10:45 a.m. PST: 26 million copies of Lion shipped. 40% of OS X users. Windows 7 took 27 months, whereas Lion took 9 months, he says.
Mountain Lion: 200 new features. He's going to detail 8.
10:46 a.m. PST: First, iCloud. 125 mill registered users. As we know, iCloud support built in, for the OS, for all the apps. New apps: Messages, Reminders and Notes. All of this has been announced months ago.
10:48 a.m. PST: Documents in the cloud -- a way to create document libraries. All Apple apps -- Pages, Keynote, Numbers, Preview -- available, and there's an SDK for it as well, so developers can do the same. It would be nice to know how many are taking advantage of this -- one would think it would be anyone with a productivity app.
The notifications, by the way, now include location based support.
10:50 a.m. PST: He's demonstrating all of the Mountain Lion apps. For example, you can take notes and open a bunch in separate windows. He just said about iMessage: it supports other "legacy" messaging systems. That got a laugh. iMessage also supports video.
10:51 a.m. PST: Shows automated syncing between iPhone and Mac -- delete a photo on the phone, it's gone on Mac, in iCloud. Uh yeah, I would think that is how it works.
10:52 a.m. PST: Notifications: Swipe them away, or two-finger slide to get the all back in a list. Alerts and notifications -- you can block them.
10:53 a.m. PST: Oh boy: Dictation now brought to the Mac. I am URSING it rTGH now (just kidding).
10:54 a.m. PST: As we know, sharing (via social services) built into the OS.
Bye bye Read It Later?
10:58 a.m. PST: Safari: Unified search field, suggestions. New scrolling architecture -- smoother and faster, Apple says. iCloud tabs button to get tabs from other devices (that have been saved in the cloud, of course). There is a Tab View -- basically creates a scrolling mechanism for full screen tabs, which are semi minimized and you can scroll through them with swipes. Hard to explain, but it's actually really interesting and useful for those who spend lots of time in the browser.
11:00 a.m. PST: Notification center is really pretty handy -- I like how you can swipe it off and off screen, or jump from it to the actual message. It includes things like social media references. You can also go straight to Twitter from the notification center -- you don't even leave it. It's just right there, and you can dicate a tweet.
Power Nap: Keeps your Mac up to date as you sleep.
Power Nap: Keeps your Mac up to date as you sleep.
Calendar updates, photo stream, etc., all there. It will back up your Mac, update software automatically.
11:01 a.m. PST: Calendar updates, photo stream, etc., all there. It will back up your Mac, update software automatically.
11:02 a.m. PST: Also Aiprlay mirroring. That has been rumored. Supports 1080p pixel resolution.
11:03 a.m. PST: And Gamecenter. From iOS to the Mac. Same Gamecenter account -- games, friends, achievements, all there. Turn based and head-to-head game support, Mac-to-Mac and across Apple devices.
11:04 a.m. PST: Apple is now demonstrating Airplay. He is sending the Mac from the OS to AppleTV via AirPlay. It's mirrored. And it supports audio.
11:07 a.m. PST: Now it's about China. Chinese input method is improving, 8 new fonts, support for Baidu for search in Safari, Yoku video sharing, and China's top e-mail services. (And let's hope it improves trade relations. Is that too much to ask? OK, maybe so.)
11:08 a.m. PST: Mountain Lion ships in July. For $19.99. Wowser. I guess they will be setting new records, or that's the hope. This is the price to upgrade from Lion AND Snow Leopard. New Macs get it for free -- so if you buy a new Mac today, or before Mountain Lion comes out, you'll get it for free.
11:09 a.m. PST: Scott Forstall onto iOS now.
365 million iOS devices now sold (bought?). 80% + running latest version. Compared to Adroid, "the dairy product" -- 7% of Android cutsomers running latest version.
11:10 a.m. PST: 1.5 trillion push notifications sent to date.
11:11 a.m. PST: 140 million iMessage users, 150 bill messages sent. 1 bill per day now.
Twitter: 10 billion tweets from iOS5. 47% of photos from iOS5 (via Twitter photo service).
Gamecenter: 130 million accou ts, 5 billion scores submitted per week.
11:12 a.m. PST: iOS 6. The worst kept secret. Fritz E Nelson: More than 200 new features. Hopefully we won't go through them all.
11:13 a.m. PST: Let's start with Siri updates.
Sports. Yayyyyy. It has learned about sports. Games, players. Essentially Siri has spent the past 8 months learning things.
Let's start with Siri updates....sports.
11:14 a.m. PST: Shows the Dodgers in 1st place, makes me happy.
Shows the Dodgers in 1st place, makes me happy.
11:15 a.m. PST: He asks Siri who is taller, Lebron James or Kobe Bryant. She knows. Too bad she doesn't know Kobe is a better player. But maybe that's going to be in iOS 7.
11:16 a.m. PST: Siri has learned more about restaurants. She can sort them by rating, price, type of restaurant. They have partnered with Yelp for reviews. With OpenTable for reservations.
11:17 a.m. PST: Siri also knows more about movies. Rotten Tomatos is now integrated with Siri, and you can watch a movie trailer right in Siri
11:18 a.m. PST: Siri also knows about actors and directors.
Finally -- and this is cool -- Siri can launch apps.
You can tell Siri to play a game, for example, and he/she does.
11:19 a.m. PST: Looks like you can Tweet from Siri. Make dinner reservations.
11:20 a.m. PST: Eyes Free. Hands free makes sense. Apple working with car manufacturers to use a steering wheel button to launch Siri. Some have committed -- in next 12 months. GM, BMW, Mercedes, Landrover and more.
11:20 a.m. PST: Also Siri adding Spanish (for Spain, Mexico), Italian, Korean (a few yelps for that), Mandarin for Tawain, Cantonese and Mandarin for China. Lots of applause -- guess that hit everyone.
Local search will now go around the world as well.
Siri will be on the new iPad. There were questions about that. Now answered.
11:22 a.m. PST: Whew. That is just Siri. iOS 6 will have Facebook integration
You can post to Facebook from many of Apple's apps.
11:23 a.m. PST: Facebook integrated with Siri. And the integration has an API so developers can integrate their apps with Facebook in iOS6.
And Facebook is now in the notification center.
11:24 a.m. PST:
The Facebook information will also be in your contact info. Facebook events will be in your iOS calendar, including birthdays. In other words: they did deep Facebook integration here. We've waited a long time for this, and they look to have done it right.
11:26 a.m. PST: Phone enhancements. New options with an incoming call. 1.) Send a text message instead of answering (I like this), and 2.) send me a reminder to call them back, and this includes geofencing so you can get the reminder when you leave a building for example
11:27 a.m. PST: A Do Not Disturb option -- for notifications, or text messages. You still get the messages, they just don't disturb you. Includes the ability to have fine grained control of your incoming calls. Favorites, pre-defined group, and the ability for emergencies to come thru, say on a 2nd attempt.
11:28 a.m. PST: Facetime update: Available over cellular. Big applause for that. I think I heard AT&T CEO faint.
11:29 a.m. PST: Facetime messages -- you can reply on any device now.
11:30 a.m. PST: Safari updates: iCloud tab, as we heard before on Mountain Lion; offline reading list support (the story gets cached), ability to upload photos to web sites, smart app banners (Safari lets users know that you have a native app in the app store and takes them right to it -- ah, that's nice and handy).
11:32 a.m. PST: Photostream: Shared photo streams. Choose photos, friends. The friends will get a notification. It creates a shared folder. Your friends can comment on the photos. (Wonder if you can publish it to Facebook.)
11:33 a.m. PST: Mail enhancements: Can ID VIPs, which comes via notifications. You can have a VIP only mailbox. Insert photos and video right in the compose window. Also, pull down to refresh your message list.
11:35 a.m. PST: Passbook. A new app. Boarding passes and tickets in apps -- like airlines, coffee chains, movie tickets. These may go into your apps. But you have to find them. Passbook integrates them. These also come into the lock screen. This is really handy. Developers will get the tools to integrate this in.
Passbook. A new app. Boarding passes and tickets in apps -- like airlines, coffee chains, movie tickets. These may go into your apps. But you have to find them. Passbook integrates them. These also come into the lock screen. This is really handy. Developers will get the tools to integrate this in.
11:37 a.m. PST: He shows a gate change on an airline -- the boarding pass gets updated right in the app.
11:38 a.m. PST: Single app mode: Teachers can lock a test, so that students can't go to Safari and look up answers.
11:39 a.m. PST: Maps. Hoots and hollers. Lots anticipated here, as Apple has rebuilt this from the ground up. Apple has done all its cartography itself.
11:40 a.m. PST: Local search is part of it. More than 100 million businesses are ingested in. A traffic service is built in. Incidents are overlayed onto the map. Anonymous real time crowd sourced data is being used to keep it up to date.
11:41 a.m. PST: Turn by turn navigation is being built in. Includes an ETA, ability to re-route you when incidents arise. Can show it from the lock screen. Integrated with Siri.
11:42 a.m. PST: You can ask Siri for information on gas stations.
Flyover: Built a 3D photographic model by flying around and collecting these images.
11:44 a.m. PST: Maps are all vector based. You can rotate and the labels rotate. Tap on Points of Interest, gets info cards, views and ratings, photos. 3D views. Satellite views. And Flyover: He chooses Transamerica building and takes a 360 3D tour around it, as it renders in real time. Wow. Stunning.
Flyover: Built a 3D photographic model by flying around and collecting these images.
11:45 a.m. PST: Now showing the Sidney Opera House.
I really like Flyover.
11:46 a.m. PST: Now showing turn-by-turn directions. Signs appear as you get closer.
11:49 a.m. PST: Many other features: Hearing ad support, per account signatures in e-mail (for professional and personal e-mail accounts), lost mode (to find the iOS device -- send phone # to that phone, so the "finder" can easily dial you... to tell you that you'll never get the phone back).
11:52 a.m. PST: Gotta love that Tim Cook twang. Especially when he drops down a register or emphasizes something. He's been practicing, I think.
11:53 a.m. PST: He's talking about "fundamentally changing the world."
And it's over
There weren't huge surprises in this keynote, really. iOS 6 sounds fantastic, especially with the Siri updates, but we knew that was coming. The new MacBook Pro was anticipated -- with Retina display, and more like a beefed up versio n of the MacBook Air. They delivered on that rumor big time and I think that will be a very hot product, although as usual, everything spectacular comes at a price. These new updated MacBook pros are expensive.
Either we -- the press, developers, customers -- are getting better at predicting, or Apple is getting predictable, but the wonderful thing is that everything is mostly how we'd want it: better.
Thanks for tuning in. Please let me know your thoughts in the comment section directly below.
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