WWDC 2012

The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is held annually in California. This 5 day conference showcases new Apple software and technologies for developers through technical presentations and hands on labs. This year’s conference was held in San Francisco at the Moscone Center and began on Monday, June 11th .

In the past, Apple has made major announcements at the Monday morning keynote such as the iPhone App Store in 2008, the iPhone 4 in 2010 and iCloud in 2011. This year rumors floated that Apple might announce a new Apple TV or the elusive iPhone 5.

This was my first WWDC. In the past, I’ve followed live feeds from keynote presentations and watched recorded technical sessions. This year I looked forward to attending in person.

Waiting In Line

I heard that people line up early for the keynote. I decided not to sacrifice too much sleep just to sit in the same conference room as the keynote. The alternative is an overflow room with a live screencast. I anticipated I’d have a better view in the screencast anyway. I wanted to be well rested for 5 days of tech sessions and labs.

I arrived about an hour before the start time and found line wrapped around the first corner of the Moscone West Convention Center. When looking for the end of the line I walked almost all the way around the building back to the entrance. I should have walked the other way!

I spoke with someone who walked by the Moscone Center the night before. They noticed two people beginning the line for the keynote at 8pm. The keynote started at 10am Monday – 14 hours later.

The line started moving (where I was) slowly at around 9:40am. At 10am I had about one block to go as the keynote started. The line moved at a swift pace and soon I had my choice of seating in an overflow room. I was happy to be seated.

The following is a summary of what Apple announced at the WWDC keynote on June 11th. The conference sessions and labs that followed filled in the details.

WWDC Announcements for Mac/OSX

  • New line of MacBook Air & MacBook Pro notebook computers including higher performance internals and new USB 3 ports (many times faster than the current USB 2 standard). Available June 11th.
  • New model MacBook Pro with Retina Display is 25% thinner (.71 inch closed) and lighter (4.46 lbs.). Other features include: SSD drive, HDMI out, backlit keyboard, dual microphones. Display is 2880 x 1800 pixels which is 4 times more pixels than the previous MacBook Pro. Starting at $2199. Note: the “Retina” display was added to the iPhone 4 in 2010 and New iPad (iPad 3) in 2012.
  • New Mac OS: OSX Mountain Lion: iCloud support including new apps and document sharing. Some iOS apps brought to Mac including iMessage, Notifications and Alerts. Voice Dictation and Sharing (social media, messaging, etc) built into applications. 1700 new API’s. Mountain Lion available July 2012 from Snow Leopard and above to all of your personal Macs for $19.99.
  • Updated Mac Safari web browser can sync tabs across all devices and cache webpages for offline reading.
  • PowerNap keeps MacBook Air and MacBook Pro w/Retina up to date while in sleep mode: email, reminders, notifications, backups, updates, etc.
  • AirPlay Mirroring allows you to mirror your Mac display on a nearby Apple TV (connected to a TV or projector) or AirPlay enabled audio systems.
  • Game Center available on the Mac for Mac-to-Mac or Mac-to-iOS game play.
  • New Features for China including new fonts, dictionary, and integration with Chinese search, social media and messaging services.

WWDC Announcements for iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch OS)

  • iOS 6 announced including 200 new user features.
  • New Siri features: Improved presentation and knowledge of sports, restaurant and movie information. Siri can launch apps and is available on the New iPad (iPad 3). Automobile manufacturers will be integrating “Eyes Free” Siri integration into new automobiles. Siri and local search available in 60 countries.
  • FaceBook Integration: Enter FaceBook user ID/password into Settings app and use it with many apps without signing in again. Facebook integrated with Siri, Notification Center (also Twitter), App Store, and iTunes Store. FaceBook events and birthdays appear in Calendar.
  • Phone App Enhancements: When receiving a call you have options to “Reply with Message” and pick from a list of possible replies or “Remind Me Later” and pick from a list of reminders including “In 1 hour” or “When I Leave”.
  • Do Not Disturb feature allows you to define when you should be notified of calls or messages. For example, you can identify a certain group from which to receive calls or only if you receive repeated calls in a short time.
  • FaceTime available over Cellular.
  • Phone number and Apple ID unified. A FaceTime call or iMessage sent to your phone can be answered on your Mac or iPad instead.
  • iCloud Tabs are shared across Safari on iOS devices and your Mac.
  • Offline ReadingList saves webpages for later reading.
  • Upload photos directly from Safari.
  • Smart App Banners: allow a website to open an app store listing or the app if already installed. A small amount of information can be passed to the app.
  • Shared Photo Streams allow sharing photos with friends.
  • Email Changes: Designate a contact as a VIP and their email message shows up in the lock screen and in a special VIP inbox. Email can be “flagged” to show up in a special flagged inbox. Insert Photos and video in compose window. Open password protected office documents. Account specific email signatures.
  • Passbook is a new app to manage airline boarding passes, movie tickets, coupons, and store cards. Ticket will show up on the lock screen based on your location. Swipe it to reveal the ticket for admission.
  • Guided Access allows you to lock down features of the OS for people with special needs or in a situation when you want the device locked down.
  • New Maps App includes local search, traffic with incidents and crowd sourced traffic data, turn by turn navigation, Siri Integration, and search along route.
  • Flyover allows you to navigate a detailed 3D model of various cities.
  • Game Center Challenges can be sent between friends.
  • Improved privacy controls allow confirming app access to sensitive data like contacts.
  • In-app content purchases allow selling iTunes content within an app such as a song.
  • iOS 6 will be available Fall 2012. It will run on iPhone 3gs, iPad 2, and 4th iPod Touch and above. Developers can download the iOS 6 Beta June 11th.

WWDC Announcements that Didn’t Happen

There was no mention of an iPhone 5, iPad Mini (7 inch screen), new Apple TV or an Apple TV App Store. I expect the iPhone 5, at least, to be announced this fall around the time that iOS 6 is released.

Comments

  1. Can’t wait to read more! Your blog has been lonely.