New and Revamped — Apple WWDC Keynote 2013
This year’s Apple WWDC Keynote was about all things new and revamped. Be it the new OS versions, the improved user interface for iOS devices, iTunes Radio, the amazing new Mac Pro (simply wow!) or new features for Siri.
Apple has completely revamped the way the new OS looks and feels. The icons are flat and plain. No more bevels, shadows or backgrounds that imitate wood or paper — its all about flat UI. iOS 7 will only be available for iPhones to start with but will be released for iPads a little later as well.
- Multitasking is much faster and you can move between windows you were working on using a simple swipe gesture. Scrolling through app screens is as simple as moving through a deck of cards!
- Control Center — A new pull-up menu lets you change different settings faster including controlling your music, airplane mode, wifi/bluetooth and a flashlight (whatever will happen to the thousands of flashlight apps out there!)
- AirDrop — AirDrop will make it very easy to share items with others nearby
- Siri can now be Sirius as well (new man voice) and can understand more commands like increasing the screen brightness, get your voicemail, get content from Wikipedia without opening a browser
- Apple also introduced something called Activation Lock with iOS 7. So if you lose your iPhone and even if someone wipes it off, they won’t be able to reactivate the phone.
- Some other features introduced with iOS 7 include inter-app audio, 60 FPS video capture, barcode scanning, guided access, Facetime and iMessage blocking, cross-device notifications (more below).
- Photos app was given a major overhaul with quite some features included like scrubbing through photos, managing photo streams across devices, introduction of “Moments” and inclusion of Filters within the camera app (no Instagram now?!). Some other features that got major updates include the notification center, folders, calendar, weather app, Game Center and even the locked screen.
We are downloading these right now to see it for ourselves and how we can help our clients improve their apps with the new OS update.
A few other functional changes were introduced with the iOS update. Your apps will now be automatically updated (no Update All button any more). iOS can also push a new special interface on your car’s touchscreen. Manufacturers like Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes, Nissan among others will be integrating this functionality.
This has been much awaited and is pretty similar to the current Pandora offerings — it is free with ads, has hundreds of pre-built stations and also lets you create your own stations based on artists, songs, genres you like. It integrates seamlessly with iTunes for buying songs you like and you can upgrade to an ads free version by paying $25 per year.
The way it works, its pretty much a competitor for Pandora.
Mac OS X Mavericks
Apple’s latest Mac OS is called Mavericks. Looks like Apple’s run out of big cats to name their OS versions after! The best part about Mavericks is you can get your iOS messages and notifications on your Mac and the calendar can integrate with Apple Maps. So you can easily see the travel time between appointments/events.
Like its smartphone counterpart, Mac OS X gets a Maps app as well and flat design (no leather jacketing for the calendar app any more)
iCloud for iWorks — iWorks will now be available on Windows and Mac using a web browser (both IE and Chrome are supported). The apps will work much like their native versions.
Passwords can now be synced to iCloud. So when you sign up to a page, Safari will suggest using a stored password, across devices. Keychain is up in iCloud as well.
Safari got a few updates on both iOS 7 and Mac OS X Mavericks. Smart search, new tab view, parental control, iCloud keychain to name a few.
The new MacBook Air introduced during the Keynote use 4th gen Intel chips which give the laptops 40% faster graphics and longer battery life (how much faster can it get?)
Finally, the Mac Pro
Apple also announced they are working on a new version of Mac Pro which is cylindrical in shape (yes you read that right!). It looks simply WOW! No news right now on the availability or the pricing. Can’t wait to see this beauty in stores soon.