Apple's WWDC 2012 keynote kicks off today and we're live from Moscone Center with all of the big news. An iOS 6 preview seems a sure shot by now, and there have been rumors of a refreshed Mac lineup floating around. Check in here for every news announcement from today's event.
Jun 12, 2012
While iOS automatically renders text and many other standard UI elements at Retina resolution, many apps currently look distinctly blurry on the new MacBook Pro's display — we've been a little disappointed with how Google's Chrome browser, the Steam client, and the Kindle app all look on our review unit, to name three. However, other third-party apps such as Alfred and Notational Velocity render text well at a higher resolution. Of course, it probably goes without saying that all this is likely a short-term problem, but it's nevertheless something to bear in mind before you get in line at the Apple Store this morning. If you're a Chrome user, you might find yourself switching to Safari for a while until Google issues an update, or at least playing around with the scaling settings (with possible compromises in performance).Read Article >
To get a better idea of the difference in resolution ahead of our full review of the new MacBook Pro, check out this high-res screenshot of Chrome next to Safari, taken at the default "Best (Retina)" scaling setting.
Jun 12, 2012Read Article >
Apple spent relatively little time discussing the feature during Monday's keynote presentation, though it was included as a separate download within the "near-final" Mountain Lion Developer Preview 4, released shortly afterward. The exact motives behind the decision remain unclear, but as 9to5Mac points out, this staggered release schedule would allow Apple to simultaneously introduce Facebook integration on both Mountain Lion and iOS 6, also slated to launch this fall.
Jun 12, 2012
After today's incredibly tiny update to the Mac Pro, you might be wondering if Apple plans to kill off the venerable desktop. Apparently, that's not the case. New York Times technology columnist David Pogue spoke to an anonymous Apple executive who said that the company's desktops are getting a makeover, perhaps by 2013. While the internet is already abuzz with reports that the iMac and Mac Pro in particular will be refreshed, Pogue's story doesn't actually specify either of those — merely "new models and new designs" — so we've reached out to him for clarification. Either way, it sounds like we haven't heard the last of Apple's desktop announcements. Perhaps it's time for a redesigned Cube?Read Article >
Update: Macworld and Forbes both have official confirmation that the
iMac andMac Pro are getting redesigned for 2013. Apple CEO Tim Cook himself chimed in: "Although we didn't have a chance to talk about a new Mac Pro at today’s event, don't worry as we're working on something really great for later next year," he wrote in an email.
Though the new MacBook Pro with Retina display is thinner obviously than its non-retinal Pro counterpart, what's more interesting to us is that Apple also claims it's "as thin as MacBook Air." We sized it up with our 13-inch MacBook Air (not this year's model), and in fact, the new MacBook Pro with Retina display is both thinner and thicker at parts — it all depends on that patented wedge. And that goes for both lid open and closed.Read Article >
As for the new MagSafe, while we haven't exactly pulled out a ruler, it looks from the naked eye to have the exact same five-dot configuration — what's different now is the surrounding cover, which is both thinner and wider. While it looks good, obviously you lose backwards compatibility here. The 15.4-inch screen is, of course, much crisper and more pixel-dense than the Air, our older machine here has an anti-glare screen that is definitely easier to use against direct light.
We've been digging through the iOS 6 screenshots that were leaked to us earlier today for more details and found an interesting tidbit among them — TomTom is one of the main providers of mapping data in Apple's brand-new Maps application. When you flip back the iOS map to reach the setting menu, it clearly says that data comes from TomTom and "others" who aren't specified on that screen. Looking at the full attributions list for Apple's Maps app shows a whole number of other mapping companies providing data (including OpenStreetMap, who started providing data for iPhoto on iOS earlier this year) — but TomTom is the only company that gets full branding directly in the app itself. Of course, there's no Google data to be found in Apple's new mapping solution.Read Article >
Update: We thought it was worth noting that both Apple and Nokia are using C3 for their 3D map renderings — a company that Apple purchased last fall. However, Navteq provides most of Nokia's mapping services, while Apple is obviously using TomTom. Another interesting wrinkle is that Nokia is now paying Apple for a license for its 3D mapping services. Don't let anyone tell you that the mobile software licensing landscape isn't a rather complex place.
Jun 11, 2012
As expected, Apple unveiled some massive refreshes to it's full lineup of MacBook laptops earlier today at the Moscone Center as part of its WWDC 2012 keynote — but you may still be wondering whether an upgrade or a first time MacBook purchase is worth the hit to your bank account. While you may want to wait until we've had some time to test-drive Apple's new equipment, we've got a pretty good idea of what the lineup looks like from specs alone — so let's dig in.Read Article >
Click on the images below to compare all of Apple's new products side by side in our database:
So we meet. It's one thing to see the new MacBook Pro with Retina display behind thick, protective glass. It's another to see it up close and personal, where you can actually get a feel for the weight and thinness of the device. The laptop we're using is a 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with a 3.6GHz Turbo Boost, Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics, 8GB DDR3L SDRAM, a massive 512GB of flash storage, and of course, the 15.4-inch 2880 x 1800 Retina display — no more turning down settings to play Diablo 3 (remains to be seen, but rest assured we'll test this when we get a moment's breath).Read Article >
Like the MacBook Air, the power button has been moved in line with the keyboard. It otherwise matches the layout of the "traditional" 15-inch MacBook Pro, with speaker grills along each side and a large trackpad in the middle. The new MagSafe adapter is indeed thinner — the current one looks to be just a hair too thick for the side panel. Screen is, alas, highly reflective but incredibly crisp and bright.
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If following our liveblog today wasn't enough for you, Apple has posted its video of its entire WWDC 2012 keynote presentation. The whole two-hour event is available to stream, though only if you're using Safari — we tried in Chrome and Firefox and had no luck. There's only an image that says the video will be "coming soon," so if you use another browser, you should be able to view it sooner than later. Apple also typically posts its major events as free video podcasts as well, but if you don't want to wait, check the video out here.
Amidst the excitement surrounding Apple's new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, the company quietly did away with one of the long-standing veterans of its notebook lineup: the 17-inch MacBook Pro is no longer available. You can still buy a refurbished model on Apple's store (there's quite a few different configurations), but the computer has been removed from the regular store as well as all of Apple's MacBook product pages. The 17-inch form factor was, of course, introduced way back in 2003 as the 17-inch Powerbook, and had stuck around ever since as an option for those looking for more pixels than the 15-inch models had. We imagine that there will be a good stock of refurbished 17-inch MacBook Pros for some time, for those who crave the 1920 x 1200 screen the latest generation used — but apparently the form factor just wasn't popular enough for the masses.Read Article >
Apple's done with today's WWDC announcements, but we're still going through the raft of updates that have just officially come through. The company has announced an update to Aperture that optimizes it for the just-announced MacBook Pro with Retina display. Besides this, it also incorporates a shared photo library for Aperture and iPhoto and automatically ports updates between them, so you can make an album or edit an image in Aperture and see the changes in iPhoto or vice versa. Some new photography tools have been added: you'll see white balance adjustments, better editing for shadows and highlights, and a new Professional Auto Enhance option. Browsing should be faster, with Aperture loading embedded photo previews in RAW images to show pictures before they've been fully loaded. We don't see it yet in the Mac App Store, but we don't doubt it'll be here soon.Read Article >
Update: It's now available here for $79.99, the same price as before.
It's been two years since Apple's Mac Pro has received an update, but today's the day: as rumored, the 40-pound desktop, lovingly known as the "cheese grater," will be updated with fresher components than the pair of 6-core, 2.93GHz Intel Xeon X5670 processors it's been kicking around since 2010. Unfortunately, it's not much of an upgrade: you can simply get a pair of six-core 3.06GHz Intel Xeon X5675 processors rather than the 2.93GHz ones we just mentioned. The base model will start at $2,499 for a single quad-core Intel Xeon W3565 processor at 3.2GHz, with an optional upgrade to a six-core chip, or you can spend $3,799 to get a dual-processor configuration with a pair of the Westmere-EP based 2.4GHz E5645 chips, and upgrade to the aforementioned X5675 for an additional $2,400.Read Article >
Everything else stays the same, it seems: you can get up to 64GB of RAM, 2TB worth of solid state drives (but only running over SATA 3Gb/s), AMD Radeon HD 5770 and 5870 graphics cards (which we thought were out of production), 802.11n networking, Bluetooth 2.1, Gigabit Ethernet, optical digital audio in and out, a combo DVD writer, and a host of FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 ports (no USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt). It's probably still a powerful machine, but if you were hoping Apple's workstation would see the latest and greatest technologies, we're afraid you're out of luck for now.
Jun 11, 2012Read Article >
After being offline for most of the morning, the Apple Store's website is now back up and running, which means you can purchase all the new Mac hardware announced today including the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro refreshes along with the next-generation MacBook Pro with Retina display. Prices range from $999 for the base 11-inch Air all the way up to $2,199 for the base Retina MacBook Pro — a little expensive, perhaps, but considering the specs that Apple brought to the table today, it seems likely that it'll sell extraordinarily well.
We just got our first glimpse of the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display, and while it's under cylindrical (and very reflective) glass, it's easy to see that the display is very, very beautiful. What also stands out is, despite the aforementioned barrier (not to mention the throngs of iPads and iPhones with the camera app open), we could still make out the impressive horizontal viewing angle. On top of all that, it really is surprisingly thin in person — you can see the new MagSafe adapter is about the full thickness of the laptop. The air vents are quite visible under each edge of the machine. Both Thunderbolt ports and a USB 3.0 port hug the left frame along with the 3.5mm headphone jack, while on the right we've got the other USB 3.0, an SD card slot, and the HDMI out.Read Article >
Joshua Topolsky contributed to this report.
Jun 11, 2012Read Article >
Along with all of the news today at WWDC, Apple has announced a new AirPort Express router that features a complete hardware redesign. The new version looks like a white Apple TV and loses the power adapter look of its predecessor. It also now supports simultaneous dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi. The previous version worked with both frequencies, but could not support the two at the same time. Additionally, the unit now has two ethernet ports, so you're no longer forced to connect every machine over Wi-Fi, and it has the same USB 2.0 and 3.5mm headphone jack as before. The new AirPort Express costs that same as its predecessor, at $99, and is available now.
Jun 11, 2012
Apple unveiled its latest iOS 6 software at WWDC today and developers will be able to download an early beta version for testing today. iOS 6 includes over 200 new features, with significant improvements to Siri — including sports information and scores, restaurant suggestions and ratings, integration with Rotten Tomatoes, voice-activated app launching, and the ability to Tweet via Siri. Apple is also introducing Siri for iPad and deep Facebook integration in iOS 6 with an improved tap to post feature built into the notification center that lets you post Twitter or Facebook updates.Read Article >
Developers will be able to take advantage of the iOS 6 beta to add Facebook functionality to existing apps using an API, which also works on Apple's upcoming OS X Mountain Lion operating system. FaceTime has also been improved in iOS 6 with the unification of a cell phone number and Apple ID to allow FaceTime calls across Mac, iPad, and iPhone using just a number. FaceTime on iPhone will now also support cellular connections rather than just Wi-Fi. Developers can also test a new Passbook feature that centralizes boarding passes, movie tickets, loyalty cards, and more.
Jun 11, 2012
Apple details iOS 6 hardware requirements: iPhone 3GS to be updated, original iPad and third-gen iPod touch left out
On stage at Moscone West minutes ago, Scott Forstall confirmed Apple is trimming the list of hardware that will be compatible with iOS 6 when the software is released later this year. Just as rumors hinted, the original iPad and third-generation iPod touch won't be eligible for the latest update. Instead, upgrade paths for both devices will end with iOS 5. The iPhone 3GS and its 256MB of RAM, on the other hand, will be receiving iOS 6.Read Article >
That brings an end to almost three years of software support for the third-gen iPod touch (which originally hit shelves in 2009) and a bit over two for Apple's inaugural iOS tablet. Inevitably some iPad owners will claim this cutoff arrived far sooner than they might have expected, particularly for a product often touted as a viable PC replacement. Thankfully both devices can rely on the App Store to extend their utility moving forward — at least until apps start requiring iOS 6, that is.
Jun 11, 2012Read Article >
Apple has just unveiled a "guided access" feature for iOS 6 that will allow "parents, teachers, or administrators" to lock children within individual applications by disabling the device's physical home button and the ability to travel back out of an application. Apple specifically mentioned that the technology would be useful for children with autism, claiming that "we were surprised at how many kids with autism have been using the phones, but there are controls in apps you don't want them hitting." Guided access will allow users "confine touch input to certain parts of the screen" to fine-tune their child's experience. Apple says the feature will be "especially useful for test taking or helping someone with a disability stay focused on learning."
Jun 11, 2012Read Article >
Apple launched its own Maps app in conjunction with iOS 6, and one of the new highlight features is turn-by-turn navigation. In addition to the standard turn-by-turn directions, and a "Quick Route" button on search results, you'll also be able to get directions from Siri. You can tell Siri where to navigate you, or even ask "are we there yet?" and find out how long it'll be before you arrive. Everything works from the lock screen, too. There's a persistent ETA at the top of the screen, and has a look and feel much more elegant than any existing GPS software we've seen before. It's all baked into Apple's new mapping system, one of the biggest announcements from today's WWDC keynote.
Jun 11, 2012
Apple was widely expected to roll out its own replacement for Google Maps in iOS6, and today it's done that. Apple has just unveiled Maps. Since 2009, Apple has bought three mapping startups: Placebase, Poly9, and C3 Technologies -- the last two of which are 3D mapping companies. We do know that Apple is also making use of a lot of other companies' data for its maps too -- most notably TomTom.Read Article >
Just last week Google unveiled new features including offline maps for Android and 3D mapping, at an event dedicated to mapping, which some people took as a clear sign that the company was feeling the weight of the impeding move by Apple to its own technology. From what we can tell, Apple's 3D features look a little better than what Google showed off last week but we'll have to see them both in action to be sure.
Jun 11, 2012
Apple just announced that iOS 6 will have a feature called Passbook, which will integrate passes and tickets from all kinds of services: movie tickets, boarding passes, loyalty and gift cards, and more. It's all integrated into the lockscreen, and geolocation means the phone can pull up the appropriate pass when you get near the relevant store or location.Read Article >
Apple demoed Passbook with apps from Fandango, Target, Starbucks, United Airlines, Amtrak, the W hotels, MLB.com, and — of course — the Apple store. The company says that it's easy for devs to use Passbook in other apps with templates, and the passes themselves update when things change — gate numbers on boarding passes and dollar amounts on gift cards update automatically, for instance.
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Apple has announced Shared Photo Streams, a method to share and comment on pictures in Photo Streams on iOS, Apple TV, OS X apps like Aperture, and on a web browser. After picking photos and friends to be shared, users can share pictures in album form, and friends will get a notification when they're uploaded. From there, users can "Like" or add comments to the pictures. It's another try at social features for Apple, and one that seems more organic than the now forgotten Ping. That may be partly because it's very, very similar to Facebook's own features. It should work across just about any platform you can think of, so long as it's Apple's.
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Apple just announced a new feature that'll make using iMessage and Facetime a lot more useful — you can choose to unify your Apple ID email address and your iPhone phone number, so that messages and Facetime calls are more reliably delivered across iOS devices and your Mac. Now, if someone calls your phone number for Facetime, you'll be able to answer on your Mac or iPad. The same goes for Messages — if you get an iMessage on your phone, it'll be delivered to your Mac and other iOS devices, even if the sender sent the message to your cell phone number and not your Apple ID email. While it's too soon to tell if this will fix the issues we had with Messages on Mountain Lion, it sounds like this change could go a long way towards making sure that when someone sends you an iMessage or Facetime call, you get it across all your devices.
Jun 11, 2012Read Article >
It's difficult to fathom what "the competition" to a laptop with 2880 x 1800 resolution might be, but Apple's next-generation MacBook Pro and its Retina display are still built around the same components as every other laptop, so we thought we'd square it off against the best of the rest. Check out our comparison below for the strongest alternatives to Apple's new knight in matte aluminum armor.
FaceTime's been a Wi-Fi only affair for as long as the video calling solution has existed — it didn't even work over speedy LTE — but starting in iOS 6, the restrictions have been lifted. We don't know which networks qualify, though. Will it work over LTE? HSPA+? 3G, perhaps? Apple's not saying right now. What's more, Apple is unifying your phone number and Apple ID such that if you make a FaceTime call or send an iMessage to a person, they'll be able to call, message, or email you back by normal means, and you'll be able to answer calls to your phone number that's linked to FaceTime using any supported device, like your iPad or Mac. We'd have to test it to be sure, but it sounds like Apple's hoping for a seamless experience where people call and message one another as usual, but if you've got FaceTime on tap, it'll simply be that much easier for you to pick up the "phone" as needed.Read Article >