Looking for just the biggest news and highlights from Apple's WWDC 2012 event? We've gathered the biggest announcements from Apple's keynote at Moscone Center, including the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display, a completely redesigned Maps app, an newly evolved Siri, and iOS 6 details.
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.
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.
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.
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 >
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.
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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.
Jun 11, 2012
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 >
Apple's just upgraded it's MacBook Air line with speedy SSDs and Ivy Bridge cores, but in terms of overall specs, it's a mixed bag when comparing to the competition. Apple has brought the Air line at least up to par on the processing front with top-of-the-line ultrabook competitors that have recently adopted Intel's 3rd-generation Core i5 and i7 chips. The 13-inch Air's base clock speed of 1.8GHz looks nice against the competition, with competitors like the Envy Spectre XT following closely behind at 1.7Ghz. The new Air also reaches parity with competitors at the high-end, with an Intel Core i7 clocked at 2GHz — speed that matches the Spectre XT. Apple is also fairly close to its competition in the memory department, with most models featuring 4GB of DDR3 RAM as a basic option. Where Apple really pulls away in the performance department is in storage, with a competitive 128GB SSD standard, and an impressive 512GB SSD high-end option.Read Article >
Things are a little more disappointing on the display front, which Apple has opted to keep consistent with last year's specs — but that stagnation has caused it to fall behind competitors. Several new high-end ultrabooks exceed the MacBook Air's resolution of 1440 x 900 px, with the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 containing a 1600 x 900 px display, and the Asus Zenbook UX31A offering up to 1920 x 1080 pixels within a 13.3-inch display. When it comes to graphics power, Apple and its competition are mostly on level ground, with most high-end slim laptops opting for Intel's integrated HD Graphics 4000 chip.
Jun 11, 2012Read Article >
Apple has announced partnerships with auto manufacturers to integrate a new "Eyes Free" Siri feature to their cars. The new feature allows drivers to use the dictation and search features of Siri without taking their hands off of the steering wheel — for example, you could send a tweet with the new version of Siri without looking at the screen, and you would only have to press a button on the car dashboard to activate the talking assistant. Apple emphasised that the screen will remain off in "Eyes Free" mode to prevent distractions. BMW, Mercedes, GM, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler, and Honda were announced as partners that have already agreed to include the new feature, and the first cars with "Eyes Free" Siri are said to be available within the next year. From the one photo that was shown, this is not a custom "Siri Button" that you're going to see in the next 3 Series — it's just new support that uses already built-in general voice-activation buttons, like the one shown above from BMW iDrive. Additionally, the feature doesn't truly integrate, as you'll still need to have your iPhone mounted in the car.
Siri in iOS 6: iPad support, app launcher, new languages, Eyes Free, Rotten Tomatoes, sports scores, and more
Apple has updated Siri in sync with its introduction of iOS 6, now adding sports scores and stats to the things the companion app can inform you about. The data is provided by Yahoo! Sports, and includes player bio information as well, with the Siri demo on stage at WWDC showing it providing an answer to the question, "who's taller, LeBron James or Kobe Bryant?"Read Article >
A most welcome new addition for the voice assistant is the overdue ability to launch apps — you can now tell Siri to "play Temple Run" and the app will launch. Also long-awaited is new language support, with Italian, Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese dialects of Chinese joining the group already available.
Jun 11, 2012
Apple has officially unveiled iOS 6 at its Worldwide Developers Conference today, the next version of its mobile operating system used by the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV. iOS has consistently received a significant update every year since its introduction in 2007 — and by all appearances, version 6 will continue that trend with a claimed 200-plus new features. It'll be available for the iPhone 3GS and later, the 2nd- and 3rd-generation iPad, and the 4th-generation iPod touch in the fall, though it warns that "some features may not be available on all products." Meanwhile, a beta is available to developers today.Read Article >
Among them, Siri gets updated with iPad compatibility, support for sports (including scores and statistics) and restaurant selections sorted by rating; you can book a table via OpenTable right from Siri's interface. Movie listings have been added as well with Rotten Tomatoes integration, important for avoiding the duds. Perhaps most importantly, Siri can now launch apps — just speak the name of the app and it'll open. A number of new languages are being added, including Chinese and Korean.
Jun 11, 2012
Apple OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion will be $19.99 in July: adds Facebook integration, PowerNap updates, dictation, mute switch for notifications
Apple just announced that OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion will cost $19.99 when it's released in July, and users can upgrade from both Lion and Snow Leopard. Customers who buy new Macs from today on will receive free upgrades.Read Article >
Most of of the details of the new OS are the same as in the preview build we saw in February, there are some new features: a new silent-updating system called PowerNap, a mute switch for notifications that lets you work in peace, and dictation, which lets you talk to type anywhere in the system.
Jun 11, 2012Read Article >
Now that Apple has announced its first MacBook with a Retina Display, we thought we'd take a quick look at laptops past and present to see how the new MacBook Pro stacks up against the competition.
Jun 11, 2012
Apple has announced what it calls a "next-generation" MacBook Pro, with a Retina display. It goes along the rest of the MacBook line, but Apple is looking foward with this model: removing the optical drive to enable a laptop that's only 0.71 inches thick. The premiere feature, however, is clearly the Retina display, which packs a 2880 x 1800 pixels into 15.4-inch screen, which adds up to 220 ppi. The new MacBook weighs under 4.5 lbs, making it the lightest Pro laptop Apple has ever produced.Read Article >
Phil Schiller called it "the most beautiful computer we have ever made." It's beautiful on the inside as well, with a quad-core i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, and an Nvidia Kepler GeForce GT 650M GPU. Naturally, Apple is focusing on flash storage instead of a traditional hard drive, and will offer it with up to 768GB. Battery life is rated to 7 hours, and ports include an SD card slot, HDMI (an Apple laptop first!), USB 3.0, two Thunderbolt ports, MagSafe 2 and a headphone jack. It also has two microphones. Connectivity includes 802.11n for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, but so far Apple has unfortunately not made mention of 4G connectivity being built-in. As with other MacBooks, it features a backlit keyboard, a multitouch trackpad, and conforms to Apple's "Environmental Checklist."
Apple has just revealed its new line of 2012 MacBook Pro laptops, upgrading them to Intel's Ivy Bridge processors and Nvidia's new Kepler-based GeForce GT 650M graphics. All new models are shipping today.Read Article >
The big highlight of today's show is actually the introduction of a so-called next-generation MacBook Pro with an incredible 2880 x 1800 display, however that's happening quite aside from Apple's regular hardware refresh. You'll still find your usual 13-inch MBP with a 1280 x 800 screen, only now it has a new 2.5GHz Core i5 processor as the base spec, upgradeable to a 2.9GHz Core i7 chip. Regrettably, only Intel's integrated HD Graphics 4000 are listed for the 13-inch model. Prices start at $1,199 as previously.
As rumored, new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models have just been officially announced by Apple at WWDC 2012. Unsurprisingly, Apple is keeping pace with competitors with the addition of Ivy Bridge to its slimmest line of laptops. The 11-inch models will start at $999 with a 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics, 64GB flash storage, and 5 hours of battery life, with a higher-tier model for $1099 that contains 128GB of flash storage. The 13-inch models start at $1,199 and include the same 1440 x 900 display as the previous models, along with a 1.8GHz dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, the same graphics as the 11-inch model, and 128GB of storage. $1499 will get you an extra 256GB of storage; specs are the same otherwise. Apple has also opted to include a pair of USB 3.0 ports in its new Air lineup.Read Article >
Apple says the new 11-inch and 13-inch Macbook Air models are available now.