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Apple WWDC 2013 Recap

For those that missed out on Apple’s WWDC 2013 Keynote in San Francisco yesterday, here are the major points:

  •  iOS7: The newest version of iOS introduces major graphic and UI changes. This was a change that was greatly needed, as the iOS UI was feeling increasingly stale and outdated, especially when compared to the Holo UI found in recent Android OS releases, 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and 4.1-4.2 (JellyBean). Interestingly, some of the visual changes seem to take a cue from the TouchWiz UX 2.0 interface found in Samsung’s Galaxy S3/S4/Note II phones.
  • MacOS X 10.9 Mavericks: The next version of the venerable OS X was also unveiled. Aside from updates to Safari, iCloud, etc., there were no significant UI changes in Mavericks. The most significant announcement for OS X Mavericks was that it was optimized to be more energy efficient.
  • MacBook Air Haswell Refresh: As expected, Apple refreshed their entire MacBook Air lineup, replacing Ivy Bridge with Haswell. As we’ve seen from the Haswell launch earlier this month, the refreshed MacBook Air models with Haswell will offer greater battery life than previous MacBook Air models. Apple claims that the 13″ model can last up to 12 hours on a single charge.
  • Mac Pro’s New Design: Apple also showcased the new Mac Pro workstation, which sports a significant chassis change from previous Mac Pros. The new Mac Pro is cylindrical and robotic-looking, resembling R2D2 from Star Wars. I’m not sure if I dig the new design, as it looks rather silly than modern/futuristic. Still, it would be interesting to see the thermal cooling aspects of the new chassis. Aside from the chassis, the specs are certainly impressive, boasting a 12-core, Ivy Bridge-based Intel Xeon E5 processor, along with multi-GPU support, PCI Express 3.0, Thunderbolt 2.0 and more.
  • iTunes Radio Streaming: As expected, Apple unveiled it’s new music streaming service, in response to Google’s Play Music streaming service that was released last month.

While it was nice to see that Apple unveiled the new iOS7 and refreshed the MacBook Air with Haswell, I can’t but help feel underwhelmed. With Apple’s mobile marketshare and sales taking a beating from Google’s Android devices, many were hoping to see some significant changes to the iPhone and iPad lineup, but such updates were surprisingly absent from the WWDC.

For those interested in watching the full Apple WWDC 2013 Keynote, you can find the video over at Apple’s website here: Apple Events – WWDC 2013 Keynote

AnandTech – WWDC 13 Keynote Blog Live
IGN – Apple WWDC 2013 Recap: iOS 7, iTunes Radio, and the Mac Pro

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