Monday, June 10, 2013

Apple World Wide Developers Conference 2013

Apple kicked off the developers conference this year with an interesting video talking about design and saying no to many things so they can say yes to the right one. Apple also kicked off the designed in California tag line going on the end of commercials going forward. The video had an inspirational and exciting feel, lending one to wonder what Apple has up its sleeves in the coming months.

Apple's Numbers

As usual Apple led the conference with the numbers. This years developer conference sold out in just 71 seconds. Leading Apple to post all videos of sessions online the same day so the now very large Apple development community can all participate in the knowledge being shared at the developers conference. 

Apple Retail is adding a beautiful new store in Berlin. The Apple App Store is now 5 years old and has 575 million accounts with credit cards on file and to date Apple has paid over 10 billion to developers. 5 billion of that paid out in the last year alone. 


The first demo of the day came from Anki a company who is bringing Robotics and Artificial Intelligence to the real world with a video game played with real objects. You place a mat and the cars on the living room floor and you as a play can race your car around the track while the computer plays the other cars. It is an interesting use for Low Energy Bluetooth 4.0 and iOS. 


Next up Apple talked about the Mac. In the past 5 years Apple has doubled its market share to 72 million users. IT has been the number 1 desktop and notebook sold in the U.S. Average annual growth for the Mac has been 15% while the PC only grew at about 3%. Apple has also taken the top spot in Customer Satisfaction.


OS X

Next they talked about OS X. 30% of users upgraded to Mountain Lion in the first 6 months compared to Microsoft only getting about 5% upgrading to Windows 8. Mountain Lion was the 9th OS upgraded released in a decade. Apple announced it would need to change the code name for the OS to carry it the next 10 years. So Apple is adopting a California theme name and calling the new OS Mavericks. 


Mavericks is focused on enhancing the OS user experience and battery savings for portable computers. Apple has added Timer Coalescing to the OS so the CPU usage is clustered together to reduce overall usage of the processor and save about 72% of the computers battery. Also adding memory compression to reduce the amount of inactive memory without having to swap out items to the disk. Reducing the load on an SSD or mechanical hard drive and speeding up the computers memory operations. Memory Compression will speed up performance by 1.4x to 1.5x.


New to the OS is a rewritten finder that now includes tabs to reduce desktop clutter with multiple windows being opened. Finder tags to allow a user to tag files to group them in the side bar and make them easier to find later. Finder finally get the full screen mode treatment so a user can manage files more easily. 


Apple also enhanced Multiple Display mode for users who prefer to have multiple screens. The dock and menu bar can now be called from any display. The full screen mode doesn't affect other displays connected to the machine. So each screen can be a different full screen app. The panning between full screen apps on a display is also independent from the other displays. Finally Mavericks gets a Airplay treatment to allow users to connect their Mac to an Airplay connected TV and use it as an additional full power display. 

Mission Control can drag full screen apps between displays as well allowing the user to decide which screen will get the full screen treatment. 


Safari

Safari gets an upgrade with Mavericks as well a clean new home page top site flattened and lighter top site page. The new side bar with bookmarks, reading list and now links that have been shared through your social media. Linked In has been added as a service for social media as well. Safari now creates a separate process per tab so one tab crashing won't take the whole browser down with it. Shared memory and resource cache contributes to its new found speed. Webkit the engine that runs Safari is currently installed on over 1.5 billion devices. 


The performance gains in graphics in Mavericks is impressive in the demo Mail had 100,000 emails in an inbox and still could scroll at 60 frames per second. This smooth scrolling has been brought into Safari as well.

App Nap enabled on Safari puts apps to sleep when they are not visible keeping flash and other content from over using the processor and draining the battery too quickly. Reading List and Reader now scroll through from one article to the next so users don't need to close one and open the next readers can just flow from one document to the next.

Finally in Safari users will get iCloud keychain. For those that haven't adopted a password management tool this builds one right into Mavericks. Including the ability to generate random passwords automatically and save them to iCloud AES 256 bit encrypted so only the user has access to them and shared between iOS devices and Mac computers. iCloud keychain remembers Credit Cards for users as well.

Notifications

The ability to apply within the notification has been added to OS X. Deleting email can now be done right from the notification. Users can reply or answer FaceTime calls right in Notifications. Push notifications sent to iOS devices will be delivered to Mavericks as well. Notifications now appear on the Mac lock screen on wake up.

App Updates

Apps and OS X are now updated in the background automatically without user intervention. No more update fatigue for OS X Users.

Calendar
Gone is the leather and stitching in calendar. With a whole new calendar look and feel Craig Federicki quipped "No virtual cows were harmed making this calendar." Calendar gets a whole new inspector and location aware meetings block out travel time prior to  a meeting so users don't book meetings too close together. Weather information is now included right in the calendar, in case that meeting happens to be out doors.
Maps
Maps comes to the desktop with 3D, fly over, info cards, and turn by turn navigation. Also with a single click users can send directions to their iPhone. The developers have been provided with an SDK to provide mapping functions right in app.
iBooks 
App is now coming to the Mac with note taking and text books support.


The developer Preview available immediately with a final release coming in the fall of 2013.

Macbook Air

Next up Apple announced a new Macbook Air with all day battery life, featuring a 4th Gen Core Haswell ULT energy efficient CPU, 40% faster graphics, and 2x GPU execution units. The 11" goes from 5 hrs to 9 hrs of battery life and the 13" model goes from 7 hrs to 12 hrs of battery life. This I believe being tested on the machine running Mountain Lion. It remains to be seen how much more battery life will be achieved with a  fully optimized copy of Mavericks running on these machines.

The new Air comes with a 45% faster flash, 802.11ac 3x faster wifi, and a lower price point for the entry level 13"

Airport Extreme

As long as Apple was touting the new MacBook Air with 802.11ac it was a great time to reveal the new Airport Extreme. The new extreme has a smaller footprint than its predecessor but is much taller. The unit is capable of 3 stream 802.11ac wifi beam forming and simultaneous 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz with dual band radios.
Sneak Peak at Mac Pro

Apple treated developers to a sneak peak at its all new Mac Pro. Sporting a whole new case design 1/8 the size of its older brother, a Unified Thermal Core, the entire top case is a convenient handle, new Xeon up to 12 core configuration, 1,866 Mhz DDR3 ECC memory and a Fast Internal PCI Express Flash Storage this machine is going to be fast. The system even lights up the ports when you move it to make connecting new peripherals easier.

Expandable through external expansion thru Thunderbolt 2 up to 6 devices at 20 Gbps of bandwidth gives plenty of room for growth outside the case. The new system sports AMD FirePro Graphics dual workstation GPU's. Open CL offers 7 teraflops of performance and up to 3 4k displays can be connected to the system. The new Corvette of computers is being designed and built in the United States.
iCloud

The iCloud numbers are impressive with over 300 million iCloud accounts, 35 billion app redownloads since launch, 240 million game center users, 800 billion iMessages sent, and 7.4 trillion push notifications sent to users. 

Apple is announcing the expansion of iCloud to include iWork web apps. Create documents right in a web browser from your Mac or PC without having iWork installed. Currently this is available to developers and will be expanding to all users for free later this year.

iOS

To date Apple has sold over 600 million iOS devices.  iPhone users use their phone 50% more than android users and account for a 60% share of mobile web traffic. The iPad accounts for 82% for  tablet market share currently. Mobile shopping on on black friday consisted of 10% iPad and 8.7% iPhone. So users are not just shopping online but shopping from their phones and tablets. 

iPhone has been #1 in customer satisfaction JD Power 9 times now. Windows phone beat android in satisfaction at 53% and Apple held the top spot with 73% satisfaction.

93% of iOS users are currently running iOS 6. 

Control Center

iOS 7 has added a new control center, simply swipe up from bottom of the screen for control center. 
Airplane mode, wifi on/off, bluetooth on/off, do not disturb, rotation lock, brightness, music controls,  flashlight, timer, calculate and camera are all accessible through control center.
Multitasking

All apps now have multitasking. iOS monitors your app usage and implements intelligent scheduling, opportunistic updates, adapts to network conditions, performs coalesced updates, and push triggers. All of these will make the OS feel faster by having data before the user requests it and save battery at the same time. iOS now includes a new multitasking management that allows the user to swipe across all apps that are running and swipe up to end an app.

Safari

All new tabs and iCloud tabs scroll in 3d in Safari. Now users can create an unlimited number of tabs. Private browsing has been moved into the new or change tab view for easier access.

AirDrop

On the new share Sheet you can share with anyone near by running iOS 7. This feature uses peer to peer wifi and only on latest hardware offer peer to peer support.

Camera
The camera app is adding live photo filters and a swipe gesture to witch between four camera modes. standard, video, square and panorama.

Photos 
Photos are now organized into moments by location and date. The thumbnail colors allow users to quickly scroll a large number of photos and zoom in all the way to a single photo level. 

iCloud 

Photo Stream now shares video as well as still photos. 

Siri 

Siri gets a new user interface as well as the option to select voices. Siri can now also control phone settings and play voicemail. Siri is also learning to answer new questions, work with Twitter, wikipedia, web searching with Bing, even getting access to photos. 

iOS in the car

Eyes free allowing users to push a button on the steering wheel to access Siri or iOS on the screen in the car allowing the driver or passenger to view the iOS device screen right on the cars display. iOS in the car also allow the user to have iMessages read to you and respond to them verbally.
App Store

App Store is also getting an upgrade. New organizational features include looking for apps based on age range or popular apps based on location (near me). App Store now updates automatically so the user doesn't have to go download updates on their own again reducing the update fatigue.

Music

Apple is Sherlocking Pandora and other streaming music services. The iTunes app now has Featured stations in iTunes Radio, the ability to create your own stations based on music preferences, save a history of everything you listened to on iTunes Radio so you can look back on past songs. iTunes Radio will be available on all devices and will be fee with ad support or if you subscribe to iTunes Match for $24.99 a year it is commercial free.

FaceTime 

Apple also announced FaceTime is getting some updates including an audio only feature so if you don't want to be seen on screen or need to save bandwidth users can answer voice only. Notification Syncing across all devices is being enabled. Plus new in iOS 7 Apple is adding message blocking to the phone app and FaceTime app.

Enterprise Customers 

There are a number of features for Enterprise customers coming in iOS 7 including an updated mobile device manager but the feature Apple choose to highlight at this presentation was per app VPN support. iOS can now be configured to launch VPN with particular applications from the phone. Saving the user time and allowing companies to secure their apps more easily.

Activation Lock

Apple is also taking a step to make devices more secure if stolen. In iOS 7 the Phone can't be reactivated even if the device is wiped without reentering the users iCloud ID. 

iOS 7 will be coming to the iPhone 4 and later as well as the iPad 2 and later coming this fall.

Apple made a lot of announcements at this developers conference. To everyones surprise no new iPad, iPhone, Macbook Pro or new product category was announced. It is certain Apple will be holding events later this year for a new iPhone and iPad. According to Tim Cook Apple will be introducing new product categories in 2013 and 2014.