Apple has been busy today annoucing its updated iOS7 amd Mac OS X Mavericks operating systems, the upcoming MacPro, new Haswell-based MacBook Air models as well as the highly rumored iTunes Radio service.
Completely Redesigned iOS 7
Apple unveiled iOS 7 describing it as the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone, featuring a new user interface. iOS 7 is completely redesigned with an elegant color palette and functional layers. The typography has been refined for simpler look. New features include Control Center, Notification Center, improved Multitasking, AirDrop, enhanced Photos, Safari, Siri and introduces iTunes Radio, a free Internet radio service based on the music you listen to on iTunes.
iOS 7 introduces Control Center. Now the controls you want to access quickly are all in one place. With just one swipe from the bottom of your screen, you have access to controls for Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Do Not Disturb, and the ability to adjust screen brightness, pause or play a song, jump to the next track and stream your music with AirPlay. Control Center also gives you instant access to apps such as Clock, Camera, Calculator and the Flashlight.
With iOS 7, Notification Center is now available from the Lock screen so you can see all your notifications with a simple swipe, and the new Today feature in Notification Center gives you an at-a-glance view of your day with a summary of the important details such as weather, traffic, meetings and events.
With improved Multitasking in iOS 7, developers have the ability to enable any app to multitask in the background with a new API. Users have the ability to switch between their apps in a more visual and intuitive way, and iOS 7 pays attention to which apps you use most and automatically keeps your content up to date in the background.
AirDrop is a new way to easily share content with people nearby. When you’ve got something you want to share, AirDrop shows you your contacts close by. Just select who you want to share with and AirDrop does the rest. AirDrop transfers are peer-to-peer so you can use it anywhere, without any network or set up required, and transfers are fully encrypted so your content is protected and private.
iPhones are used to take more photos around the world and with iOS 7 the new Camera app features filters so you can add real-time photo effects. The Camera app now includes a square camera option, and you can quickly switch between your four cameras—video, photo, square and panorama—with just a swipe.
iOS 7 includes a redesigned Photos app that introduces Moments, a new way to automatically organize your photos and videos based on time and location. You can zoom out to see all your photos organized by Moments, Collections of Moments and Years. iOS 7 includes iCloud Photo Sharing, an easy way to share just the photos you want with just the people you want. With iCloud Photo Sharing, family and friends can contribute their own photos and videos to your shared photo streams, and the new Activity view displays updates from your shared streams all in one place.
Safari’s redesigned user interface lets you see more of your content—starting with full-screen browsing. The new smart search field helps simplify searching, and there’s a new view for your bookmarks and your Safari tabs. With iCloud Keychain, your passwords and credit card information are securely stored and available on all your devices, so navigating password protected sites or autofilling during transactions is secure. Enhanced Parental Controls allow you to automatically block access to adult websites or only allow access to a specific set of permitted websites.
Siri sounds better than before with new male and female voices and includes Twitter search integration, so you can ask Siri what people are saying on Twitter. Siri also now has Wikipedia integration and offers Bing web search within the app and the ability to change device settings and play back voicemail.
The Music app has a new design and includes the new iTunes Radio, a free Internet radio service featuring over 200 stations and a catalog of music from the iTunes Store. When you tune into iTunes Radio on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC or Apple TV, you’ll have access to stations inspired by the music you already listen to, Featured Stations curated by Apple and genre-focused stations that are personalized for you. iTunes Radio evolves based on the music you play and download. The more you use iTunes Radio and iTunes, the more it knows what you like to listen to and the more personalized your experience becomes. iTunes Radio also gives you access to exclusive “first listen” premieres from top selling artists, Siri integration plus the ability to buy anything you hear with just one tap.
iTunes Radio is ad-supported and it is coming this fall. . iTunes Match users get iTunes Radio ad-free, so instead of hearing the occasional ad on iTunes Radio, iTunes Match makes your listening completely ad-free. With iTunes Match, all your music—even songs you’ve imported from CDs—are stored in iCloud. So iTunes Radio can use information about your entire music collection to make your stations even more personalized. iTunes Match costs $24.99 for a year.
With over 900,000 apps, the App Store is the world’s largest app marketplace. iOS 7 now features Popular Apps Near Me, a new way to find apps based on your current location, and iOS 7 will automatically keep your apps up to date. The App Store also comes with a new Kids category, allowing teachers and parents to easily discover apps for children by age.
Additional new iOS 7 features include:
- a new Find My iPhone Activation Lock feature that requires your Apple ID and password before you can turn off Find My iPhone, erase data or re-activate a device after it’s been remotely erased;
- Night Mode in Maps that responds to ambient light when you use it in the dark;
- FaceTime audio for high quality calls over a data network;
- Notification sync, so when you dismiss a notification on one device it is dismissed on all of your devices;
- Phone, FaceTime and Messages blocking to prevent specific people from being able to contact you;
- Tencent Weibo support for users in China, a Chinese-English bilingual dictionary, and improved Chinese input including handwriting recognition for multiple Chinese characters;
- the ability for businesses to more efficiently deploy and manage iPhones and iPads; and
- enhanced in-car integration, bringing an Apple designed experience into the car for the first time.
The iOS 7 beta software and SDK are available immediately for iOS Developer Program members at developer.apple.com. iOS 7 will be available as a free software update for iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and iPod touch (fifth generation) this fall. Some features may not be available on all products.
Developer Preview of OS X Mavericks
Apple also today released a developer preview of OS X Mavericks, the 10th major release of its operating system. It comes with more than 200 new features; it brings Maps and iBooks to the Mac, introduces Finder Tags and Tabs, enhances multi-display support for power users, delivers new core technologies for power efficiency and performance, and includes an all new version of Safari. The preview release of OS X Mavericks is available to Mac Developer Program members starting today. Mac users will be able to download Mavericks from the Mac App Store this fall.
Maps brings advanced mapping technologies from iOS to the Mac, including vector graphics, 3D view and interactive Flyover. With Maps you can plan a trip from your Mac, then send it to your iPhone for voice navigation on the road. Maps integration throughout Mavericks gives users helpful maps from within Mail, Contacts and Calendar, and developers can integrate the same powerful mapping features into their apps through the Map Kit API. With iBooks you have instant access to your existing iBooks library, as well as the more than 1.8 million titles in the iBooks Store, from textbooks and classics to the latest best sellers. iBooks also works across your devices, so you can read a book on your Mac, make notes or highlights, and then pick up exactly where you left off on your iPad.
OS X Mavericks introduces new power user features. Tags are a new way to organize and find your files anywhere on your Mac or in iCloud. You can easily tag any file in the Finder, in iCloud, or when saving a new document. Tags appear in the Finder Sidebar to enable you to view files by project or category. Finder Tabs reduce the clutter on your desktop by consolidating multiple Finder windows into one window with multiple tabs. You can customize the view for each tab, move files between tabs, and even run the Finder with multiple tabs open in full-screen. Mavericks also makes using multiple displays even easier and more powerful. The menu bar and dock are available on any display, and users can now easily run windowed or full-screen apps on whichever display they choose, with no configuration required. With Mavericks you can also use your HDTV as a second display using Apple TV and AirPlay.
New core technologies in OS X Mavericks improve the energy efficiency and responsiveness of your Mac. Timer Coalescing intelligently groups together low-level operations so that the CPU can spend more time in a low-power state, saving energy without affecting performance or responsiveness. App Nap reduces the power consumed by apps that you’re not using. Compressed Memory technology keeps your Mac responsive. When your system’s memory begins to fill up, Compressed Memory automatically compresses inactive data. When these items are needed again, Mavericks instantly uncompresses them.
Additional features in OS X Mavericks include:
- iCloud Keychain, which safely stores your website login information, credit card numbers and Wi-Fi passwords, and pushes them to all of your devices so you don’t need to remember them. Information is always protected with AES-256 encryption when it’s stored on your Mac and when it’s pushed to your devices;
- an updated Calendar, which adds integration with Maps, continuous scrolling so you can zip through weeks or months, and a new Inspector to simplify event creation and editing;
- interactive Notifications, allowing you to reply to a message, respond to a FaceTime call or even delete an email without leaving the app you’re using. Websites can now use notifications to keep you up to date on the latest news, scores and other information. While You Were Away Notifications make sure you see what happened while your Mac was asleep; and
- Xcode 5, with new tools for developers that measure every aspect of app performance and energy use, as well as app testing
The updated Macbook Air line does not include any design changes rather than an under the hood upgrade with the new Intel Haswell processors.
Apple is promising "all-day battery life," 2X GPU performance as well as 40% faster graphics compared to the previous line. The 11-inch MacBook Air is going from 5 hours of battery life up to 9, while the 13-incher goes from 7 hours to 12.
Sneak Peek Into the Future of the Pro Desktop
Apple also gave a first look at the next generation Mac Pro. Designed around a revolutionary unified thermal core, the Mac Pro introduces a completely new pro desktop architecture and design that is optimized for performance inside and out. With next generation Xeon processors, dual workstation-class GPUs, Thunderbolt 2, PCIe-based flash storage, and ultra-fast ECC memory, the new 9.9-inch tall Mac Pro packs an amazing amount of power into a small package.
The next generation Mac Pro is architected around an ingenious unified thermal core that allows the desktop to efficiently share its entire thermal capacity across all the processors. The result is a pro desktop with breakthrough performance packed into a design that is one-eighth the volume of the current Mac Pro. Next generation Intel Xeon E5 processors with up to 12 core configurations deliver double the floating point performance. With two AMD FirePro workstation-class GPUs, the all-new Mac Pro is up to 2.5 times faster than the current Mac Pro and delivers up to an amazing 7 teraflops of compute power. The new Mac Pro also features PCIe-based flash storage that is up to 10 times faster than conventional desktop hard drives and includes the latest four-channel ECC DDR3 memory running at 1866 MHz to deliver up to 60GBps of memory bandwidth. With all that power, the new Mac Pro lets you seamlessly edit full-resolution 4K video while simultaneously rendering effects in the background.
The next generation Mac Pro is the most expandable Mac ever built. With six Thunderbolt 2 ports that can deliver up to 20Gbps of bandwidth to each external device, Mac Pro is perfect for connecting to external storage, multiple PCI expansion chassis, audio and video breakout boxes, and the latest external displays, including 4K desktop displays. Each of the six Thunderbolt 2 ports supports up to six daisy-chained devices. Thunderbolt 2 is completely backwards compatible with existing Thunderbolt peripherals, and allows you to transfer data between Macs faster and easier than ever.
There's no word on pricing, but the redesigned Mac Pro will be available later in the year.