The wait is over and the rumors have been debunked. Apple have announced a whole load of new products at their annual WWDC 2012 conference, including updates to the MacBook Air and Pro range, a whole new MacBook Pro, more information on the upcoming release of Mountain Lion and iOS 6.
Apple’s voice-dictation system Siri opened the keynote (with a casual stab at Android and Samsung) and after the usual figures by Tim Cook as well as an insight on how iOS apps are changing people’s lives, Phil Schiller took to the stage for the unveiling.
The world was watching and so were we. Here’s what they announced.
Updated MacBook Airs
The new range of MacBook Airs feature Intel’s new set of Ivy Bridge Processors (Intel Core i5 and i7) as standard, along with a beefed up RAM offering (up to 8 GB is supported), 60% faster graphics and up to 512 GB of flash storage.
The new MacBook Airs also come with USB 3 support (a much requested feature) and the FaceTime camera has also been updated to take 720p HD video. The display remains the same at 1,388 x 768 pixels and comes with 4 GB of RAM in the standard offering. The new models are available for purchase straight away and start at $999 for the 11-inch model (13-inch starts at $1,199).
Updated MacBook Pros
Just like the MacBook Air range, the MacBook Pros are also receiving the Ivy Bridge treatment, with the new 2.3 GHz and 2.6 GHz quad-core i7 processors coming as standard, with a Turbo Boost of up to 3.7 GHz. There is also a new graphics processor, the GEForce GT 650M by Nvidia, providing up to 1 GB of video memory and USB 3 is also standard on these models as well.
There has been no major design changes and the standard MacBook Pro range doesn’t feature that retina display we’ve all been hankering after. Apple have also dropped the 17-inch model as well, presumably due to its bulkiness and price.
And speaking of retina displays…
Next Generation MacBook Pro with Retina Display
Shrouded in black, the new, next-generation MacBook Pro made its introduction and yes, it’s got that retina display we’ve been wanting for so long! Apple is calling it “a new generation of consumer notebook” with a “killer new display” – and it certainly looks like it. The new display measures 15.4 inches across and has a resolution of 2,880 by 1,800 pixels, or 220 pixels per inch – the highest resolution display on a laptop at the moment.
The glare and reflection has been reduced by 75% on the new display and both Lion as well as the entire fleet of Apple apps have all been updated to take advantage of the new display. Any app that isn’t ready for the new display will be pixel-doubled, meaning that they will look a lot sharper.
And it doesn’t just stop with the display either (which, according to Jony Ive, is a solid piece of glass like on the iPad). The new Pros feature Ivy Bridge processors (i7) up to 2.7 GHz and a whopping 16 GB of RAM. There is also an SD card slot, HDMI support (finally!), USB 3, two Thunderbolt ports and a thinner MagSafe slot, and the casing has been trimmed down to a sleek 0.71 inches, like the MacBook Air.
The new MacBook Pro starts at an eye-watering $2,199 (with a 2.3 GHz quad-core i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM, the new GEForce GT 650M graphics processor and a 256 GB SSD) and is available straight away.
More details about Mountain Lion revealed
Although Mountain Lion was revealed back at the start of this year, Apple has shed some more information about the new upcoming release of OS X, Mountain Lion. We already know that this release is bringing in plenty of features already seen on iOS, such as Messages, Reminders, Notes and a whole new Notification Center (bye, Growl!) but Mountain Lion will feature deeper iCloud integration than Lion, which was a bit patchy at best.
There is also an interesting new feature called Power Nap, which essentially backs up and syncs your Mac when its asleep, although this feature is only supported on the second-generation MacBook Air and the new MacBook Pro.
For a more detailed look at Mountain Lion, our stellar writer Jacob Penderworth will be publishing a more in-depth analysis of the new OS X shortly and it will ship in July via the App Store, priced at $19.99 (U.S. pricing only).
We all pretty much had an inkling that Apple would debut its new mobile operating system (especially when images of the iOS 6 banners from inside the Moscone Center were leaked a couple of days ago!) and we were all right. iOS 6 will feature over 200 new features (Apple seem to like that number, don’t they?) and the highlights of this release are deeper Siri integration (including the ability to launch apps, new language support), Facebook integration, an all-new Apple mapping system (with turn-by-turn navigation) and Siri support for the new iPad.
iOS 6 will ship “this fall” and will be compatible with the iPhone 3GS and later, the 2nd and 3rd generation iPad and the 4th generation iPod touch.
So readers, you know exactly the question I’m going to ask – what do you think? I’m certainly drooling over that new MacBook Pro (has anyone got a spare $2,199 they want to lend me?) and the new, exciting features in both Mountain Lion and iOS 6 show that Apple really are working miracles in the technology world.
Share all your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below – especially what you think of the new MacBook Air and Pro range and Mountain Lion. Did Apple succumb to your expectations? Or were you left slightly disappointed at the prospect of no retina-display Macs. Get commenting – we’d love to hear all your opinions.