Apple’s WWDC 2009

In the last post, I mentioned that besides the Palm Pre, the other big news of June is the World Wide Developers Conference by Apple. It is considered the most important conference to Apple, Apple developers, as well as its users. Unfortunately, Steve Jobs is still on medical leave, and thus did not speak at WWDC. But with that aside, there are a LOT of news that came out of the keynote address, and I want to share it with the rest of you. If you want to look up the keynote yourself, here’s the link. But if you want a summary, especially since the video is two hours long, go ahead and keep reading.

MacBook Pro 2009 The keynote started off with quite an upgrade to the Macbook line. The 15-inch Macbook Pro received speed bumps in the CPU, up to 3.06 Ghz by configuration. It also comes with 4 GB DDR3 RAM standard (upgradable to 8 GB), as well as a 250 GB hard disk space on the entry level model (upgradeable to 500 GB). Just like the 17-inch model, the battery is no longer replaceable, but does allow up to 7 hours of battery life, and can stand 1000 recharge cycles (average of five years) before it begins to exhaust itself. The last things it gained were the much coveted SD card slot that now replaces the Express Card slot, as well as an improved display with more colors.

The 13-inch model received a similar upgrade with slightly lower CPU, RAM and hard disk space, but comes with the same battery, display and SD card slot upgrade. What’s new is that the 13-inch model now has a Firewire 800 port, and the backlit keyboard is now standard. Lastly the 13-inch model is now labeled as a Macbook “Pro”, so be sure not to be confused by that. The Macbook Air also received speed bumps, but didn’t come with any other particular change.

The biggest news with the Macbook Line is that there are price drops across all models. The 13-inch Pro starts at $1199, the 15-inch at $1699, and the 17-inch at $2499. The Macbook Air received a huge price drop, with an entry level at $1499 and a high-end model at $1799. Note that the high-end Air comes with a 128 GB Solid State Drive, signifying a whopping $700 price drop from before.

OS X Snow Leopard Now let’s move on to Snow Leopard. This is the next version of Mac OS X, or OS X v10.6. Snow Leopard represents itself as a “much a better Leopard”, focused on bringing increased speed, hardware support, and software support into present, and future standards. On the software front, we have a Cocoa-based Finder, smaller OS footprint, 64-bit native applications, Quick Time X, and out-of-the-box support for Microsoft Exchange. On the hardware front, we have Grand Central, a feature for optimizing multiple CPU cores, 64-bit foundation for supporting up to 16 Billion GB of RAM, and OpenCL, a computer-language that will help ordinary applications use power from the graphics card. Snow Leopard will also be upgradeable for $29 (that’s right, only two digits) for existing Leopard users when it ships in September.

iPhone OS 3.0 The next thing they mentioned is iPhone OS 3.o. Besides talking about the features they mentioned last March (landscape keyboard, Spotlight, MMS, Push Notification, Copy & Paste, new developer APIs), they also mentioned new features such as “Find my iPhone”, which allows you to track, contact, or remotely erase a lost or stolen iPhone (only for Mobile Me users). Note that iPhone OS 3.0 will be available on June 17, free for iPhone users and a $9.95 upgrade for iPod Touch users.

iPhone 3G S The last thing they mentioned in WWDC is the new iPhone, called the iPhone 3G S (S standing for “speed”). the 3G S comes with faster processing (probably the new ARM Cortex CPU), an 3.0 megapixel auto-focus camera, VGA video recording with editing, voice-control, digital compass, and native OS 3.0 support. The 16 GB model will be priced at $199, while the 32 GB model will priced at $299; both come in black and white. To reach for a lower price point, they will also sell an 8 GB iPhone “3G” at $99 (black only). Note that these are US prices and that prices in other countries may vary. The 3G S will ship starting on June 19 in certain countries, but expects to be shipped in over 80 countries by August.

And that’s about it. In the next post, I will be talking more about the new iPhone 3G S, as well as my thoughts on what it has and how it stands in the current market. So stay tuned and look out for it!

Update: Safari 4 was also announced at WWDC. Get the final version now for Mac and PC!


~ by Ian on June 9, 2009.

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