If you were hoping for a big surprise out of day one of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, you were left wanting.
Day one of the conference, held in San Francisco this week, wasn’t too flashy. (Compare that to Google’s first day, when every developer scored a free Nexus 7 tablet.)
Still, the tech giant offered up plenty of meat and potatoes during the first day. Here are the call outs:
A big non-surprise, Apple Inc. unveiled its iTunes Radio. Users create radios stations they want to listen to (similar to Pandora). You can also share those stations with your friends or listen to ones others have created.
Like Pandora, you’ll even be listening to ads (unless you pay a little more).
New Air, Pro
Apple also updated its desktop and laptop.
Gone is any kind of tower on the desktop. New is a black cylinder a fraction of the size. The computer also uses flash memory instead of a hard drive, a 12-core Intel Xeon processor and 2.5 times more graphics performance.
“Can’t innovate anymore, my ass,” Apple SVP Phil Schiller told the crowd.
New for the MacBook Air? Nearly double the battery life and the latest Intel chip, as well as a slightly lower price ($999 to $1,099).
Mavericks (and the end of the cats)
Well, they were bound to run out of big cats eventually. Apple said today it was ditching the kitty descriptors for each new version of its operating system and moving to descriptions of places in California. The next one, named after the famous big-wave surf spot near Half Moon Bay, will offer up support for multiple display monitors and file-tagging.
Mavericks also offers up better battery life through new features, faster apps, and an “App Nap” feature that helps idle apps quit taking up your power.
With this update comes a new Safari, too, with LinkedIn and Twitter reading lists.
Design overhaul for iOS 7
The update, which will be available to users this fall, brings changes like a vertical slide to unlock button, translucent app and keyboard icons, updated weather apps and receding control buttons when browsing Safari.
The overall design looks a lot flatter, shifting away from “skeuomorphism — the use of leather, wood and other real-world inspired texture and artifacts in apps.”
Shana Lynch is Managing Editor at the Business Journal. Her phone number is 408.299.1831.