WWDC 2012: Apple Announces iOS6, New MacBook Pro, 3D Maps and So Much More!

Today in San Francisco at its Worldwide Developer Conference Apple announced so much new and improved stuff it’s hard to get it all straight. Among the most revolutionary of the bunch was the announcement of a brand new, redesigned MacBook Pro as well as a slew of new features in Mountain Lion and a lot more detail on iOS 6.

Here’s the lowdown:

MacBook Air and Macbook Pro — The new MacBook Air is now equipped with an Ivy Bridge processor up to 2GHz. It also now supports up to 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB of Flash storage, along with a new 720p FaceTime camera and USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports. The 11-inch MacBook Air will be available today for $999, with the 13-inch model starting at $1199. Updated MacBook Pro laptops now include Intel’s new Ivy Bridge processor, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650m graphics and USB 2.0 and 3.0 support. The 13-inch MacBook Pro will start at $1199 and will ship today.

“New” MacBook Pro — The new laptop will feature a display screen that is 15.4-inches wide and features an industry-best 2800 x 1800-pixel resolution, or 220 pixels per inch. Apple also said it has reduced the glare on its new screen by 75%. The next-generation MacBook Pro will be 0.7 inches thin and will weigh less than 4.5 pounds.

It will feature an Intel Core i7 quad-core processor at 2.7GHz with Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz, up to 16GB of memory and up to 768GB of Flash storage. Battery life is reported to be 7 hours, with up to 30 days of battery power on standby. It also has an SD slot, HDMI, USB 2 and 3 ports on both sides, and two Thunderbolt ports, one for FireWire 800 and one for Gigabit Ethernet. Pricing for the computer, which starts shipping today, starts at $2199.

iOS 6 — The next OS to power the iPhone has more than 200 new features including enhancements to Siri. Siri can now deliver sports scores, league standings and player stats. Siri can also find restaurants and Apple has partnered with Yelp for reviews and OpenTable to make reservations. Apple also announced Facebook integration at the OS level, which works much like its Twitter integration. Although, we won’t be sharing our contacts with Facebook anytime soon.

FaceTime has been updated as well, and it now works over cellular data connections in addition to Wi-Fi. In addition, FaceTime calls made to an iPhone can be answered on an iPad or a Mac. All this in anticipation of a 4G iPhone? Pretty much.

Mobile Safari is now compatible with iCloud tabs and offline reading lists, which will sync automatically across iOS and OS X 10.8+ devices. PhotoStream has been enhanced too and now allows users to share photo with friends more easily. Improvements in the Mail ap now includes a VIP feature that will provide stand-out notification features and a separate mailbox view for special contacts you choose.

Apple also announced a new iOS app called “Passbook.” This app will serve as a central location for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users to hold all of their tickets, store cards boarding passes, etc. as well as coupons and more. That’s nice.

But really, the big one Apple announced was the new Maps app for iOS 6. Apple will no longer make use of Google Maps in iOS and will now use their own Maps solution instead. Apple’s new Maps app features traffic integration, Yelp integration, free turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation and more. Maps also includes Siri integration, so users can navigate to a destination or search for points of interest using Siri.

Apple’s mapping solution includes a terrific 3D feature as well, that uses vector-based graphics and images that Apple has captured and compiled using cars and helicopters.

Apple’s first iOS 6 beta will be made available on Monday for developers, and it will be released to the public this fall. iOS 6 will be available for the iPhone 3GS and later, the iPad 2 and later, and the fourth-generation iPod touch.

There’s more but that’s the highlights. But really, isn’t that enough?

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