At this year’s World Wide Developer’s Conference, Apple spent equal time talking about hardware and software updates. The annual event heated up when the MacBook lineup received a healthy dose of upgraded processors and graphics, among other spec bumps. Also, a brand new “next-generation” MacBook Pro was unveiled. Later, the mobile iOS that powers iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches was significantly enhanced with the introduction of iOS 6. For all the details, read on.
The MacBook Air was refreshed with the following spec bumps. The thin-and-light laptop now packs the 3rd-gen Intel Core processors, also known as Ivy Bridge; these dual-core i7s can reach speeds up to 2.0GHz (or up to 3.2GHz with Turbo Boost). Memory reaches 8GB 1600MHz, and graphics can perform up to sixty percent faster. Flash storage has been beefed up to 512 GB and is 2x speedier featuring a 500MBps read speed. The Air also includes a USB 3 port and a FaceTime HD camera (720p). There are two 11-inch and two 13-inch configurations, both shipping today and both starting at $100 cheaper than the previous generation. The 11-inch MacBook Air with 64GB starts at $999 and the 13-inch Air with128GB starts at $1,199.
The MacBook Pro was also refreshed and here are the note-worthy spec bumps. Just like the new Airs, the updated Pros now include the 3rd-gen “Ivy Bridge” Intel Core processors; these dual-core i7 processors reach speeds up to 2.7GHz (or up to 3.7GHz with Turbo Boost). Memory reachers 8GB 1600MHz. Graphics are upgraded to NVIDIA’s GeForce GT 650M (based on the graphics chip maker’s new Kepler architecture), with up to 1GB video memory that is up to sixty percent faster than before. USB 3 is on board. There are two 13-inch and two 15-inch MacBook Pro configurations, both shipping today and they start at the same price ranges as the previous generation Pros. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.5GHz processor speed starts at $1,199 and the 15-inch Pro with a 2.3GHz speed starts at $1,799.
And now we move onto what Apple is branding the “next generation” MacBook Pro. The company says it’s “the best computer we’ve ever made.” In short, what makes this new breed of Pro so special is that it’s made thinner and lighter and it packs a gorgeous Retina Display. You want hard specs, so here they are. This new Pro measures at 0.71 inches thin (a quarter thinner than the standard Pro) and it weighs 4.4 pounds. The 15.4-inch screen is a Retina Display with an impressive resolution of 2880×1800, packing 4x the number of pixels than the previous-gen Pro. With 220 pixels per inch, Apple crowns this “the world’s highest-resolution notebook display.” Lion has been updated to take advantage of the higher resolution; Mac apps like Mail, Safari, iMovie and iPhoto will be compatible, along with others like Aperture, Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk Autocad, and the game Diablo 3. Just like they had to do when the Retina Display came to the iPhone, software developers will have to update their apps to make them Retina-ready. Jumping inside, the Pro runs on Intel’s fastest quad-core processors, that is Core i7s up to 2.7GHz (or up to 3.7GHz with Turbo Boost); memory goes up to 16GB 1600MHz; next-gen NVIDIA Kepler graphics GeForce GT 650M; up to 768GB fast flash storage; up to 7 hours of battery life with 30 days of standby time. Across the left-side of the powerful, noticeably thinner lappy you’ll find an SD card slot, HDMI, and USB 3 ports; along the right side there’s a MagSafe 2 port (the new port has been made thinner to fit the design), two Thunderbolt ports, USB 3, and a headphone jack. That’s right, this Pro has ditched an optical drive, FireWire, and Gigabit Ethernet. Apple sells adapters if you require these. Additionally, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display features a glass multitouch trackpad, backlit keyboard, 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0, FaceTime HD camera, dual microphones, stereo speakers, and a new internal fan system that outputs nearly imperceptible sound. Two configurations of the next-gen Pro ship today starting at $2,199. (Click here for more…)
iPhone 4 launch day has come and gone so let’s discuss how it all went down. At WWDC ’10Apple CEO Steve Jobs called iPhone 4 “the biggest leap since the original iPhone”, piquing the interest of his most devout followers, so much so that they lined up in droves to preorder and purchase the latest gadget to come out of Cupertino. On June 15, Apple, AT&T, and other authorized Apple retailers begain taking preorders for iPhone 4. On that single day, iPhone 4 preorders maxed out at 600,000. According to AT&T, that’s ten times as many orders as it took for last year’s iPhone 3GS. Due to this insanely high number of preorders, Apple and AT&T were forced to halt all preorders until the phone hit store shelves one week and two days later. And that brings us to launch day. On June 24 iPhone 4 launched nationwide and in the UK, France, Germany and Japan to an excitable population ready to get their hands on the shiny, sleek new handset. At Apple Retail Stores those who preordered waited in line to nab their guaranteed iPhone while overnight campers tried their luck at receiving the leftovers. The latest tallies reveal that Apple sold 1.7 million iPhone 4s through June 26 (that’s just three days on the market!). In an official PR, Jobs stated, “This is the most successful product launch in Apple’s history. Even so, we apologize to those customers who were turned away because we did not have enough supply.” According to the Apple Online Store, more iPhone 4 units will ship in about three weeks. Soon enough, Apple Stores will be chock full of new iPhones for everyone who missed out on the initial launch supply.
What began as a cheery launch quickly turned into a melancholy situation when iPhone 4 users started to cry foul about reception and screen issues. Let’s start with the latter issue that has seemed to disapate as of late. A number of iPhone 4 users are discovering slight yellow spots at the bottom right-hand corner of their retina displays. An AppleInsider forum poster has come up with the best explanation for this:
Apple is using a bonding agent called Organofunctional Silane Z-6011 to bond the layers of glass. Apparently, Apple (or more likely Foxconn) is shipping these products so quickly that the evaporation process is not complete. However, after one or two days of use, especially with the screen on, will complete the evaporation process and the yellow “blotches” will disappear. How do I know? I was involved in pitching Z-6011 to Apple.
Since the time this explanation was outed (just a couple hours after the launch on the 24th) the desperate cry for help has waned. It appears that those affected with the yellow spots will notice them disappear after a day or two of use.
The same cannot go for the next (and more dire) iPhone 4 problem: the tale of reception woes. iPhone 4 users first noticed this problem when they gripped the phone in a certain way (in a very common way, mind you). On the affected devices, if you hold the phone in any way that covers the lower left-hand side where the black strip is located (pictured above) you will notice your signal drop almost immediately from five to zero bars. Preposterous!, you’re thinking. But it’s true, so let’s dive into this a bit more. At WWDC ’10, Jobs announced that the new iPhone packs a new antenna system that actually wraps around the outside phone so as to provide better signal strength. The metallic band that wraps around the phone contains one piece for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS and the other for UMTS & GSM. When you cover the bottom left-hand side of the phone where the GSM band wraps the phone all signal is lost. What’s rather ironic is that what Jobs called “brilliant engineering” has turned into an engineering EPIC FAIL in the minds of many iPhone 4 users. (Click here for more…)