Apple WWDC '12

Last night Apple again sent the world buzzing with their list of updates. I just finished watching the Keynote and here are my impressions:

  • Siri on the iPad. 
    • I totally nailed it. I had predicted that siri will come but only on the newer iPads and owners of iPad2 and below would be left cold - I was right. 
    • I also dont think Siri is coming to India anytime soon.
      • However, since there were so many references to India in the presentation ( the video of kids, the pdf he dragged to the folder) that I think Apple has started thinking of India. 
      • I wonder where they will open their first stores in ?
  • The retina display macbooks were mind blowing. 
    • There had been a lot of talk about how retina display could not be done for bigger screens. Even Intel wrongly predicted that retina display on laptops will be available by 2013 - a year too late !
    • It also has SSD ( Flash drives ) which is pure yummy! 
    • Unfortunately, there was another shocker - the price. Today, I just did a quick check on the cost of a fully loaded MacBook Pro, and oh boy - that kind of cost will burn out your pocket. Screenshot below with the cost. This device is going to remain a dream for now. 
Cost of a fully loaded Retina display MacBook Pro
  • Dictation as a feature - hmm. lets see how this works. 
    • There are some big flaws with dication or Speech to Text. I will wait and see if these are going to be addressed by Apple.
      • They dont really work well in noisy locations. 
      • In quiet location, they dont pick up the accent unless you speak with a nasally American accent.
  • Facebook integration etc is meh. I don't really like the twitter integration in iOS5 as it is quite limited, and also as I cannot share with any other service. Android does this part really well - and I hope one day iOS will be able to. So, untill iOS6 is rolled out, I will reserve my judgement here. 
  • Game Center is a big Game Changer (forgive me the pun!)
    • When the WWDC was going on, i was chatting with my friend and lamenting about the lack of the gaming scene on macs. This is going to change drastically with the game and GL SDK that apple is now providing. 
      • They probably showed Diablo3 as that is one of the few new high end games that run on the MacOS. 
    • It allows users to play across apple devices - which to me is a big deal. You can play on the mac with your friend who is on an iPhone. Superb ! That is if you are into casual gaming. I am still leery about high end games.
    • I really want to see some good mainstream games being made for the mac and at a lower cost. Hope to see this happening now with Apple's focus on GameCenter.
  • Notification Centre... oh how I want that ! 
    • One of the neatest new feature is the notification center. After being used to notifications on Android and iOS devices, I was always wondering when it will come to mainstream computing. Windows 8 has some concept of it I think , but Apple has totally nailed it. 
      • Ramblings : I wonder when this feature will be coming to Linux or will I have to code it myself ?
  • The apps for blind people and autistic children was amazing. I wish other manufacturers also highlight how they are helping in these spheres. 
  • I feel really sorry for the people who bought the old macs in the last month or so. They will get the new OS , but stuck with the older hardware. :P
  • Maps ! 
    • Now Apple is having their own maps. Does this mean that their deal with Google has run its course ? I see this as another attack at Google. 
    • The 3D mode is spectacular. Google has just got a jab to wake up and make their maps better. Fortunately for Google, the apple maps is so far limited to the apple devices. 
Looks like someone liked SimCity a lot in Apple ! The Flyover mode renders buildings in 3d with textures!
  •  Passbook did not make much sense to me as I do not know how those will work. Are those applications even available in India ?
  • Incoming phone and reminders. 
    • Android OS 4 is coming up with quick replies for common replies when you get a call you cannot take at that moment. However, the killer stuff in iOS is the "Remind me when I leave". This will basically pop a reminder of the missed call when you leave that location - this is an awesome feature to have ! 
    • Additionally for the phone - the "Do Not Disturb" feature is what I have been dreaming about for a long long while. I have been woken up too many times at night due to some email pinging. These small things, the attention to detail is what makes people fans of Apple. 
  • Meh about Safari
    • A lot of screentime was spent on Safari. To me that browser is not that great. Sure a lot of mobile traffic uses it - but that is because it is the default browser on the device. This is the IE of iOS world. Just because it is there does not mean it is great. 

Next year I hope to see a list of 'Great new features for India'... but I doubt it will happen. 

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