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The Lowdown: What Apple Announced At WWDC 2012

Apple introduced new notebook, refreshed its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro series of notebooks and made a series of software and hardware announcements at Worldwide Developer Conference 2012 (WWDC), its ongoing annual developer conference held at Moscone Center, San Francisco. Here is a quick lowdown on all the announcements:

App Store Stats: Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that there are a total 400 million active accounts with registered credit cards on the App store and the iTunes app store now features 650,000 apps in the iTunes app store, of which 225,000 apps are specifically made for iPad. He claimed that Apple has recorded 30 billion downloads from the app store and has paid out over $5 billion to developers. App store now operates in 120 countries with an additional 32 countries being added by the end of this month.

OS X Lion and Mountain Lion: Apple informed that its total Mac user base now stands at 66 million with 40% of them on OS X Lion. The company has shipped 26 million copies of OS X Lion since its launch nine months ago. Apple’s cloud service iCloud now has 125 million users, which is the same number announced by the company in its Q2-FY12 results.

Apple also gave a preview of Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8), the next and the ninth major OS X release which is expected to be available on the Mac App Store for $19.99 next month. Apple claimed that Mountain Lion introduces more than 200 new features and over 1700 new APIs. The prominent among them include the new Messages app, Documents in the Cloud, Notification center, Dictation support, system-wide sharing, Built-in Facebook integration, Power Nap, Airplay Mirroring, Game Center and several improvements to Apple’s core apps like Safari, Mail among others.

iOS Stats: Apple announced that it has sold 365 million iOS devices through March 30, 2012, the same number announced by the company in its Q2-FY12 results. What’s significant though is that 80% of these devices run on iOS 5, the company’s latest iOS release. In comparison, Tim Cook noted that only 7% of Android devices run on Android 4.0, Google’s latest Android release. Apple claimed that it delivers 700 billion push notifications every day and it has delivered 1.5 trillion push notifications till now. However its was not clear if this number includes duplicates since it delivers push notifications on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad as of now. Apple also added that there are currently 140 million iMessage users with 1 billion messages sent per day and 150 billion messages sent till now.

Apple also previewed iOS 6, the next major release of its mobile operating system iOS, which apparently will offer more than 200 new features including a new Maps app which will be replacing Google Maps as the default maps app on iOS, a new 3D Flyover view, turn-by turn navigation, Improved Siri app with more sports information, restaurant and movie integration and ability to launch apps, built-in Facebook integration, shared photo streams on iCloud and a new Passbook app along with several improvements to the Built-in Mail app and Safari browser. Its worth noting that Apple has tied up with TomTom and OpenStreetMaps for its map content and is partnering with several car manufacturers to launch a new feature called ‘Eyes Free’ through which a dedicated car button is integrated to fire up Siri application on the iPhone.

iOS 6 is expected to be available to iPhone (iPhone 3GS and later), iPod Touch (Fourth generation) and iPad users (iPad 2 and the new iPad) as a free update later this year while the beta is currently available to registered iOS developers on Apple developer website.

Twitter and Facebook Integration: Apple had introduced built-in Twitter integration in iOS 5. The company said that Twitter has since then seen a 3x growth in iOS users with 10 billion tweets being sent through iOS 5, of which 47% of them were photos.

In a similar fashion, Apple has now integrated Facebook into the upcoming iOS 6 offering Facebook integration to Contacts and Calendar, ability to post directly to Facebook from Notification center, Siri and other core iOS apps like Photos, Safari and Maps, as well as support for single sign on mechanism. Apple will also be bringing Facebook integration to both the App store and iTunes app allowing users to like content and view their friend recommendations.

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro: Apple refreshed its current line of Notebooks by launching updated versions of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. The new MacBook Air will feature new Ivy Bridge Intel processors, upgraded graphics, USB 3.0 ports, new 720p FaceTime HD camera, higher storage capacity of up to 512 GB solid state drives (SSDs) and 4GB memory capacity upgradeable up to 8GB while the new MacBook Pro will also feature the new Ivy Bridge processors, improved graphics, USB 3.0 ports and storage capacity of up to 1TB hard drives or 512GB SSDs.

Both the notebooks are shipping today and will ship with Lion operating system with free upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion when it becomes available. The MacBook Air is priced at Rs 67,900 for the 11-inch 64GB version, going up to Rs 74,900 for the 11-inch 128GB version, Rs 81,900 for the the 13-inch 128GB version and Rs 99,900 for the 13-inch 256 GB version while the MacBook Pro is priced at Rs 81,900 for the 13-inch 500GB version going up to Rs 99,900 for the 13-inch 750GB version, Rs 122,900 for the 15-inch 500GB version and Rs 152,900 for the 15-inch 750GB version.

Macbook Pro with Retina Display: Apple also introduced an all new 15-inch MacBook Pro featuring Retina display and nearly as thin as MacBook Air with thickness of 0.71 inches. The notebook will also feature Intel Core i7 quad-core processors, a 2880×1880 resolution, Two USB 3.0 ports, flash storage of up to 768GB and memory capacity of up to 16GB RAM. Apple claimed that this notebook will offer 7 hours battery life and is the first Apple notebook to feature a built-in HDMI port.

It starts shipping today and will ship with Lion operating system with free upgrades to OS X Mountain Lion when it becomes available. The prices start at Rs 152,900 for the 256GB version going up to Rs 192,900 for 512GB version.

With Inputs from Aman Rai

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