iOS6, OSX Mountain Lion and MacBook Pro updates...

Here's a relatively quick roundup of today's Apple announcements...
Started off with Siri (Apples AI) warming up the crowd and a jab at Samsung. "I'm excited about the new Samsung - The refrigerator".... Hohoho, what a wit. 

Developers from 60 countries have gathered for a week of all things apple and the opening keynote often acts as a launch pad for cool new stuff. Obviously being for developers there's a lot of focus on software and apps - and this year is no exception. 

Apple now have over 650,000 apps in the app store (225,000 for the iPad) and have paid out over $5bn to developers in royalties from the 400m end users who buy the little beasties.  It's fair to say that no matter what your platform preference, the "app" has become ubiquitous thanks to Apple and the App store. 

Tim Cook too to the stage and made an impassioned Thankyou to the developers that were present and then went on to announce some changes to thier notebook range, as well as news on OS X and iOS 6. 

The MacBook Air (which everyone is copying - see Dell) has new ivy bridge 3rd gen core processors up to 2 Ghz dual core i7 faster memory and graphics and now up to 512Gb Solid State Drives. They've also chucked in USB 3.0 (with USB 2.0 backward compatibility) and a 720p FaceTime camera. The entry level 11inch version is $999 and the 13inch is $1199, both available now. 

The MacBook Pro. Again with ivy bridge processors up to 2.7Ghz quadcore i7 faster memory and graphics cards, USB 3.0 from $1199 for the 13inch version and $1799 for the 15inch. 

The bigger news here though is the Next Generation MacBook Pro. Apple claim it is the most beautiful computer they've ever made. Slimmer and lighter than the existing MBPs with the Retina display we're used to seeing on the iPhone 4 and iPad 3. It has 4 times the number of pixels on a standard Mac Book Pro (that's 3million more than an HDTV!), less glare, high contrast ratios, deeper blacks and to make the best use of it, that means an update to OS X. All the stock applications (Mail, Safari, iPhoto etc) have been updated and Aperture and Final Cut Pro will follow swiftly behind. There's also updates from third parties to Photoshop, AutoCAD and Diablo III. 

With up to 2.6Ghz quadcore i7 processor, 16Gb or RAM, a Kepler GT 650M for graphics and up to 768Gb of flash storage, it's a monster. They've even squeezed 7hours of battery life in there, which isn't a lot, but considering the power requirements of such kit, isn't bad either. Now here's the killer though - the price....

15.4 inch 2.3Ghz quad i7, 8Gb RAM, 256GB SSD will set you back $2199 but that's entry level. See for yourself how much money you could spend at

Getting back to software, there are 66m OS X users in the world and the next version is called Mountain Lion.  It focuses on iCloud (with its 125m users) so that everything you do gets synchronised across all your devices and now you get Messages, Reminders and Notes integrated too. Messages (which has been available in beta for a little while) means your phone messages sync up everywhere. I've been using it and it's pretty cool I must say. Also in there is notification center - which iOS users will already be familiar with and from the iPad 3 they've brought in dictation. Built in and works for every app on the system - even Microsoft Word apparently. ;-) You'll be talking to facebook in no time or you can share anything  from the system wide Twitter button. 

The new version of Safari has improved JavaScript that runs faster than IE9, Chrome 19 and Firefox 13. There's a Unified search field and tab synchronising (again via iCloud) much like Chrome on the Android handsets. 

AirPlay mirroring has also arrived from iOS. If you're running an Apple TV then your Mac will be able to stream 1080p straight to whatever you have it plugged into. 

There's a whole ton of other updates which again you can read about on the website, but it's coming next month as an upgrade for $19.99

iOS6. Here comes over 200 new features. I'm not gong to list them - I need food - but a couple of highlights. Siri has a few updates which I'm sure will be great for those people on an iPhone 4S and they also seem to be a bit too US centric - but time will tell.  Launching apps with Siri is something everyone's been waiting for, but that also have "eyes free" for in-car use. They've teamed up with BMW, GM, Mercedes, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler and Honda all of whom will have a Siri button on thier steering wheels in the next 12 months. That's a pretty big deal. Siri is also coming to the iPad 3 (and not a moment too soon). Not the iPad 1 or 2 though. 

What didn't happen last time round was Facebook integration. It's here this time though and will have a publicly available API. Worse news though - it's integrated into the app store so you can like apps - I won't be doing this - and iTunes content. This is particularly disappointing for me, but such is life. I'm sure you can switch it off. 

FaceTime will work over cellular networks in iOS6. 
Messaging gets properly unified. 
Safari gets an overhaul. iTab syncing and photo uploading and a Full screen landscape view. 
Photo streams that you can share with other people. 
VIPs - a group of contacts that you can get to quickly in Mail. Easier attachments for mail too. 
Passbook to keep boarding passes, tickets, store cards all in one place. Location support for these too. 
Further enhancements for accessibility. 

Most importantly - and as mentioned before - the all new Maps App in 3D rendered on the fly! Built in turn by turn navigation. In fact pretty much everything you could want from a SatNav without buying a SatNav. Looks awesome by all accounts and is clearly something I need a closer look at, but Google won't be happy. 

So how long do we have to wait?  The beta is out for developers now (this very instant) The rest of us - with iPhone 3GS' and above or iPad 2's and above - will have to wait until the Autumn. 

WWDC runs all week - who knows what else is around the corner. :-)

This post originally appeared here: Posterous