Apple unloaded a metric ton of hardware and software at the WWDC keynote today. New supermodel MacBook Pros, software upgrades everywhere, so many peripherals and updates that some didn’t even get mentioned—it was all pretty overwhelming. Here are the most important bits….
You can get a staggering 768 GB—yes, that number is correct—SSD drive. That’s mammoth. More? Two Thunderbolt ports, HDMI, an SD card, USB 3.0, and “MagSafe 2.” No ethernet port or optical drive, but it’s time to shed some old tech—and that’s a big part of what keeps this thing so svelte. DVDs are dead. Bye. This computer is essentially the pinnacle of Apple technology. Little flourishes like dual microphones and a custom-designed asymmetrical internal fan (for quiet cooling) abound.The best part? The “MacBook pro with Retina Display,” the starship’s official name, starts at $2200 with a 2.3 GHz Ivy Bridge processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 SSD. Ships today. If you want to max it out—2.7 GHz processor, 16 GB of RAM, and the 768 GB SSD, it’ll hit you $3750. Which is a lot,but, hell. This is the computer we were all dreaming for today—the inevitable unification of the Air’s impossible lines and the Pro’s, well, professionalism. It’s an aluminum synthesis that makes a power computer seem as gentle for us humans as it is astoundingly capable. And it’s the most exciting thing Apple’s done in years.
Apple has announced that it’s bringing new iPad-style dictation to Mountain Lion. In the same way that you can tap the button on the digital keyboard, hitting the microphone button will allow you to speak directly into native software, websites like Facebook and even third-party applications like Microsoft Word.
Apple just introduced a new OS X feature here at WWDC 2012 called Power Nap. It lets your Mac update email, notifications and photos in the background, as well as back itself up while charging. Whether or not Apple ever drops the word “Ultrabooks” (and trust us, it won’t), this addition is a clear retort to all those Windows-based ultraportables that promise to keep web-based apps up to date. In addition to the new MacBook Pros announced today, the feature will work with the second-generation Air, which makes us think all other legacy Macs might be excluded. Supposedly, too, the technology goes easy on the battery and won’t stir up the fans, though Apple claims they’re quieter on the new Macs anyway.