Developer conferences are like geek crack. No matter how many times we try to avoid looking up updates, we scratch our neck like an addict going through withdrawal and then furiously click over to one of many liveblogs. Apple is releasing new laptops! Apple has redesigned iOS and OSX! And look at that odd, trash-can looking monstrosity that will replace the Mac Pro.
We won’t even get into the E3 conference that happened yesterday, except to say that if you’re purchasing an Xbox One or PS4 for your kids this year, note that the more-expensive Xbox One may prevent them from playing used games. Bummer.
Anyway, back to the office tech …
Mobile iOS Revamped
Apparently, lawyers like iPhones and iPads. If you are part of that majority, prepare for a visual assault on your corneas. The new "minimalist" look eliminates skeuomorphism (the design principle behind the fake leather textures, tape reel sound recorder, and my least favorite, the yellow lined-paper notes app) and embraces ... really bright colors? Some refer to the new palette as "Crayola," which is a fairly accurate assessment.
Ignoring form, what's the difference function-wise? The new control center should make accessing settings easier. Plus, Siri will allegedly be improved (which truthfully, ain't saying much).
One final note: iOS 7 will leave iPhone 3GS and earlier devices behind, along with the original iPad and some iPod touch devices.
Desktop OSX Too
They're calling it Mavericks, which of course, inspired a rash of Sarah Palin jokes. The biggest changes to Apple's desktop OS will be in the underlying code. Memory optimization and other beyond-understanding geek tricks will lead to significantly improved battery life.
Otherwise, there will be updates to iCloud, which include a password manager (let's hope they fix last week's security issue first) and iWork (the Apple equivalent of Microsoft Office, which no one uses) will have an in-browser version to compete with Google Docs and Office Web Apps. There are also other interface and organization tweaks, like tagging files with a category to make them easier to sort through later.
This is the biggest change to note. Remember when we said to wait to upgrade your laptop because Intel's Haswell processors were coming? They have arrived. Windows PCs with the new processors have been shipping for the past couple weeks and Apple is now shipping the MacBook Air, in 11 and 13-inch models, with the new processors. The 13-inch model allegedly lasts for twelve hours.
Not a laptop person? Have an insane budget? The Mac Pro, a long-forgotten, never-updated supercomputer was finally updated, for the first time in years, with a massive design overhaul, going from a 2000-era desktop case to a ... trashcan? The black cylinder may look funny, but the cooling design seems pretty brilliant. Everything vents to the center, where one big fan does its work.
And the power? You'll never need that much power. You wouldn't even need 1/10 of that power. But you could have that much power.
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