Yesterday was the perfect day for nerds who like press conferences. We had Apple, Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft and Sony all doing their little “Look at me!!” bits in the space of a few short hours. At the time of writing however I’ve only seen Apple’s one (I saw a bit of the Microsoft one, I’ll just leave that at £429) so let’s focus on the Cupertino ones.
Three main things came from the presentation; the new Mac Pro, OS X Mavericks and iOS 7.
The Mac Pro hasn’t been updated properly for many a year as Apple have shifted focus to the casual computing market and away from the Pro user (read: $$$) so when the sexy new trash can was announced, the crowd erupted with genuine excitement. It isn’t as internally expandable as previous models, but is absolutely loaded with high performance I/O so that things like external drives and beautiful displays can be added. The intro video for the device also featured the music of Muse, thus I am happy.
OS X has finally moved away from its big cats code-names, and moved to location in California. OS X 10.9 is now known as Mavericks and it includes many features that the Pro users will find enjoyable. Things like faster and smoother performance, extended battery life for notebooks and making full-screen apps finally work properly on multiple displays were shown. There wasn’t a whole lot here that someone who mainly uses their mac for word processing and web-browsing would find interesting, but hey, if it all works smoother then count me in.
The big guns were saved for iOS 7. First and foremost I have to say, it’s absolutely gorgeous. The same design team that craft the beautifully minimalist hardware that we all know and love have for the first time crafted the look and feel of the OS. Gone are the textures of things like the leather in calendar the felt of Game Centre and the torn pages of the Notes app. In their place are crisp lines, minimalist tones and an emphasis on colours. In previous versions of iOS each app was designed by a different team, in iOS 7 the design is by the same team all the way across the OS. Looks aren’t the only difference though. New features likes Control Centre make it easier than ever to use your device.
All in all I was pretty impressed by what was shown yesterday. For the past few months many have been saying that Apple have both lost their cool and have abandoned the Pro user. Yesterdays conference put a stop to many of those criticisms. Whilst I can’t wait for iOS 7 I have to admit that the new version of OS X is leaving me severely underwhelmed. But as long as it runs better than Mountain Lion, I’ll consider it an improvement.
More info: http://www.apple.com