The months of May and June seem to be conference season for nearly all of the major players in the world of technology. Cisco, Microsoft, and Apple are among some of the most notable companies who have recently had conferences for their communities of partners and developer. This past month, Apple had their week-long developer conference. The keynote for this conference always gives us a taste of the new things Apple has on the horizon — things like a new version of iOS for iPhones, iPods, and iPads that will be available in the fall. This usually kicks off a flurry of anticipation about the updated hardware for many of these devices that, like clockwork, can be expected to go along with the software release in the fall.
Apple announced iOS 7 during their keynote speech. iOS 7 has a new set of flat looking icons and makes use of layers to give you a feeling of depth. These layers use the sensors in the phone to create in certain circumstances a 3D effect in the user interface. As you tilt the device, the items seem to float above their background. The new operating system promises a host of new features, but Apple only highlighted a few during the presentation. A new Control Center for quicker access to common functions and settings, improvements to multitasking, and updates to apps like Safari, Pictures, Camera, and Music are a few of the new features they did highlight. You can get a lot more info about these features and others at http://www.apple.com/ios/ios7/. I will also be writing about some of the features as I learn more about them, like new parental controls in Safari and enterprise single sign on.
Mac OSX Mavericks, a new desktop operating system for the Mac desktops and laptops, was also announced with a host of new features like tagging, and multi-monitor support being extended to apple TV. The MacBook Air received a host of hardware upgrades, including a faster processor and faster hard drive storage. The theme of the day for hardware updates was certainly “faster.” We also got a video sneak peek at new Mac Pro desktops. The “tower” is a shiny black cylinder filled with lots of super-fast components. Faster flash based hard drives, faster RAM, a faster more efficient CPU, and 2 blazing fast graphics processors. It’s so fast it’s blowing my hair back as I tell you about it. Finally, Apple also talked about updates to their Airport wireless access points. The new access points support the new 802.11ac standard. The previous standard you may have seen on the boxes at your local BestBuy was N. This new standard standard is capable of 3x the speeds of N. One of the new Airports introduced also includes Time Capsule, which is Apple’s backup software, and up to 3TB of storage. For reference, that’s just over 6x the storage of a 500GB hard drive.
Summer is full of conferences and release events. Keep your eye out for lots more from Apple, Microsoft, and other companies over the next few months.