Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook made waves at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference — WWDC, announcing many new products including the Mountain Lion upgrade for OS X, iOS 6 and new MacBook, complete with a “Retina” display and improved hardware. Moreover, the announcements are another set of shakeups to the competitive hardware, software, and social media spaces investors watch closely.
A Newer, Faster MacBook and Retina Display
Both the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air each are being totally refreshed. While the MacBook Air is just a hardware upgrade, which is natural for any company to do when their current models get a bit long in the tooth, the MacBook Pro has undergone a revolutionary change. The top of the line model will now feature a “Retina” display with 220 pixels per inch and a screen resolution of 2880 x 1880 pixels, by far the highest resolution 15-inch laptop display ever created. Several of the apps that ship with iOS, including Mail and Safari, will be updated to take advantage of the higher resolution display. It also will come with Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) newest Ivy Bridge processor and Nvidia’s (NASDAQ:NVDA) new GeForce GT 650M mobile graphics solution. The form factor has been slimmed down as well, now about as thin as a MacBook Air, but heavier at 4.5 pounds. The refreshed MacBook Pro will debut at a base price of $2,199, with additional options adding to that total.
The MacBook Air will now come equipped with 4GB of RAM standard, USB 3.0 and a maximum of a 512GB solid state drive. It also will feature Intel Ivy Bridge processors like the MacBook Pro. The entry-level 11-inch Macbook Air retains the same price as before, while the three higher end models all will drop by $100 when the refreshed models hit stores.
OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
Mountain Lion is the latest refresh of Mac OS X. According to Apple’s head of OS X development Craig Federighi, “Mountain Lion is a major new release with hundreds of new features.” These include new apps called Messages, Reminders and Notes, along with iCloud integration. A new version of the Safari web browser is also included. New MacBook Pro and Air users will enjoy the new Power Nap feature, which will allow these Macs to receive updates and do file backups when in sleep mode, making these tasks easier than ever. Mountain Lion will debut in July at a price of $19.99, which is very reasonable for the many features and improvements it includes.
With a new iPhone rumored to be around the corner, Apple showed off the newest version of their mobile operating system. Siri has been improved dramatically and will understand users’ commands better and more quickly. It will also be available on third-generation iPads with the iOS 6 update. The update also replaces Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) as a map provider for GPS and adds turn by turn directions, something iOS has been lacking when compared to Android. Apple will take over the maps, but how they will compare to Google has yet to be seen. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter integration has also undergone some changes, making many features easier and more user-friendly. iOS 6 also allows users to tie their phone number to their Apple ID, allowing them to answer a phone call from their other Apple devices.
Don’t Miss: WWDC Recap: Everything You Need to Know.