WWDC: Cook unveils iOS 6, new OS X, Retina display MacBook Pro

Apple can still generate 'ton of anticipation' about upcoming products without former CEO Steve Jobs, says analyst

1 2 3 4 Page 3
Page 3 of 4

The disclosure of a release month and the price mirrored Apple's practice for the last two OS X releases, when similar information was offered during 2009's and 2011's WWDC keynotes.

"Apple wants people to use their newest OS X," said Gottheil, referring to the 33% price cut of Mountain Lion. The change won't directly impact Apple's revenue, but it may help boost sales of Macs, he argued. "They want customers to enjoy the new features [in Mountain Lion], so that those people will help them sell new customers on the Mac."

Apple also unveiled some of the new features in iOS 6, the mobile operating system that powers the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Scott Forstall, the top executive for iOS development, announced that Siri, the voice-activated assistant that's been running in a long "beta" program on the iPhone 4S, will be available to the third-generation iPad with the iOS 6 update.

More languages have been added to Siri's comprehension, including both Mandarin and Cantonese for China and Taiwan, Italian, Spanish, French and Korean. The assistant has been tweaked to answer sports questions and by retrieving information from the popular Rotten Tomatoes website, movie-related queries as well.

Not mentioned, and apparently not in the cards, was an API (application programming interface) that would let developers tap into Siri for their own mobile apps. Gottheil had expected to see such an API announced today.

The iOS upgrade also uses Apple's own mapping technology, making good on rumors that circulated before today that the company was going to dump Google as its map provider. "We've built an entirely new mapping solution from the ground up," said Forstall, who also showed off the 3-D "Flyover" feature that shows some cities in three dimensions.

The new map app offers local search and turn-by-turn driving and walking directions, the latter a major omission on the iPhone -- and something rival Android phones had by default -- unless the owner ponied up for a separate app.

How well Apple pulls off mapping will be crucial, said Gottheil, who cited a pair of reasons why the Cupertino, Calif. company decided to tackle the technology itself.

"Google was already dealing a nicer version of maps to Android than it was to iOS -- a good reason for buyers to pick Android -- so Apple [did this] to compensate for that as well as to not make themselves vulnerable to Google's whim," Gottheil said.

iOS 6 also features tight integration with Facebook -- along the lines of the Twitter integration Apple launched last year with iOS 5 -- a new tool called "Do Not Disturb" that lets users set which notifications or calls that they receive off-hours; over-cellular FaceTime video chat; and a revamped Safari browser.

1 2 3 4 Page 3
Page 3 of 4
Bing’s AI chatbot came to work for me. I had to fire it.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon