What You Need to Know About Apple's WWDC 2013

Mac and iPhone users can look forward to myriad new features.

Apple announced a slew of new products — both hardware and software — at yesterday's World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Calif. Continuing its push to unify the mobile and desktop experiences, Apple introduced several cloud services in addition to Mac OS X Mavericks and iOS 7. Here's a closer look at the best of WWDC 2013.

iOS 7

  • Say goodbye to the trademark skeuomorphic design of Apple's mobile operating system. The new software is entirely "flat," creating a more sleek, modern experience.
  • Folders will no longer be confined to 12 or 16 apps (depending on which model iPhone you use), thanks to pages within folders. Users can swipe right or left while in a folder to access more apps and bookmarks.
  • Apps such as Safari, Music and Photos are completely redesigned. The Photos app will pull metadata from images to organize albums by location and time. The Camera app will feature Instragram-like filters and an option to shoot square photos.
  • The all-new Control Center, as described by The Verge:

    By dragging up from the bottom of the screen, users can access a new feature called Control Center, which includes easy access to a variety of options, including brightness, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. The menu pulls upward in a frosted-glass style translucent pane — from there, users can toggle rotation lock, airplane mode, media controls, and AirPlay, as well as view their open apps. Adding quick-access controls like these have been a popular jailbreak tweak, and clearly Apple has taken that to heart.

  • Just as the rumors predicted, iTunes Radio will bring Pandora-like music to the iPhone, according to All Things D:

    Just like Pandora, users can create radio stations based on songs they’re listening to. And, yes, iTunes Radio lets you share those stations you create with friends. You’re also able to flip through curated channels picked by the dudes at Apple, and even select a channel based on what’s trending on Twitter.

OS X Mavericks

Apple isn't leaving the desktop to rot while pouring all of their resources into mobile. In fact, the new desktop operating system — named OS X Mavericks, after a surfing beach in California — is more powerful than ever.

  • Finally, users will be able to sort through their Finder using tabs, just like a web browser. Third-party app PathFinder has offered this for some time, and this feature should be a welcome update.
  • In addition to a new calendar app, users will get to enjoy Apple Maps, a desktop application that will be able to push turn-by-turn directions to mobile devices.
  • Devices will be faster, too, explains TechCrunch:

    The new OS X also includes new CPU management tools, which, according to Apple reduces CPU usage by up to 72%. Apple also retooled the memory processes and now claims to have utilized a new method that compresses inactive memory into one place, freeing up space in the process. Plus, Apple claims this improves processes like wakeup time by up to 1.5x times.

MacBook Air and Mac Pro

  • The MacBook Air 13.3-inch edition boasts 12-hour battery life and a faster processor, along with other improvements, reports The Verge:

    The new Intel HD Graphics 5000 is also said to bring a 40 percent increase in GPU performance, though it's worth noting the processors Apple is using here don't include the power hungry Iris graphics that are said to offer discrete-like performance. Other than the new power plant, there are some other changes to the MacBook Air. The new models have 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and flash storage is said to be up to 45 percent faster than the last generation.

  • The updated Mac Pro is a desktop workhorse. Apple has loaded this machine with as much power and speed as possible, according to Macworld:

    The new 9.9-inch tall Mac Pro case is about one-eighth the size of the Mac Pro tower. The entire top of the Mac Pro is a handle for carrying, and motion sensor lights show the I/O ports. The new design, according to [Apple senior vice president Phil] Schiller, is based around a “unified thermal core” to help keep the machine cool.

    At the heart of the Mac Pro is a Xeon E5 processor, which is based on Intel’s Ivy Bridge microarchitecture and introduced by the company last April. Configurations with 12-cores will be available, and all Mac Pros will use third-generation PCI Express architecture. Apple is also using 1866MHz ECC DDR3 RAM.

    Schiller also went to great lengths to emphasize the new Mac Pro’s graphics performance. The machine will have dual AMD FirePro workstation-class GPUs, and be able to run three 4K displays at one time. Apple says the new Mac Pro's graphics performance is 2.5 times faster than its predecessor.


  • The iWork suite will now include cloud-based software for word processing, spreadsheets and slide show presentations, similar to Google Drive and Microsoft 365. The software will also be entirely compatible with Microsoft Office.
  • iCloud Keychain will store passwords in the cloud and autofill login forms.

What was your favorite announcement from WWDC 2013? Let us know in the Comments section.

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Jun 11 2013