With a slew of announcements today, Apple continues its streak of doing what it does best: wowing consumers as well as developers.
This year's WWDC sold out in 103 minutes -- the first one without Steve Jobs -- and featured an introduction from Siri, Apple's voice-recognition software.
Apple opened its kimono on some usage numbers before getting to the product updates. Turns out there are 400 million user accounts in the App Store, with 30,000,000,000 downloads to date. They've also paid out $5 billion to developers and are expanding into more countries, bringing the worldwide total to more than 150.
The MacBook Air is getting a facelift, with a faster processor, solid-state drives up to 512 gigs and USB 3.0 -- which is an order of magnitude faster than USB 2.0.
The new units are priced $999 to$1099 -- about $100 less than the present models.
The new MacBook Pros are described as "shockingly thin" as well, with a width of 0.71 inches. It also sports a Retina Display that is simply stunning. The screen is 15.4 inches across and has a pixel count of 5,184,000. Apple also pledges that it reduced glare and reflection by 75 percent, which is astonishing -- and a knock on one selling point for Amazon's Kindle and Fire.
The new laptops have HDMI built in, as well. They have Thunderbolt, ethernet and Firewire 800, along with Bluetooth 4.0, FaceTime HD and dual microphones.
Apple boasts that there are now 66,000,000 Mac users, three times as many as only five years ago. (All that product placement is paying off...)
The upgrades to the OSX are many, with dictation coming near the fore. A new Safari is baked in, as well. Tabs can be synced using iCloud if users are seeking continuity across their fanboy devices. Share buttons are also new.
With iOS, version six will have 200 new features, including updates to Siri. Sports and restaurant features have also been added. Users can also tweet by speaking into their phone. Back to Siri, buttons are being added to various car manufacturers, too, including GM, BMW, Chryslter and Toyota and Honda. Siri is also migrating to the iPad soon.
Facebook's platform creep is baked into iOS, too, with an integrated calendar. Mac integration is next.
FaceTime will now run on 3G as well as 4G networks, too.
Mapping was rumored for weeks, and Apple delivered. The new maps will crowd-source traffic data anonymously, routing drivers around trouble spots. (Pair that with a Google driver-less car, and no more commuting gripes!)
The 3D rendering of major cities is nothing short of amazing, too. Users can twist the camera angle. Again, amazing...
All in all, a pretty big day that delivered for consumers, developers and business types, too.