MacOS KenDensed: WWDC 2012 Techno-palooza

Hyper Man: Ken Ray. Better than the average guy.Just in case you hadn’t heard, Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference was this week, and the company dropped a new retina display MacBook Pro in our laps. The company also previewed OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6, and kicked Google Maps to the curb. Since you couldn’t be there, how about if Mac OS Ken’s Ken Ray takes you by the hand and fills you in.

My god. It’s full of Pixels.
This week Apple yesterday unveiled something like a better MacBook Pro at the Worldwide Developers Conference. I can’t remember the exact wording, but in introducing the machine, Apple Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said, basically, we tried to figure out how to make the MacBook Pro even better… then we did it. And he’s probably right. This is probably the Mac you’re gonna want.

Retina display, flash storage, stupid thin. .71-inches thin, and weighing in at less than four-and-a-half-pounds. It’s not wedge shaped like the MacBook Air; it’s just flat and thin. Stupid thin.

The most advanced Mac Apple has ever built says Tim Cook in the company’s press release on the machine. Almost all battery on the inside with a crazy level of engineering that’s evident in the film about — what I guess is being called — either the new MacBook Pro, not to be confused with the other new MacBook Pros, or the Next Generation MacBook Pro.

I like MacBook Pro: The Next Generation. But nobody asked me.

According to Apple, “The new MacBook Pro Retina display is the world’s highest resolution notebook display with over 5 million pixels, 3 million more than an HD television.” The screen boasts 75-percent less reflection and 29-percent higher contrast than the previous generation — which they also updated Monday.

And the insides are crazy fast, like you’d expect.

I said the thing about flash-storage only, right? Well if I didn’t, I meant to.

Lion, iPhoto, iMovie, iTunes and other Apple apps such as Aperture and Final Cut Pro X have been updated for the new machine’s Retina Display, and some third-party developers are already hard at work on Retina updates, including one for Adobe Photoshop, one for AutoCAD, and one for Diablo III — cuz all work and no play, and all.

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber says you can pretty much liken the next generation MacBook Pro to 2008’s first-generation MacBook Air.

“The first Air was expensive and not for everyone,” he writes, “but it showed the future of Apple’s (and, really, the industry’s) portables. That’s what the new 15-inch MacBook Pro is: the future of portable Macs.”

And what’ll you run on this brand new hardware? Pretty soon a brand new operating system. Something in a Snow Lion, perhaps… by which I, of course, mean Mountain Lion.

More than 200 innovative features headed our way, of which Apple showed off eight, I think, including a new Messages app, a reintroduction to Notification Center, system-wide Sharing, Facebook integration, which will not be present at Mountain Lion’s release but will be along in a software update, Dictation, Power Nap, AirPlay Mirroring, and Game Center.

Was that eight? I don’t know.

Mountain Lion will be available next month for $19.99-cents delivered — once again — through the Mac App Store. Upgrades are available either from Lion or from Snow Leopard. Mountain Lion will also be a free upgrade for anyone who buys any one of Apple’s new Macs, beginning this week.

iOS: The Next Generation
Apple also showed off features of iOS 6, on Monday. It, too, will have over 200 new features, of which they showed ten including the rumored all new Maps app, new stuff for Siri, deep Facebook integration, shared photo streams, Passbook — which is like a giftcard, coupon, ticketing platform — the ability to run FaceTime over cellular. Not 3G, by Scott Forstall’s wording, but cellular. Along with tweaks to the phone part of the phone, and enhancements to Mail, Accessibility, and Mobile Safari.

The map thing is cool. The phone changes are cool. But I have to say the biggest story from the OS side seems to me to be the marrying of all of your Apple kit.

Documents in the Cloud seems to be working better across iOS and the Mac OS. There’s a neat feature called Tabs in the Cloud where you can see all of your open Safari tabs across all of your Macs and iOS devices from any one of your Macs or iOS devices, letting you pick up where you left off from one to the other.

The iOS 6 beta software and SDK were made available for registered developers on Monday. It’ll be available as a free software update for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, the new iPad, iPad 2 and iPod touch (fourth generation) this fall.

Siri’s headed to the new iPad, by the way, and that’s apparently it.

WWDC, from the Analysts
Apple had lots to show off at WWDC, and analysts had lots to say afterwards.

RBC’s Amit Daryanani likes the new MacBook Pro Retina Display laptop, the MacBook refresh, the additional Siri capabilities, and Apple’s new Baps app. But what he really likes is the increased stickiness of the Mac and iOS ecosystem.

Quoting his note: “With 200+ features and functionalities added through iOS 6 and Mountain Lion, the install base should continue to grow and remain loyal to the Apple ecosystem, increasing ‘stickiness’.”

Still, most of what we saw was kind of expected. The big happy fun time will be the end of this year and beginning of next year.

Quoting his note again, “The next set of catalysts to watch for includes iPhone 5 launch in September/October and possible AppleTV launch in early 2013.” Oh yeah: he heard Forstall say “cellular” as well.

“Finally,” he wraps his note, “we believe the FaceTime over data addition hints at a new LTE enabled iPhone by year-end.”

Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster was pleased with iOS and OS X’s increased ability to play nice saying,

We believe the biggest takeaway is that Apple is strengthening not only the interaction within its own ecosystem, but also creating a consortium of powerful web partners to offer an experience that largely falls outside of Google’s walls.

Sound like a hat tip to Facebook and it’s new found place inside iOS and the operating system for Macs.

ISI’s Brian Marshall said, “While some may have been mildly disappointed that a new Apple TV OS was not introduced, we believe Apple wanted to focus attention on the Mac platform which is positioned to continue taking share, in our view.”

Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty was stoked about Apple’s 400 million App Store accounts with credit cards. The number of accounts is up 78-percent Year-over-Year, bigger — she thinks — than anyone else out there. She also likes Apple’s super-focus on China.

Deutsche Bank’s Chris Whitmore wasn’t surprised by anything he heard, though he still liked it, and he liked the stitching together of the iOS/OS X experiences.

Think they’ll eventually call it iOSX?

Jefferies and Company analyst Peter Misek saw lots about which to get excited in the Hardware and Software Refreshes.

Barclay’s Capital analyst Ben Reitzes was happy, though he’d like to have seen the Apple TV SDK expected by many. He also wanted a lower-priced MacBook Air for education, and a new iMac or two.

“Nevertheless,” he concludes, “we expect another major event in early September to release the next iPhone and several other key hardware products.”

Goldman Sachs analyst Bill Shope says in the short term he’s stoked about the new laptops and Siri’s new place on the new iPad. Longterm, he likes the strengthening of Apple’s overall ecosystem presented in the coming software updates.

JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz says “the two major iOS 6 advancements are Passbook and Maps,” with Passbook eventually morphing into a mobile payment system, in his estimation.

And finally, Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair sees MacBook Pro: The Next Generation with Retina Display as “a real step forward into the future of mobile computing,” like the MacBook Air was in 2008… like a guy who’s been reading Gruber. Or listening to the MacCast.

He also thinks the development of mapping and other apps by Apple is bad for Google, while the integration of Facebook is a positive for iOS, and - I’m guessing - also bad for Google.

From financial analysts to industry analysts. Wired has a couple saying, “Oh man, did Apple’s next-generation MacBook Pro screw up the competition.”

In more proper and subdued ways, of course.

Forrester’s Frank Gillet says MacBook Pro: TNG puts Apple at least a year ahead of the best ultrabooks and high-end notebooks out there today.

Quoting Gillet,

It will likely take rivals a year or two to catch up… Anybody can go buy the processors from Intel, but even the track pads from these companies can’t match Apple. Apple has more discipline and control over every aspect of these machines, so it’s tough for the other guys, the Windows guys, to compete.

Seconding that emotion, Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi, who says, “The new MacBook Pro is the evolution of a species. All computers will have to be thinner and lighter because, as consumers, we are taking them different places. But there really is nothing out there like the MacBook Pro Retina yet. Apple raised the bar.”

So long, Ping
And finally This week, Apple’s music social network experiment Ping may be making its final few loops around the drain. AllThingsD has unnamed sources it says are close to the company saying Apple plans to do Ping in with the next major release of iTunes.

Seems fairly sensible. Facebook’s going deep into iOS 6 and Mountain Lion — eventually. Twitter’s deep in iOS and will be more so in Mountain Lion. Apple’s making it easy to share where people are already sharing, making Ping a bit redundant.

I wonder why they wouldn’t try to run the river both ways, though. Make Ping an app for Facebook? Let it drill into the social network the way the social network is drilling into Apple’s ecosystem?

If Ping on Facebook could see what I’m playing through Spotify on Facebook it might be able to offer me a custom-made digital-box set and make a few pennies.

Heh heh. Digital-box.

Where was I?