Here’s a quick-fire overview of what WWDC had in store for the rest of the world.
iPhone 4 + iOS4
After much anticipation, two iPhone prototype leaks and ever-changing release dates, Apple has officially confirmed its American release date – June 24. The first shipment will be sent to five major countries with the rest of the world in July and September. New Zealand could see the device as early as July, and definitely before the end of the year.
What is new in the iPhone 4? Most of our predictions were spot on, with a few extra surprises:
- Shape: most of the world knew this version would be narrower, thinner and with a squarer shape. The steel frame which holds the main shape is actually the entire antenna, aiming to improve call quality. There were rumours that it was going to come in various colours, but the release said only black and white. However casings called “bumpers” will add colour: available in white, pink, baby blue, lime green and orange.
- Camera: Dual camera display, 5MP back facing and VGA front-facing, which allowed for video calling and the new FaceTime. LED flash was added, Video recording now available in 720p HD and yes, iMovie will now available for iPhone so that you can edit those HD videos.
- Screen: Background is no longer limited to black, with the demo version sporting a new lighter background. The screen resolution was greatly increased to 960 x 640 pixels with an added “Retina” display, which is really just a fancy way of saying “more pixels than before”.
- Hardware: it now contains a custom-made Apple A4 chip bringing a faster processor, multitasking, better accelerometer with the addition of gyroscope, Quadband. Double microphone for noise cancellation. Don’t forget as well, this version of the iPhone will be using the new MicroSIM which could cause hiccups on our networks.
- Software: With all iPhone launches comes, new iPhone operating system. This is no different, except the name. Since the operating system also runs on iPod Touch and iPads and the upgrade is free – no cost to those with OS 2 and above. So save you money for all the new applications that are bound to follow the release.
Although this was not announced at Steve Job’s Keynote, it was released later in the afternoon at the developers’ session. Reviews of the Safari update have shown that there are some key features:
- Page Loading: DNS pre-fetching means more speed – when you are browsing a page, Safari will scan all the links and the IP addresses on the page and prepare them for you to click getting ready for when you click on it, essentially pre-loading it. Google Chrome and Firefox already do this.
- HTML5 Support: the long-awaited increase of support for the HTML5 features is finally here and is joined by extra support for CSS and other technologies behind many web apps in the current market. There is also HTML5 form validation.
- Full Screen Playback: now you can finally watching the videos in full screen, even the high definition ones. There has been more push to support the open source WebM format too.
- Safari Reader: This new feature is probably the most popular and talked about. The reader button will be housed in the URL bar and once clicked, will present web content in a floating light-box. It will eliminate photos and ads, and will also consolidate multi-page articles which will be handy for e-books and news articles. It really has the ability to change website design principles if it is adopted and used extensively.
- Additional features: geolocation, sectioning, drag and drop, support for: Ruby, AJAX History, EventSource and WebSocket (version unverified). Most of the new features for support are much needed considering Google Chrome and Firefox have had these capabilities for awhile.
We knew it would be popular but can you believe they’ve have sold over 2 million iPads in only 10 countries? There are already over 8,500 native iPad applications and on users on average have 17 apps on their devices. In total over 35 million applications for the iPad have been sold. The numbers are astounding, even for the skeptical.
This little point probably doesn’t make most consumers happy – who needs more adverts? It seems ironic that with Safari 5’s new “Reader” feature which removes ads from websites, that Apple has developed a program specially to sell ad space. iAds is an attempt to give publishers more power in how their content is viewed online. iAds, which will be used on iOS4 devices, cannot be blocked, and are an attempt to make the advertising more interactive and effective. This isn’t the first attempt at making interactive advertising, but it is key to have them engaging, so it is no surprise that advertisers are extremely excited about iAds. $60 million of space was sold before the launch on WWDC. iAds will provide only premium content advertising.
FaceTime will finally allow for video calling on the iPhone, although it only works over WiFi connection for the time being. Apple is still working with carriers to enable video calling over 3G.
What was your favourite part about the WWDC? Were you only wanting to know about the iPhone? Or were you hoping for more updates on their computers?