WWDC 2012 Stories June 18, 2012

Facebook just teased more iOS integration in a short post on the company’s Developers page amid buzz that it bought another successful company with an iOS app at its core.

According to the social network, it is working on a “major update” to the Facebook SDK for iOS that will launch soon:

We’re very excited about the Facebook integration in iOS 6 that Apple announced last week at WWDC 2012. We’re working on a major update to the Facebook SDK for iOS that will launch in the coming weeks. It includes significant new features and enhancements that make it easier to add Facebook to your iOS apps, along with support for the Facebook integration in iOS 6. Stay tuned!

There are no details on the update, but TheNextWeb speculated it involves the Open Graph, “allowing iOS developers to easily hook into your Timeline and its News Feed and Ticker products has become a way to send an app’s growth into the stratosphere.” The publication also wondered if the update would help developers launch apps in the App Center more easily.

Integration between Apple and Facebook unveiled last Monday for both iOS 6 and Mountain Lion during the Worldwide Developers Conference.

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WWDC 2012 Stories June 12, 2012

Andy Hertzfeld: The only thing that’s still high-end about [Mac Pro] is the bloated price

Update: MacRumors received a tip from a reader who claimed Apple’s CEO Tim Cook responded to his email to confirm new Mac Pros are coming next year. We received a tip last year detailing a similar email exchange between a Pro customer and the late chief Steve Jobs. Cook’s response to the reader is below:

Our pro customers are really important to us…don’t worry as we’re working on something really great for later next year.

We were not too shocked when Apple quietly updated its Mac Pro lineup following its WWDC keynote yesterday. We had previously revealed the spec-bumped Mac Pros, but many were skeptical Apple would release such a minor refresh for the product that otherwise had not received an update in two years.

Was it really an upgrade, or did Intel simply run out of the older CPUs? USB 2 and no Thunderbolt seem like a bad joke to high-end Mac Pro users.

Not surprisingly, many are calling out Apple for its decision to not release a major refresh to the Mac Pros. Perhaps most notably is former Apple engineer and current Google employee Andy Hertzfeld. In a Google+ post, Hertzfeld congratulated Apple on its new Retina MacBook, while expressing disappointment in the new Mac Pros:

The next generation MacBook Pro announced today at WWDC looks fantastic. I ordered one immediately and can’t wait to start using it. Unfortunately, the euphoria was negated by my deep disappointment with the meagre, lame update that was silently bequeathed to the Mac Pro today… The specs for the “new” Mac Pro had hardly changed, except for a tiny, inconsequential processor clock bump. Still no Thunderbolt, still no USB 3.0, no SATA III or RAM speed improvements – it seems like it’s stuck in time in 2010. The only thing that’s still high-end about it is the bloated price… Even though I’m well aware that Apple’s future lies increasingly with mobile iOS-based devices, it still makes no sense to drop the ball on your high end desktop Mac so thoroughly, and to utterly disappoint your most loyal customers like yours truly.

As for complete refreshes for the iMac and Mac Pro lineups, David Pogue for the New York Times claimed an Apple executive confirmed they are in development and likely set for a 2013 release:

Many Apple observers also wonder if Apple thinks that desktop computers are dead, since not a word was said about the iMac and Mac Pro. An executive did assure me, however, that new models and new designs are under way, probably for release in 2013

WWDC 2012 Stories June 11, 2012

Apple partnering with TomTom for new Maps app

Update May 12: TomTom confirmed to Reuters today that “its global agreement with Apple covers maps and related information” but declined to comment further on the specifics of the deal.

Engadget just posted the screenshots above by an anonymous tipster who claimed to be running an iOS 6 developer beta on the iPhone 4S. It appears Apple is at least getting some data for its new Maps app through a partnership with TomTom. As noted in the report, the screenshots list “others” next to TomTom, but it does not list specific companies. It is unclear exactly what data or service of TomTom’s Apple is using. As pointed out by The Verge, Apple is crediting OpenStreetMap for data in the new app. The company also used OpenStreetMap in the past for iPhoto.

During its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, Apple demoed a new app called “Passbook” with its unveiling of iOS 6. The app allows you to manage boarding passes, movie tickets, store cards, and other passes that have QR codes, barcodes, or visual, scannable codes. Scott Forstall demonstrated how the feature is integrated into the iOS 6 lock screen by allowing cards or tickets to be displayed when—for instance—walking by a movie theatre. The cards are also live, so things such as boarding passes or show tickets will update live with cancellations or show times.

Forstall noted that Apple would make templates available to developers to make it easy for companies to offer their cards and tickets through Passbook. Apple’s press release described the app:

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After giving a demonstration for some of the new features in Mountain Lion today, Apple confirmed during its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote that Mountain Lion would ship in July for just $19.99. That price is good for Lion and Snow Leopard users who want to upgrade all their personal Macs. Apple also noted it would be free for all developers attending WWDC. Apple will ship a developer preview today.

Stay tuned to our live blog for the latest updates.

Vice President of Mac Software Craig Federighi just revealed during the Worldwide Developers Conference opening keynote that Lion is the fastest selling version of OS X for Apple by selling 26 million copies in only nine months. He was also quick to note that it has better adoption than Windows 7; with over 40 percent of Mac users currently on the new OS X. Apple also gave us a look at how many Mac users are in the wild, which now totals a whopping 66 million.

Image via GDGT

Apple just announced new Thunderbolt accessories while on stage at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote. They include Thunderbolt to Firewire 700 and Thunderbolt to Ethernet. It looks like Firewire lives—kinda! There is no word on pricing yet. More accessories are most likely to come.

Read our liveblog for up-to-date keynote coverage.

Developing…

Apple just unveiled a refreshed MacBook Air lineup while on stage at its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote. Much of the information matches what we previously revealed: the lineup of refreshed Airs will receive Ivy Bridge processors up to the 2.0GHz dual core i7, USB 3.0, up to 8GB of RAM, and “60 percent faster graphics” with the Intel HD Graphics 4000. The new MacBook Airs ship starting today.

The new 11-inch MacBook Air: There will be two variants of the 11-inch Airs. Both will sport a 1.7GHz dual-core i5 and 4GB of RAM. The $999 entry model will get you 64GB of storage, but an extra $100 will upgrade you to the 125GB option. Aside from this, the two models appear to be identical.

The new 13-inch MacBook Air: The new 13-inch MacBook Air will start at the same $1,199 price point and come with a 1.8GHz dual-core i5, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of onboard storage. The $1,499 price tag will get you the 265GB storage option.

Stay tuned to our live blog for the latest updates.

Apple’s Developer Center just went down in preparation for the iOS 6 beta that is set to hit after the event. We will provide more information as it comes—including a hands-on.

Follow our liveblog for more from the event.

WWDC 2012 Stories June 10, 2012

Photos allegedly show logic board of new MacBook Pro, sporting NVIDIA GT 650M graphics

A user on Chinese forum WeiPhone posted (via MacRumors) photos that allegedly show off the logic board placed in the new MacBook Pro, which is to be announced tomorrow during Apple’s keynote opening at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference. According to the leak, the MacBook Pro is set to feature a NVIDIA GT 650M graphics chip with 1GB GDDR5 graphics memory.

Another forum user analyzed the new logic board and put it side-by-side with the logic board on the current 15-inch MacBook Pro. As you can see, both logic boards have very similar layouts. The position of the GPU is also the same on both units.

We were the first to report last week that Apple is set to announce a refresh to most of the Mac line tomorrow, including the Mac Pro. Our sources indicated that Apple will release two configurations of the redesigned 15-inch MacBook Pro; although, what Apple plans to do with the other screen sizes is unclear. The new MacBook Pro will sport Retina graphics, an ultra-slim design, and USB 3.0. Our source said the Retina display is “jaw dropping.”

Tonight’s leak does not indicate what type of processor speed the new MacBook Pro will have, but it is somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz, or 2.7 GHz chip variants. You can bank on the processor being Intel’s new Ivy Bridge chip that supports Retina graphics, but pricing is still up in the air.

All of our questions will be answered tomorrow when Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and his company take the stage to make things official. You can read our full wrap-up of what we expect to be announced and follow our liveblog kicking off at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST tomorrow!

Update: this morning we reported Apple will be announcing both next-generation MacBook Pros with a thinner design and Retina Display AND spec-bumped MacBook Pros with the current design.

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