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.

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