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Monday, June 11, 2012

WWDC 2012 Mac Roundup: New Retina MacBook Pro and Mountain Lion

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Retina MacBook Pro
This year’s World Wide Developer’s Conference had many surprises for Mac users, including a newly designed MacBook Pro, the finalization of OS X Mountain Lion, and deeper integration with the newly announced iOS 6.  This year, Apple worked harder than ever to integrate iOS and OS X features together, giving users a more fluent experience.

The largest release of this year’s conference was the new MacBook Pro.  Starting at $2,199, the newly designed MacBook Pro includes a retina display (2880 by 1800), an Ivy Bridge processor, and flash memory.  It adds a new MagSafe 2 power port, two thunderbolt ports, two USB 3.0 ports, and an HDMI port.  Ethernet, firewire, and the disk drive have all been removed but can be purchased as separate adapters.  The new Pro has also been slimmed down to 0.71 inches and only weighs 4.46 pounds.  The casing has been redesigned with quiet fans and a new screen design without extra glass.  The retina MacBook Pro is currently only available with a 15 inch screen.

If one does not wish to spend over $2,000 on a new Mac, the current MacBook Pro and MacBook Air product lines have also been updated.  The non-retina MacBook Pro starts at $1,199 and has been updated with the new Ivy Bridge processor, NVIDIA graphics, and USB 3.0.  The Air line-up has also been updated with these new processors, Intel HD 4000 graphics, faster flash memory, and USB 3.0.

Apple released the finalized details of OS X Mountain Lion, which is currently slated for a July release date.  They showcased many of the features previously shown in developer previews: upgraded iCloud with Documents in the Cloud support and Safari tabs support, Reminders, Notes, iMessages, Notification Center.  In addition to these already known features, they announced the new “power nap” feature for MacBooks with flash storage.  Macs with flash storage will now be able to seamlessly update news and software and backup while in sleep mode.  System wide dictation was also announced, allowing users to speak everything from Word documents to Twitter updates.  Apple also showcased the new sharing feature and revealed that Facebook will now be part of it.  Other great features of Mountain Lion include 1080p AirPlay, Game Center, Gateskeeper, an updated Safari with a single search and URL bar (like Chrome), and an offline reading list.  Mountain Lion will be available for download on the Mac App Store for $19.99.  It will include over 200 new features which can be found here:
http://www.apple.com/osx/whats-new/features.html

This year’s WWDC included many anticipated products and features and definitely lived up to its name.  Many users were upset by the fact that an updated Mac Pro was not showcased, but Apple has definitely gained the spotlight with the new retina MacBook Pro.  Many great features of OS X Mountain Lion were showcased, showing that it is worthy to compete with Windows 8.  Through this year’s event, Apple has continued to do what they do best: make great products even greater.

For an overview of iOS features announced at WWDC, check out the following link:
http://brandonschmuck.blogspot.com/2012/06/ios-6-announced-at-wwdc-2012.html

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