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Live coverage of Apple’s 2012 WWDC keynote – Next gen MacBook Pro and more

It’s that day again, the one when we can finally stop speculating about Apple’s 2012 lineup and learn everything we want to know about the new MacBook Pros, the refreshed Mac Pros, the latest version of iOS, and all sorts of other iProducts. The build up to this event has been as rumor-packed as ever, with speculation and leaks about an update to the two-year-old Mac Pro, Retina display MacBook Pros running Nvidia’s Kepler GPU, incredible new maps in iOS 6, and all sorts of similarly exciting possibilities.The event kicks off at 1PM (Eastern), after which this post will be updated continuously until it ends. We’ll be closely following the on-scene coverage from PCMag, Engadget, Ars Technica, Time, GDGT, and The Verge.It’s 1PM (10AM PST). The event has started, and Tim Cook is on stage… get ready for the 23rd WWDC.First up, the numbers: WWDC sold out in 43 minutes, there are 100 sessions and 100 hands-on labs, Apple has over 1000 engineers,  there are over 400 million accounts in the App Store, the App Store has over 650,000 apps, over 225,000 tablet apps. There have been over 30 billion apps downloaded from the App Store, and over $5 billion paid out to developers. (Basically, apps are serious business.)Now it’s demo time, there is a talk about how apps touch people’s lives — helping the bling navigate, helping children learn, and so forth. Big picture: apps make for accessibility, regardless of who you are or what you need from your device.With that heartfelt stuff out of the way, it’s time for the innovation. Here comes Phil Schiller…First up — the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro! Not surprisingly, the systems will get upgraded to Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors (up to 2GHz, Core i7). Expect to see systems with up to 8GB RAM. And, as leaked prior to the event, SSD sizes will go up to a maximum of 512GB. That means up to 500Mbps read speeds. (That’s going to cost you…) They will have the Nvidia (Kepler-based) GPUs as well, just like we heard earlier today.Also, systems get USB 3.0! (Down with the Thunderbolt tyranny!) There will be a single, blue USB 3.0 slot on the MacBooks.FaceTime (front-facing) cameras will be updated as well, allowing for FaceTime HD. They will shoot in 720p.The 11-inch MacBook Air will still start at $999, while the 13-inch model will start at $1199. All but the $999 model are $100 cheaper then they were previously.Now, meet the next generation MacBook Pro! It’s super thin at just 0.71-inches, Apple dropped the optical drive, and it weighs 4.46 pounds. And yes… it has the Retina display. This thing looks like everything Apple fans were dreaming of.That Retina display operates at an incredible 2880 x 1880. That’s 220 ppi. Existing apps will either have to be redone or get pixel doubling in order to work at the new resolution.The new MBP’s processors will go to up 2.7GHz, and, of course, they will be Intel’s Ivy Bridge. Nvidia’s Kepler GPUs will power that crazy display, and they will have up to 768GB of SSD storage and up to 16GB RAM. Apple says the battery life will be up to 7 hours.As for ports, those were upgraded too. There is a new, thinner MagSafe (v2.0), USB 3.0, 2x Thunderbolt, SD, and, wait for it, full-on HDMI! That’s another first for Apple.They are talking through the design now — the system had to be completely redesigned to work. The glass cover on the display was dropped, the lid was redesigned, there are dual mics, new speakers, and more. The thermals were redesigned, and there is even a new, asymmetrical fan design that will seem quieter then the old model to human ears.And the price for the new MacBook Pro? It starts at $2199. That will get you the 15.4-inch Retina display, 8GB RAM, 256GB Flash storage, a GeForce GT 650M with 1GB, and a 2.3GHz quad-core processor.The MacBooks will be available for ordering today. (Presumably they will be in Apple stores later this week.)Now it’s time for Craig Federighi and OS X. Specifically we’ll be talking about Mountain Lion. There are a lot of numbers being thrown around, but basically OS X has been doing very well lately, as has the Mac App Store, which distributes Lion, and iCloud. Mountain Lion will have over 200 new features, 8 of which will be discussed today. First up is iCloud…Using a new developer SDK it will be possible to store documents in the cloud. Docs from Keynote, Pages, etc., will go there. Reminds and Notes will cloud-sync as well. Docs updating on the iPhone will sync and update with those on your computer… you know the drill.Also, the notification center will be updated, sort of like Growl, but also with an iOS type feel to it. Next, OS X will get dictation.And Safari will be updated for faster javascript rendering and a multi-use main address bar. iCloud Tabs will sync your browser tabs across devices. There will be a be a new Tab View, and faster, smoother scrolling using Core Animation.It’s demo time. Let’s all take a breath.A new technology hitting OS X Mountain Lion is Power Nap. This feature keeps Macs up-to-date while they are sleeping. It handles Mac App store updates, OS X updates, and backups while the computer is sleeping.Next is AirPlay Mirroring. This means wireless screen-sharing. There will also be GameCenter for OS X. This will work Mac-to-Mac as well as Mac-to-iOS.And those all are just the start… There is a new Chinese input mode, rename from title bar, Offline Reading List, and over 1700s APIs.Mountain Lion, like Lion before it, will cost $19.99 for the upgrade. And that’s not just for Lion users, everyone on Snow Leopard and new will pay the same price.Now it’s Scott Forstall and iOS 6.He’s starting off with the, rather impressive, numbers: 365M iOS devices, 80% of users are on iOS 5 (take that Google!), 700B notifications are pushed daily, over 1.5 trillion notifications have been pushed in total. iMessage sends over a billion messages a day. there have been over 10B tweets from iOS 5, and so on.First on the iOS 6 docket is Siri. The voice assistant can now handle sports scores. It’ll also get you restaurant data using OpenTable and Yelp so you can get restaurant recommendations based on what’s nearby. Also you’ll be able to ask Siri about movie times and what’s playing in your area. Basically Siri is taking a bite out of the web’s push towards semantic search.Siri also gets Auto integration with most of the big names: BMW, GM, Mercedes, Audi, and so on, as well as more languages (Mandarin and Cantonese), and Siri is coming to the iPad.The next big reveal is Facebook integration into iOS. It will be easy to do all your Facebook tasks from your iDevice, probably not unlike you use Twitter now. And in iOS 6 Siri will work with Facebook.iOS’ phone app is being updated as well. If you can’t take a call (or if you miss it) you’ll be able to quickly reply with a text or set a reminder to call that person back. There will be canned messages for super quick, one-button reply messages or you can do a custom message if you have more to say.iOS will also get a do-not-disturb mode, which will limit distractions and not bother you unless the same person calls over and over.And FaceTime will work over cellular, instead of just WiFi.Mobile Safari will work sync with iCloud Tabs, as noted previously. Safari will be able to handle online photo uploads (using web forms) and you’ll be able to share Photo Streams in iOS 6. Using shared Streams you’ll also be able to comment on other people’s streams.With the updated you’ll be able to set people as your VIPs. There also the ability to open password-protected documents and there is finally pull-to-refresh!And there is a new app: Passbook. It will store all your digital passes and QR codes in one place: think Fandando, airline boarding passes, Target coupons, Starbucks, and so on. The apps are live, so they update, say, if your flight changes.Another new feature is single-app mode, which only let’s a single app operate at a given time. This would be ideal for a teacher who is giving a test on the iPad and doesn’t want Safari to be active.And, as predicted, all new Maps in iOS 6. Apple is handling all their own map tools, including 100M listings, traffic tools, and more. That 3D map tool we heard about before the event, it turned out to be real, and it’s called Flyover. It’s 45-degree views, and it looks stunning. The Maps UI is enhanced as well, with new info cards, satellite view, and more. There is also turn-by-turn navigation built in.And that’s all just the start. iOS will work with hearing aids soon and there will be Game Center challenges, Lost Phone mode, and more.iOS6 comes this Fall. It will be compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, 2nd gen iPad, the 3rd gen iPad, and the 4th generation iPod touch.Tim Cook is back on stage… what else could there possibly be? Is there a “one more thing”? Will a blogger in the audience collapse from exhaustion? Nope, that’s it!The WWDC 2012 Keynote is over! Wow, that was pretty huge. Thanks for reading.[image credit]

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