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Bringing It All Together

May 3, 2012 - Dave Hecei
This past week, Apple announced the official date to this years WWDC, better known as the World Wide Developers Conference. This year’s event will be held on June 11-15 at San Francisco's Moscone West, where the event is normally held. While most of us Mac addicts are hoping to see new models before June, the one thing I am anxious to see is how Apple can start to bring their upcoming Mac OS, iCloud, and iOS all together in smooth working order.

Since it is May, already, and we haven’t seen any new Macs yet, it is possible that this year’s WWDC keynote might contain some hardware releases. I expect to see new desktop models any day now, but laptops might not be ready until June.

WWDC is not really a user conference since it is geared towards third party hardware and software developers for the Mac and iOS devices. But Apple has taken the time to release some new hardware at this event. If Apple is making new MacBook Pro models without optical drives then WWDC would be a cool place to show them off. It will be interesting to see if Apple really combines the Air and Pro line together making a single MacBook line. Of course the ‘Pros’ who come to this conference are waiting, and hoping, to see an updated Mac Pro tower model sometime soon.

Setting aside new hardware wishes, this year’s event will likely start off with a look at how well Apple is doing – Macs, iPhones, iPads, iPods, iTunes, Apps Stores, and retail stores alike. Then we’ll get a much closer look at the next Mac OS, OS X Mountain Lion.

The next version of Mac OS is slated to be released sometime later this year – late summer or maybe in the fall. So far, Mountain Lion looks to expand on the iOSness of the Mac operating system. This is both a good and bad thing, depending on how you like your OS. For those new to the Mac or those who really like how the iPad/iPhone operates, Mountain Lion will fit right into your life. If you lean more toward the power-user, then this might not thrill you much.

I did buy a copy of the current Mac OS, 10.7 Lion, but so far don’t care for it. There are a few things that are great, but more that rub me the wrong way. I have it on an external bootable drive so I can run it when I have to, which at this time is only when I want to use the new iBooks Author App. This App is that good that I will switch over to Lion to run it.

The thing that hasn’t really taken over with me and, from what I can tell from what I see and read online, others is the automatic synchronization of all things Apple. The combination of Lion, iOS 5, with cloud services like Music Match and iCloud doesn’t seem to be fully formed yet. While some people are able to get this working, I haven’t really gotten it to gel. The problem is that I have several computer and several devices and no centralization with any of them. I have my photos and music spread out on all my Macs and iOS devices. But do I really want to take a photo and have it magically transported to all my other devices? If I could switch that on and off when I needed it, that would be cool.

It will be interesting to see if the WWDC keynote will show more of what this all will do and how it will come together. There are still lots of Apps that don’t know anything about iCloud, which if nobody writes for it then what good does it do. We should also learn more about Mountain Lion’s sandboxing features, which should make it more secure, and their other security technology they are calling Gatekeeper.

The other half of the keynote will hopefully be a preview of the new iOS, which if they follow the current scheme, likely to be called iOS 6. With a new iPhone model due out this fall, a new iOS is likely to be part of it. There has not been any chatter about the next iOS so we don’t really know what kind of features Apple has been working on. Of course there are many rumors about a smaller iPad, but I would be shocked to see Apple going in that direction. I would rather see a slightly bigger iPod Touch.


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