June was all about WWDC. The big draw cards of the event were undoubtedly iOS 6 and the new Retina MacBook Pro, but there was also the refreshed MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines and Mountain Lion which will launch sometime in July. Beyond WWDC, Rovio had another big month, Google released two new iOS Apps (Chrome and Google Drive) and there were some rumors about the next version of iTunes from trusted publications.
On the apps front, it was a bit of a slower month with WWDC taking most of the attention, but there were still some highlights including the spectacular Reeder 3.0, vjay, and Launch Center Pro. Some noteworthy editorials from June was Cody’s look at the new Podcasts app, Federico’s musings on OS X in ‘Different and Familiar’, Gabe’s thoughts on why upgrade pricing isn’t coming to the App Store, and my look at In-App Purchases for games and the conflict between economics and good will to consumers.
You can view previous editions of “Month in Review” here.
This year’s WWDC centred around three things: new and updated Mac hardware, Mountain Lion and iOS 6. So to kick off, Apple unveiled refreshed MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines that saw nice spec bumps with the jump to Sandy Bridge processors and the inclusion of USB 3. But the real spotlight of this section of the keynote was the new 15″ Retina MacBook Pro that features a gorgeous Retina display and new, thinner hardware profile – and as is standard with any new product, Apple swiftly debuted a new ad featuring it. There was also the silent Mac Pro update that wasn’t really an update and then the new iPad Smart Case, updated Airport Express and updated USB SuperDrive.
Jumping to the software announcements, Apple revealed that Mountain Lion would arrive sometime in July for just $19.99 ($10 less than Lion). It features a tighter integration of iCloud, in-built dictation, Facebook and Twitter integration and several iOS influences from Notification Center to Game Center, Notes and more now arriving in OS X.
Then there was iOS 6. The headline features here were the new Maps app, Facebook Integration, added Siri functionalities, Do Not Disturb, Passbook and more. If you want to learn more, go check out our complete overview of iOS 6, Federico went into great detail and covers everything you would want to know from the keynote and things you may have missed. iOS 6 arrives sometime this Fall.
Finally, we also have our tidbits and links article regarding this year’s WWDC keynote which features some interesting nuggets of information that didn’t quite deserve their own dedicated post. If you want to watch this year’s keynote, you can do so here. As part of every WWDC, there is the Apple Design Awards. This year the winners included, Limbo, Jetpack Joyride and Paper amongst other very worthy winners – you can check out the full list here.
Developers who missed out on tickets to this year’s WWDC didn’t have to wait long this year to watch the recorded videos of the developer sessions, with the full catalogue of videos going live just four days after the event concluded.
Conclusion to the “4G” iPad issue in Australia
When Apple this year unveiled the third generation iPad, it labelled one of the models “4G + WiFi” across the world – despite the 4G only being compatible with US and Canadian networks. In Australia, the ACCC intervened and pursued legal action against Apple for misleading Australian consumers of the iPad’s 4G capabilities (it didn’t work with the 4G network operating in Australia). This month saw the legal issue conclude with Apple agreeing it mislead consumers and paying an AU$2.25 million fine plus AU$300,000 in costs to the ACCC. I took some time to read the judgement and posted some interesting details in an article covering the court’s acceptance of the fine.
Rovio has yet another big month
It seems as though we can’t go a month without at least some big news from Rovio. This month it was because their latest game in the series, Angry Birds Space hit 100 million downloads in 76 days – and that was right at the start of June. Now, just in the last few days we’ve seen the trailer for Rovio’s next big game; Amazing Alex which is set to launch in July on iOS and Android.
Ping, Podcasts and the next iTunes
Soon after this year’s WWDC, AllThingsD’s John Paczkowski reported that Ping will be removed from the next version of iTunes. What followed in the last week of June was the launch of a new iOS app from Apple that was dedicated to playing and discovering podcasts. It had been somewhat expected after the developer preview of iOS 6 lacked a link to podcasts in the iTunes Store app. There was also the report from Bloomberg which suggests that the next major release of iTunes will see improved sharing functionality and deeper iCloud integration.
Google iOS Apps
June saw the launch of Google Chrome for iOS which features draggable tabs and sync for bookmarks and tabs as well as the launch of Google Drive for iOS. Google also pumped out a Gmail for iOS update that added notification support.