A redesigned iOS was the centrepiece of Apple’s annual World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco on Monday, as CEO Tim Cook and other company executives sought to hit back at Google’s Android and prove that Apple has not lost its innovative edge.
Designer-in-chief Sir Jonathan Ive appeared only by video to talk about the new flatter, sleeker look that Apple called the most important redesign since the birth of the iPhone. Also as expected: new Macbook Airs and an iRadio music streaming service.
See below for our liveblog of the event as it unfolded.
Apple’s WWDC 2011 keynote has kicked off with a video, and now chief executive Tim Cook has taken the stage
He’s starting with a discussion about Apple’s retail stores
To whoops and cheers, Tim Cook takes to the stage after a short introductory video.
“Those words mean a great deal to us,” he says. Some extracts from the black-and-white animation below…
“If everyone is busy making everything how can anyone perfect anything?
we start to confuse convenience with joy, abundance with choice.
designing something requires focus.
the first thing we ask is what do we want people to feel.
then we begin to craft around our intention. it takes time…
We simplify. We perfect. We start over. Until everything we touch enhances each life it touches.
Only then do we sign our work… Designed by Apple in California.”
We’ve just seen a video of the Berlin store opening.
Tim Cook is talking about the App Store.
App Store celebrates its 5th birthday next month.
50bn downloads, 900k apps – 90 per cent of which are downloaded each month.
New number: 575m accounts, most of which have credit cards and one click buying. More accounts with credit cards than any store on the internet that we’re aware of.
New number: “We have now paid developers $10bn.”
Cook says Apple has paid out three times more to developers than all other platforms combined.
“One of the things we love about the app store is it levels the playing field between large developers and small developers.”
Tim Cook introduces one developer: Anki – using iOS to bring artificial intelligence and robotics to our “daily lives”. Boris Sofman, cofounder of Anki, is now taking to the stage.
Anki seems to be a Bluetooth-enabled Scalextric for the 21st century. Small Matchbox-style cars are racing a track on a mat, controlled from an iPad.
“We are using iOS not just as remote controls but the brains behind immersive real world experiences” to bring these cars to life, says Anki’s founder. Apple seems to be positioning for the smart home and the internet of things, here.
Anki is coming to the App Store and Apple’s retail stores later this year. The Apple Stores already host some smartphone-connected devices such as the Jawbone UP or Nike Fuelband. Tim Cook is now returning to the stage, thanking developers for making “such incredible apps.”
Next up: the Mac. 72m install base, doubled in the last five years.
Over the last five years Mac sales are up 100 per cent, compared to a “paltry” 18 per cent for PC sales, says Cook
28m copies of OSX Mountain Lion have been shipped since its launch last year. Cook snarks at the larger proportion of Mac users who have upgraded to Mountain Lion (almost 35 per cent) versus much lower for Windows 8 (although of course Microsoft has a much larger installed base of PCs).
Craig Federighi is coming to the stage to talk about OSX
Craig Federighi, Apple’s software chief, is now on stage.
The next versions of OSX will be named after places in California. the first one: Mavericks, after the famous surf beach just an hour’s drive from Cupertino.
Big cheer from developers for enhanced support for multiple display support in OSX Mavericks.
He’s showing off tags: when you save a document you can tag it and it will appear in the sidebar
Next up: mulitple displays. In Mavericks, you can see several screens, they sort of scroll in from the right.
Tags will let you find documents and projects more easily in the Mac’s Finder. These can be colour-coded and will make search better.
Connecting a Mac to Apple TV over Airplay with the multi-screen mode looks quite handy for those of us who don’t have an extra monitor at home.
Mavericks will improve the battery life of a Mac, says Federighi, with under-the-hood upgrades with fancy names like “App Nap”, “Compressed Memory” and “Timer Coalescing” – the latter is to do with how the CPU moves between sleeping and waking. All a bit technical.
Next for a facelift: Apple’s web browser, Safari.
The demo of the new Safari shows rapid scrolling through email and websites. It looks pretty smooth.
All pretty incremental stuff – suspect the big guns have been working on the update to the mobile software – iOS 7, which should be next
Craig is talking about iCloud keychain – extending the existing keychain syncing to usernames and passwords for non-apple websites
We’re seeing some of the first fruits of Apple’s new flat design with new Calendar and Maps icon.
“Absolutely no virtual cows were harmed in the making of this calendar,” jokes Federighi.
Apple Maps, now on desktop Safari, is also getting an improved SDK so developers can add mapping functionality to their apps. You can send directions from Safari to your iPhone easily and access its Flyover information – similar to what Google unveiled with its upgrades to Maps last month.
iBooks are now also coming to the Mac.
Into the demo…
The new Calendar incorporates things like predicted travel times from your last location and sends you a notification for when you need to leave – a move in Google Now’s direction.
iBookstore on the Mac seems a bit strange – who wants to read a book on their laptop? Then suddenly the penny drops – iBooks textbooks. It’s all about the student market, a big part of the Mac customer base.
“Mavericks continues making your digital life follow you from device to device,” says Federighi. As ever, it’s all about the integration and the Apple ecosystem. Mavericks comes out to the public this autumn.
Now Federighi hands over to Phil Schiller to talk about the new Macbook Air.
The new Macbook Air has Intel’s new Haswell chips – designed for power saving and better graphics. the 13-inch Macbook Air’s battery life will be improved from 7 hours to 12, Schiller claims, with 10 hours of video.
New Macbook Airs offer double the storage for the 11-inch at the same $999 starting price, while the 13-inch starts at a$100 cheaper. Schiller is touting its green-ness – battery certification and improved recyclability.
“We’re going to do something different and show you something we are working on”, says Schiller – the Mac Pro.
A lot of designers and creative professionals have been waiting for a Mac Pro upgrade for a long, long time. Many have already switched to Adobe’s software over Apple’s own pro video and photo editing tools.
The Mac Pro is getting a rather OTT video unveiling with loud rumbling sound and looks a bit like a spaceship is landing. It’s now in the shape of a tube! “Can’t innovate any more my ass!” says Schiller to loud whoops and cheers.
This is something a bit different – Apple is addressing head-on criticism around skeuomorphism (software design that mimics the real world) and lack of innovation. Schiller is running through the hardware specs, which are eliciting the required gasps from the room. But why is he breaking with longstanding Apple tradition and talking in detail about a product that doesn’t exist yet?
Apple has pulled out all the stops on the Mac Pro’s specification – no price yet
Tim Cook is back to talk about iCloud. There’s a demo coming of how this is integrated with iWork – not that anyone much uses it. The imaginative title: iWork for iCloud. Figures.
Word processing, spreadsheets and Keynote presentations can now be done through the browser, competing with Google Docs and Microsoft’s Office 360. iWork’s always been a footnote to Microsoft’s Office suite.
The new iWork browser version will work through Internet Explorer and Chrome on Windows, too – the first time iWork has been available on Microsoft’s OS.
Tim Cook is back and here’s the big one: “Next we turn our attention to iOS.”
Putting iWork in the browser will give it a shot at the Windows-dominated workplace, but they’ll need to give good export options for Microsoft Office and Google Drive – a previous weak point.
600m iOS devices have been sold, Cook says. “It’s extraordinary and we’re proud of it but it’s not what powers us,” he says – usability and customer satisfaction are the key metrics. iOS is 2.5 times Android in web browsing share, he says, without citing the source for his statistics that I could see.
Over 90 per cent of iOS users are using the latest version of iOS. “That’s in stark contrast to the world of Android,” says Cook, where 33 per cent are using the latest Jelly Bean and more than a third are using a three-year-old OS, according to Apple’s stats (which again, I don’t see a source for – but it doesn’t sound far wrong).
“iOS is the world’s most popular mobile operating system and in second place is a version of Android released in 2010,” says Cook.
Cook is introducing iOS7: “The biggest change to iOS since the introduction of iPhone and a stunning new user interface.”
Huge cheers for the new iOS7, which is introduced by Sir Jonathan Ive in a video:
“We have always thought of design as so much more than the way something looks. It’s the whole thing – the way something works on so many different levels. Ultimately of course, design defines so much of our experience. I think there is a profound and enduring beauty in simplicity, in clarity, in efficiency. True simplicity is derived from so much more than the absence of clutter – it’s about bringing order to complexity.
iOS7 has a whole new structure that is coherent and applied across the entire system.”
As promised, we’re seeing new slick minimalist design, new typography, new icons and new palette of colours. “The use of translucency gives you a sense of your content,” says Ive. New kinds of animation of motion to create a “sense of depth and vitality”, he says. “We’ve tried to introduce an interface that is unobtrusive – one where the design recedes and in doing so actually elevates your content.”
Changing the wallpaper changes how the iPhone looks and feels across the entire system. “We wanted to take an experience that people know very well and actually add to it to make it more useful and more enjoyable. To create it we brought together a broad range of expertise from design and engineer…
“We see iOS7 as defining an important new direction and in many ways a beginning.”
Federighi is going to show off 10 new features. First: a new control centre you can get to by swiping up from the bottom of screen.
iOS now comes with multi-tasking of all apps – which means apps can update in the background all the time. The drain on battery life has made this hard to do before.
We’ve heard Apple executives take plenty of jabs at the former skeuomorphic style of iOS – no more fake leather, felt and wood to show off things like Game Center and bookshelves.
Federighi is showing off improvements to the way iOS automatically organises your photos for you, based on location and time. “You may not remember that you did it but iOS does,” he says.
New ways to edit photos: filters (just like Instagram). And new ways to share them: Airdrop, to share between Apple devices
Eddy Cue is now on stage. “Let’s talk about Siri,” he says – which has a new interface with a sound wave across the bottom to indicate when it is registering what you hear. It has an all-new voice that sounds more natural. Looks like they might be de-emphasing Facebook in iOS7. Twitter is in Siri, but not Facebook.
iTunes Radio integrates social features such as ‘trending on twitter’
Cue is demonstrating iTunes radio – ‘our music team is providing you with hundreds of stations’
And the recipients of this year’s Apple music plug are … Maroon 5, Bruno Mars and Led Zepplin
And of course, you can buy the music you’re listening to – so seems more like a discovery feature than the much-rumoured subscription service
iTunes Radio is free with ads – or free without ads to iTunes Match subscribers
Federighi is back on, summing up today’s announcements for iOS 7
Focusing on a new ‘activation lock’ feature – perhaps addressing criticism of Apple by police over iPhones being too easy for thieves to re-sell
iOS 7 is available in beta from today. Final release coming this fall.
Will support iPhone 4 “and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and the fifth generation iPod touch” (so it’s coming in multiple stages)
Interestingly, we’ve not seen any demos of the new software on an iPad today.
Tim Cook is back on stage, recounting the various announcements – OS X Mavericks, the new Mac Pro, updated Macbook Airs and iOS 7
And we must not forget iWork for iCloud – it seems Apple won’t give up on its enterprise software suite
That iOS7 beta is for developers only, folks. Rest of us will have to wait for the full release.
Cook is playing a new Apple Ad – his preamble suggested it will address doubts over whether the company can continue to lead and innovate
‘This is our signature, and it means everything.’ – Designed by Apple in California
It used to be that Apple events ended with “one last thing” to inspire the faithful – now Cook is promising this: “We’ve created an ad to show how deeply we feel about this and I’d like to show it to you now.”
‘Those words mean a great deal to us, and I hope they mean a lot to you as well. Have a great conference and enjoy the week. Thankyou.’
That’s a wrap.
So all pretty much as expected – a completely restyled iOS7, new Macbook Airs, an iRadio designed for music discovery rather than as a rival to other subscription services. There was also some flexing of the muscles, with Phil Schiller in particular pushing back hard against criticisms that Apple has lost its innovative flair. And Tim Cook was very much on message with the line he’s been pushing at all his recent public appearances: that Android may be winning the numbers game but Apple is still, well, Apple, and that every piece of hardware or experience is better thought out.
The final ad hammered that same message home, that Samsung may have more devices but there is still nothing to beat the iPhone. Somehow, though, it all ended a bit flat. Building up to a TV ad as the ultimate expression of the company’s values hardly lifted the spirits.