IOS 7, OSX Mavericks and the new Mac Pro
I’ve just got through watching the Apple WWDC keynote and I have to say I’m quite impressed. I wasn’t really expecting much as you can’t really force a company to innovate, but from what I’ve seen I’m quite looking forward to the second half of the year as some of the new updates look really good. I’m know I’m an Apple Fanboy but I’m a fairly pragmatic one, I don’t think all they do is golden, but what they announced yesterday seems to me to be just what they needed to do
Until recently I wasn’t really that interested in iOS 7 as my only iOS device was a first generation iPad that is stuck on iOS 5. My recent purchase of an iPhone 4 changed that. Following that purchase I was of course expecting iOS 7 to only run on iPhone 4S’s and above but I’m pleased to say it’ll run on the iPhone 4 as well. I was hoping it would as that would justify my purchase of an iPhone 4 over the 3GS as I used the excuse that it was still in Apples line up at the time of purchase and would therefore be supported for longer.
There are a few things that I particularly like the look of in iOS 7 though and as many of them involve the syncing of data between devices it’s release will mean that I need a new iPad in order to keep up!
The new, simplified Jonny Ive designed interface look gorgeous. Beautiful typography throughout, a unified design and a grid system that keeps it all tied together in a way that only Apple can manage. Little touches like the parallax effect when you move you device are just inspired and from what they’ve shown us it looks as though things are even easier to use than ever.
Notification centre seems to be much improved with access from the lock screen and a neat looking at-a-glance view of your day. Similarly there’s a new control centre screen that gives you quick and easy access to certain important controls from anywhere.
Full Multi-tasking and performance enhancements will all be very much welcomed with things such as a faster, sleaker Safari browser, intelligent updating of apps after they receive a notification and improved memory handling all helping, especially on the older hardware.
‘Features’ such as the automatic sorting of photos into distinct events should always have been there, as should auto app updates, but I guess it’s a case of better late than never.
The main attraction is probably the interface though and I can’t wait to give it a go.
First up the name and I think it’s a cracker. As a surfer I’ve know about the mighty waves at Mavericks for years and have marvelled at their power and beauty. Hopefully the latest release of OSX from Apple will be the same.
The are once again a few stand out features and some things that should always have been there. In the latter category is proper support for dual screen set ups. I’ve never used the full screen modes for apps present in Mountain Lion simply because it didn’t work properly with a dual screen set up. Entering full screen mode would just render the other screen useless. Mavericks will fix this and at last we’ll have proper full screen dual monitor support. Whether or not I’ll get around to using it and then start using Spaces and Mission Control remains to be seen, but at least it will now work as it should.
The new Calendar application looks nice too with some clever little touches such as the travelling time feature. Again I may not use this as I have been using BusyCal in place of iCal for a while now but the new Calendar application may get me to change back.
Maps looks good too, especially with its ability to send info direct to your iPhone or iPad via iCloud. It’s actually this iCloud integration within many apps that has me most excited. The are plenty of other tweaks, enhancements and additions to OSX Mavericks but I think the most anticipated feature for me will be keychain syncing of passwords via iCloud.
I’ve been trying to use lastpass as a password manager for the hundreds of online accounts that I have. The idea is that you have one master password and then let lastpass generate and store long, randomly generated secure passwords for you when you visit sites that require a login. It is much more secure than using the same password for multiple sites and takes away the problem of remembered hundreds of different passwords. I’ve been using it on the desktop for years and it works really well. The trouble with it is that I’m increasingly browsing the web and using various apps that require me to login on my iPad and iPhone. As yet I’ve been unable to find a successful way of using lastpass on these mobilei devices so end up still having to have some memorable passwords for certain services.
The Keychain iCloud syncing feature of the new OSX Mavericks and iOS 7 claim to fix this issue. It works in a similar fashion to lastpass by generating long, random, secure passwords for you and then stores them in a keychain within iCloud meaning that Safari can access them both from your OS X Mavericks desktop or laptop and from your iOS 7 devices. Whether or not this will work outside of Safari remains to be seen, but it does seem like a step in the right direction.
Another unknown at the moment are the requirements for OS X Mavericks. I’m not sure if it will run on my iMac so no doubt Apple will have me hankering after some new hardware as well… My iMac is getting a little old now!
Talking of hardware, the new Mac Pro looks amazing. More power than you can shake a stick at and in a tiny little form factor. I have no idea how they’ve done that and I’m not so sure that a cylinder is really the best shape for a desktop computer, but I certainly wouldn’t say no to one!
It will however be well out of my price range but the specs are impressive and I’m sure I’ll be drooling over it when I see it in the flesh.
I’m sure once I listen to all of the discussion around Apple’s announcements yesterday there will be things that they’ve missed and things that aren’t well received, but from what I’ve seen so far I’m looking forward to the upgrade. Assuming that is that Mavericks will play nicely with my iMac and that I can bear to continue using iOS 5 on my iPad once I’ve experience the new iOS 7 on my iPhone. Otherwise Apple will just have me saving for a new iMac and a new iPad, which after all is their aim with such announcements!