What's new: iOS 6 for iPhone and iPad, OS X Mountain Lion, new Macs, maps and more
FORTUNE — Apple AAPL on Monday used the occasion of its World Wide Developer Conference — the first since Steve Jobs died — to make numerous incremental improvements in its hardware, software and service offerings.
Its flashiest new device is a thin MacBook Pro with a flash drive and Retina screen that’s available for sale today starting at $2,199. Apple also announced updates and some price cuts in its older MacBook Pro and Air lines.
On the software front, it announced that Mountain Lion, the next iteration of its Mac OS X operating system with more than 200 new features, will be released next month. iOS 6, the sixth iteration in as many years of the software that drives the iPhone, was released as a beta to developers today and will ship to consumers in the fall. It also has more than 200 new features, chief among them a new mapping app that will displace Google GOOG Map as the default location service on the iPhone and iPad.
Most of this was anticipated by the tech press. On the other hand, many of the annoucements that had been rumored — a new iPhone, a TV, a software kit for Apple TV, a mini iPad — did not materialize.
Apple’s stock, which see-sawed during the two-hour presentation, lost all its gains and by the closing bell was $9.15 (1.58%) in the red. Buy the rumor, sell the news.
The official video of the event is available here. Below the fold: Our live blog of the proceedings, posted in reverse order with the most recent events on top. All times Pacific.
11:50 Back to Tim Cook, who is doing the review. He ends on a high note:
Cook wishes the developers a good week and thanks them for coming.
And that’s a wrap.
11:09 Scott Forstall takes the stage to talk about iOS. Sold more than 365 million iOS devices up through end of March. 80% running iOS 5. Compares to Android: 7% of their customers running latest version. Big laughs.
Notification center: 84% of top 100 app support it
1.5 trillion push notifications so far.
140 million iMessage users, 1 billion messages per day.
Twitter: more than 10 billion tweets from iOS 5. 47% of photos come from IOS 5
Game center: 130 million accounts, 5 billion scores.
75% very satisfied. New iOS every year. This year: iOS 6. (No surprise, but good applauce).
200 new features. He highlights a dozen of them:
Siri. Learned about sports. Baseball. Has latest Giants scores. Has current batting averages. Standings. Basketball too. Football. More about restaurants too. Price, Yelp reviews. Open Table reservations. More about movies. What’s playing. Rotten Tomatoes reviews, trailers. Actors, directors. Also learned how to launch apps (big applause). “Play Temple Run.” Eyes Free: Car manufacturers have promised to put Siri button into steering wheel within next 12 months. Adding Canadian Eng. and French. Spanish. Italian. Korean. Mandarin, Cantonese, tuned to various regions. Local search now being taken around the world. And bringing to the new iPad. (Yes!)
- Facebook. Sign in from settings. Integrated into Notification Center, Siri. Made it a public API, so developers can intergrate into their apps. Contacts and Calendar updated directly from Facebook. Facebook events appear in calendar. Also brought to the Mac.
- Phone app. Can now reply with a message or with a phone call later. Remind me when I leave (sets a geo fence around whereever you are).
- Do Not Disturb. Can tell phone not to make any noises. You have fine-grained controls: i.e. allow calls from favorites, or repeated calls suggesting an emergency.
- Facetime. Used to work only over Wi-Fi. Now works over cellular. Unifying phone number and apple ID, so you can answer a phone call with an iPad or Mac. Same with iMessage.
- Safari. 2/3 of all mobile traffic comes from Safari. iCloud tabs. Offline reading list. Upload photos to websites. Smart app banners. Takes users to your app.
- Photo Stream. Adding shared photo streams. Choose the photos you want to share, choose which friends should get them, your friends get them in an album in which you can all comment.
- Mail. VIPs. You get notification on the lock screen. Stars their messages. Single mailbox to collect them. Made it so you can insert videos and photos into compose window. Pull to refresh gets a big applause.
- Passbook. A new app. Put all your tickets and passes in one place. Airline boarding pass. Starbucks pass. Movie tickets. Combines them into one place. Demo.
- Guided Access. For children with autistism, for example. Circle controls you want to disable, and the iPad is locked into single-app mode. Also can be used by teachers to prevent students from looking up answers to tests in Safari.
- Maps. (Big applause in anticipation). An entire new mapping solution from the ground up. Worldwide effort. Ingested more than 100 million business listings. Integrated with Yelp. Traffic views. Incidents overlayed. Croud-sourced data to keep up to date. Turn by turn navigation built in. Offers faster routes. Works from lock screen. Siri integrated too. Where can I get gas? Are we there yet? Flyover. Flying in helicopters and planes. Demo. Vector based. Get info cards. 3D. Flyover of Transamerica Pyramid looks great. Rendered in real time. Change camera angle. Sydney Opera House.
- Turn by turn directions. Works OK. Not clear if it does walking or public transportation. Don’t delete you Google Map app yet.
Rattles off some of the other 200 improvements. Made for iPhone hearing aids. Different signatures. Lost mode for iPhones — to send your home phone number to your lost phone.
Beta of iOS going to developers today. Finished product will ship “this fall.” Supports iPhone 3GS and later and iPads 2 and 3.
10:44 Craig Federighi on stage to talk about OS X Mountain Lion. Over 200 new features. Highlighting eight of them:
- iCloud. Applications configured on launch. 3 new Lion apps: Messages, Reminders and Notes. Also, Documents in the Cloud. e.g. document library of Pages documents kept up to date across all Macs and iOS devices. Demo. Location-based reminders. Messages fixed to include messages sent to iphone. Launch Preview, Documents in the Cloud shows all Preview docs. Can add one and its updated across all devices. Or change a photo on a iPhone and it updates on the Mac.
- New system of banners and alerts. Can switch them off. (Turned off automatically when you are connected to a projector.)
- Dictation. Bringing it to the Mac. (Applause)
- Sharing. Share button gives you all your share options. Twitter sharing built into OS. Note: No mention of Facebook.
- Safari. New smart search field. Includes your bookmarks. And if you click cloud button, includes tabs from any of your other devices, iPhone, iPad, Mac. Demo. Pull back far enough and your tabs become separate windows.
- Power Nap. Keeps your Mac up to date while it sleeps: Mail, Calendar updates, PhotoStream, system updates, backups automatically.
- AirPlay mirroring. Was on iOS, now on Mac. Video to Apple TV, audio to speakers
- Game Center. Bringing from iOS to the Mac. Cross platform (iOS to Mac). Demo. Mr. X in racing suit comes to stage.
Lots more. Mail VOPS. Gatekeeper, Launchpad search. Highlights Chinese additions: new dictionary, new fonts, Baidu support, Sina microblogging, top Chinese e-mail services.
1700 new APIs.
Delivering to customers next month: $19.99. Upgrades from Lion to Snow Leopard. One price upgrades all your personal Macs. Free for new Macs bought today.
10:42 Schiller is back with the prices and configurations for new MacBook Pro with Retina display. Starts at $2199 for 256 flash. Runs through environmental checklist. New MacBook Pro starts shipping today.
10:35 a.m. Apple has lost its gains for the day.
10:17 Schiller introduces updated notebooks.
- MacBook Air. New Ivy Bridge processors. Up to 8 GB memory, up to 16 times faster. Up to 512 gigabytes of flash storage. Up to twice as fast as before. USB 3, up to 10 times faster. Facetime 720p camera. 11 and 13 inch sizes. Starting at $999 for 11-inch MacBook Air. 13-inch starts at $1199. Each, he says, is $100 less expensive than before (but that can’t be because the MacBook Air was already selling for $999). Ships today.
- MacBook Pro. Ivy Bridge. 60% faster graphics. Up to 1GB video memory. All USB 3 and 2. 13 and 15 inch. Starting at $1199 for 13 (no change). 15 inch goes for $1799 or $2199 also shipping today.
- One more (Under a black cloth): Next generation MacBook Pro. “Killer new display” (i.e. Retina). “The most beautiful computer we have ever made.” Very thin. (Big applause.) Thinner than Schiller’s finger. 0.17 inches thin. About as thin as a MacBook air. 4.46 lbs. Big applause when he says, yes it’s a Retina display (from normal distance). 2880 x 1800 pixels. 5,184,000 pixels. Claims its the world’s highest resolution display. Reduced glare and reflection by 70%. Lion updated to take advantage of retina display. Mail, Safari, iMovie, iPhoto updated too. Major update for Aperture. Final Cut Pro updated too for 1080p in project screen. Up to 9 simultaneous streams of compressed video. Pixel doubling for apps until they are updated. Adobe Photoshop working on an update (i.e. not finished). Autocad also. Diablo III. Inside: Huge battery pack. Quad core processors. Up to 16 GB memory. 1 Gig video memory. Up to 760 Gigs of flash storage. Up to 7 hours battery life, 30 days standby. Slots: SD slot. HDMI, USB2,3, New magsafe port (ugh). 2 Thunderbolt drives. Firewire and ethernet adaptors. Dual mics. Runs the video, starting with Jony Ive. “It’s without doubt the very best computer we’ve ever built.” Cool asymmetric fans to make them quieter.
10:15 a.m. Cook is back to talk about realizing dreams.
Announcing: New changes in notebook line, OS X and iOS.
Introduces Phil Schiller.
10:02 a.m. Tim Cook takes the stage to welcome the developers and rattle off some numbers. Over 1,000 engineers here. “We shut down Apple for the week.”
App Store: Over 400 million accounts with credit cards and one-click buying.
650,000 apps in the store
225,000 of them designed for iPad (just a few hundred for competition).
30 billion apps downloaded.
Apple has written $5 billion dollars in checks to developers
Over 120 countries around the world. Adding 32 more later this month.
Runs a video about what iOS apps are doing for users around the world. For the blind. For students in the third world. For homeowners renting through AirBnB. For kids with cleft palettes. Ends with “thank yous” that names apps written by people in the room.
10:00 a.m. Siri starts the show with a few jokes and GarageBand rim shots. The crowd is eating it up.
9:45 a.m. The headline on Business Insider, time-stamped 9:30, half an hour before anything had been announced: Live: Apple reveals new products! With an exclamation point, no less.
9:28 a.m. The big metal gates opened early and the press, dropped pretenses of cordiality, began elbowing their way to the front for the best seats.
But that was nothing compared with the stampede that began six minutes later when the developers — some of whom had been waiting all night for this — were released from their holding pens on the second floor. it took about 15 minutes for every seat to be filled.
9:15 a.m. Never comfortable out of the limelight, AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher has briefly upstaged Tim Cook’s keynote on Techmeme by posting the full video of his appearance at D10 a couple weeks ago. Available free here.
9:00 a.m. 60 minutes to the keynote, about 30 minutes before the doors to the main hall open. I can see more developers filing in past the windows, but the late-comers will be relegated to spill-over rooms.
Evidently Wall Street is still upbeat about what’s about to be announced. The Dow is down but Apple is up nearly $7.50, having reached as high as $588.50 in mid-day trading. I fear that if the Street is expecting a TV set, an iPad mini, and the early release of the iPhone 5, the stock could be headed for rough waters in the hours ahead.
8:30 a.m. The developers are being herded into holding areas on the second floor while the press gathers on the third. There’s the usual spread of bottled water, juice and artery-hardening breakfast rolls. But, mysteriously, there are no live power outlets and the Wi-Fi is hidden behind a password.
8:15 a.m. Press registration has begun. On the way in I spot three more satellite trucks, all from local stations. That brings the total to eight.
7:45 a.m. By the time the doors opened and the attendees started streaming into Moscone West, the tail of the line had reached and overtaken the beginning, which under the glare of TV lights created the kind of chaotic turbulence you get when two rivers merge.
The line has become a magnet for the San Francisco’s gritty street life — an assortment of displaced homeless men, a cell-phone service hawker tossing and spinning a six-foot poster, a steel drummer, a green day-glo sign reassuring the passing stream of iOS developers that Jesus Christ loves them.
6:30 a.m. Apple opened at $587.64, up $7.32 (1.3%) from Friday’s close.
6 a.m. Only five satellite trucks showed up this year, down from nearly a dozen in 2011, when the media was on its Steve Jobs death watch. Represented: CNN, Fox News, Bloomberg, KTVU-TV 2 (the local Fox affiliate) and a PACSAT truck (which could be anybody’s). Conspicuously absent: CNBC. [UPDATE: Reader Dan Nolen reports that CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla is reporting live from the event. Perhaps that the cable network that leased the PACSAT truck.]
The developers, however, are out in force. Four hours before Tim Cook’s kickoff, the line started at Howard and 4th St., stretched up 4th, all the way across Minna, down 5th and was starting back up Howard toward the beginning of the queue. We didn’t do a head count, but we did shoot a video suitable for YouTube. See here.
No. 1 in line declined to be interviewed (too much hate mail from the last time he talked to a journalist). No 2, who had been holding his spot for 13 hours, was Dimitri Bounoil, 20, a developer from Los Angeles who claims his $4.99 app, EleMints, is prettier than the $6.99 periodic table (The Elements, the one with the Tom Lehrer song) I’ve already got on my iPad.
4 a.m. Tim Cook’s keynote isn’t scheduled to begin until 10 a.m. Pacific (1 p.m. Eastern), but by attendees had started lining up around San Francisco’s Moscone Center at 7 p.m. the night before.
Scarcity rules, as it often does at Apple events. Five thousand developers bought tickets for the weeklong conference (it sold out in two hours), and there aren’t enough seats in the main hall to fit them all.