The tech community today have been eagerly awaiting Apples WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference), and the secrets they will unveil. The event has just finished and I write this article feeling a little underwhelmed from the hardware releases, but with the software Apple pulled out the big guns! Here are a few things we deemed note-worthy for the Pro Audio community…
A full overhaul of iOS shocked the WWDC audience as we all watched the complete dismantling of the iOS we all knew and what Apple has erected in its place. iOS 7 is a stunning achievement, full of new apps, UI design and under-the-hood tweaks, that looks as different as possible. The new API’s available for developers, such as multitasking for 3rd party apps, and many others has set the stage for immense new innovation and we, here at The Pro Audio Web Blog, hope many of you music app developers will pick up Apples gauntlet, and create a whole new host of apps for the Pro Audio community.
One of the new apps that will get the backs up of Spotify and Pandora is the iRadio app. iRadio has been spinning around the blogs and rumour mills for a while now and it was great to see it for real and working with stunning execution and design. You can create your own radio stations or use pre-made stations. On the other hand you can search for a track you know and enjoy and then ask for the app to find similar tracks, you then ‘thumps up and down’ the incoming tracks to refine your real-time station. During the presentation it started with Led Zeppelin and moved on to the Rolling Stones... so we can see it’s not going to jump to something completely left-field! As everyone now knows you’re never that far away from a social media platform and unsurprisingly Apple has crammed a ‘music trending on twitter’ function into the app so you can let other people tell you what you should be listening to... Apple didn’t confirm whether you should accept the musical judgment of others though!
So how does this pay? Apple offers a free with ads service, or a 25 USD a year subscription. This is a very pleasing figure that I’m sure will stir the music streaming pond thoroughly. Moving away from iOS, another feature of the presentation that Pro Audio hounds like us were pleased to see was the new Mac Pro. It was clearly stated that this was just a sneak preview, so I don’t believe we will be seeing this product on sale for some time yet. However Apple has certainly shaken up the Mac Pro design team, as the new Pro looks completely different! With its size cut down to an 1/8th of the volume of the previous model, this is barely recognizable from the Mac Pro we all know and love. The infamous ‘Cheese Grater’ design has been removed and a sleek black plastic cylinder put in its place. The whole case is sealed; meaning internal upgrading is now just a fond memory to the pro user base and I’m sure will make many of us moan and groan. Apple did make the point that you can connect external hardware via Thunder Bolt 2, the new version of the Thunder Bolt I/O, but will this cut it for the users? With the I/O situated at the rear, as you would expect, the user rotates the tower via a top handle to gain access to the rear inputs and outputs. Apple has added a somewhat gimmicky sensor light that is switched on when the Mac Pro is turned aiding you in your search for a connection. Will this be useful or something just to boast to PC users about - I’m unsure… So things that will get the tech and Pro Audio community talking about are; the external expansion only, and it’s now cylindrical form factor, which makes rack mounting a definite no.
So a very exciting day from Apple at the WWDC and we hope to see more innovation from the Cupertino based company in the near future... Our editor Edd is still eagerly awaiting the new iPhone, and we won’t repeat some of the words he used when the Keynote finished without such an inclusion.
The tech community today have been eagerly awaiting Apples WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference), and the secrets they will unveil. The event has just finished...