If you’re in the tech or design business, Apple’s WWDC event is essentially an international holiday.
Each year, nerds from around the world gather in front of their (soon-to-be-outdated) computer screens to watch video live-streams, or to constantly refresh Twitter or MacRumors.com to find out which shiny new Apple product they can blow their money on next.
But, more importantly, maybe, each WWDC event is a glimpse into the near future, and it gives the design and tech industries a chance to figure out how Apple’s advancements can help create better online, and offline, experiences for businesses and consumers.
Here’s a short-list of our favorite new features:
MacBook Pro with Retina Display
Since it’s hardware, this isn’t a “feature,” per se. But with 5.1 million pixels, it opens up a whole new world of design possibilities. John Gruber, over at Daring Fireball, had this to say about the MBP’s Retina Display:
“I have a review unit from Apple, and after just 15 minutes or so trying it out, it’s damn impressive. Much like with the iPhone and iPad, it’s not so much that the retina display looks good as that, after you’ve used it for even just a few minutes, non-retina display MacBooks look bad. It’s not just pixel size, either — color, brightness, viewing angles — everything about it is amazing. Best display I’ve ever seen, period.”
Now it’s our job to make the websites you view on that display look sexy.
I have so many gift cards in my wallet it’s ridiculous. Add the occasional concert, movie or plane ticket, some cash, my credit cards, and a few business cards and my wallet is tapped out. Enter Passbook. Built right into Apple’s next version of iOS, Passbook is more than just a digital card wallet: It’s a whole new platform for developers.
“Besides the gee-whiz factor of having scannable cards organized in a pretty interface within the iPhone, the most interesting thing about Passbook is that the digital cards are able to make use of the iPhone’s geolocation capabilities. “When you get to the movie theater, your ticket automatically pops up on the lockscreen,” explained Scott Forstall, Apple’s SVP for iPhone software, demonstrating how a Fandago movie ticket in action. (via TechCrunch)”
We’re dying to work this functionality into some new projects.
iOS6: Apple Maps
Apple and Google have been a bit on-again-off-again over the last few years. And with Apple’s move to push Google out of the iOS Maps slot, we’d say they’re off again. That said, Apple’s newly designed Maps application seems to be a lot easier on the eyes, and it includes a lot of features that Google was reluctant to add to the original Google Maps app because it would eat into the improved map functionality that their own Android platform offered. In addition to a beautiful visual make-over, Apple’s new Maps app now includes turn-by-turn directions, and ‘Flyover’, “a whole new perspective with amazing photo-realistic and interactive 3D views of major metro areas.” (Check out more info about iOS 6′s Maps here.)
Apparently it can be a bad idea to withhold features from a company that’s sitting on over $600 billion in cash: Because they’ll just re-create the feature themselves.
We’re excited to see where these new and improved maps will take us.
Which new Apple product or feature are you excited to spend your savings on?