Monday saw a slew of announcements, unveilings and impeding promises from the tech giants we all hate to admit we love.
Apple gave their keynote at the WWDC, which you could watch live as long as you had Safari or Apple TV (they knew who they were talking to). And Microsoft and Sony unveiled their new games consoles as the supposed ‘battle for the living room’ saw its latest skirmish.
The latest iDeas
Yes it’s a bad pun, but after listening to over two hours of ‘super smooth’, ‘really cool’ and the odd ‘epic’, my linguistic prowess is feeling a little numbed.
This was my first time watching an Apple special event, and I had hoped for something a little more special, but whilst they didn’t reveal any exciting or mind-bending new devices, their software announcements actually contained some brilliant touches and they revealed some impressive technology. These were a few of my favourites:
- The new MacBook Air 13″ has a 12-hour battery life. That’s genuinely impressive and finally clicks over into being able to take it out for the day without wondering if you need the cable for insurance. And that’s not 12 hours of doing nothing, apparently you can watch 10 hours of iMovies, so the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy, all on battery life.
- OS X, or Mavericks as even I have to admit it has been ridiculously and self-indulgently called, has file tagging. This means along side choosing your files and file name, you choose which of your chosen categories your document belongs in. Say, ‘important’, ‘finance’, ‘drafts’ etc. This will make finding files so much easier. An ‘ooooh that makes so much sense’ development.
- iOS 7 has a really cool weather app. Yes iOS 7 represents quite the revolution in the iPhone operating system, and you can read all about the tech, but the weather app now has full screen animation and lightening strikes across your screen and clouds move depending on your forecast. It’s just so pretty.
Big girls’ and boys’ toys
Apple’s event actually contained some toys of its own, introducing Anki, a company that has been partnering with Apple to develop AI and robotics technology into games.
These toy cars respond to their environment, can drive themselves basically, plus they include virtual weapons that can shoot the other cars off the track. They said they wanted to bring video gaming to life on your living room floor.
Away from Apple
When it comes to games though, the biggest news was XBox One and Playstation 4. I tried to watch the Microsoft conference, but I just couldn’t bring myself to go through all those games trailers. The first one, with the single female, scantily-clad character and the I-lost-count-how-many complex, fully-clothed male characters, was enough. But that’s gaming.
The consoles themselves seem to be eliciting a lot of chatter about price, with the XBox One set to cost £429 to the Playstation 4’s £349. For further chatter, check out the BBC News reports on both. Is it any surprise all three releases feature in the most-read top ten articles?