WWDC through the ages – Apple’s greatest hits
On Monday, Apple will gather the faithful in San Francisco for its 2012 Worldwide Developers’ Conference – and if past experience is anything to go by, we can expect to see Cupertino’s tech-wizards taking the wraps off something big – either a new piece of hardware like the much-anticipated iPhone 5 or Retina Display MacBooks, or a significant software upgrade like iOS 6. So what can we expect to see, based on past form? We take a look back over the star launches of WWDCs past.
WWDC 2011 – iOS 5
WWDC 2011 didn’t bring any hardware launches – instead, the action was all happening in the software space, as Apple updated its mobile OS to iOS 5 – adding over 200 new features. Most notable were the new-look Notification Center, finally doing away with intrusive pop-up windows, the BlackBerry-baiting iMessage and the ability to dive straight into the Camera app from the lock screen.
WWDC 2011 – Mac OS X Lion
Apple also announced the latest iteration of its desktop OS, Lion, at WWDC 2011. Adding new multi-touch gestures, Mission Control and wireless p2p network AirDrop, Lion is the latest salvo in Apple’s bid to converge its mobile and desktop operating systems.
WWDC 2011 – iCloud
Probably the biggest launch to come out of Apple’s most recent WWDC was iCloud – Cupertino’s riposte to the likes of Dropbox and Spotify. The iCloud service replaced Apple’s existing MobileMe, giving iOS users app syncing, 5GB of free music storage and Photo Stream uploads, plus a paid iTunes Match service serving up legal streaming versions of all songs in your iTunes library.
WWDC 2010 – iPhone 4
2010 marked the most recent – to date, at least – appearance of a new iPhone at WWDC. The iPhone 4, lest we forget, introduced the current iPhone form factor, packing in an A4 processor and the infamous 326ppi Retina Display into its glass-and-aluminium frame.
The launch was marred somewhat by the “Antennagate” controversy, which saw some iPhone 4s reportedly dropping calls due to the external antenna design.
Also launched at WWDC 2010 were FaceTime on iOS – taking advantage of the iPhone 4′s front-facing camera – and the iMovie app.
WWDC 2009 – iPhone 3GS
The “S” stands for “speed,” said Apple – and they weren’t kidding. Wooshing along at twice the speed of its predecessor, the iPhone 3GS marked the first of the incremental iPhone hardware upgrades that have since become standard procedure for Apple – adding a new 3MP camera, an optional 32GB of internal memory and a compass to the already solid base that was the iPhone 3G.