AMITIAE - Wednesday 11 September 2013
Cassandra: Apple Announcements (1) - iOS 7 and iWork
By Graham K. Rogers
When I am running the video, after a few hours have passed, the pressure has gone. I have time to digest all the comments; and if not sure, can reverse the clip and listen again. All the while, just as I did when at the Moscone Center, I take copious notes.
Introductions and BackgroundWhen Tim Cook appeared on stage at the Apple Town Hall on Tuesday (10am Cupertino time) there was polite applause as he commented that there were to be announcements of a few things they are really proud of. As with any such presentation, he began with some background:
iOS 7When Federighi appeared he had all of the same bounce and enthusiasm he had displayed at the WWDC, as well as the humor.
Starting with the Lock-screen, he showed how this is part of the redesign of the whole iOS with its edge-to-edge design and precise typography. Swiping into the home screen gives gorgeous animations as the apps come into view.
He explained how iOS 7 has depth particularly in the way the device responds. Swipe up the Control Center and there is a semi-transparent layer with the controls. Search is easier to activate and use. Federighi continued his lighthearted approach that worked so well at WWDC by entering a search for "mousse" - his hair looks the same as in June.
When apps are activated, they are displayed full screen, with the focus on content. Siri now has better linking to external services as well as new voices. Sounds in iOS are also updated with several new ring-tones. There are also a number of new system alerts with the older ones having been remastered to sound better.
The camera software has been enhanced, with easier access to the different cameras, as well as a better availability of filters and effects (pre- or post-shooting). The organisation of photos is improved as we saw at WWDC, with the option of "Moments", based on the time and place they were taken. These moments may be related by other criteria, with searching and sharing made much easier. A new sharing method is "AirDrop" that uses peer-to-peer wifi sharing.
Also improved - a new iTunes (version 11) is available for OS X and Windows - is the Music app and there is also an iTunes radio option that provides new ways of sharing and mixing music selections.
Federighi suggested that downloading iOS 7 will be like getting a new device: "useful, elegant"; but one that you already know how to use. This works on iPhone and iPad and is to be available for free on 20 September. Devices this works on are:
iWorkAt 16 minutes Tim Cook returned to the small stage. With over 52 minutes of the video left, there was still much to see and hear. After praising iOS 7 again, Cook started to laud iWork, and an iOS icon for the suite appeared on the screen. The three parts of iWork are Keynote, Pages and Numbers (Presentation, Text and Spreadsheets): separate apps in iOS. He commented on a point that some critics had brought up, saying that iPads are not just great for consuming content, but also for creating content, emphasising this with photographs of students at work with the devices.
Apple thinks iWork is great for productivity, he said. Adding that iPhoto and iMovie are great for creativity: "No other platform has apps like these." He said that iOS devices are made even better if they have these apps and most customers want them. To great applause he announced that all 5 were to be free immediately, with any new iOS device.
Giving these aways underlines the point that Apple is a hardware and services company, with the way this will make the iOS devices more attractive and that these apps will benefit from synchronisation with iCloud.
Cook mentioned that in the past, with a new iPhone, the price of the current iPhone is lowered. This time there is a change. The business is so large that that this year it is to be replaced with not one, but two new designs, allowing Apple to serve new groups of customers.
He brought Phil Schiller onto the stage to talk about the new iPhone.
To be continued. . . .
See alsoCassandra: Apple Event - New Products, New Directions, Mild Disappointment
Cassandra: Apple Announcements (2) - Schiller and the iPhones
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.
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