My eyes, I can't see. My ears, they're ringing. What's that? Apple did what?
Yeah, Apple dropped a big concussion grenade on us today, especially Google and the GPS makers. CEO Tim Cook & Co. unveiled a ton of new goodies at Apple's annual developer conference today in California.
First off, hardware. New MacBook Air and a New MacBook Pro. With retina display. So you'll be able to see pixel-perfection with every image. And a solid state hard drive on the MBP, which at least theoretically means a faster, lighter, thinner component. Also: no optical drive! Yup, no place to stick a CD or DVD. Those are sooo 20th century.
Indeed, these laptops are thin. All this goodness will cost you between $1,000 and more than $2,000. Yeah, I know, you can get a laptop for a lot less than that.
Perhaps the bigger news was on the mobile front, with the iPhone's latest planned operating system, iOS6. Apple has used its war chest to buy mapping companies and develop its own mapping technology, which includes, turn-by-turn navigation, 3D imagery, and Facebook and Yelp integration. A summary of key features for iOS6, which is slated for full release in the fall, can be found here.
Are the days of the standalone GPS unit truly numbered now? It seems so.
Millions of people interact with Google Maps on their iPhones. But Google will soon lose that connection to users. It's not clear if Google made any money off of users using the Google Maps app in iOS, but they definitely won't be seeing it as a source of revenue in the future.
Overall, it will be interesting to see how Apple does turn-by-turn navigation, as Android handsets have long offered that feature and have distinguished themselves with it, in my view.
Personally, I'm interested in seeing how Apple remodeled its various "stores": iTunes, App Store and iBookstore. For a long time, developers and users of iPhone/iPad have been complaining about the difficulty of navigating through the App Store, considering there are now hundreds of thousands of apps. Better and smarter navigation can have a real impact on developers' ability to profit from the Apple platform and users' ability to find relevant apps and content on it, too.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun