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They did have a little more to show us – a little more than we expected

Posted on 24 Oct 2012

Last night’s announcement was full of goodies ready for the Christmas buyers, but what does it mean to the developer? More form factors? Different processors? Let’s take a look through an Apple keynote that felt more like the good times are back – for consumers and iOS developers.

Oh and one more thing…

Unusually of late, Apple produced a few surprises in their keynote last night – and aren’t all of us Apple TV owners just that little bit more pleased with our purchase. The live streaming may have upset a few tech bloggers, but it’s a clever move by Apple to start pushing their passion for detail to a wider selection of the community. 

iMac

Most people will agree that the new iMac models stole the show – what a marvel of technological achievement that super thin edge is (and great for presentation eye candy!). Anyone else notice how carefully Phil lined the edge up to the camera during the close-up? As usual, Apple have also taken an existing technology and given it a polish. The “Fusion” drive has existed in one form or another for a while now – but full integration into OSX is typical Apple completeness and, if the performance chart was to be believed, you can now have (almost) the best of both worlds.

The 13 inch MacBook Pro – what Apple household doesn’t have one? Well not many according to the figures – as the flagship “Mac”, the retina update has been widely anticipated and what a way to put it out there. At 20% thinner and 20% lighter it landed with a (gentle) bang to some seriously good acclaim.

Anyone else feel a little lifted?

It’s not always about hardware, as the Mac presentations came to a close I imagined there were a few sweaty-palmed devs wondering what pain the next set of device announcements might bring. Well, as it turns out, this was a great keynote for devs and the general buzz on the night seemed to be very positive.

Starting with a somewhat surprisingly large upgrade to the iPad retina, we all expected to see the lightning connector go in, but a doubling of performance – wow. That’s pretty staggering for a device already considered way out in front and we saw this in the way it was presented. You got the distinct impression that no competitor is even close and Apple just don’t consider there to be anything out there worth considering. Borne out by the 91% market share? The new A6 processor is a powerhouse and since it’s already on the market in the iPhone5 there will be no upgrade issues with new architectures (devs +1).

iPad_mini

Then came the anticipated device – no major surprises – the iPad mini. Pretty cool, but most of us already knew what to expect and it wasn’t the laser cut edges that grabbed attention – 1024×768. Have a set of numbers made so many devs sit back and breathe in one keynote? We now have the entire iPad family satisfied by essentially one form factor (devs +1) and instant compatibility for all current iPad apps (consumers +1). It’s a major coop for Apple – well demonstrated in the side-by-side comparison. Hardware (cheap plastic – Phil) aside we saw a great point made – we’re getting an iPad mini not an iPhone maxi. We’re also getting iPad2 levels of hardware/performance – no headaches about an underpowered device to worry about. 

The conclusion for devs – business as usual, not a change to make. Good news for us in ShinobiHQ – we can keep our heads down working on the great new features we’ve got planned (after making some pre-orders of course ;-) ). 

Bigger desk required

It’s an astonishing amount of quality hardware we’ve seen come out of Apple this year – and for iOS app developers we can reach an incredible market with a minimal number of form factors and top notch performance. Take one of the key benefits of buying into the Apple eco-system – seemless interoperability – and suddenly “cloud” is becoming less buzz word and more everyday staple.

 The negatives? Anyone else tired of hearing the iOS6 features over and over? Well I’m sure we can forgive them a little. 

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