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Monday June 11, 2007 2:00 pm

Live Notes from Steve Jobs WWDC 2007 Keynote

WWDC 2007 keynote is set to deliver another of his hypnotizing keynote speeches this morning from the 2007 Worldwide Developers Conference. We are here to bring you live notes, thoughts and commentary on all Steve has to say about the future of and it’s products. Let’s jump in, as things are getting started:

  • After another “I’m a PC, I’m a Mac” skit, Steve takes the stage and begins to give us a few WWDC 2007 numbers. There are over 5,000 attendees at the event this year, which makes it the biggest ever. There are over 950,000 Apple Developer Connection members.
  • We have just realized that the Apple Store has just gone down. New products for us today?
  • Steve talks about the transition to Intel, and how seamless and fantastic it all has been. Intel CEO Paul Otellini hits the stage to accept a shiny award disc from Steve, and says a few words which can all be summed up by saying that Intel has enjoyed working with Apple. Steve says he is proud of the Macs they are shipping with Intel chips inside them.

  • Steve goes on to talk about gaming, and how it is now time to bring it to the Mac in a big way. Bing Gordon of EA says Command & Conquer 3, Battlefield 2142, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will all be released simultaneously for OS X in July. Madden 08 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 are also on their way.
  • John Carmack of iD Software shows off a fantastic looking game technology. We see a world covered in 20 GB worth of textures that can be manipulated in just about any way the person playing want to manipulate it, at no cost to game performance.
  • On the the big stuff…first up, Leopard. Steve says this is the final look before the OS launches in October. He gives a few details on Tiger, saying that 2/3 of all Mac users run the latest iteration of OS X, which is unheard of for any operating system. Fair enough. Today we get a look at 10 more Leopard features - that is 10 out of the total of 300 new features in the operating system.
  • The first feature is a new desktop. There is a new menu bar, new dock, and a new organizational preference called Stacks. Stacks aims to fix the clutterred desktop full of file downloads and other random files. According to Steve “Stacks are simply folders in the dock that allow you rapid access to the dock that come out as a fan or as a grid. The instant way to get contents of your folder.”
  • Second new feature is a new Finder. This one receives a nice round of applause, as it is one of the most requested features we have seen for Leopard. The new Finder has an improved sidebar, and obviously, improved funtionality. They have made it a lot easier to browse other computers on your local network directly from within the Finder. .Mac subscribers get a new feature called Back To My Mac which allows you to browse other computers and share files over the Internet.
  • Cover Flow has been added as a standard feature in the Finder. You know, the thing that allows you to flip through your album art in iTunes and on the iPhone? Yeah, that. You can flip through file icons, but the power really lies in the fact that you can actually page through PDF files, Keynote presentations, and Pages documents using this. If you need to get to a particular page, you just use Cover Flow.
  • Cover Flow can also be used to browse other Macs on your network, but the Finder can just as easily browse networked WIndows PCs, like the one Steve mentioned was in “the attic.” Finder also gets smart search folders, which allow you to save search queries.
  • Steve shows off Back To My Mac. There is a new preference in the .Mac preference pane, and Steve brings up his Mac Pro from the office. He can browse through his files remotely, and if he finds something he needs, he can just drag it over to the desktop he is working on and download the file right there. .Mac will be updated whenever your computer gets a new IP address, so you can always get to it. Your mobile computer does the same, and the connection is encrypted and secure between the two. Great, great stuff.
  • Third new feature is something called Quick Look. It basically is an application that can open just about any type of file, be it text or multimedia. It is a companion to the Finder. Obviously, it doesn’t have all the features that the dedicated applications do for opening your files, but when you just want to quickly browse a file or movie to get information quickly without launching an application, this is your way to do it. Think of it as Preview on steroids.
  • Fourth new feature is the fact that Leopard is a 64-bit operating system from top to bottom. Steve says it is the first time that 64-bit computing hits the mainstream. There will not be two versions of Leopard like Vista has, which is one for 32-bit users and another for 64-bit users.
  • 64-bit and 32-bit apps run side-by-side in Leopard. Steve launches a gigantic image in both a 32-bit app and 64-bit app. It’s a 4GB LoC image that is over a billion pixels in size. In the 64-bit application, the image came right up - 32-bit, not nearly as fast. When running white balance the 64-bit version was three times as fast. Steve says 64-bit is needed, and this is proof, especially in the design world.
  • Fifth new feature is Core Animation, which we actually already knew about and has been featured on the Leopard preview page for quite some time now. Nevertheless, Steve demos how it all works. It is GPU acceleration and automatic animation. Very low effort to incorporate into your applications. He shows off an animated version of the Apple TV intro movie. There are a couple hundred videos playing in a grid. Steve moves over them and shows off all the live motion that you have control over. It is very pretty.
  • All the videos have tag support, so Steve searches for ‘water’, and those videos come to the front in the Cover Flow interface. Snazzy!
  • Next new feature is Boot Camp. It will be built right in to Leopard, no more burning driver disks and all of that nonsense. He shows off Minesweeper and Solitaire in Vista using Boot Camp. Steve also mentions that you can use Parallels or VM Ware to run Windows as well, and he is pleased with both programs and Apple is trying tohelp out both companies in any ways they can.
  • Next up, Spaces. Wow - this is another feature that we have already previously seen. We were kind of hoping for…you know…new stuff. In any event, Steve shows World of Warcraft running in one Spaces desktop, and demos how you can drag applications from one Space to another. That was pretty much it for Spaces.
  • Dashboard is the eighth new feature. This isn’t a new feature at all though, it has been in Tiger this whole time. Anyway, Steve shows off a couple of new widgets. One is for looking up movie times, which also let’s you buy tickets and watch previews right from your search results. Not bad. Second is that Web Clip widget we saw last year. Pretty much the same demo as last year, too. You can clip websites, and create auto-updating clip widgets. Eh.
  • Number nine is the new iChat with video conferencing features. We get a look at some of the new effects, including a Star Wars-esque hologram mode. Fancy stuff. Backdrops are still in there, including that pesky roller coaster. The cool thing is that now you can share files and media through iChat. Basically, if you can open the file in the aforementioned Quick Look, then you can share it with someone in iChat. Funny moment - Steve Ballmer on screen, but his mouth was Phil Schiller’s. It was that whole Conan O-Brien thing. They made Ballmer talk about how he loves his Mac.
  • Tenth new application was Time Machine. Weak. Half of the ‘new’ things we saw, we already saw last year. Whatever, we get pretty much the same “going back in time to find a lost file” demo that we saw last year. However, now Quick Look is built-in to Time Machine, so you can actually check and see if what you have found is the version of the file you were looking for. We can appreciate that.
  • That’s it for Leopard. Steve goes on to say that Leopard Home version will sell for $129. Business version will sell for $129. Premium version is $129. Ultimate version is also $129. He thinks everyone will be getting the Ultimate version. Fantastic stuff.
  • ONE MORE THING: SAFARI 3.0 BETA RELEASED FOR OS X, WINDOWS VISTA, AND WINDOWS XP. Steve talked about the marketshare of Safari being at 5%. Firefox is up around 15%, Internet Explorer at 78%. How can they increase marketshare? By releasing the browser for the two major Windows platforms. This is going to help web devs out tremendously. Safari 3.0 is benchmarked with a third-party tool. It is twice as fast as Internet Explorer, and 1.6 times as fast as Firefox. This is huge.
  • ONE LAST THING. Steve brought up one last thing, concerning developing third-party apps for the iPhone. First he mentions that is launches in 18 days, and that it goes on sale at 6:00 PM on the 29th. Interesting. Everyone figured there would be some sort of development kit released. To the contrary, developers have access to the complete Safari engine on the iPhone, which means they can make advanced Web 2.0 and AJAX applications that look and behave like native iPhone applications.
  • So the deal is, no third party applications can be installed from the iPhone. However, you can build web apps that can tap into iPhone services. For example, your app can dial out, look up addresses on the Google Maps application, or send email from the built-in Mail client. That was demonstrated by showing off an LDAP directly web app.
  • That looks to be all - go download the new Safari 3.0 if you are a Mac or Windows user. Be sure to also check out some videos of the new Leopard features mentioned above.

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