SAN FRANCISCO—After months of speculation and leaks, it’s finally here: Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference. Thousands of developers have gathered here in San Francisco to get a glimpse at Apple’s next mobile and desktop operating systems. We’re here at the keynote, which kicks off the weeklong event, for a firsthand look at what’s next for Apple.
This post on WIRED will be continuously updated, so check back for more details on today’s announcements!
Spreading around the WIRED office this week is this HTML5 Game Boy emulator built for iPhone browsers. Apple doesn’t allow unauthorized emulators on the App Store, although the relatively open nature of the store allows people to sneak them on there for a few days before they get too popular and Apple pulls them down.
So get after it, quick!
Nineteen eighty-four was not like 2014. When Steve Jobs launched the Macintosh, he had to generate excitement about a product — a computer — that was unfamiliar to most people, if not downright scary. His creation would eventually entice them into changing their minds, but first, they had to be intrigued enough to learn about it.
The Macintosh was new, but the media would have to be old. There were no tech blogs, no Facebook, no Twitter, and certainly no Mac rumor websites. There were no websites at all. So Jobs had to generate his own campaign to tell the world about the computer that he would announce on January 24, 1984, 30 years ago today.
On October 23, 2001, Steve Jobs convened a group of tech reporters and Apple fans at the company’s Cupertino headquarters to announce a new product: the iPod. It was a launch that would lead the company, six years later, to drop the “Computer” from “Apple Computer.” It was a launch that would change ”the destiny of Apple.” It was a launch that would, as one slightly melodramatic analyst puts it, ”reshape society completely.”
But on October 23, 2001, if you didn’t happen to be Steve Jobs, you might not have seen the iPod’s society-reshaping potential. You might have seen the iPod, instead, for the other thing it was: just another MP3 player. On the day of its release—when the iPod was simply a consumer electronics product in search of its consumers—reactions to it were decidedly … mixed. (“Apple’s iPod spurs mixed reactions,” reads a CNET summary of the launch.) The iPod, after all, wasn’t the first portable jukebox. Its software and FireWire ports made it available, in its first iteration, only to Macintosh users. (At the time, only about 7 million people owned iPod-compatible Macs.) The iPod, from that perspective, was a small step forward, not a leap. And, at $399, it was an expensive little step.
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Know your [tech] history.
Apple hosted its iPad-centric event in San Francisco today, just a little more than a month after its Cupertino iPhone event. “We still have a lot to cover,” the company teased in its invitation. And the event certainly lived up to that message, with a slew of products, including new iPads, MacBook Pros, Macs, and more.
Here’s everything you need to know about what Apple showed off and what execs had to say about it all.
Apple’s latest mobile operating system is almost here. But iOS 7 isn’t an incremental upgrade from iOS 6. Things not only look starkly different, but in many cases, the familiar commands, gestures, and navigation elements have changed or have been replaced. So sit back, take out your freshly updated iPhone, and let’s master Apple’s latest.
The signs are all pointing to one thing: Apple is indeed working on a cheaper, plastic iPhone model for debut this fall. The most damning evidence thus far is a report from New York-based labor rights organization China Labor Watch detailing production of such an iPhone.
China Labor Watch investigated working conditions at Pegatron, one of Apple’s Chinese iPhone manufacturers and issued a report (.PDF) disclosing their findings. Inside, it made some curious references to a plastic iPhone — a product that doesn’t yet exist on the market.
Four years have passed since Google kingpin Eric Schmidt resigned from the Apple board of directors, signaling the start of what you might call a cold war between the two tech giants.
Or perhaps cold is the wrong word.
Six months after Schmidt left Apple’s board, Steve Jobs laid into Google during an Apple town hall meeting, crying foul over Android’s challenge to the iPhone and recasting the search giant’s “Don’t Be Evil” motto as “bullshit.” Throughout 2010 and into 2011, the two companies publicly sparred over whose smartphone technology was the most “open” and whose would ultimately make life easier for humankind. Then, in 2012, Apple summarily removed Google Maps and YouTube from the iPhone, determined to reduce its dependance on the company that so quickly usurped its command of the mobile market.
Schmidt now says there’s detente between the two, but even if that’s true, it didn’t come soon enough to avoid a very real divorce of technologies. Until recently, the two companies shared one of the world’s most important open source software projects — WebKit, the basis for Apple’s Safari browser and Google’s Chrome — but then, in April, that marriage ended too. Once so close, Apple and Google are now as far apart as anyone in the high-stakes tech game.
And yet, there’s one thing they still have in common, one last piece of technological brilliance they freely share with each another.
Chances are, you’ve never heard of it. But nowadays, it’s an integral part every new Apple iPhone — and every new Android phone. It’s not an app or a web service or some sort of hardware contraption. It’s more important than that. It’s a tool that’s changing the way we build and run computer software — any computer software.