#WWDC 2012: What slipped under the radar (by @mrgnw)

WWDC was chock-full of announcements. iOS 6, more on Mountain Lion, and new MacBooks. As Jony Ive explained the fan design in the MacBook Pro video:

There are many design innovations in the new MacBook Pro that users won’t see, but will definitely notice.

There are many other things that happened today that people didn’t see, but shed some light on the changes that happened today:

Hardware

  • Apple released a new Airport Express Base Station for $99. That’s a good deal for a dual-band 802.11n router. It looks just like a white Apple TV.
  • The Mac Pro line was updated. It still lacks USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt, but now has up to 12 cores.
  • The 17″ MacBook Pro line was removed.
  • The new MacsBooks use a new MagSafe 2 connector. Old power adapters can still connect with the MagSafe adapter for $10.

Cross-platform gaming: iOS to Mac.

The OS X game center demo included a cross-platform multiplayer game. That means devices will be able to play multiplayer games with each other even though they’re on different devices. Currently, “cross-platform” generally includes Windows, Mac, and Linux. We saw an iPad playing against a Mac. Cross-platform isn’t just across desktop operating systems anymore. It includes mobile devices.

Does this mean there will be super-universal apps that can run both on iOS and OS X?

It’s possible, but not likely.

See also: Apple will never combine OS X and iOS

New reward for students

Instead of offering a printer or an iPod Touch, the BackToSchool promotion now gives students $100 for apps, music, movies, books from Apple. This is in addition to the education discount of up to $200 off Mac computers.

Why these matter

Why did the new MacBook Pro video dedicate so much attention to the fan? It illustrates that Apple doesn’t just make things better and faster, they know how to make things seem better and faster.

Many of these may seem small, but they serve as good indicators of how Apple thinks and works.

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