At the Worldwide Developers Conference that kicked off yesterday, Apple launched two versions of the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro. The MacBooks sport Retina Display with an extremely high DPI and fidelity. They also have more ports for USB2, USB3, Firewire, and Thunderbolt I/O for high-speed data transfer.
But there are more important things announced at the event that means trouble for Google.
Apple vs. Google
Apple unveiled their own mapping solution for the iOS 6 which, eliminating Google Maps from iOS devices. The Maps app features real-time traffic conditions, turn-by-turn navigation, Yelp integration, vector graphics, and 3D flyovers.
What’s great about the separation is that Apple’s now be able to bring their own technology to maps, as Google was reluctant to update Maps on Apple devices. Now, Apple won’t have to rely on Google for navigation. Aside from introducing 3D flyovers that use computer-generated images, they’ve also greatly integrated Siri to Maps and the AI gives you turn-by-turn directions. The downside of not having Google is that the transit and walking directions are no longer be available, but Apple said that they would be working with third-party service providers to provide transit directions.
“We believe the biggest takeaway is that Apple is strengthening not only the interaction within its own ecosystem, but also creating a consortium of powerful web partners to offer an experience that largely falls outside of Google’s walls,” said Gene Munster, an industry analyst with Piper Jaffray. “We believe Apple will continue to add content partners for Siri to marginalize Google’s presence on the iPhone.”
Another tidbit that Apple copied from Google is the smart search bar. As found on Google Chrome’s browser, Safari users will be able to search items using the address bar, plus they’ve also adopted the syncable browser. Just like in Chrome, anything opened on a Safari browser will be available on the Safari browser on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
Google integrated Google+ to Android devices so sharing things from Android devices to Google+ was seamless. That was one edge over Apple, but now the iPhone maker has integrated Facebook into their new OS, iOS 6 to let Apple users quickly update their status or sync contacts and calendar events straight from their device.
But Google isn’t the only one targeted in Apple’s update as Microsoft is also in their crosshair.
Mac vs. Windows
Intel recently announced a feature that would soon be available on Windows Ultrabooks – the ability to update things such as mail, calendar, photos, and apps while in sleep mode. Another thing that Apple copied from Intel is the power of voice command. It was announced that through the power of Nuance, users would be able to use their voice to launch apps, play local media, or even start online chat with the upcoming Windows Ultrabooks and Apple is kind of doing the same thing. Apple wants users to be able to speak-to-type on any text field on their Macs.
When Steve Jobs passed away last year, some critics thought that it was the start of Apple’s demise; that the company won’t be able to deliver and compete. But lo and behold, Apple is still standing and still able deliver worthy announcements.
The most important thing that people should note is that Apple is not focusing on one aspect alone: not content with dominating the mobile realm, they want to dominate every sector of consumer technology. Though they didn’t unveil a new iPhone or the Apple television, you can argue that the software updates unveiled this week are just as important as a new device. They’re becoming more independent by hiring their own guys so that even if in the future, when Google decides to stop supporting Apple devices, they won’t be left hanging.