This year has taken Apple on one more rollercoaster ride. The death of Steve Jobs in 2011 and the events that followed immediately after his untimely death made such an enormous impact on the future and direction of the company as one of the most powerful technology companies the world has ever seen. In moving steadily forward without Jobs at its helm, the company has seen its fair share of successes, lapses, product leaks and everything in between. Check out 2012 highlights for a Cupertino, CA-based business.
Phil Schiller of Apple announced iBooks Author, a new Mac app for writing books. This app is targeted at people belonging to the education sector, particularly writers, who need to get access to a wide range of tools that will enable them to create beautiful and interactive textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books and much more even if they do not lack the necessary layout and programming skills to accomplish such tasks.
OS X Mountain Lion, the ninth major release of Apple’s operating system (officially called version 10.8), was officially announced on the Apple website as the successor to Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. The company initially released a developer preview and introduced a slew of new features such as Notes, Reminders, Notifications, Messages (replacing iChat), Game Center, Twitter integration, and AirPlay mirroring. The OS was only officially available on the Mac App Store in July.
Apple introduced many product updates in March, the most notable being the introduction of the New iPad. The third generation of the tech giant’s category-defining tablet sees the introduction of a stunning Retina display into the product line to create “the highest-resolution display ever seen on a mobile device with 3.1 million pixels”. The device is also equipped with Apple’s new A5X chip with quad-core graphics and a 5 megapixel iSight camera, which features advanced optics for capturing stunning photos and 1080p HD videos.
The month was pretty uneventful for the brand, barring a few update releases here and there for products like OS X, Final Cut Pro, Motion, and Compressor. However, Apple made an important announcement this month by inviting developers to register for its much-anticipated annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) which is scheduled to take place in June at San Francisco’s Moscone West.
This is yet another quiet month for Apple as the only highlight of the month is the release of the OS X Lion 10.7.4 update. Apart from minor releases for Aperture, QuickTime, Apple TV, Safari, and Apple Remote Desktop, only the 5.1.1 update for iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) has made news.
Apple introduced a new 15-inch MacBook Pro featuring a Retina display which was first seen on the iPad 3 at WWDC. Measuring just 0.71 inches thick and weighing just 4.46 pounds, the new Macbook Pro features an Ivy Bridge i7 processor, RAM starting at 8GB, a USB3 port, SSD storage, and a MagSafe 2 connector among other specifications.
Apple released the stable version of Safari 6, a subtle but neat upgrade to the manufacturer’s browser, integrated into Mountain Lion and as a software update for OS X Lion users. New features include tabbed view, a unified smart search field, and iCloud tabs (for Mountain Lion) which allows syncing of recent websites across OS X and iOS devices.
No major releases for the Cupertino, CA tech company this time around, except for the Mountain Lion 10.8.1 update which came out during the second half of this month via the Mac App Store.
The highly anticipated iPhone 5, Apple’s thinnest and lightest smartphone, will be officially announced. The redesigned device unveiled in a quiet event on September 12 features a new aluminum design, a stunning 4-inch Retina display and a blazing-fast A6 chip on top of other outstanding components.
In another unnamed event just a month after the launch of the iPhone 5, Apple managed to release the highly speculated iPad mini. The new junior-sized iPad has almost all the hardware specs of its big brother, iPad 2, except for the 7.9-inch display and some additional nice features are also coming to later iPads like FaceTime HD and a 5 megapixel iSight camera. and ultra-fast wireless capabilities.
Apple is selling a redesigned version of the iMac after years of focusing on handheld devices like the iPhone and iPad. The 21.5-inch all-in-one consumer desktop offering originally introduced in 1998 now sports an all-aluminum uni-body that can take up to 3TB or 768GB of flash storage. It’s now called The New iMac.
Secondary releases for tools like Keynote (update 5.3), Pages (update 4.3), and Numbers (update 2.3), plus minor releases for Motion, Compressor, and Final Cut Pro are available to Apple users.
So how would you sum up Apple’s performance this year? Were the products and events interesting enough for you or did you feel they lacked the intensity that was prevalent in the past? Tell us what you think.