SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the company’s annual conference for software developers on Monday. He was expected to show off new iPhone software and updated Mac computers and provide more details on future releases of Mac software.
In recent years, Apple Inc. has used its Worldwide Developers Conference as an opportunity to announce new software for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Such an announcement has been confirmed by banners that appeared at the Moscone conference center in San Francisco on Friday, reading “iOS 6.” The conference runs through Friday.
Here’s what’s coming out of the show on Monday. All times are PDT.
The new operating system for Apple’s Mac computers promises better integration with social networks.
Apple says the upcoming Mac OS X 10.8 “Mountain Lion” operating system has built-in features to facilitate sharing on Twitter and Flickr. For instance, you’ll get notifications directly from Twitter when you get a direct message or a mention on Twitter.
There’s also a “Power Nap” feature that keeps your Mac up to date even while it’s in power-saving “sleep” mode. It will get your emails, back up your files and download software updates automatically.
Mountain Lion will be available next month and will cost $19.99 _ $10 cheaper than what the current system, Lion, costs.
Those buying the MacBook models announced Monday will get the upgrade for free when it’s available. Those models will ship with the Lion version initially.
The new Mountain Lion system narrows the gap between the PC and phone software packages, making Mac personal computers work more like iPhones.
There’s little surprise. Apple already demonstrated most of the features of Mountain Lion in February and said it will go on sale late this summer. Developers are already able to download a version of the software.
Among the features:
_ Mountain Lion will be integrated with iCloud, the new Internet storage service designed for the mobile devices.
_ The software will bring dictation to Mac computers, essentially allowing you to type as you talk.
Apple announces a next-generation MacBook Pro model that is less than an inch thick while closed _ about as thin as the MacBook Air. It will have a sharper display, akin to what the iPhone and the iPad now have.
The “next-generation” model will have a 15.4-inch diagonal display. It will have processors from Intel Corp. and Nvidia Corp. and promises up to 7 hours of battery life.
The other models announced earlier Monday are largely updates to current models with more memory and better processors. The older models won’t sport the sharper “Retina Display” feature of Apple’s newer devices.
The “next-generation” model will be 0.71 inch thick, compared with 0.95 inches for the updated models. The weight of the new model is 4.46 pounds.
The new model will start at $2,199 and will start shipping Monday.
Schiller appears on stage to discuss changes to the company’s lineup of MacBook laptop computers.
He begins with an update to the ultra-thin MacBook Air and says the devices will have new Intel Corp. processors that sport up to 60 percent faster graphics and up to 512 gigabytes of flash storage memory. MacBook Airs do not have hard drives.
Prices for the version with an 11-inch diagonal screen will range from $999 to $1,099.
The MacBook Pro, which do have hard drives and are thicker, will also get the new Intel chip. Prices for the 13-inch model will be $1,199 to $1,499, while a 15-inch model will be $1,799 or $2,199, depending on the amount of storage.
The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models will start shipping Monday.
Cook boasts of more than 650,000 apps in its mobile store, including 225,000 optimized for the iPad tablet computer. The number of apps made by third parties, which extend the functionality of mobile devices, is one area where Apple has an advantage over Android, BlackBerry and other systems.
The conference opens with greetings from Siri, a virtual assistant that interprets voice commands and talks back to the user. A few minutes later, Cook walks on stage to standing ovation and announces, “We have a great week planned for you and some really cool stuff to show.”
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