Originally published: June 10, 2013 7:20 AM
Updated: June 10, 2013 5:20 PM
By KEN SCHACHTER firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: AP Photo AP | Phil Schiller the senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple introduces the new MacBook Air laptops during the keynote address of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conferencein San Francisco, California. (June 10, 2013)
Apple rolled out a slew of products and features Monday, including an Internet radio service and an operating system for iPhones and iPads with a different aesthetic and multi-tasking that allows users to preview what an app is doing.
The company also launched new MacBook Air models, previewed upcoming MacPro desktop features and introduced a version of its iWork software suite that operates in a browser window. An update of personal assistant Siri on iPhone and iPad will make it smarter and more powerful, executives said.
In a keynote speech at Apple’s Worldwide Development Conference in San Francisco, Chief Executive Tim Cook and other honchos sought to quiet critics who contended the Cupertino, Calif., technology giant had lost its technological mojo.
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The new system, OS7, features fresh icons, buttons and color schemes on a glass-like, semi-transparent background and redesigns of Apple’s apps such as Mail, Calendar and Weather with complementary designs. It is expected to go public in the fall.
Apple’s stock has fallen from a 52-week high of $705.07 amid sniping and increased competition from Google’s rival Android operating system and Samsung’s handsets.
Company executives, however, bristled at suggestions that Apple was over the hill.
“Can’t innovate anymore? My [***],” quipped Philip Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple.
Shares of Apple climbed $1.34, or .3 percent to $443.15 in afternoon trading.
The new iTunes Radio service will use the contents of a user’s iTunes account to tailor its streaming music to taste. The service will be free for U.S. users and will compete against rivals like Pandora, Songza and Spotify.
Apple also updated its operating system for its desktop and laptop computers. Unlike previous versions named after breeds of cats like Mountain Lion or Snow Leopard, the latest system is named OSX Mavericks, evoking a California surfing hot spot.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said OSX Mavericks will have technology that cuts activity by the central processing unit by 72 percent, in part by letting apps “take a nap.”
The new operating system also introduces iCloud Keychain, a feature that encrypts passwords for websites, Wi-Fi networks and credit cards and will compete against stand-alone programs like LastPass and DashLane.
OSX Mavericks will include an integrated Maps program that can seamlessly transfer maps to an iPhone or iPad. Apple’s Maps program received a lukewarm reception when it was introduced on the iPhone, prompting Cook to apologize to customers.
Executives touted a refreshed MacBook Air as having all-day battery life thanks in part to Intel’s new Haswell chip set. The 11-inch model’s battery life will go from five hours to nine hours, and the 13-inch version will go from seven hours to 13 hours, they said. The new models will start shipping Monday.
Apple also offered a “sneak peek” at features of a new MacPro desktop. The release date was not specified for the MacPro, which presenters said will feature twice the performance of the existing model.
Cook said the company is introducing a version of its iWork productivity suite that works with iCloud in a browser, giving users access to word-processing, spreadsheet and presentation documents via the Internet.
Another new feature: iPhone and iPad apps can be updated automatically without requiring user intervention.
A new Activation lock anti-theft feature built into iOS will prevent thieves from wiping and reactivating iPhones and iPads and reselling them.
The Worldwide Developers Conference, which is being held today through Friday in San Francisco, has been a launchpad for product developments, including the iPhone 4 in 2010.
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