A few surprises for OS X Mountain Lion
Apple also revealed the ship date for OS X Mountain Lion, the update to OS X Lion that it announced in February; it will ship in July for $20. As previously revealed, it supports direct access to iCloud storage for apps sold via the Mac App Store, a VIP-tagging capability in Mail for people whose email you want quick access to, a standardized Share menu for applications, iCloud-synced tabs and unified address and search bar in Safari, and the adoption of iOS's Notification Center, AirPlay screen mirroring to an Apple TV, and its Notes, Messages, and Reminders apps.
New features revealed today are universal dictation (based on the dictation feature that debuted in the third-generation iPad), a redesigned Dock, support for links and images in the Notes app, a new way to browse tabs in Safari visually, and the ability to back up and update software while asleep that apple calls Power Nap.
Apple's iWork suite will also be updated to support iCloud storage.
Thin new MacBook Pro unveiled, with updates to other MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs
As widely expected, Apple today announced a redesigned MacBook Pro that is 0.71 inch thin -- about as thin as the MacBook Air's thickest portion -- that features a Retina display similar to that in the third-gen iPad, with more than 5 million pixels (for 220ppi pixel density), and a weight of 4.5 pounds for the 13-inch model. The new MacBook Pro uses Intel's new "Ivy Bridge" Core i5 and i7 processors, as well as a new USB port that supports both the 3.0 and 2.0 standards. (PCs that provide USB 3.0 use a separate port for each standard.) Its SSD can be as large as 768GB; there is no magnetic hard drive available. Apple has also used the low-power Bluetooth 4 technology in the new MacBook Pro, in addition to 802.11n Wi-Fi.
Gone are the Ethernet and FireWire ports; Apple now sells dongle adapters for these, and you can use an Apple Thunderbolt Display as well to gain these ports. The new MacBook Pro also uses a new, thinner power connector design and provides a second Thunderbolt port. Prices start at $2,199.
To take advantage of all those pixels, Apple is updating its iPhoto and Aperture photo-editing apps and its Final Cut Pro X video editing software, and Adobe will update Photoshop and AutoCAD will update its drafting software as well.
Apple also unveiled today its updated "regular" MacBook Pro series to use the same processors and 3.0/2.0 USB port. The new 13- and 15-inch models cost the same as the previous generation (starting at $1,199) and are otherwise essentially the same. (Apple did not mention the 17-inch model; that unit has been removed from Apple's online store.) Likewise, Apple has updated the thin-and-light MacBook Air lineup to use the new Core processors, which it says will boost both computational and graphics performance. The Airs can also now be outfitted with SSDs with storage of up to 512GB, up from 256GB in previous models. They too come with the dual 3.0/2.0 USB ports. Available today, pricing starts at $999, which is $100 less than for the previous generation.
Not announced as expected today was a new version of Apple's Mac Pro power-user desktop line. But Apple in fact also updated the Mac Pro, with faster processors but no inclusion of Apple's high-speed Thunderbolt port or the new dual 2.0/3.0 USB port.
This article, "Apple unveils new, thin MacBook Pro, iOS 6, and more OS X features," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.