The Best of Apple's WWDC


By David King
 In case you weren’t following the WWDC keynote coverage live, you missed well, a lot. The event — which ran about two hours — was packed with information. Thousands of articles have already been written covering some of the bigger numbers and features, so I thought I’d highlight some of the smaller things you may have missed.

  • There are now 54 million active Mac users
  • 73 percent of those Mac users are now using notebooks instead of desktops
  • Photo Booth in OS X Lion has face tracking for targeted facial enhancements (like big eyes, or birds over your head)
  • The Mac App Store is already now the number one channel for buying software (beating Best Buy)
  • Starting with OS X Lion, Mac App Store apps can gain Push Notifications and In-App purchases
  • Updates will also now be delta updates — meaning you’ll only have to download what’s new, not the entire app
  • OS X Lion will only be available in the Mac App Store. Want a disc? Too bad, they’re extinct.
  • OS X Lion will weigh in at a svelte 4 gigabytes (not much bigger than an HD movie)
  • 25 million iPads have been sold in just 14 months
  • 15 billion songs have been sold through iTunes now
  • Apple has 18 million songs in their total iTunes Store library
  • 130 million iBooks have been downloaded in a little over a year
  • There are now over 425,000 apps in the App Store — 90,000 of them are built for the iPad
  • 14 billion apps have been downloaded in less than 3 years. (Yes, that will very soon surpass total song downloads.)
  • Apple has paid out $2.5 billion to third-party app developers — that’s up $1.5 billion from a year ago.
  • There are 225 million iTunes accounts (with credit cards attached and ready to spend)
  • 100 billion Push Notifications have been sent
  • With Newsstand, magazine and newspaper apps can now download new content in the background when your device is inactive
  • With the Twitter integration deal, it’s now a bit more clear why Scott Forstall has an account. He appeared to use it on stage during a demo, but he didn’t actually. Still 0 tweets and still only following Conan.
  • The Twitter integration can update your contacts’ photos with their avatars in your Address Book.
  • 2/3rds of all mobile web browsing is done through mobile Safari
  • Apple brought the Reader feature from Safari in OS X to the iOS version
  • iOS 5 Safari for iPad has tabbed browsing
  • The new Reminders app allows you to set a geo fence to send a notification when you enter or leave a place
  • The iPhone 4 is about to become the most used camera overall on Flickr (we pointed this out weeks ago)
  • Double-clicking the Home button on the lock screen now brings up a camera icon to jump right to that app
  • That feature even bypasses an iPhone lock code, but you’ll only be able to take and view new pictures that way
  • The volume-up button has been reworked to act as a shutter button when in camera mode
  • There is now a way to enhance photos on the phone with one tap
  • You can now flag messages in the new email app (does that mean Gmail starring too?)
  • When reading email on the iPad in portrait mode, you can now swipe from the left to bring up your list of messages (instead of the pop-over)
  • The iBooks built-in dictionary now works system-wide
  • The iPad keyboard can now “rip” into two so you can more easily type with your thumbs
  • Software updates will now come over the air, and they too will be delta updates (much smaller)
  • The iPhone iPod app has been broken into Music and Videos apps (just like the iPod touch)
  • The iPad Music app has been entirely redone
  • After just 9 months, there are 50 million Game Center users (Xbox Live has gotten 30 million in 8 years)
  • Turn-based games (like Scrabble) are now fully supported in Game Center (previously developers had to do a lot of work to make these function)
  • iMessages has an option for “read receipts” — you can see that a person has read your message and at what time (sort of creepy)
  • iMessages work over WiFi and 3G (the carriers may be pissed off about that)
  • iMessages was built on the Push Notification infrastructure.
  • iOS Weather can now get hourly updates
  • Stock updates now come in real time (and both of these are widgets in the Notification pull-down)
  • The LED flash on the iPhone 4 can be set to visually show you when you have a message or call
  • You can now wirelessly mirror the iPad 2 to your TV (previously you needed an HDMI adapter for this)
  • WiFi sync is finally here for iTunes (this will backup your device as well)
  • There is a new gesture in iOS 5 to flick between open apps
  • Developers are also being granted access to the LED flash on the iPhone 4
  • Developers are also now able to change the backlight setting (like iBooks — apps like Instapaper previously made their own solutions)
  • With iCloud, there will be shared, collaborative calendars
  • Email will feature “no ads” (a shot at you-know-who)
  • You can wirelessly back up your devices to iCloud. This happens once a day automatically when you’re connected to WiFi
  • Documents in the Cloud even remember what slide you were last looking at when you open it elsewhere
  • iCloud will have storage APIs that developers can use
  • This will work for Mac and PC apps too for seamless integration
  • Photo Stream is built into existing apps (Photos in iOS, iPhoto in OS X)
  • Photo Stream is also coming to Apple TV
  • Up to 10 devices can be used with iTunes in the Cloud
  • Apple provides 5 gigabytes of storage in iCloud for free. This can be used for backups, documents, and email. Purchased music and Photo Stream do not count towards this limit.
  • You will be able to purchase more storage if you need it. (Details aren’t yet set.)
  • If iTunes Match can’t find your music on the iTunes server, they will upload it for you
  • All songs found using iTunes Match will be automatically upgraded to 256 kbps quality AAC