Summer of 2012. What an exciting summer it turned out to be in geek land. The fanboy in us was aroused on more than one occasion by more than a single company. Apple, Microsoft, Google. Amazing products by the big three in the world of technology.
Starting with Apple's WWDC 2012, Apple made quite a splash at its annual developer's conference. Although iOS 6 looked like just a bugfix to iOS 5, OS X Mountain Lion and the new MacBook Pro with Retina display grabbed all the eyeballs. Let's look at the Retina MacBook first. Apple has once again been at the forefront of innovation by making a display which has more pixels than an HDTV. This sets new standards for the competition – they have to catch up, the web – websites are now forced to be forced to be optimized for higher resolution displays, software – developers now have to make better use of all those pixels. This is a good thing as it will lead to more innovations and ultimately, the consumer enjoys the fruits.
Then, there was OS X Mountain Lion which is the first step in a fusion between OS X and iOS. Apple looks to have done a better job than Microsoft has done with Windows 8 by maintaining familiar interfaces and gradually changing it instead of pulling off a blinder (no doubt Windows 8 is an excellent OS - read our review of the Consumer Preview here). One thing is certain. Mobile is the future. How touchy it will be is the question.
Watch the complete video of the WWDC 2012 keynote below.
Just when Apple had the whole world buzzing with its gadgets, Microsoft secretly slipped in a note to top tech bloggers about a top-secret event in Hollywood for the following week exactly 1 week after WWDC. The world was confused as this was very un-Microsoft like. Microsoft generally never keeps anything secret and most of the details leak to the media much before. But this was something different. And we weren't disappointed either. Microsoft unveiled the Microsoft Surface, touted as the next-generation tablet with USB ports and a touch keyboard which doubles up as a cover. Some basic specs were released and the full spec sheet and pricing is yet to be announced. Rest assured, it is an amazing device in its own right. Can it beat the iPad? Time will tell.
Watch the full Surface reveal below.
Next was the Windows Phone Summit which would unveil the next generation of Windows Phone: Windows Phone 8 codenamed Apollo. The biggest announcement according to me was the shared core with Windows 8. What this means is that developers can now write apps for Windows 8 and port them to Windows Phone 8 or vice versa. How useful this will be and whether apps can be made for two different types of devices and computing paradigms remains to be seen. Also unveiled was a newer, more functional and more customizable Start screen which is basically the hallmark of Windows Phone. Another point to note was greater enterprise features. Apart from this, most other announcements at the Windows Phone Summit were long-awaited ones and nothing jaw-dropping. This firmly places Windows Phone at the level of iOS and Android feature-wise and it is time now for OEMs to make super phones.
Watch the full summit below.
After Apple and Microsoft, could Google be left far behind? Definitely not! And they had one of the best and jaw-dropping keynotes ever on Day 1 of Google I/O. The demo of Google Glass with skydivers and bikers was spectacular! Apart from that, Google announced Android's next version, Jelly Bean 4.1. Frankly, iOS 6 pales in comparison. With Project Butter, which has significant speed improvements, offline Google Maps and a nice new intuitive interface, Apple can no longer say Android is an iOS-rip-off. Android now has its own unique identity. And who can forget the Nexus 7 and Nexus Q? While the Nexus Q didn't impress me much, the Nexus 7 is sure a killer tablet for $199. With a 12-core GPU and quad-core processor, along with Jelly Bean, Google looks to have made the perfect tablet.
Enjoy the full keynote below.
So many exciting developments this summer! Which one has you the most enthused? Let us know in the comments!
Have a great week!