updated 10:03 pm EDT, Fri June 15, 2012
Available up to 1080p, intros new MacBooks
Apple has made its WWDC keynote, delivered on Monday, available to YouTube (at up to 1080p resolution) and available on iTunes as a podcast in both standard and HD editions. The nearly two-hour presentation introduced a number of new Apple products and announcements, including the Retina MacBook Pros, new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models, the formal announcement of iOS 6 and more.
The keynote was notable for a number of items large and small, and details some of the upcoming features in iOS 6 as well as some that will be debuting in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, which is now planned for a July ship date. A noticeably more relaxed and genial CEO Tim Cook hosted the proceedings but left most of the demonstrating to his executive team, including Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi and Scott Forstall.
One of the most significant announcements was the long-awaited arrival of a deal with Facebook to integrate more fully into iOS 6 and Mac OS X when the former ships this fall. The fall ship date for iOS 6 and some other features hinted that the company may be preparing to time its release to new iPhone and iPod Touch hardware.
The company's expansion of Messages and the Notification Center to the Mac is also expected to have a disruptive effect. Now fully coordinated between iPhones, iPads and the Mac, the technology could both displace the notion of separate programs for email, text, chat and audio or video conferencing, as well as deny cell phone carriers a significant slice of their most lucrative product, text messaging.
The new Passbook application is starting off modestly as a way to automatically show certain kinds of electronic boarding passes, train or sporting event tickets, movie tickets and other purchases to gain entry to events, but could grow into a full-blown electronic wallet as future iPhones and other devices incorporate NFC and allow secure purchasing from the iPhone. For consumers who currently carry a bevy of "loyalty cards," ticket vouchers and credit or debit cards, Passbook and its competition may eventually eliminate wallets almost completely.
Ironically, the YouTube video is higher-resolution than is available from iTunes, where "HD" podcasts are downloaded at 960x540 (which scales to 720p without significant quality loss). The full 720p version from YouTube plays smoothly, while the 1080p version appears to lack "de-interlacing," making the video less than ideal. A version of the keynote can also be streamed directly from Apple's website. A standard-definition version of the YouTube version is embedded below.