iOS 7. MacBook Air refresh. OS X 10.9 Mavericks. Today’s opening Keynote of WWDC 2013 brought a downright deluge of news. However, there’s still more. Included in today’s updates were announcements regarding iTunes and iWork, as well as the reveal of a completely redesigned Mac Pro.
Let’s start with iTunes Radio.
First and foremost, it’s not a Spotify or Rdio killer. Instead, it seems designed to take on the popular Pandora streaming music service. Users are able to select from various radio stations, and then are able to purchase liked songs directly from the app. All of this takes place inside of the stock music app, which means that iTunes Radio is incredibly well integrated to iOS. Users on the computer will also be able to take advantage of iTunes Radio, as Apple will roll out an update to the desktop iTunes program that enables the feature this fall.
Let’s talk price. iTunes Radio is free for everyone, but the free tier will include streaming audio advertisements. This model has been used by both Spotify and Pandora to subsidize the free price. However, those who subscribe to iTunes Match will be provided with an ad-free listening experience. iTunes Match remains $24.99 a year — certainly a small price to pay to get rid of ads, as well as to sync music across all devices.
iWork — a suite of software that last saw a major update in 2009 — is on the move. That move will apparently result in updated versions for both OS X and iOS later this year, but also in a transition to the cloud. Apple today announced that iWork will be available to anyone with Safari, Chrome, or IE (oddly, no Firefox support) on Windows or the Mac. iWork is just another piece of Apple’s software suite to make the move to the cloud, and the updated web clients will be available on iCloud.com as they roll out later this fall.
Finally, we have the Mac Pro. This machine is crazy, but it’s evident of the attitude of Apple as a company. Featuring various high-end, unexpected features and a ridiculously attractive design, Apple’s message is clear: “prosumers, we haven’t forgotten about you.”
Featuring a cylindrical design, the machine is also a powerhouse. Included are four USB 3 ports, six Thunderbolt 2 ports, dual AMD FirePro GPUs, new Xeon-based CPUs, and incredibly fast storage. The Mac Pro will also be produced in the United States.
It’s as much a work of art as it is powerful. The design is stunning, especially when compared to the gigantic Mac Pro of old. This product is also apparently 1/8th the volume of the old Mac Pro — Apple’s famous for slimming a product down, but it’s especially impressive that they managed to increase the power as much as they did.
The Mac Pro will be available later this year for an undisclosed exorbitant price. Just remember that this is very much a prosumer machine, designed to offer industry-leading performance. When the price is released, it’s going to be high. Until then, have fun admiring how awesome the machine looks.