Techzone 360 Week in Review

By Tony Rizzo June 15, 2013

It has certainly been an interesting week. It began with Apple, we had an interesting interlude with Google, then Samsung jumped in with something of interest, and finally we got a peek at the sort of advice Verizon is receiving with regard to its "NSA surveillance work." Let's get right to Apple however, as the company had the most to share this week. Let's just get this out of the way quickly - Verizon Wireless has been advised that silence is golden when it comes to the NSA - in more ways than one.

The highly anticipated Apple 2013 World Wide Developers' Conference (WWDC) took place this entire week, though for the most part the real news that touches all of us -- rather than specifically Apple's developers -- took place on Monday, during the two hour opening keynote session. We ourselves have been keen for WWDC to take place this year because we've been waiting -- and hoping -- that Apple would deliver on some amazing new innovation, not only across the board but specifically on the mobile front. Yes, Apple did have a great deal to show us and we've provided an overview.

The company is preparing to launch a brand new version of its Mac OS - which has a number of key new features. We've provided highlights of the key new features, but perhaps the most amazing thing to be had here was the revelation that the company has run out of big cat names to dub the next release with. After much team soul searching the company has decided to take into account its West coast roots and has decided to name its next few versions for hot surfing locations (we mean the kind of surfing you do with real waves). So then, the next version of the Mac OS has been christened "Mavericks"; if you’re a real surfer you'll know all about Mavericks. If you aren't, well at least you now know why it’s called Mavericks.

Apple did introduce as well some new Air laptops -- much better specs, and built on the new Intel Haswell architecture. We covered these in our overview, noted above. We also covered what for us was perhaps the highlight of WWDC, although the highlight will have a very limited audience of truly high end power users. Apple introduced what we ourselves consider the true next generation of ultra-high end desktop computing. The new Mac Pro is truly a stunning engineering achievement. It packs so much horsepower that we hardly know where to begin about it. And it comes packaged in the most sensual, gleaming and tiny 9 inch high cylinder one might imagine. Yes, we said cylinder. Check out the overview.

Finally, as the keynote flew past its one hour and fifteen minute mark we arrived at what we'd been waiting for - the next generation of iOS, to be called iOS 7. We've done a deep dive into everything that Apple had to share with us on iOS 7, which ranges from an entirely new user interface to a collection of both new and updated features. The new iOS 7 clearly sets the stage for Apple's next generation of iPhones and iPads, though it will also be supported by iPhone 4, 4S and 5 devices. The new UI is sheer artistry in our own humble opinion -- though others may disagree. But -- and it is a big but -- there was nothing in the way of truly new innovation. Were we disappointed? Yes, very -- but we know there is a next gen hardware event coming down the road -- we'll keep hoping.

Meanwhile, Google stepped into the fray this week by announcing that it has reached an agreement to acquire mapping startup Waze. Waze had at one point been rumored to be courted by Apple. Then it had serious discussions with Facebook, though the companies were not able to reach agreement -- money did not appear to be the issue but rather Facebook itself did. Google is probably the best place for Waze to have landed. The company’s CEO was not interested in an IPO and seemed to best appreciate both what Google has already accomplished with Google Maps and the inherent potential for both products and companies to be truly additive in non-trivial ways for each other. We believe Waze has landed in the right place -- as long time and avid Waze users we are happy with the final outcome.

Lastly this week, Samsung has come out with yet another iteration of its Galaxy S4 -- this one marries the recently announced Galaxy S4 Mini with the original Samsung Galaxy Camera. We've dubbed it Samsung's new bastard child; Samsung has dubbed it the Galaxy S4 Zoom. In truth it is a true merger of a full-fledged smartphone with a full-fledged camera. Samsung has provided a number of new features including what it refers to as the Zoom Ring. Check it out -- if you think of yourself as a fairly serious if still amateur photographer, this may be just the thing for you.

Have a great weekend!

TechZone360 Senior Editor

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