With the wake of Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) and the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) coming to a calm, we have highlighted the biggest and most-anticipated tech toys of 2013:
iOS 7. Arguably the biggest announcement of the year in consumer technology is Apple’s complete design overhaul of its widely used mobile operating system by the company’s lead designer Jony Ive. The system, in its Beta 1 release available only for registered Apple developers, features a multi-dimensional layered complex with a neon-and-pastel color scheme, and the addition of a new type of home screen animation that uses the phone’s accelerometer to adjust the wallpaper in a parallactic way.
Apple OS X Mavericks. The first non-wildcat related release of Apple’s OS X operating system line is set to come out this fall and features performance improvements to make Apple products run faster and easier. Many of OS X Maverick’s additions have been taken from iOS: from Finder tab browsing that makes looking for local files seem like browsing the Internet on Safari, file tagging and a native Maps app, to automatic iBooks synchronization and an iCloud Keychain that stores and encrypts logins, passwords and other personal information on Apple’s iCloud system. And for Apple-exclusive households, Apple TV and any Mac’s Mission Control now interact seamlessly, which allows for you to drag windows from your Mac and onto your Apple TV for easier sharing on a big screen.
iTunes Radio. Apple’s answer to Pandora’s popular, free music-streaming service comes in the form of iTunes Radio. Built directly into the iTunes App of any Apple device, iTunes Radio offers artist-based radio with iCloud syncing of a user’s preferred radio stations across all iDevices. And, if you love the song enough, the app features a “Buy Song” link straight from iTunes. It’s free, with advertisements, for all iDevice owners, or without advertisements if you’re a current iTunes Match subscriber.
Xbox One. Microsoft’s new (and controversial) release of its popular gaming system made ripples across the gaming community when it was announced that it would require Internet connection and limited used game trades to one per game. The new Kinect bundle allows gamers to turn on the Xbox One via a simple voice command.
Sony PS4. Dubbed an “evil-looking Wii” by some bloggers, Sony’s new PS4 has a slightly bigger footprint than its predecessors, but is jampacked with more features such as Sony’s Video and Music Unlimited Service, which has a catalog of over 150,000 movies and 20 million songs. As Sony’s first new console release in seven years, the PS4 features an x86 processor, an 8-core combined CPU/GPU, 8 GB of unified GDDR5 memory as well as a local 500GB HDD.
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