Jun 032014

Did you see the WWDC keynote yesterday? Such a disappointment. No new hardware – Apple’s presentation even had a guy onstage coding. The market took notice too, shaving a total of $7 off the share price by the time the yawning stopped.

Above is the impression you’d get about the presentation from much of the mainstream tech press. Those people are idiots. Yesterday’s announcements, in my opinion, mark the most important in WWDC’s history. I’d further argue that this keynote was one of the most important Apple has ever put out. My reasons, in order of increasing importance:

1. Apple totally rewrote their development language.  Objective-C, the language that launched millions of apps in iOS, has been replaced. Apple took the bedrock of its mobile device success and detonated it, replacing it with the faster, simplified Swift. That this announcement is the lowest rung on this list should tell you how paradigm-shifting the sum of them are.

2. Apple announced updates to the Mac OS and iOS that answer the question of how the Mac OS would become iOS: it won’t. Continuity shows us that the experience of each OS, while individually different, will be seamless when used together. Start an email on your iPhone, finish it on your Mac. Answer a call on your iPhone from your iPad. Steve Jobs’s “car” was never intended to replace the “truck” in one step. Yesterday Apple announced how it would transition from the desktop environment to the mobile environment.

3. Apple just took all the significant chains restricting mobile app interplay and broke them – all of them. Third party developers will now have access to iCloud, Notification Center, Documents, Custom Actions, Touch ID, Sharing Options – even the iOS keyboard can be opted-out. Apps will still have the security of their original sandboxed environment, unlike some mobile OS’s.

Screeny Shot Jun 3, 2014, 10.49.37 AM

In the same vein, Apple also announced the ability to consolidate health metrics through HealthKit and the Health app and partnerships to control home automation devices through HomeKit. These 2 footnotes constituted entire presentations for Samsung (multiple times) and Google at I/O in 2011.

With its keynote, Apple extinguished all the reasons neckbeards use to praise Android and laid groundwork for the transition from OS X to iOS – basically the next decade of computing.

That’s nothing short of incredible.

 Posted by at 10:58 am

  4 Responses to “The Perpetual Disappointment of WWDC”

  1. I agree… I watched the Keynote on-line and it seemed that they were in a hurry to get through the ‘consumer’ parts of the presentation (and feed the jackals (press)) and get onto the real reason they were there – which is all the points you have mentioned…

    Top draw Keynote!

  2. I completely agree! Swift is amazing – and totally unpredicted!
    And the Keynote had even more. Consider the way Metal yielded a 10x improvement specifically BECAUSE Apple was able to optimize known, high-quality software/OS on known, high-quality hardware – and then surface it to a willing and able audience of developers, who in turn have a direct way to exchange their work for payment with a willing and able audience of end users. This is something that simply no other players in the industry are even remotely in a position to deliver, and the fact that this 1+1+1+1 chain of reasoning can be staring everyone in the face and be met with yawns, well… it just bodes wonderfully for Apple since they will continue to power along like an undetected submarine, to surface hundreds of miles out on the open oceans while everyone else is churning around in the “oh YEAH? Well…we’ve got…bigger screens” tide shallows.

  3. Regarding Metal, I riffed on the classic meme “But can it run Crysis?” on Twitter. How sick would it be if Crytek released a demo of it running on an iPad Air? That would be the ultimate “holy fuck…” marketing moment.

  4. And developers are still finding shit! Like iOS 8’s proximity notice showing an app’s icon in the lock screen when one is, say, at Starbucks? I have a feeling the bombs are going to keep dropping as devs keep digging.

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