Tuesday, 3 Jun 2014

WWDC Keynote - first impressions

I finally managed to get round to watching the WWDC keynote, I thought it was generally pretty good as far as WWDC keynotes go.

Here are some first impressions:

  • I’ve never felt comfortable watching Tim Cook, he always strikes me as “trying” to look relaxed but never quite pulls it off. I like him, but I always feel as though he’s trying just a bit too hard.
  • Craig Federighi on the other hand just keeps getting better, he’s relaxed, speaks well and has a good sense of humour. I even laughed at the joke about Jonny Ive’s camping spoons.
  • OS X Yosemite looks gorgeous. It looks more than ever like the desktop compliment to its iOS cousin without looking like a mobile OS shoehorned onto a desktop. I’m sure Microsoft is watching closely (they should be).
  • Continuity will be a feature we’ll quickly wonder how we ever got by without.
  • There were a lot of comparisons to Android and Windows, I remember they first did this two years ago and it caused quite a stir. Now they’re doing it more than ever and openly enjoying it – I don’t know if this is just an increased feeling of confidence in what they’re doing, or a change in tactic and this is the new, more aggressive Apple.
  • You could make a keynote spinoff and call it “The Federighi Show” – he was the centre of attention today and as I said before, he did well.
  • Spotlight has become a hell of a lot more useful.
  • I commented before on Craig’s good sense of humour, about the halfway mark I started to feel it had gone overboard on the humour. I think it was the “Hair Crisis” that tipped the scale.
  • iCloud has been given a big boost, CloudDrive and the improved storage quotas is a big step in the right direction.
  • Apart from the predictable (boring?) iPhone 6 part leaks coming from various manufacturing countries, Apple seem to be managing leaks well. There was more than one occasion where the crowd appeared genuinely surprised at some of the announcements: widgets, third party keyboards, touchID and a huge surprise when Swift was announced. HealthKit and more recently HomeKit were a few of the things most of us knew about in advance but there were still plenty of surprises in the keynote.
  • CloudKit looks interesting, great to see iCloud looking more like a useful product.
  • Swift was totally unexpected. From what I’ve seen so far, it looks impressive. Will this be the beginning of the end for Objective-C? I wouldn’t be surprised. I would have loved to have had something like this when I first took on Objective-C six years ago.

As predicted no hardware was announced. To those that understand what WWDC is all about (a software developers conference) that comes as no surprise. Like John Gruber said yesterday, it’s going to be a busy second half of 2014 for Apple product announcements.

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