So yesterday was WWDC.
Every year I take special care to free up my schedule, sit down in my family's living room, and watch through what Apple has in store for the next 12 months of software. This year was especially exciting though, as aside from some hunches and good guesses there really wasn't anything known about this year's announcements ahead of time. That made it extra fun.
There are plenty of places around the web where you can find overviews of what Apple announced yesterday, so I doubt you need one more writeup of the event cluttering your RSS feed or Instapaper queue. Rather, I'll try and keep this post short & sweet - with only some general observations and impressions I got after watching yesterday's presentation & reading through the subsequent online-information-bomb.
WatchOS was the keynote's biggest surprise for me yesterday. I expected Apple to add some more watchfaces, expose more WatchKit API's to 3rd parties, and be done with it. While they did both of those, they've also thought out some great new fitness stuff, tackled making the 1st generation hardware launch apps much faster, along with rethinking some of WatchOS's original UI paradigms. I have my reservations about how well scribbling letters and swiping to change watch faces will end up working on a tiny screen, but I'll hold off judgement till I've lived with the update. A much more ambitious - and hopefully beneficial - update than I was expecting my OG Apple Watch to see.
MacOS's biggest change was probably just that - it's name. Some might be sad to see the Mac fall in line with Apple's smaller and younger platforms, but I'd say the new name is more fitting of how the Mac fits into Apple's product lineup these days. Other than that all the features in macOS Sierra are low-hanging fruit that will prove to be pretty useful if you work cross-platform. What stood out to me most was that nearly every new feature in 10.12 relies on Apple's services backend in some form. Let's hope their services are game for the challenge so these features work actually as advertised.
If I'm honest, I don't really care about tvOS all that much - as I don't own or see myself owning a 4th gen Apple TV in the near future. It is good to see Apple fixing things that they really should've had down at launch like the new remote app, single-sign-on, and dark mode though. Now let's see some groundbreaking "Future of TV" features, not just gimmes.
iOS was without a doubt the area Apple focused on most during the keynote. Firstly, I'm relieved to see Apple revisiting apps and concepts that had some cough issues prior. The new Music app, Maps app, News app, and 3D-Touch features are all things that I feel should've been that way at launch - and it's good to see Apple be willing to rework designs that might not have worked as well as they thought a year ago. I also really would've liked to see more in the way of the Siri API and iPad-specific features, but the current crop of Siri-additions & Swift Playgrounds for iPad will certainly hold me off until future releases. Now is a good time to be an iOS-only user - there's just so much going on.
Overall I can say that I'm pretty happy with what Apple showed us yesterday. They came out swinging in a lot of directions, and hit more than they missed from my point of view. It's good to see them pushing some things forward, while also not being afraid to revisit & rework some problem-items left over from last year.
I tried to promise myself that I wouldn't install any beta releases on my daily devices this year, but as I have the past two years - I quickly caved. Don't expect to see much about those betas here on MBS-P-B for now - as they're still very much rough estimations of what we'll see in the fall - but I'm sure I'll share bits and pieces as the builds progress this summer.
WWDC really is one of my favorite things about being an Apple-nerd. We get the surprise of whatever Apple has in store for us, and then get the subsequent weeks and months to experiment with & write about what the newly-announced tech could come to mean over the next year.
Maybe I'm wishy-washy, but I'd like to call it beautiful. In it's own unique semi-corporate, communal, nerdy, and cyclical way.