Why do I even care?

On Monday I watched the WDDC keynote and I’ll probably watch a lot of the other sessions too through Apple’s WWDC app. I’m not a Mac or iOS developer, I don’t make money writing about Apple and I don’t own Apple stock so why would I be that interested in WWDC and the future of iOS, Mac and Apple?

I tried explaining it to my co-workers, who are surely sick of hearing about all the features I’m excited to start using, and it goes a little something like this:

  1. WWDC gives you a glimpse of life on the cutting edge. Apple shapes our everyday lives and I know that I’ll be using this stuff soon. I want to know what’s coming for the devices that I use constantly and it’s exciting to imagine the possibilities.</p>
  2. There were no leaks this time around (other than iTunes Radio), no one knew what was coming and what it looked like. I didn’t expect a total redesign. I didn’t think Apple had enough time to do that, boy was I wrong, it was a great surprise.</p>
  3. It’s entertainment – The Designed by Apple in California intro video sums up why this company is so influential and attention worthy. It also set the stage for a very entertaining event. The intro video made it clear that something major was coming today and the presenters delivered the announcements with precision. Apple events have always been a crash course on how to present and how to sell products without a sales pitch.

Announcement I thought were cool

iOS7

  • New design – I like the new look. Jony Ive, for my money, has contributed to and advanced design standards more than any other designer in my lifetime (the past 30 years). I’m going to go ahead and trust him and the Apple designers/engineers on this. I’m sure once we all use it there will be clarity for this design change. I am dreading the day that my family updates to iOS7 though.

    </p> It was a little weird that we didn’t see iOS on the iPad at all (other than a screenshot) this makes me think that there is still a little work to do, which may mean some additional design tweaks.

    The system app redesigns look amazing especially Photos, Mail, iMessage, Calendar and the OS level stuff seems great too. I like the Calendar, Photos, Camera icons the most and I actually don’t mind Safari with the white background.</li>

    • Photostream – multiple contributors, video support – This is now a perfect solution for sharing photos/video with those close to me.

    • Control Center – A no brainer addition really and I like that it’s separate from Notification Center. My favs will be quick bluetooth, orientation lock, and AirDrop.

    • Support for 3rd party game controllers – It’s easy to imagine a future AppleTV supporting this and becoming a great gaming platform. Also, if iOS now supports game controllers perhaps it could support TV/entertainment system remotes too. AppleTV could get a remote that doesn’t cost a minimum of $230 (iPod Touch) and perhaps attract more users who warrant more content.

    • Reminders redesign – I use Reminders more than any other app. It’s my GTD inbox. The new design looks interesting with an interface similar to what we’re used to in Passbook. The screenshot shows an accordian style navigation that I hope will cut down on taps. I’m really interested to see the reminder creation process and if it’s faster to add a time, location and notes. I’m guessing the new slide out date picker shown in the demo of Calendar will also be present in Reminders, in which case: YAY.

    • iTunes Radio – might save me $10/month that I’m currently paying to Spotify. I doubt it though as I love being able to just jump to and play any song in the Spotify library.

    • Airdrop – I imagine using this mostly for sharing URLs and photos. I’m hoping it will keep track of previous items sent for future reference (something that I rely on in iMessage). If it allows sending files from Mac to iOS then it will be extremely useful to me. Great that it’s accessible quickly from Control Center.

    • Siri – I might use it more now that it searches wikipedia and twitter… but probably not much more.

    • Notification Center on iOS – great that I can get to it from the lock screen, that’s probably the only time I’ll access it. I tend to deal with notifications immediately when using the device. Today view looks promising. I use today in Reminders a lot when planning my day.

    • Multitasking – Other than a new WebOS-like look what I hope to be impressed by is the ability for apps to multitask all the time. I don’t like getting a notification, launching the app and then waiting 3+ seconds for app to update with content it already knows about. My one big hope for multitasking is faster app switching on the iPad through four finger swipe. Right now there is a 2-3 second delay as the app is moved back into the active status. I can’t stop myself from starting to tap or type before it’s live again.

    • iOS in the car – when I’m next in the market for a new car this will be one of the criteria.</ul>

    OS X Mavericks

    • Calendar – I don’t use calendar much but I can see myself taking advantage of maps integration and travel time frequently. On MPU today, Katie wondered why there isn’t travel time added to the end of the appointment too. I guess it’s not a big deal if you’re return location is the same as your starting location unless traffic conditions are vastly different. If you have back to back appointments I assume the travel time is calculated from your first meeting location to the following meeting location.

    • Maps for Mac – The biggest feature that I will use is send directions to iPhone.

    • iCloud keychain – I love 1Password but this will really simplify the process of storing and using hundreds of passwords. I can see it being less secure though, once someone is on your Mac/iOS device, they’ll also have access to your keychain. I wonder if there will be an option to add an additional master password to Keychain (probably not). Big question: will the keychain be accessible from iCloud?

    • Tags – After listening to Generational Ep 37 I was considering updating my file naming conventions to add some form of tags to the file name for better search but I think that this tagging system will work perfectly. I especially like that you can drag and drop files into a tag rather than typing the same tag over and over.

    • iBooks for Mac – the only part I know I will use a lot is the highlighting and notes features. I doubt I’ll read many books for enjoyment on my Mac. Although, I can see textbooks/educational books working well (think about learning to write Objective-C on your Mac being able to make notes while experimenting in Xcode or Terminal). I think it will replace my need for Papers or Sente, which I haven’t used much anyway, for research.

    • Notifications – Synced notifications and the ability to reply to iMessage/Mail within the notification are good additions.

    Hardware

    • Mac Pro – I won’t be able to afford it but I want one, BIG TIME. I don’t know why – it will be crazy expensive and I would never be able to make the machine sweat – but the idea of having the most powerful, cutting edge Mac is very appealing. Size is great, design is great, inside specs are great and even the page on Apple.com is amazing. I love the idea of focusing the insides of the machine on core stuff and not storage. Everything soldered onto the logic board and thunderbolt 2 for very fast externals – it does look like the PCIe flash storage is removeable. The ability to output 4K to three displays is bankruptcy worthy and it seems obvious that we’ll see a Retina Thunderbolt Display soon.

    I had a lot of fun watching the keynote and the WWDC app is great for watching the other sessions through which I’m hoping to learn a lot more about the inner workings of Mac and iOS. With a new overall concept for iOS just released it makes a lot of sense to start learning the tools to be successful in that space. I’ve tried a couple of times to learn the skills required for app development and I hope this time I’ll have the discipline to stick with it.