Apple is changing to match the times, but Apple remains much the same. The keynote presentation at Apple’s WWDC in San Francisco tells the tale. If I had to sum up the presentation in a single word it would be ‘friendly.’
No New Hardware
Right at the top let me get one thing out of the way. WWDC is about developers; this year the 25th anniversary of the event, completely sold out, of course.
Apple has introduced hardware at WWDC but not this year. No new Macs, iPhones, iPads, or even iWatch, iGlass, or anything else hard. It’s all about the software than runs on Apple hardware.
What about the friendly part?
If CEO Tim Cook was relaxed, friendly, and confident in opening the presentation, OS X and iOS head honcho Craig Federighi was working the crowd as well as any standup routine in L.A.
Cook tossed a few friendly barbs at Android. Federighi was self deprecating while working overtime to highlight the new OS X 10.10 Yosemite and iOS 8.
In short, OS X will become more like iOS and more friendly. iOS gets friendlier with new seamless integration with OS X. Yes, AirDrop from Mac to iOS and back. Finally.
Even better, your Mac will be able to initiate and receive phone calls from your nearby iPhone. In fact, the entire WWDC 2014 keynote presentation was a polished and rehearsed friendly-fest.
OS X Yosemite is friendlier and much more iOS-like than Mavericks, right down to flattened icons and Control Center and Finder integration with iCloud. iOS 8 is friendlier with more seamless integration to the Mac, but with new photo enhancements, inline options to reply to texts and email.
Above all, WWDC was a friendly place for developers who get new tools for both OS X and iOS, thousands of new APIs to add ever more functionality, and a completely new programming language called Swift.
Is Apple A Hardware Company?
Yes, but you wouldn’t know it by the WWDC keynote presentation. 800-million iOS devices, yes. 80-million Mac users, yes. But software ruled at WWDC.
OS X is light and airy– much like iOS 7. Safari is faster and easier to use with faster access to favorite sites, more security, and something of a comeback for RSS. Mail lets you annotate graphics within the app.
Both iMessage and SMS text messages can be received and sent from your Mac. And iCloud becomes iCloud Drive which integrates to the Finder so you can organize your files however you want.
Make and receive phone calls from your iPhone on your Mac (no need to pick up the iPhone or pull it out of your pocket). You Mac knows your phone is nearby so creating and logging into an iPhone HotSpot is a click away.
Apple calls iOS 8 the largest update of iOS ever– both for developers and users. Developers get deeper access to iOS options– Touch ID, for example– which brings new functionality to their apps, which makes life easier for iPhone and iPad customers.
Messages now lets you create and share audio and video clips far easier, far faster, and integrated into a few touches. Responding to messages inline is faster, too.
Wait for it. Wait for it. Custom keyboards are coming to iOS 8. Apps, music, books, TV shows, and movies are easily shared with Family Sharing. Spotlight is easier to use on both iOS and OS X. Work on anything on one device and finish it on another with a click (or a touch).
OS X and iOS developers get more tools and options to create apps which integrate with other apps. Guess what? Dashboard-like Widgets are coming to Notification Center.
What Of The Future
Intriguing but not displayed in depth is HealthKit and HomeKit.
HealthKit acts like a single source catchall for data collected by other apps or healthcare devices.
HomeKit becomes a Siri gateway to control the multitude of home devices already on the market– all controlled by you and Siri. There’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than Apple could drop into a 2-hour presentation. Click Here to watch the keynote. I think you’ll agree with me that Apple’s executives come across as much friendlier than ever before, and the same holds true for the updates in Apple software.
A friendlier demeanor from Apple’s executives. A friendlier OS X Yosemite. A friendlier iOS 8. And a much friendlier approach to developers. OS X Yosemite is available in beta form now for Mac users to test out.
All of this new found friendly integration shows up, as usual, sometime this fall.
That means we can expect new Mac and iPhone and iPad hardware to be launched in the fall, too– just in time for holiday shopping.
What of iWatch, iGlasses, and iWearable products? WWDC is about software. Everything else has to wait.