It’s Dub Dub time again.
I have seen may WWDC Keynotes. Was this one of the great Keynote Sessions? Nope! But it was a solid standard Apple Keynote - just nothing special. The same phrases as every year: “This is the best … we have ever made”. It almost feels like Siri could run the Keynote with the occasional appearance of Craig Federighi and Phil Schiller. A recipe that has worked in the past and will work for another many Apple events.
So what’s new this year at WWDC?
I won’t talk about watchOS or tvOS. Both received minor improvements but not really anything groundbreaking. Let’s see how Siri face on AppleWatch will go.
High Sierra macOS
So, the new macOS is called High Sierra. Nothing much to report here. Metal 2 is making things faster.
iMac upgrades were good to see and the announcement of the iMac Pro is welcome. A workstation-grade Mac, again. The Mac Pro with 18-Core Xeon Processor and the dark metal look shows Apple's product design capability. Apple calls it “bad ass”. The Mac Pro will come out in December.
The reason why most developers come to WWDC is because of iOS. Craig Federighi rushed through the new features. Some stood out to me like the
- ApplePay person-to-person payment. Let’s see if that will work without a credit card involved.
- Siri instant translation. Ask Siri what “bad ass” is in German and (s)he will tell you the translation (I wonder what that actually translates to in German)
- Some video editing features.
- Control Center update. A new layout that shows all on one screen. 3D Touch pops up a detailed view of the particular function.
- Machine Learning on the phone. Siri will now try to learn what you do on the phone and provide more context based on previous actions. This could be very useful but also very annoying if it’s quite right.
- Do not disturb mode while driving. Using WiFi Doppler effect - wow.
- MusicKit API. Full access to Apple Music from your own apps.
- New Apple Store. Basically, looks similar to Apple Music. Good improvement and long overdue
- Core ML - Machine Learning APIs. A vision API, and a natural language processing API.
- ARKit - Augmented Reality. This looks very slick and the demo was very impressive. Can’t wait to get my hands on this ARKit API.
Apple has a new iPad Pro. 10.5” and faster with a 120Hz refresh rate and an A10x CPU.
I personally can’t wait for the iPad cover with an Apple Pen holder.
The iPad is now much better with multi-tasking. This is a combination of many things Apple did in iOS for iPad.
- The dock is more like on a Mac - Drag & Drop between apps - Folder and files (Steve Jobs would not have allowed that) which makes sense for general productivity. This is where drag and drop and multi-select is required. - Annotation and note taking improvements in the Notes app. There is even a document scanner in Notes now.
Overall, this makes the iPad a great productivity tool. I can see how these changes will make many Microsoft Surface users considering an iPad.
iOS 11 is available to developers today. iOS 11 will be available to the public in fall (northern hemisphere) and spring in Australia.
The Apple Speaker is called HomePod. The audience didn’t seem to be thrilled with the name - I certainly wasn’t.
HomePod morphs Sonos speakers and Amazon Echo into one product. HomePod looks like a great consumer product. The audience (5300 developers) was probably less thrilled as it doesn’t have much impact on how they develop apps.
I certainly will order my HomePod in December.
And more UI changes
I have now iOS 11 installed and played around with it. The new AppStore app is great. But I am struggling slightly with these two changes.
Control Center UI changes
These changes are not subtle and I wonder what the rationalle is. I am sure that it's based on data that the new designs are better and I like innovation but I am not sure about those changes. They don't work for me (yet).