WWDC 2014

I’ve been thinking about this year’s WWDC keynote since I watched it on Monday. Here are my initial thoughts.

  • Craig Fedherigi is incredibly charismatic, but I think Apple, upon realizing the potential he displayed at last year’s keynotes allowed him to be a bit overzealous in his delivery. Specifically, the rampant hair video went too far for me and took the presentation from lighthearted to a bit of a cringe. That said, the newfound playfulness of the whole affair was refreshing.

  • The opposite of this was the presentation by Epic Games. It felt very rushed and not polished in any way outside the software. I wonder if they might have needed more rehearsal time or if Tim Sweeney was really the correct choice to present what was an otherwise impressive tech demo.

  • With a smile on its face, Apple is excising Google as a system default in every possible way that it can manage. I personally use Google Search to access Wikipedia and IMDB an astounding amount, and being able to jump to those results from Spotlight directly will be both an improvement to my workflow and a blow to AdSense.

  • I’m reminded of this Patrick Gibson quote I saw on Daring Fireball a few years ago:

    My friend and co-worker Tom has a thesis about Apple’s biggest problem: Google is getting better at design faster than Apple is getting better at web services.

    WWDC was proof that this is no longer the case. Apple is firing on all cylinders in regards to cloud platform development and seems to be baking it into all of their systems. Granted, they’re mostly aping what Google has done in the past few years but if they maintain this pace they’ll reach parity in 2-3 years and should still maintain a design/UX advantage.

  • Swift is one of the most exciting developments to come out of a WWDC since the original app store. If Apple is serious about supporting it as their future facing language, I expect them to quietly begin to refactor iOS and OSX to include it more fully.  They’ve already re-released the WWDC 2014 app implemented in Swift.

  • HomeKit and HealthKit, combined with CarPlay have the potential to elevate iPhones to be the universal remotes at the center of your entire life. This is an exciting prospect, but its success depends mostly upon Apple’s partners.

  • Continuity was a complete surprise. It is one of those features I expect Samsung to ship with a companion Windows application starting with the Galaxy S6. Beyond that, it will be an industry standard within the next five years  It’s so obviously useful I’m surprised no one had thought of it until now.

Those are just my general impressions. Overall, it was a fantastic event to watch and I’m looking forward to next year’s developments.