WWDC 2012 – keynote

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I’ve been an Apple Developer for… too long. 🙂

Attended many WWDC’s in my past, but this year I opted out because of other priorities. But of course, I paid attention to the WWDC 2012 keynote and have some thoughts on it.

First, I do like the direction Apple is going with the MacBook Pro “retina display”. They are pushing the bounds of computing again by dropping support for many things. Remember when Apple stopped putting floppy drives in their computers and everyone balked? So… how many floppy disks are you using now? The loss of an Ethernet port feels strange at first, but honestly, do we really need it today? Lack of FireWire seems weird too, but Thunderbolt is where Apple wants to move. And the loss of 17″ screens feels strange too. I only use 17″ notebooks because I need as much screen real estate as possible… but with the retina there’s much higher resolution, and so, this could be good. I’d need to see one in person tho to make a final call.

I think the only thing that’s bad here is the naming convention. “MacBook Pro with Retina Display”. No zazz… almost as bad as “the new iPad” as the official name for the “iPad 3”. Granted, I think it’s fine to get away from numbered conventions because they become a burden after a while (like Mac OS X… Apple’s about to release version “10 point 8”, so this X thing is going to be interesting to resolve in a release or two). And long-term, I’m sure retina displays will be the norm, so why have a different name? But still, it feels so blah… for now.

Mountain Lion… the funny thing is, for once I don’t care. In all my years I’ve been a Mac developer, but now I’m primarily an iOS developer. Mac is merely a tool for me to do iOS work, so I care more about Mac OS X from a user-perspective and less as a developer. Still, it’s evident how Mac OS X is becoming iOS, and I think that’s a good thing. It’s showing growth and evolution, it’s understanding where your customer growth is, and it’s helping to create a stronger Apple-ecosystem… like AirPlay, for example. Couple AirPlay with Game Center and all your devices, including your Apple TV, and gee… what a nice little ecosystem.

iOS 6 tho brings some really interesting stuff to the table. I’m impressed with Maps and where Apple can go with that now that they are doing their own thing. I did find some statistics interesting, like they have 66 million Mac users, but 125 million iCloud users. That doesn’t necessarily mean they have 59 million iCloud users not on Mac (because hardware and accounts aren’t necessarily 1-to-1), but still, there’s a fair portion of people that are pure iOS-device users and not Mac users.

365 million iOS devices sold. That’s a large user base.

80% are on iOS 5. Certainly here at Hsoi Enterprises, we’re generally adopting iOS 5 as our minimum.

I find the Twitter and Facebook integration interesting because Apple seems to like having only their stuff around. I recall for many many years how StuffIt Expander shipped as a part of the OS, but eventually Apple nixed it in favor of their own OS-based compression/expansion solution. Look at the fact they got away from Google for Maps. But then, there’s acknowledgement that mobile is social, and making the top two social mechanisms a part of the OS yields good results for Apple. I noticed even how Facebook integration allows a peek into what AppStore purchases you’ve made….

There’s a lot of good stuff here. iOS 6 looks to be a good upgrade, and I’m surprised to see it’ll support back to the iPhone 3GS… I thought that might get dropped this time around. But then, with no mention of iPhone 5 (which we know is coming), it’s likely all part of strategy.

All in all, things look cool for Apple. I’m looking forward to what the future will hold.

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