There are a few things that struck me during the WWDC keynote presentation this morning. The first, and perhaps most important, is how much fun the Apple executives were having on stage. I’m not talking about the normal smiles and jokes, I mean they genuinely looked like they were having a good time.
Let’s face it, most presentations we see are dry, boring affairs that we can’t wait to be over, so we can run out of the room. Apple’s keynotes have never really been like that—although there has been the odd exception—but today’s seemed even more jovial than previous keynotes in recent memory.
When I thought more about what would make them so happy, I came up with one answer: confidence. They knew that what was being delivered to consumers and developers was so good, they had every reason to be confident and therefore happy.
I had the opportunity to meet with a number of executives after the keynote and they were still excited about what they had announced. That says a lot to me about the feelings of these new operating systems from inside Apple.
Being a developer conference, we expect to hear about iOS and OS X. In past years, Apple would throw in a hardware announcement as well—a Mac or iPod to round out the announcements. This year was different—it was all about the software, and only about the software.
In fact, there was so much software news that Tim Cook didn’t even have time to give us an update on the company’s retail operations—something the company normally does during the WWDC presentation.
I’m excited about OS X Yosemite—more excited than I’ve been about a Mac operating system in a long time. I’m using it right now and it’s very responsive and gorgeous with its new design.
iOS has taken center stage at most WWDC’s since its introduction, but this is the first time I’ve really felt that both operating systems were on a level footing. It feels to me that OS X and iOS were developed in conjunction with one another, and not independently. This matters, of course, when you consider how people use the operating systems to share information between devices.
That was one of the biggest parts of the WWDC keynote for me this year.
Apple showed that it’s not just the data that is following the user through iCloud to a variety of devices, but it’s bigger than that—it’s a uniform experience that is following the user.
An app experience that allows the user to start a document on a computer, and then instantly pick it up on an iPhone or iPad is a brilliant feat of engineering. The greatest part—and the Apple way of doing things—is they take that complexity and make it seamless for the user.
That’s the magic that we’ve come to expect from Apple in its apps. Take complex tasks and make it simple to use—no configuration, no messing around, it just works.
It’s hard to imagine how much simpler the Safari Web browser could be, but as it turns out, a lot of things could be taken away. I really like what Apple has done with Safari in Yosemite. They took away so much, but yet it’s still as functional—or even more so—as it was before.
There are many other examples of this type of design in Yosemite and iOS 8, which we’ll discover as the weeks and months go on. It seems to me that Apple has put more thought into how these releases need to work together than any other in the past.
For me, WWDC 2014 is clearly about the developers and helping them make the best apps they possibly can. The new developer tools ensure that they will have everything they need to not only build cool apps today, but also push the envelope for years to come.
What Apple did today at WWDC was ensure that, as a consumer, I’ll be a happy iPad, iPhone, and Mac user for years to come.