Thoughts on WWDC

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference kicked off on Monday in San Jose, California, the first time it’s been in the city since 2002. Not only did Apple have the pressure of putting on the conference in San Jose, they also had to release great updates for developers and consumers. They delivered on all counts.

Before I get to my favorite parts of the keynote, I have to say a few words about WWDC in San Jose. I’ve talked to a lot of developers and journalists this week and the one thing everyone keeps saying about this year’s WWDC is that it is more relaxed. It’s true.

There’s a very chill feeling about the conference this year. From the front plaza where they have tables and chairs for developers to eat, work and chat with friends, to the surrounding area of restaurants and bars, everything seems happy and relaxed. The hustle and bustle of San Francisco is gone, replaced with a clean, warm, and relaxed atmosphere.

Okay, let’s look at what Apple did during the keynote.

Apple had a busy keynote day, unveiling a lot of new software and hardware products. Two of my favorites were the iMac Pro and iOS 11 for iPad.

Any doubt that the Mac is important to Apple should be gone now. We all wondered what was going on with the Mac earlier this year, but the company delivered yesterday.

For many pros, the iMac design is perfect, but it needed more power—workstation-class power. That is exactly what the iMac Pro delivers. A 27-inch 5K display and up to 18-core Xeon processors will give you all the power you can handle.

Of course, there are still going to be pro markets that require the modularity of the Mac Pro, and Apple has promised to deliver on that too.

iMac and MacBook models did get updated yesterday, bringing faster processors and graphics performance, so anyone that was waiting for an update to the regular iMac can now get one.

We all expect software updates at WWDC, but I was very impressed with the attention Apple paid to the iPad in iOS 11.

iOS 11 makes multitasking on iPad even more powerful with a new customizable Dock that provides quick access to frequently used apps and documents from any screen, and a redesigned app switcher makes it easier to move between pairs of active apps, used in Split View and now Slide Over. The new Files app keeps everything in one place, whether files are stored locally, in iCloud Drive or across other providers like Box, Dropbox and more, and with Drag and Drop available across the system, moving images and text is easier than ever. Apple Pencil is more deeply integrated into iPad with support for inline drawing and a new Instant Notes feature opens Notes from the Lock Screen by simply tapping Apple Pencil on the display.

That is very impressive. It says to me that Apple is getting more serious about the iPad as a computing device. Changes needed to be made to iOS so people could take advantage of what the iPad is, and they did that. Will they do more in the future? I think they absolutely will.

Mac OS High Sierra is not full of brand new features, but it’s difficult to say it’s not an important release. The introduction of an all-new files system is enough to make this a great release. Apple will include some other changes in the OS that will make it better to use on a daily basis. I’m good with that. To be honest, these are some of my favorite types macOS releases—clean up and make it better.

I love my 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but I have a feeling I’m going to like the 10.5-inch even more. I use the iPad quite a bit, but I switch between the 9.7-inch and 12-inch models. At first glance, I’m thinking the 10.5-inch may be the perfect size and give me the Tru-Tone display. I’ll need to spend some time with it to see though.

Apple had a lot of balls in the air for WWDC and as far as I’m concerned, they pulled off a great keynote, with a lot of significant updates for developers, consumers and pro users.

IOS 11, macOS, High Sierra, iMac Pro, MacBook, iPad—it was a power packed day.