My Thoughts on Apple’s WWDC 2017 Keynote

Today, Apple delivered the keynote to their developers’ conference. This marks the start of WWDC 2017. I’m not at it, but I watched the keynote which was full of great presenters such as the terrific Tim Cook, the ever charming Craig Federighi, the always popular Phil Schiller and the new and vivacious Vera Carr.

Apple has a blockbuster year ahead with some terrific updates to both hardware and software. I wanted to give you some of my thoughts from a layman. I’m just gonna touch on a couple of the standout moments from my perspective.

Updates to MacBook and MacBook Pro. These, it could be argued are overdue. It’s great to see both of them getting updated to the Kaby Lake Intel line. And a price reduction isn’t going to hurt sales.

The iMac line has been updated and there’s a price reduction there too which is nice. They’ve also updated the iMac line to include a pro version, the iMac Pro. This should keep the pro market happy at least until the Mac Pro gets updated and released. Next year maybe?

watchOS is coming into its own. As a runner I like where they’re taking it. I don’t own an Apple Watch yet, but I’m sorely getting tempted.

iOS 11 is doing some great things. I like the new App Store makeover. I think it’s gonna make it a lot easier for folks to find new apps and support developers. I really like the direction Apple is going with their design language. Apple Pay peer to peer is a great feature. It’s a pity it’s only available in the US for now.

The greatest surprise for me was AR. Apple is clearly pushing into Augmented Reality verses Virtual Reality. I like it. I find no appeal in VR. AR though, that’s another matter.

Craig’s demo of AR was neat and shows the potential of this in the coming years. Given that this is Apple’s AR in its infancy, I found it pretty cool and amazing. The steam, the interaction between the light and shadow. When you look past the simple examples, the breadth and depth of where this is going is really quite astonishing.

Look at what Industrial Light and Magic offered. That brief into an immersive AR based game was remarkable. I loved it. Imagine the future when you’re wearing glasses of some sort and watching 3D movies in your own home with this sort of an experience. Apple is owning the future of AR, and they’ve just whet our appetite.

I wasn’t expecting an AR demo. But clearly it is available now to Apple’s current iPhones and will likely only be more powerful in upcoming devices.

Siri clearly got a much needed update, but it left me wondering. I like where they’re going with this AI, but I’m not sure it’s gonna be a match for Google’s AI this year. Apple’s taking on a harder approach, keeping your private stuff private makes it more difficult to create an AI to compete with Google’s which hoovers up as much info about you as it can.

Frankly, this doesn’t bother me. I only use my AI assistant for rudimentary tasks. What I would like to see however, is being able to type to my AI rather than having to talk to it all the time.

macOS High Sierra is the next version of macOS we’ll see. Likely macOS 10.13, but Apple was silent about the numerical numbering of High Sierra. A couple of things that got me thinking about macOS HS was the new Apple File System APFS. This now brings one common file system across Apple devices. Apple is also making macOS HS faster and more efficient at compressing and storing data.

This gets me to thinking that Apple’s long play is to eventually merge the two, well, let’s say 4 OSes towards one flexible OS. I could be wrong, and this could be years away, but I think that’s the eventual evolution. Especially if Apple one day starts creating A chips for Macs.

There was also the HomePod, or Siri speaker system. I wasn’t as impressed with this, though it seems to be a fine piece of hardware. It’s definitely better than Google Home and the Alexa Speaker. It protects your privacy and it has waaaay better sound.

I guess it’s just the first iteration, but I like where it’s going. I think in another couple of years it’ll be something specials and for Apple customers, it’s exactly what we need, especially with Google’s and Amazon’s offerings.

I get the sense that this might have been pushed to market a smidge earlier than Apple wanted, if only because it’s only being released in the UK, USA and Australia. Down Under is halfway across the world. Canada is your friendly neighbor, eh! Why no Canada?

How you like them Apples!