For the past two hours I’ve been soaking up Apple’s WWDC keynote presentation. By soaking up, I mean that almost literally. I don’t recall a more packed keynote show ‘n tell in many years.
What did Apple announce?
New Macs. From MacBook Air to MacBook Pro; all new models. Then, as expected, a new line of MacBook Pro with a Retina display, faster graphics, faster storage, thinner, lighter, and with better connectivity.
Then we got more details on OS X Mountain Lion, the latest OS X, due to ship in July.
The list of details is long, but the short of it is more iCloud, Reminders, Notes, Messages, Notification Center, Dictation, Power Nap, Sharing (ala iOS), built-in Facebook and Twitter, AirPlay, Game Center, Gatekeeper, Documents and much more, including a newer, faster version of Safari.
The Mac is anything but dead. What did Apple miss? An opportunity to simplify the Mac line by changing the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro to simply a MacBook. That kind of change might just be too much for Apple’s marketers and loyal customers.
After all, differentiation is key.
However, the new MacBook Pro Retina version does not say MacBook Pro below the screen. That makes it more like iPhone and iPad, which feature only the screen, glass, and black bezel– and no name on the front.
What we didn’t see was a list of details about the other Macs. You know, the desktop iMac and MacPro. The MacPro was updated to even faster CPUs, but nothing worth even a slide at the keynote.
Also behind the scenes was a newly updated Airport Express. It’s the same price as the one I bought last week, but does much more, including multiple frequencies.
The rest of the show was about iOS 6, which should debut with new iPhones in the fall (which starts about September 21st and runs until about December 21st, so Apple has a lot of wiggle room).
If ever there was a reason to leave Apple’s version of Disneyland for iDevices, you won’t find by looking at what an iPhone or iPad can do with iOS 6.
My Lord, what a list of new options designed to make your iOS life more fun, more complete, and to keep you attached to Apple’s entire product line.
With all this, Apple gave us an ever widening glimpse into the future.
There’s an Apple-built Map with turn-by-turn directions, traffic control, and 3D. Siri comes to the iPad and enters adolescense with a greater vocabulary, more utility, and a way that iOS app developers can tap into all futuristic Skynet conversational brainpower.
I’m not too excited about Shared Photo Streams or document syncing with iCloud, but Passbook opens up a way to manage passes and coupons and cards without stuffing individual pieces of paper into your pocket.
Apple is the king of little things and iPhone gets integrated with options like Do Not Disturb, and other options to handle phone calls.
Was this the best keynote presentation ever? Or, Apple’s worst?
First, it wasn’t the worst. I’ve sat through a number of Apple show ‘n tell episodes and been disappointed when one more thing didn’t appear at the end. There were few surprises this time, and even fewer non-surprises.
Second, it was polished, friendly, and carried a good blend of humor, glimpses of the future, and a stream of Apple’s top executives– top dawg Tim Cook, mini me Phil Schiller, then Craig Federighi and Scott Forstall (as well as Jonathan Ive and Bob Mansfield on video).
Tim Cook and Phil Schiller looked comfortable and prepared. As they launched into their own presentations I thought briefly about Steve Jobs. From then on it was an Apple team show and a good one.