Apple’s keynote presentations, especially those from the WorldWide Developer’s Conference, always seem to delight, surprise, and disappoint. 2015 was no exception. I took off Monday afternoon to tune in and view the show and it was typical Apple.
CEO Tim Cook looked comfortable and in control on stage to start the keynote. So did exec Craig Federighi who highlight the new features coming up in OS X El Capitan and iOS 9. Mr. Excitement, Kevin Lynch brought the house down with a quick run through of Watch OS 2.0.
Brought the house down? Everyone went to sleep. Kevin, try caffeine in the morning.
Other women have shared Apple keynotes in the past but it’s been a long, long time. Apple Pay honcho Jennifer Baily gave a brief update to Apple’s growing Pay efforts, and product marketing chief Susan Prescott showed more energy when introducing the News app.
See? Lots of good. The Swift language goes Open Source, OS X El Capitan will work on Macs that could run OS X Yosemite, iOS 9 will work on devices all the way back to iPhone 4s, and Apple even made it easier to upgrade to the latest and greatest by reducing the upgrade space requirement from over 4GB to just over 1GB. Apple listens.
Apple decided to replace Cook’s normally boring statistical update to begin each keynote with a funny video of Bill Hader in a Saturday Night Live-like skit (videos were everywhere during the keynote). The new Apple Music platform looks good but requires some effort to digest because there are so many parts. It’s like the executives tossed in everything Jimmy Iovine had ever dreamed about so they could justify the $3-billion Beats Music price tag.
It remains to be seen whether Apple Music will kill off free streaming services like Spotify, and the monthly subscription price tag is a few dollars more than I’d like to spend, but the jury is still sequestered on this. I need to see it, try it, hear it before paying for it. Thank you, Apple, for a free three month upfront trial subscription.
It was great to have Cook end the show ‘n tell with a ‘One more thing…‘ moment. God, how I miss those. Unfortunately, the ‘One more thing…‘ was cringeworthy mashup of confusion which the company calls Apple Music. Where’s the clarity, Apple? What is Music? Eddie Cue couldn’t hide is Cuban roots and danced on stage. Seriously. He danced. Watch boss Kevin Lynch seriously undersold Watch OS 2. I didn’t fall asleep but I kept wondering how Mr. Rodgers would have done as a Lynch replacement. Ellen Degeneres would have been a better choice.
Then there was Drake. Why? Other than sporting a cool jacket I would love to have, why was Drake on stage? Was Apple trying to be cool by association? Or, guilty of desperation? Either way, it seemed an awkward moment bolted on to an impressive and fast-paced show ‘n tell about Apple software.
The keynote brought much to look forward to, but at nearly two and a half hours it was very much good, bad, and at times, downright ugly.