It’s June and another year has gone by for Apple, which means that yet another World Wide Developer’s Conference is here. If you’re one of the six million registered developers creating something for one of Apple’s platforms (iOS or OS X), then this is like nerd summer camp to learn all the tips, tricks, and changes to their platform of choice. Basically: it’s a big deal for developers and fanboys alike, and I qualify as both.
As usual, the conference started out with Apple’s self-congratulatory keynote address. And while some of the numbers Tim Cook put in front of us were impressive (50 billion apps downloaded; 900,000 apps in the app store with 90% of those apps downloaded each month; and 575 million Apple ID accounts – most with credit cards), everyone was really there to hear about the version of iOS being released this fall: iOS 7. However, Apple’s CEO made us all sit through updates about:
OS X Mavericks. There’s a whole new naming scheme for the operating system that doesn’t involve cats.. Yes, they really did start out with OS X Cheetah and end on Mountain Lion. That’s what progress looks like, folks. Oh yeah, they also made a few changes to the operating system that all pretty much amount to “it’s about time.”
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Opinions in The Game of Buzz are the author’s alone.
It’s the first time in ages where I haven’t kept close tabs on an Apple press conference as it unfolded, and I think I might not go back! Today I learned that it is far more fun to just get a sense of the Twitter chatter and then swoop in and scope out what the wizards of Cupertino have wrought once all the facts are in.
I’m not in the market but ai-yi-yi that Retina Display Macbook Pro is pretty. I’m not entirely sold on the aesthetics of having a bunch of dongles flapping off the side of my laptop, but I suppose if I think of the Thunderbolt to Ethernet converters as “really ugly cords” and not “really inefficient plug designs” then I can get over it.
Siri Grows Up
A little. Still, look what our toddler an do: a full end run around Google by pulling in all the stuff people go to search engines for on a regular basis: sports stats (Oh those baseball-card style layouts!), restraint recommendations and reservations, movie times. About half the apps on my phone that I regularly use will become irrelevant when I upgrade this fall. Which I totally will, because Apple just stole whatever curiosity I had about the Windows Phone platform away.
Hoooo boy! Did Apple just gut Garmin, Tom Tom, and Google all with one fell swoop? Turn by turn in the lock screen? YES, PLEASE! I know there is a lot of chatter because of this that Apple is messing with the livelihood of third parties, but look: this is the pattern. Innovation starts out at the edges and soon becomes an expected feature in the core. So long as Apple doesn’t lock the whole system down with a hermetic seal (and I’m sure some within Apple would love to do that) there will be room for developers to do things differently than Apple does.
This all boils down to one question: how does the Events integration with the calendars work? It’s unclear from the live blogs if Facebook events will come into the Calendar app via the invite inbox or if they will automatically populate in the calendar. If it’s the latter then Apple is opening the doors to a mountain of spam. Facebook should be a great social management tool, but it isn’t. If anything FB is an agent of social chaos, with spammy event invites and friend requests from stalkery weirdos.
Yet if Apple can nail the flow of managing Facebook communications right into the Cloud system they will have pulled off something Zuckerberg and co have so far failed to do.
I wouldn’t put it past them.
More anon as the Apple World Wide Developer Conference picture gets clearer.
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