So another WWDC keynote has come and gone. It definitely wasn't the polished effort of years past, and in places I think the audience was a little bored. (I know I was.) Right off the bat, I think this was entirely the wrong place to launch the new music service. It needed an event on its own (or preferably, alongside a TV streaming service). Still, there was a lot interesting stuff going on, that was unfortunately raced through so that we could get to the Apple Music bit. Anyway, here are the parts that stood out for me:
Metal comes to the Mac. This is great news, and I love how the company leverages technology from one platform onto the others. Games have become a huge moneyspinner for the iPhone/iPad and it's good to see that Apple is keen to bring this success to the desktop. Could we see the Mac lose the 'crap for gaming' moniker it's been saddled with since Day One?
Multi-tasking on the iOS. Yes, I know: iOS has always had multi-tasking, but Apple are letting the users actually see it. Task-switching lifted straight from OSX and two app running side-by-side. Should be a long-overdue winner.
Swift goes open source. This one was a no-brainer. There were a few new language features and compiler optimisations, but Craig Federighi shot through this section like his trousers were on fire. Still, good to see the Swift goodness will soon be available everywhere.
Apple Music. I didn't say I didn't like it; I just said that this was the wrong venue for the launch. Personally, I think it's huge. The service itself is nothing particularly new, but the focus they've given to unsigned acts is the game-changer. Apple is trying to do for the music world what the App Store did for small, independent developer. I'm hoping this will make it much easier to find and listen to something outside the production line acts that seem to have taken over. I'm actually surprised that the music industry would sign on with this. Sure they're getting their cut, but I wonder if they'll be this happy with it a few years down the line. I guess you could argue that this doesn't really cross into their space: they can go on manufacturing acts and will continue to make millions doing so. Oh, and support for the Android platform? Didn't see that coming!
No new features for OSX. Yes, this is a good thing. The fact that they didn't have any real whizz-bang features to announce for OSX El Capitan (doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it?) means that they (hopefully) have been taking time out to tighten things up a little. I haven't experienced too many problems myself, but I've heard a lot of complaints about the WiFi. It's always difficult to gauge how serious these problems are; the internet tends to be something of an echo chamber where Apple is concerned. From a user's perspective it's good; let's slow down, consolidate and look at what can be fixed/improved before we dump a whole new set of stuff to learn on to the customer base.
- No Apple TV update Booo!! Though to be fair, they never promised one. Still, the whole Apple Music section did leave me with the impression that there was something missing, that a few other names (Iovine, Drake) had been rolled out at the last minute to fill some space.
The very, very weird
Yeah, this was the strangest WWDC keynote I've seen in some time. Jimmy Iovine came on and shouted, Drake came on and rambled, Eddy Cue came on and jigged about like a wannabe DJ. Something was a no-show at the last minute I'd say. But the question still stands: Why announce a music service at a developers conference?