So WWDC is drawing to a close. I thought it worth drawing together my thoughts on what has been an incredible week for technology, innovation and for Apple.
1. iOS 7
This week Apple announced the all new iOS7. Having now been at the keynote where it was unveiled and having discussed it with several people I think it would be fair to say that the general reaction is very positive. The new UI is slick, it offers developers new opportunities to do some cool new things with their apps, and (although others criticise this) it learns from the best of what others have done. In my view, if a feature, or design element works well on another platform there is no reason why Apple re-invent it and incorporate it into iOS. I do agree with the statement made by Tim Cook that this is “The Biggest Change to iPhone since the iPhone” and I applaud Apple for that because it will clearly change the way we think about and use the iPhone – it does however, kind of leave you wondering, what next?
2. OSX Mavericks
It has some cool new features, i’d argue its nothing to really write home about though. Tags are going to helpful, and I also like the ability to be able to use tabs within finder – the most helpful thing from my own perspective is the multi display improvements but i’m very conscious that this will only really be of great benefit to power users. For me that’s where the functional excitement ends – if the battery life improvements really do come to fruition then of course that will be useful but i’m still not convinced that its worth all the hype.
3. The stats
My experience this week has reinforced how far Apple are ahead of the competition especially in terms of the App Development market. The key statistic that has stuck in my mind this week is that Apple have now paid out $10 billion to developers which is more than all of the other platforms combined. From the standpoint of a developer it is much more attractive to build apps for iOS as opposed to other platforms and that suggests that the App ecosystem offered by Apple is much more sustainable in the long term. I doubt a developer conference for one of the other platforms would sell out in 71 seconds – what do you think?
4. Do Apple need Jobs?
I continue to be a little worried for Apple in that I still don’t see anything “new” and if i’m honest I haven’t seen anything new since 2010 when Apple released the iPad. Apple have enjoyed an excellent run over the last 7 years first wowing the world with the iPhone and then repeating the performance with the launch of iPad – the time is now ripe though for something brand new, something exciting, functional and different. If that doesn’t happen next year than in my view Apple are going to start loosing some of their momentum. Within Jobs leading the way in terms of idea generation I fear that Apple could loose their way.
All of that said I have had the most amazing week here at WWDC, it is an absolute must attend for any developer who is serious about developing for iPhone, iPad or Mac – if you want to discuss my view on how iOS7 is going to change the world tweet me @stevewestgarth