Apple’s 2013 WWDC: the Good, the Bad, and the Meh
Apple’s 2013 WWDC: the Good, the Bad, and the Meh
As with all big Apple events, I once again find people turning to me for my opinion on the announcements from Apple’s iPhone 5 announcement. Honestly I can’t blame them, as my opinion is often the only correct one when it comes to such things. I seem to have the uncanny ability to cut through the hype with laser beam-like precision, and somehow categorize the day’s events into one of three categories: Good, Bad, and Meh. Here’s how Apple’s 2013 World Wide Developer’s Conference event broke down:
OS X Mavericks: Horrible Name, but that’s why Mac OS’s also go by numbers, right? So let’s just call this OS 10.9. What’s new? Well, Finder tabs, document tagging, multiple display support, new Mac Maps app, Improved Calendar (no longer has that stitched leather look)… All nice, nothing ground-breaking/must-have, except that Apple claims to have also fixed the way memory and processing power is utilized for open apps on the Mac, which they claim will speed things up by a factor of 1.4x. And you know what THAT means, don’t you? Safari will feel snappier!.
New MacBook Airs: Well, they got new Haswell processors, but I’ll assume the only difference we’re likely to notice will be battery life, which appears to have gone up from 7 hours to 12, assuming you ever got 7 to begin with. That’s pretty impressive, and to make that jump while increasing speed is a nice feat. However, now that the MacBook Pros are so skinny, the idea of continuing to invest time in new Airs seems a bit silly to me. I have still yet to see a MacBook Air out in the wild (outside an Apple Store) and do not ever plan to see one in MY house, so I’ll generously file this under “Good” to humor anyone who is a fan of the Airs but it is kind of a “meh” announcement for me.
New Mac Pros: AWWWW YEAHHHHH! NOW we’re talking! Or ARE we? I always get excited by these keynotes and then 3 hours later, people who ACTUALLY know what hey’re talking about tear these things down and tell us how under-powered they really are. But screw them. For NOW< I'm excited! First, they made the thing look like the old SGI Octane workstations for some reason, which is cool. Of course, the one machine where size does NOT matter is a workstation, and I have to assume this shrinkage will bite us all in the ass eventually, most likely starting with the "Mac Pro Tower-sized" tower of Thunderbolt devices I am going to have to build right NEXT to this thing to make up for its lack of storage/expansion. Anyway, it appears to be super fast (2.5x over the previous model, upon which I am currently typing) and Holy Smokes! It's still has FireWire and is Made in the USA! Only downside? It will be available “Later this year”, and there are 6 months left in this year…
iOS 7: WOW. Well, the big news coming out of this keynote is iOS 7, and I gotta say, this update REALLY shut me up. All the leaked reports of a “flat” design were extremely misleading, and the new iOS has more virtual “depth” than ever, as well as an all-around cleaner look across the board. The new Control Center (just swipe up) will be a Godsend for me, as one of the first times I ever jailbroke my phone was to get SB settings and its quick brightness adjustment. Safari’s new tabs are the kind of fresh, sexy, useless iCandy we needed. Airdrop looks nice, but I’ll need to see what developers do with it. Right now it doesn’t seem much faster than texting a picture, and I think you need to all be on Wi-fi (?) to use it. I’m sure it will be a hit with the kids and it gave Apple a nice chance to take a dig at the “tap-to-share” method of its competitors (which I never understood as a selling point). I’m also loving the automatic App updates. Really, there are a TON of new features, and from what I’ve seen, they are ALL improvements.
iTunes Radio: It’s Spotify, Pandora, Slacker, etc. So while functionally, it’s nothing ground-breaking, the fact that it is free (with ads) and ad-free as an iTune match subscriber (me!), means I may be ditching my Spotify subscription… Plus it can play Led Zepplin, and presumably other classic bands that I can’t find on Spotify.
iBooks on Mac… Even if I used iBooks, I doubt I would use it on my Mac. But hey, I guess this kept SOME Apple intern busy for a couple months, so good for them!
iWork in the Cloud: OK! iWork! In the Cloud! Are you excited? I WILL say that the spreadsheets shown on stage actually look like something you might look at for a few seconds before saying “Oh, this is a spreadsheet…” and moving on. So kudos to the design team.
iOS seems to look awesome on a white iPhone: In fact, it looks so good on a white iPhone I am wondering if I will need to buy one. When will Apple show it running on a black model?
No new “regular” MacBook Pros?
New Mac Pros Available “Later this year”:
Tim Cook sucked the excitement off the stage each time he appeared: Sorry Tim. Craig Federighi was really quite dynamic though. Let’s see more of him in the future.
So, that’s it, the Good, the Bad, and the Meh from today’s “2013 WWDC” event. All in all, VERY little to complain about – and believe you me, I loves to complain! Feel free, as always, to tell me how dead-on correct I am in the comments.