Mid-Atlantic Misfit

Mid-Atlantic Misfit

Life between cultures

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Apple WWDC Keynote review

10 June 2013 , , , , , ,

I can’t remember ever being so disappointed with an Apple product launch or WWDC keynote.  There was so little that was memorable, that made me sit up and take notice or caused my pulse to quicken with anticipation.  As most of you will know, I’m a keen Apple devotee, but I’m really beginning to worry for the direction of the company.  Nearly 9 months with no excitement, save the odd incremental hardware update, only to met with this drab news.

Let’s break it down…

Mac OSX, Maverick?  More maverick by name, than maverick by nature that’s for sure.  Why not start with this silly name, that may mean something to a select few in California, but means precisely nothing to the rest of us.  How will this develop in future… OSX Mojave?  OSX Malibu?  OSX Long Beach?  No… I can’t see this lasting ten years.  Bring back the cats!  Ah well… what’s in a name?  Well in this case it’s symbolic of an Apple product that is sorely neglected. Where’s the great new user experience here or the sweeping graphic makeover or the big revitalisation of the abyssmal Mac App Store?  That’s right, they’re nowhere to be seen.  One thing that did catch my eye was the better use of processor, improving battery life.  However, I always take battery claims with a grain of salt.  My iPhones have never come anywhere near to the batter life claimed.  I would certainly welcome improvement with my MacBook Pro’s, though.  Oh and we also have a Mac maps app to ‘look forward to’.  Great!  Integration that can get you lost and send misrouting information to your iPhone.  How about fixing the pathetic data?  You can integrate and create great new features, but it’s still GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). I do really like the fact that iBooks will come to the Mac.  While we’re at it though, why not Newstand?  THAT, I’d have been much more excited about.  Could it be we’re guarding the market for the iPad?

On to hardware…

First up was the MacBook Air.  What is the amazing new, streamlined, god-inspired design innovation here?  Increased battery life.  What else? Well, er… um… nothing really just the usual bump in performance.  If I had a recent version of this, I’d certainly not be rushing off to upgrade.

Now the kind of 1/2 announcement of the Mac Pro, which did look much more interesting. However, it is quite odd to have a preview of an upcoming device, but on a day of such meagre news for the technorati, I suppose they had to throw out a few bones.  This did look cool, more like a new age speaker in looks than a computer.  It will be packed with huge power and customizability.  What made my ears prick up here was support for multiple 4K displays.  4K is the successor to full HD and there have been persistant rumours swirling that if Apple releases it’s own HDTV, it may in fact be 4K.  The announcement that the Mac Pro supports multiple 4K displays is a big hint that Apple has big plans here.

And then there’s, iOS…

As expected there’s a sweeping update being made here taking us to version 7.  The look of the entire interface got the Jony Ive minimalist treatment.  Now I’m a huge, huge fan of the man and his design aesthetic.  No one combines the user experience with industrial design like this handsome devil.  There were some great, Ive-inspired changes here… the parallax effect when moving the device relative to the viewer, as well as the use of transparency throughout to give better visual cues to the user.  However, as for the fonts and spacing… Yuck! Yuck! Yuck!  Style has won over usability here.  The emaciated text may look cool and trendy, but it’s all but certain to cause eye strain.  In the desire to create a minimal look, many of the screens / text have been spaced out to Kalahari-like proportions.  Expect to do an awful lot of scrolling.  The colour palette too I found most distasteful and lurid.  It’s very high contrast and quite acidic.  Given the visual aspects of this update, it should be bundled with Migrelieve or a muscle relaxant!  This said there are many, many new features here that in sum are interesting and worth waiting for.  It’s just a shame we have to wait until autumn.  Perhaps you’ll have to wait even longer for iOS 7 to reach your iPad, however, since they demoed nothing on the device nor made mention of any specific features for it.

Now let’s talk about what there was no news of…

  • No iWatch.
  • No new Apple TV (either the simple box or the whizzy new display).
  • No new iPad.
  • No new iPhone.
  • No new iPod.
  • No new MacBook.
  • No new MacBook Pro.

So practically nothing to get the hardware juices flowing.

 In summary…

Thoroughly disappointing and I suspect there will be many grumblings, from even die-hard Apple fans like myself.  If I had Apple shares, I’d be selling them sadly.

What do you think?

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