Much the same way that I did with Google’s I/O conference in a previous blog post, I’m going to give a post detailing my opinion on and reponse to Apple’s WWDC conference. If you want to see the conference material for yourself, feel free to look up a live stream or read through coverage from The Verge here.
Please note, I’m not the biggest fan of Apple. Most of my opinions will likely be very critical, as I am a Google fanboy at heart. If you disagree with me, that’s fine. I welcome any discussion on the matter.
Apple WWDC 2015
And we’re off. Let’s see what Apple has to offer new this year.
OS X El Capitan
Overall, a lot of improvements and inclusion of features for power users. Muting audio right from the tab? That’s already a feature in Chrome. Natural language searching isn’t really something I care about, but I suppose it’s good for stuff you don’t organize very well. Auto arranging windows by dragging them to the side is already in both Windows and Chrome. Honestly, that’s one feature I use a ton and couldn’t fathom not having.
Several small improvements to speed, graphics performance, stuff that’s good even if I don’t like Mac OS. Improve on what you already have. Improvements to games on Mac (who plays games on a Mac?)
Vast majority of iPhone users on iOS 8, jab at Android about only 12% of users being on 5.0 or better. Talk to OEMs and carriers about that before you go blaming Google. Proactive in Siri was already accomplished with Google Now. Good job to Apple for finally incorporating contextual information, but it’s high time that be a standard feature for all mobile devices. All this info is local to your device and not shared online. That’s cool if you’re crazy concerned about privacy, but I kinda like the functionality that comes from having my data shared slightly more freely. I’m fine with Google having my data because of what it allows me to do.
Apple Pay, blah blah blah. I’m still kinda miffed that people thought Apple Pay was so new and revolutionary, when Google Wallet had been doing the tap and pay thing for a while. In any case, I’m really hoping tap and pay supporters keep things open and don’t go for exclusively Apple Pay or Android Pay functionality.
Notes sounds neat, but not unique enough to really make a difference. Raving about Apple Maps and saying it’s used more on iOS devices than Google Maps. Probably because Apple favors its own mapping software and people who don’t know any better aren’t going to bother looking for an alternative. Take a look at total usage of Apple Maps and Google Maps across all platforms, I’m sure the figures look quite a bit different.
News articles customized to you, and with reduced data. Cool feature, something I’d probably use for media consumption, but it doesn’t strike me as any better than Google Play Newsstand.
Multitasking looks similar to what has been done in certain Android ROMs, but I don’t have much experience with it. In general, I only work with one thing on screen at a time and switch between apps if I need to do something else. Probably useful if you do a lot of actual productive work on mobile devices, but… I don’t. I use my Chromebook or Windows machines for that.
Reducing the size of iOS is a fantastic move. I heard a lot of iPhone users very upset about the OS chewing up so much of their storage. Cutting it in less than half should hopefully assuage many of those issues.
I’m going to say upfront that I don’t like the idea of proprietary car connection software. Not Apple’s CarPlay, not Android Auto or whatever it is, not any of that. I want a standard that everyone adheres to on both sides, vehicle and device. It is my firm belief that after this car connection move comes into full swing, I should be able to take any mobile device into any vehicle and sync up with full functionality. Don’t favor any manufacturers or brands.
As I mentioned in the Google I/O response, I don’t care about smartwatches. They seem unnecessary. I’ll just use my phone.
Everything that I didn’t need. Music and video in the same place, same app? Don’t care, I rarely want both together. If I want to listen to music, I listen to music. If I want to watch videos, I load up YouTube. No need to combine the two.
Human-curated playlists are an absolutely unnecessary obsession with the music industry. I make my own playlists, or shuffle my music when I don’t know what I want to listen to. Is it really that big of a deal to have a person make a playlist? “The first ever 24/7 worldwide live radio station.” Alright, is this supposed to be important to me? I don’t care what other people are listening to.
Beats Connect, somehow connecting unsigned artists with fans. I hope this works, because I genuinely feel there are thousands of fantastic artists who will go forever undiscovered and unappreciated. However, I don’t see how it’s going to work. I’ll keep my hopes up, though.
On an unrelated note, can we kill this weird obsession with terrible Indie music? It’s such garbage, but everyone seems to talk about how much they love it.
$10 per month for another streaming service I’ll never use. Maybe it’ll appeal to someone, but I’d much rather just curate my own music collection.
All in all, not a lot of stuff I care about. Even if I were an iPhone or Mac user, it still doesn’t seem like a lot I would care about. Maybe I’m just getting old and losing my excitement about bleeding edge technology. Maybe bleeding edge technology is just hitting a bit of a slump right now and nothing awesome is coming out. In any case. neither Google I/O nor Apple WWDC has impressed me this year.
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