Pearl's Paradise

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Apple WWDC 2015 (Sort of) Live Blog


Okay, so it’s not exactly a “Live Blog.” It’s more like…

“I recorded the WWDC 2015 Keynote address, came home after work, grabbed a glass of orange juice, put my feet up, watched the festivities, and decided to write down my self-consciously witty thoughts.”

By the way, you wouldn’t believe it for all the snark I’m about to drop on you, but I’m a huge fan of Apple. 2/3rds of my computers are Apple products. (Sorry, no iPhone. Too limiting for this geek.) Then again, I can’t stand it when anyone purports to invent a solution that someone else has already invented.

If you just want the Cliff’s Notes version, here it is…

Apple has lost its innovative edge. Oh, Apple is still phenomenal at waving its hands mysteriously and pronouncing, “It’s magical!” to astonishing, crowd-rousing effect, but with few exceptions, WWDC 2015 took the shine off the big red fruit from Cupertino.

Have fun!

0:00:   Bill Heder is still one heck of a funny guy. Love the intro bit!  If you haven’t seen it, find it.

0:10:   Okay, it’s not really a “Live Blog,” ‘cuz I’m not using any live blog technology. And I’m not even watching it live. Ah, what the heck. Here we go.

0:10:   How magnanimous. Giving a bunch of rich schmucks tons of free Apple product just ‘cuz they held a baseball hostage.  I’ve seen some dud stunts before, but giving a bunch of overpaid baseball players free Apple product seems a tad self-serving, n’est pas?

0:10:   Fanbois unite! Cheering for more Watch apps. Woo Hoo!

0:11:   Yosemite. “Beautiful” release. Uhhh… Looks like one of my kids old coloring books.  Mavericks, cool.  Yosemite, meh.

0:13:   Nice dig at Windows 8 adoption rate. 8.1 @ 7%. Very cool. (For the record, I’m writing this on my Lenovo Yoga laptop under win 8.1, watching the recording on my Macbook Air 11.6.)

0:14:   OS/X “El Capitan.” What? No kitty cats? No National Park names? Way to go, ya self-consciously hip California surfer dudes.  “Duuude, let’s go do El Capitan!”

0:15:   Wowzers!  Apple adds side-to-side gestures in Mail inbox. Android much?

0:16:   Wait…  Safari what? They still use Safari? Does anyone really use Safari?

0:16:   Uh, Google Chrome has had the sound icon on tabs for about a gazillion years. Way to innovate, Cupertino.  About the only thing Apple’s mastered is muting the audio from the address line.

0:17:   Okay, I have to give them this. Spotlight is still the slickest fully integrated search going. Microsoft might catch up some day if they can figure out how to beat Apple and Google at the Siri/Google Now game.

0:18:   Search in Spotlight with natural language. “Documents I worked on last June.” Very nice!

0:19:   Like the tabs in the Mail compose window. Slick.  Long overdue, and finally something that leapfrogs Google and Microsoft.

0:20:   FINALLY! FINALLY they have side-by-side snap! Oh wait… Windows 8.1 has side-by-side snap. I mean, WIndows 8 had side-by-side snap. Uhm… Okay, maybe not so innovative.

0:20:   Okay, another “gotta give them this.” They’ve really made “windows” better than “Windows.” Managing multiple windows and full-screen apps is now super slick.

0:24:   “Metal” API is VERY slick, though I’m not a gamer, so what do I really care? Oh right! Rendering video, etc. Nice.

0:24:   Nice plug for Adobe “Creative Shaft-the-Customer,” er, I mean “Creative Cloud.”

0:25:   Yeah, I know it’s just a Developer’s conference, but when you compare how Apple drives its developer engagements -vs- the way Microsoft does, you have to ask yourself “Why?” Why can’t Microsoft be this polished? Why can’t Microsoft put together this engaging a “geek-a-thon?”

0:28:   Fortnite? Again, thank God I’m not a gamer. Is it just me or was that a life-sucking waste of time?

0:30:   And now we get to why Apple beats Microsoft to the punch on OS adoption rates. Platform standardization of the most draconian kind. The reason iOS has a 70% adoption rate up to v8 is because Apple controls ever single aspect of the ecosystem. Minimal hardware testing required to get everyone up to speed.

0:32:   Siri still can’t beat Google Now. It’s better, but still not as accurate or as rich. When kept within the Apple boundaries, it’s a rich solution. Now, where Cortana is concerned, it looks like Siri is finally catching up on the “personal enrichment” side of things like “Remind me to get the coffee off the roof of my car.”

0:38:   Siri finally looks like it’s getting more personal context sensitive. True AI can’t be far behind.

0:42:   Nice follow-up to Cook’s comments about privacy the other day. All your Siri lookups are anonymized and held locally rather than up on the servers. However… I don’t think this model is sustainable. The future is all about how much data a vendor can mine via search. So it’s cool that Apple is “protecting” privacy, but but ultimately may be Apple’s undoing.

0:43:   Apple “what?” Oh yeah! Apple Pay! Anyone used it? I mean OUTSIDE of Cupertino and San Francisco. Yeah, I see that hand. Shoulda guessed. A Wall Streeter with too much money on his hands. And I see that hand, too. Yeah, a couple more over there in LA. Hmmm… Four people?

0:44:   Oh this is so cool! Discover is supporting… Yes, I said Discover. They’re a credit card company, dontchaknow. Oh, you say you don’t have a Discover card? Neither do I. Neither do 90% of the people who use credit cards.

0:44:   More proof that statistics mean very little. “We’re seeing a 2x increase in check-out rates.” [with Apple Pay] As Billy Preston once said, “Nothing from nothing [still] leaves nothing…”

0:45:   Until Apple gets Visa and MC on board Apple Pay is not going to gain broad traction. Niche at best.

0:46:   Apple Pay in London! Wahoo! “Eng-a-land swings like Apple pay do…”

0:47:   Looks like Apple is finally getting some traction with store reward cards.  Gotta load my Kohls rewards up on…  Ohhh riiight.  I’m on Android.

0:47:   Apple renames “Passbook” to “Wallet.” Uhm, Google Wallet anyone?

0:48:   FINALLY! Checklists in Notes! Oh wait… OneNote’s been doing this for a couple of years. Hmmm… I’m seeing a big theme here. Apple is finally catching up to functionality that has been available through Google and Microsoft for a looong time.

0:49:   Apple Notes is still under-powered compared to OneNote.

0:50:   Maps usage, 3.5x higher than the “next leading mapping app.” Why does this sound a tad disingenous? Is the next leading mapping app “Google Maps” or “Here Maps” or “Mapquest?” Methinks Google Maps are still being used more than Apple maps by most Apple users, which means Apple is probably referring to Mapquest or some other map app.

0:52:   LOVE the underground mapping of subway stations. If you’ve never tried to do a transit transfer under City Hall in Philadelphia, you’ve never experienced purgatory.

0:54:   Are you kidding me? They’re finally adding a NEWS APP? Flipboard much? Good grief! Only Apple has the chutzpah to take a fundamental app like News and pretend that it’s never existed before.

0:55:   The only thing Apple has done is make it pretty, but the functionality is nowhere near as powerful as Google. Google’s is built by watching my web browsing and searching. Highly relevant. Custom tailored.

0:56:   More about the News app. YAWN!

0:56:   Bookmarking News! WAHOO! YIPPEE! I’m sooo blown away! (In case you hadn’t noticed, that’s what we call sarcasm.)

0:58:   I cannot begin to express my groaning disinterest in Apple’s self-congratulatory launch of “News.” This is beyond insipid. This is 3 years behind the times and barely a catch-up. They certainly aren’t leaping forward with this, they are simply playing catch-up. This strikes me as a case of Apple trying to make their publishing debacle seem like less of a debacle.

0:59:   STOP APPLAUDING THIS CRAP, PEOPLE! You look like fawning fanbois to the rest of the technology world every time you applaud the “new” Apple News App!

1:01:   I feel compelled to say that I am actually a HUGE fan of Apple. I wouldn’t watch this mundane dreck if I weren’t. I have a Macbook Air, a Macbook Pro 15, a Macbook Pro 13, and an iPad Mini. So I’m far from a hater. Their interfaces and functionality are fluid, if no longer groundbreaking. But I am horribly disappointed in how late Apple is to the innovation game.

1:03:   Finally! Apple FINALLY recognizes that so many of us are using external keyboards with the iPad!

1:03:   FINALLY! Multi-tasking! What’s been available via Jailbreak for 5 years FINALLY gets taken seriously.

1:04:   FINALLY! A REAL task switcher with full-screen samples!

1:05:   FINALLY! Split-view of apps! Oops. Forgot. Samsung has had this for almost TWO YEARS on its Tab line of tablets!  Wait…  Didn’t Microsoft have this in Windows 8.1?  Ohhh yeahhh!  I already DO split screen on my Dell Venue Pro 11, which, by the way, runs full copies of Microsoft Project so I don’t need to use a lame iOS App that only provides me with half the functionality.

1:06:   WHAT? Apple is FINALLY catching up on its on-screen keyboard?

1:07:   Ooh! Picture-in-picture! Gimme!

1:08:   Humorous moment… If you’ve ever used Microsoft Windows 8 or 8.1, you realize that Apple just ripped off “Slide-Over” and the slide-from-the-side method of bringing apps back into focus.  Microsoft released that in Windows 8.  Yes, “that” Windows 8.

1:09:   Holy mackerel! (I have no idea what that really means.  It just sounded like a good time to use it.) The split-screen capability applies only to iPad Air 2 and above? Sheesh!

1:11: Two-factor authentication to protect data in iCloud. I’m sure Jennifer Lawrence will appreciate that one. (Look it up, folks. Just don’t look too closely.) Side note: Google has had two-factor authentication for TWO YEARS! Microsoft has had two-factor authentication for more than ONE YEAR!

1:12:   Back to the Apple on-screen keyboard for a minute. I still don’t see anything nearly as powerful as Android’s mechanism for passing data between applications. If I want to take a link out to a Twitter app, for example, I just press and hold the link and I never need to leave the original app. Android still handles this fundamental of information sharing more seamlessly.

1:14:   I have to say, Apple is still the best solution for automotive technology. It’s simpler, cleaner, and quicker than any other in-dash UI.  I’d feel safer navigating an Apple dashboard during a drive than any other vendor’s solution.

1:16:   SWIFT IS OPEN SOURCE???  HOLY “BURY THE LEAD”, BATMAN! Swift2 as open source is HUGE. Apple is throwing a prescient Hail Mary here. They realize that Android is clocking them in global device sales and they need to make their apps easier to port onto other platforms.

1:17:   iOS 9 on almost every mobile device since iPad 2. That is HUGE.

1:20:   “We’ve paid out $30billion to developers.” (Shhh… We’ve also snagged 30% of every app sale…)

1:25:   Inspirational video time. I want to weep. I’m afraid they might revoke my man card. (Wait. They already did that when I cried at the end of “Sense and Sensibility.” Or was it “Die Hard?” Whatever.)

1:26:   A moment’s digression… Apple still stinks at multi-device management and centralized deployment. They’re getting better, but it’s not like they’re chomping at the Educational and Enterprise bit.

1:27:   Applause line. Developers congratulating themselves for being smarter than the rest of the world. Spiffy.

1:27:   And now we turn to the watchOS…

1:28:   Cook: “It’s pretty amazing that we’re already talking about the next version of the watchOS.” (Uh, kinda critical, since the platform has been getting panned lately and there are some pretty well known Apple Fanbois who are starting to abandon the platform.)

1:38:   I want to be excited about Apple Watch. I really do. I love the concept. I think watchOS 2 is a big step forward. Moving much more from the phone to the watch face. Good that they’re empowering native apps on the watch.

1:38:   You mean I can finally capture the watch microphone audio? You mean I couldn’t do that before? (I jest.)

1:39:   FINALLY! Can finally use the digital crown to control apps. Example was the climate control app.

1:42:   Moment of terror… Saying, “Siri… Send I would love to” and waiting several seconds before Siri comes back to life.

1:44:   He keeps saying, “…just six weeks from launch…” What that tells me is that Apple had the hardware locked in but rushed the OS just to get it out to market.

1:45:   Annnd… “ONE MORE THING!” This better not be another U2 push out to the iOS device. That kinda bombed, if ya know what I mean.

1:48:   And Cook announces “Apple Music.”

1:49:   Artists should not be presenters. Maybe I’m just jaded. This guy just seems like a charicature of a typical A&R guy.

1:53:   It strikes me that the reason Apple is about to hit a wall is because the world is no longer interested in iTunes. Unless Apple updates iTunes and makes it as easy to use as Spotify, it is going to continue to lose market share -vs- Android.

1:54:   Yep, this dude is definitely one of those nerdy music types who probably says, “Baby!” a lot.

1:58:   Human curated music. Hmmm…

1:59:   Sarcasm Alert: “Apple picked me to be a hip, global DJ because I have this cool Brit-ish accent…”

2:01:   I’m thinking that Microsoft isn’t about to get Drake on the stage for their Developer’s Conference. Just sayin’.

2:02:   Drake’s from Canada? Never knew that. I already love him.

2:04:   Drake’s articulate. He needs a script, though. Or at least some cue cards. I have no clue what point he’s trying to make.

2:05:   Happy birthday Phil Shiller!

2:08:   Are we finally seeing some interface freshening from Apple? “For You” interface is actually pretty decent.

2:09:   Having paid cash money for Apple Radio, I can only hope that the Beats 1 service is more reliable and that their “human curators” are going to do a better job of curating the genres for new songs. I stopped using Apple Radio about two months after I paid for it. Flushed that coin.

2:10:   At least the dude has the taste to like Florence and the Machine. (Love FATM)

2:12:   “That’s really awesome.” Delivered that line with all the energy of Edward R. Murrow. (Look it up. He’s old. And dead.)

2:13:   WHAT? You cut off Alabama Shakes? How DARE YOU!

2:15:   If this guy cuts off “Born to Run…” CRAP! HE DID! (I’m loathing Apple more by the minute.)

2:16:   Okay, even I have to admit that the Siri integration with the music app is pretty cool.

2:16:   Unintentionally awkward, laugh out loud moment. He tells Siri to “Play the Song from Selma” and gets something other than what he expected. Whoopsie.

2:18:   BURY THE LEAD ALERT! iTunes coming for ANDROID this fall! Well, now!

2:18:   Apple Music for $14.99 per month for up to six family members. Take THAT Spotify!

2:19:   It strikes me that Apple is trying to give iTunes a long-overdue shot of adrenaline. Spotify, Pandora, et al are eating iTunes lunch as streaming explodes and buying services take a dump.

2:19:   Shameless ad. Pharrell and Tim Cook must be golfing buddies. They sure ain’t hip hop buddies.

2:22:   And that’s it for me, folks. I hope you enjoyed this little live blog. Maybe we’ll do it again!

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