It’s been quite a while since the last post. Actually I have a lot of drafts up in the wordpress dashboard, but remain as it is. Wish this one makes it through!
Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference commenced yesterday and boy was it good! It’s been sometime since people came of being excited from an Apple’s event since Steve Jobs demise. Actually I had assumed so as every event after same has been met with criticism and letting down expectations. This time though they seemed to have arrested the slide. I’m going to pen down my thoughts on this event and what to expect from Apple in the future.
First, let me get this straight. I have followed the recent Apple conferences with the aid of tech sites, Engadget, Gizmodo to name a few. More so I have begun to develop a liking towards Apple’s philosophy with products I own. Whatever I criticize is just for fun and more of letting my mind free of it. I welcome any kind of comment, though I don’t expect much. Anyways here goes.
Apple is successful because of one guy – Steve Jobs. Sure they have bunch of great people, but no one can deny Jobs influential role to take Apple to unprecedented heights. One of the keys to this success was the events held by Apple and no doubt Steve Jobs electrifying presence on the dias. Almost all the events post 2000 is considered iconic and people miss his trademark “One more thing”. Tim Cook knew he had huge shoes to fill. Fast forward to the present and I think he has done a good job of it. Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs and he is not as passionate to the products as is Jobs. But the last event shows where he belongs. He has stepped aside to people who know the products better than him and who can demonstrate the product well. You can see him do the same in the future and that is fine. Good thing that he is not trying to become someone else.
As to event in itself, the past events post Jobs demise has been a disappointment to me. iPhone 4s was a total let down and iPad’s update is incremental not astounding. How Jobs would have taken these events would be another debate. But now June 2012 and WWDC isn’t at all bad. It’s actually refreshing to see that Apple now does like to innovate and usher in new products to the market. Plus the updates to the OS X and iOS is really good, if not the best update seen to date. I am back to the same level of excitement I had after a Steve Jobs led event. Let’s analyse the events and bring out the pros and cons about where Apple is headed.
The Macbook pro is being updated, now the most powerful portable machines on the planet. The optical drive has been ditched, so is the 17-inch model. The former is widely been expected, but the latter was a surprise. So too are many other expected changes and surprising ones. But one thing I like to point out is Apple’s nature to kill off what they think is legacy devices. They killed of the 17-inch model but retained the 13 and 15 inch models with optical drive. It looks like a sort of safety measure or similar, they could have gone ahead and killed off optical drive altogether! Not that it is a downer, but it shows that Apple is not quite taking the bold step IMO.
Another aspect of the event is the updates to OS X and iOS. They are really good. One particular to me is the pricing of OS X Mountain Lion (20 bucks) and the fact that it can upgradeable right from Snow Leopard (phew! My 25 bucks saved!). iOS has received a major update, 200 new features just like the last year. Most of them are great and thoughtful, I like the “No Disturb Feature” which is on paper looks very handy, Siri has started learning to give reviews and presumably understands better, nice Facebook integration and new maps! It sort of looks as if Apple is going in the right direction, the new OS X will be selling like hot cakes and more iPhones will be sold with these new features (My Dad particularly likes the “Eyes Free” feature). But again there are a few things I like to note. First it seems Apple is listening to the customer, I mean the feature updates to iOS looks very much that way. What’s more interesting is this time the event has almost met to what people have been expecting! When did that ever happen in an Apple event! Another is the convergence of desktop and mobile operating systems, which has become apparent with OS X Mountain Lion (Apple should have gone for a shorter name… 😐 ) borrowing a lot more from iOS than it’s predecessor. From the looks of it things are beginning to look good and people will find easier to transition than the steep learning curve of Windows 8.
Another this event did is giving the competition a run for it’s money, to put it mildly. Actually they just seem to have kicked the competitions assess off! The new Macbook pro is a beast, OS X is now looking really good and iOS has really matured. The existing products itself are awesome, and add to that the updates of the WWDC event, the competition has a lot of ground to cover. Google particularly will be feeling the heat the most. Their maps has been replaced with what looks like an equally good alternative. The iOS update has brought really nifty and thoughtful updates that puts ICS to shame. And the last but not the least Apple’s implementation of mobile payments – Passbook, looks delicious. On the contrary Google Wallet never really took off. So Google has a lot of work to do. Ultrabooks manufacture will have a lot riding on their cost cutting and Windows 8 to make it look they are giving Macbook pro a fight, though the numbers will be on their side. Finally Microsoft have a big test to pass with the radical changes in the upcoming operating system and definitely have a lot of head scratching to with Apple slowly eating away their market share.
On the whole it looks Apple is good hands and Steve Jobs have done an admirable job of that. It remains to be seen whether Apple can push a totally new thing, maybe a completely new design of the next iteration of the iPhone and whether at all Apple is going to change the living room experience this year. We are only half way to this year and my plate is increasingly finding it difficult to find space! I wish only few things – iPhone 5, Android Jelly Beans, The Dark Knight Rises and the Hobbit…… 😀