WWDC 2017 Thoughts

It's been a few days since the WWDC that Apple has annually in June and after going through the presentations and videos, here are my thoughts on the same.

1. iWatch

iWatch interface is now more pebble like in the experience. It tells you what is current, whats going to come etc. Also they have better tie in with many franchise so you have a mini-mouse dial and other toy story watch faces. The psychedelic dials looked cool.

Personal analysis - they did not mention anything about the battery life - which means it is still the 1 day and it dies battery. I would give it a pass. I am frustrated as it is with having to charge my phone daily (sometimes more than once in a day!)
(image via cult of mac )

2. MacOS

They named it High Sierra. The earlier OS version was named Sierra.

How unimaginative.

But under the hood quite a lot of good stuff going on. I am actually amazed how much has been updated.
  • Now the OS comes with Virtual Reality support out of the box. 
  • It also supports Unity and Unreal engines - these are mostly used for gaming ( a weak spot for apple), but I do not think that they are supporting these engines for gaming, but for VR. 
Check out this video of the VR ! May the force be with you

I pretty much think that there is a lot going on under the hood with the enhancements here. Probably one of the reasons for calling this release "high" is that it is an enhancement and not a radical leapfrog.

3. Augmented Reality

Pokemon Go was the first brush of most people with Augmented Reality. While in VR you are in a virtual world, AR basically puts you in the real world with stuff that is computer generated. Microsoft's HoloLens demos are a very good example of AR.

Here, I think that Apple has been really smart in using their iOS as an AR platform. There are quite a significant people who already own these devices - and what better way to get them involved in AR apps than using what they have - while Microsoft has the distinct disadvantage of users having to first get the HoloLens headsets before they can do anything.

See the following demo.

And this brings me to changes to the :

4. iPad

The iPad got a ton of updates.

First the specs update:
  • There is now a 10.5" iPad.
    • Officially Apple said that this is because it gives a full size keyboard. Which may be true, you can now get attached keyboards with slightly bigger keys and so easier to type on, but I think that is because...
    • the 9" iPad is the biggest seller, because... 
    • the 12" iPad is horribly difficult to handle.. 
    • So a compromise and bring out a 10.5" iPad.
    • The size per say is not going to be very different as the 10.5" refers to the screen size, and with the side bezels getting thinner, they are able to fit in a bigger screen with a small increment to the overall size.  
    • Definitely a size I would want to use.
  •  The refresh rate is now 120Hz. 
    • usual monitor rates are 60Hz. This is what helps you feel that the video etc that you are seeing is smooth. 
    • 120Hz will mean a very smooth display - especially for stuff like drawing.
  • 512 GB of storage. 
    • That is half a terabyte ! 
    • That's a laptop you have there. Most high-end ultrabooks have this kind of storage.
  • Drag and drop in the iPad
    • Apple has implemented app overlays ( not split screen like how it is in Android, but real app on top of app. 
    • Add to that you can now browse files ( hey - stock Android does not have this. You have to download apps to access the file system). 
    • And drag drop files/images/text etc to other apps.
Here's how this all looks. Now tell me, if this is not going to replace the laptop what will  ?

5. The iMacPro

Apple also announced updates the iMac - most noticeably, the iMacPro. Unlike the older ones, which were upgradeable, these are not. For a machine for enthusiasts, I think that this is a very wrong strategy.

    6. One Last Thing.

    Apple gave this listed as 6. If Steve Jobs would have been presenting, he would have listed 5 things and then said - one last thing. The crowd would have swooned thinking of a new iPhone, but then Steve would have unveiled the HomePod

    I like my music but I am not an audiophile. So, my view may or may not be valid here. But I have seen expensive systems - e.g. from Bose etc. ( hey no harm window shopping - right ?) and most of them have their experts sent to your house to set it up all for you. Or, you may reach out to your audiophile friend who may do it for you.

    Apple automated this. Now the HomePod ( come on man, come up with some good naming, this is getting stale), comes with Apple's A8 chip. This will automatically adjust the sounds from the speakers based on the setting ( I assume they use some audio-wave processing to figure out the surrounding and the reflection of sound). So, you can pick up and reposition the speaker and it will automatically adjust the sound.

    Not only that, you add one more speaker ( Apple did not mention if there are more than 2 speakers what would happen) and the speakers will recognize each other and play the music in tandem.

    I think its pretty neat. But knowing apple, this will be tied in with their ecosystem. And you would probably have to use the dreaded iTunes software to play it /shudder.

    Oh, the iPhone - that usually gets revealed in September. Hold on till then.

    1 comment:

    1. Nice, helped me get a birds eye view without having to spend hours watching wwwdc