WWDC Thoughts

Despite being late to the party i would like to share some half-formed thoughts and gut reactions to yesterdays WWDC:

  • Looking at Lion it seems obvious that OS X and iOS are slowly converging. See also this post discussing Apple’s and Microsoft’s different approaches toward an operating system that unites tablet and desktop interaction.
  • File version management in Lion seems great – version control for the masses. I only wonder if apps need to explicitly support this or if it’s baked into the OS in such a way that existing apps can benefit from it without changes.
  • Mail search in Lion looks spectacular. As someone who doesn’t file e-mail, I will benefit tremendously from this.
  • Between notifications, lock screen changes and widgets the interface looks like it’s being pushed to it’s limits, maybe even beyond. I wonder if iOS 5 will still feel easy and intuitive to novices like the original iPhone did (my guess: probably not).
  • I wonder if Twitter integration extends to single sign on support in the browser. If it does, this could be a huge blow against Facebook Connect. Incidentally, i find it curious that Apple isn’t trying to establish Apple ID as your one, true online identity (also see this).
  • Safari Reader feature is a welcome addition to Mobile Safari, as I already use it heavily in Desktop Safari. I expect this to be even more useful on smaller screens. As a heavy Instapaper user I’m also curious how the Read Later feature will impact my usage of the service.
  • Geolocation based reminders are an interesting addition and this might just be the point where the concept moves beyond the geek realm into the mainstream. Or maybe it just turns out to not be particularly useful for most people. We will see.
  • A quick camera shortcut was overdue. Adding it to the lock screen makes it appear even more bloated though. I can’t help but think this should be a dedicated hardware button. Perhaps in the next iPhone revision…
  • Flags in Mail. Finally.
  • It’s about time that iPhones and iPads are no longer tied to Macs and PCs. iOS just caught up with Android in this regard and probably even leapfrogged them with document and media support.
  • I’m surprised that iMessage isn’t supported in OS X. This could have been a welcome addition to or replacement for iChat and additionally would have driven adoption of the service. I’m rather certain it will eventually find its way into OS X, just as FaceTime did.
  • iPad screen mirroring over AirPlay seems promising. Curious what sort of apps will come of this.
  • iCloud file storage and syncing suggests that Apple believes files belong to one app. I’m not sure if I agree and / or like this. This will probably result in massive app lock-in, which incidentally would be in Apple’s interest.
  • If iCloud works well, it will be a game changer. If it doesn’t, it will probably be really painful for users. Let’s not forget mobile.me, so color me skeptical until proven otherwise.
  • iTunes Match almost seems too good a deal to be true, so i’m still weary about potential downsides.
  • Considering that most iCloud rumors focused so heavily on streaming as a major feature, its total absence is somewhat surprising. Kinda makes sense in a world where storage is (still?) so much cheaper than bandwidth, though.