WWDC 2014 Keynote just ended and I’m left with a great feeling.
There were no hardware announcements (they’re DOOMED!) and they didn’t need to have them.
My appreciation is that today’s keynote has been the biggest keynote they had in several years and is one that set the grounds for the next 10 years of Apple.
Apple is no longer a “mobile” company. After today it feels like an OS company, a company that deeply cares about making the best OS in both mobile and desktop.
I’m not gonna talk about OSX or iOS new features, you’ll find plenty of those articles around. For me there were much bigger things announced today, and here they are:
Or call it “integration”. The deep control Apple has over its ecosystem allows it to pull a level of integration that cannot be matched by any other platform. Today they proved that and the level of integration between our future devices will make us feel like we’re living in the future.
Handoff is truly such a remarkable, transparent feature that it seems magical. A real showoff if you ask me.
Family sharing is a great feature that probably no other platform can easily replicate and that makes things so much easier for parents with little kids and most families in general.
iCloud Drive is a long-overdue debt that Apple is finally paying and it’s going to enable a level of integration that’s going to be awesome for end users (if iCloud finally works as it should).
The Kits and APIs
This, to me, is the most important announcement of the keynote. The series of DevKits Apple announced today are more important than any other OS feature they could have announced, they’re even more important than hardware.
HealthKit, HomeKit, CloudKit, SceneKit, Metal, and so on are platform-enabling technologies. They will create an ecosystem of devices, hardware that will thrive and will bring the next big breakthrough in consumer tech.
Apple has done what they do best, they didn’t invent anything, they just showed everybody the right way to do so. And with HealthKit, CloudKit and Homekit we got the right way to build automated homes and health devices and these markets are set to explode real soon.
These announcements are as big as the App Store was in its time. Think about what the App Store has enabled in the last years. Any time you open an app to achieve something, that’s thanks to the App Store. yes even if you’re an Android user, the App Store created the app market you enjoy everyday today.
Apps turned our devices into the useful tools that they are today. And that’s because Apple provided the right way to do so via the App Store and enabling 3rd party app development on its platform.
Apple is great on its own but it’s even greater when it embraces 3rd party development. And today Apple opened up in a big, BIG way. The biggest way since the creation of the App Store. This is going to be huge.
These new APIs will allow a new generation of Apps and integrated systems so big that I cannot imagine the reach that might end up having. But I can bet is going to be huge.
Apple opened up big time on iOS. Cross-app interactions, 3rd party keyboards, and my GOD Touch ID API. This might end up solving the ID problem everywhere if Android can replicate this properly.
Touch ID might be able to put an end to the password. Finally!
I cannot overstate the importance of these platform-enabling technologies. They’re going to enable the next generation of devices and they’re going to be the foundation of the tech world for the next few years.
Lastly, a new language. A new ground that will make development faster, easier and that will attract a new generation of developers with fresh minds that will build incredible things.
With this Apple sets the building stone on which it’ll continue to build its empire for the next 10 years.
Swift is surely going to be huge. It’ll make app development easier, faster and more enjoyable. This can only mean better, faster apps and thriving app-market within the iOS ecosystem.
Swift is the core that will enable the next generation of apps to be born. It’s the key to Apple development for the next decade at least.
These 3 things will empower Apple to build the future it wants to build. Apple’s OSs will be the hub of your life. They want to hub everything through their platforms in order for you to have the control of your life at your fingertips. And that’s going to be incredible for Apple users.
“Siri, time for bed”: Your garage and home door will lock, thermostat set for comfortable sleep temp, you Mac goes to sleep, notifications will go off on all your devices, your TV (and your kid’s TVs) will turn off, lights will go off, your kid’s iPod touch will start reading bedtime stories to them and your iPhone will start tracking your sleep patterns and record if you snore that night.
That is what these technologies will enable us to do. And it’s just 3 months away.
Welcome to the future thanks to these platform-enabling technologies that Apple showed today.
And OF COURSE I know Android can do much of this now, Apple is never first to do things, but usually first to make things right. And I can only wait until all other tech companies start copying and replicating these frameworks, pushing for universal standards based on what Apple showed today.
Come 2017 when you’re enjoying a deeper degree of automation in your life, I can bet that’ll be somewhat related of what Apple showed today; just like how you enjoy your smartphone today, because Apple showed us a few years ago how smartphones were done right.
And this is why I think that today was one of the biggest announcements Apple has made in the last few years, bigger than any hardware releases or new features. It’s about the new platforms.