Posted on Jun 5, 2017

WWDC 2017

Ah, the incrementalism continues…

Yes, my annual need it or not blog post continues. Without WWDC to prompt me, my blog would be completely bereft of newish content. I am reminded that I need to update this site a bit. My Flickr account has gathered dust and my recent reads and tunes listed to are a wee bit out of date. But my anticipation for the announcements to come to day? Well, I have pragmatist’s point of view and a tech-loving geek’s hope that there will indeed be at least one more thing that gets announced to make me gleeful.

The pragmatist in me says that we will see iOS, MacOS, watchOS and tvOS updates during today’s keynote. Yeah, that’s about it. Will they be earth shattering? Ditching all 32-bit app support in iOS 11 is a pretty big deal, but not for the casual user who’s favorite game will no longer work. That’s a hard sell, and I hope the developers of all the apps that I keep get warnings for are ready. I and most other folks will upgrade either immediately or as soon as a lust-inducing iPhone 8, 9, or X show up. There will be great strides made, I’m sure, but will there be game changing updates to any of the OSes? Probably not. But the incremental improvements are very important. I don’t think we’ll see anything earth shattering, but we’ll see a lot of things that wouldn’t have been possible without the foundation that’s been being built up for years. That goes for Siri too, which I expect will have a lot of biggish improvements, possibly enough to justify… wait, I’ll get to that under the hopeful geek portion of this post.

Hardware will be incrementally improved as well. Updated MacBooks and iPads… yes, more than likely. They’ll be faster, yes. Better, yes. Drool-inducing? No. And there won’t be anything from the iPhone or MacPro lines to make our hearts skip a beat either. The best possibility would be an updated iMac – but I think that’s a little way off, but happy if Apple were to surprise us with more than a speed bump.

Services… that’s really where things could be more interesting. Incremental improvements? Of course, but let’s see if there’s something bigger on the horizon.

Okay, let’s forget pragmatism now. What would rock my socks off today?

Software isn’t likely to do it. Sure, there could be a huge augmented reality play afoot, but that’s more likely to be announced alongside the new iPhone later this year. VR ain’t happening, and would also be more likely part of a new hardware push. An iTunes overhaul would be so welcome, but also unlikely. HomeKit for MacOS? Sure, why not. Some deluxe workflows for home automation would be easier to create and troubleshoot with a Mac UI. There might be a new app or two and I expect a lot of the innovation to be in how the various OSes interact with one another and with the cloud – which would lead to a discussion of services.

Hardware that would make me whip out a credit card? Will we see the Siri speaker? That would imply a huge leap forward for Siri’s capabilities. I’ll be a happy guinea pig and continue to put up with it deciding what it understood yesterday is nonsense today. Mac hardware excitement is coming later, although I’d love to see a desktop Magic Keyboard with the toucher strip. That would make me happiest of all. I think we may see that, and we may also see a revised AppleTV. What changes? How about 4k support? Okay, that’s not exciting, just expected. Siri Speaker built in? Alright, that’s more like it. New – wait, time for services.

I think we’ll see that rumored AppleTV cord cutter package today. There have been a few other underwhelming offerings here lately, and I think they maybe have there partners signed on the dotted line. I think we’ll get Amazon Prime Video on the AppleTV too. Increased cloud offerings with bigger storage options at better prices – wait, that’s still incremental. To be worthy of drool they would need to offer unlimited photo storage – you know, like Google already does. And maybe the Apple Music song limit for things stored in iTunes will get raised as high as Amazon already is. Hmm. We are still underwhelmed.

So, Siri, what would be a truly inspiring ‘one more thing’ for Apple to deliver today? I don’t think it exists just yet. I expect we’ll see a new MacPro next year, and I expect that to knock my socks off. This year I expect to have plenty of small new things to play with, a Siri Speaker to try (and try to justify), a new AppleTV and a new Magic Keyboard with TouchBar to add to my iMac. Past that, I really look forward to playing with some new refinements and then getting back to pining for new hardware to come.

Comments are closed.