I am not going to rehash everything that was announced today, but I want to touch a some important things introduced and provide my thoughts on those — not the details you are likely to already know about.
Mac OS X Lion
None of the blogs that I was following made mention of this being 10.7, it sounded like Apple simply referred to it as ‘Lion’ and I find that very telling. In that it is the most consumer friendly, non-geeky, way to refer to an OS. It also is a direct shot at Microsoft’s calling the next Windows release: ‘8’.
The biggest thing with Lion has to be that it even further propels the ‘it just works’ mantra. If you step back and look at Lion, UI candy aside, what you see is an OS that has been made for “normal” folks.
That is: auto-saving and versioning will take the OS to a whole other level in the general consumer mind. Add to that Mac App Store availability (instant gratification) and the price of $29 — adoption will soar.
These small changes, in my eye, are massive and strong reasons why Apple will continue wild growth of the Mac platform. Most telling though is that Lion feels more like iOS 4 — in that iOS 4 didn’t truly shine until developers updated their apps, in the same vein I think Lion will really shine once developers start pushing out those updates. (Support for versions and auto saving and such.)
iOS 5 is not only a big leap, but it is a massive pole vault ahead of where every other competitor currently is. There is far too much to touch on, so I want to touch on my three favorite things.
Camera. I can’t tell you how amazing the quick access and shutter controls for the camera are going to be. This is going to be one of the most useful new features in iOS 5 for every user.
Twitter is the biggest thing in iOS 5 as far as people outside the mobile industry are concerned. I personally think this is the catalyst that Twitter was waiting for to propel their user base forward. This is going to be big. Many don’t think this will drive adoption, I think this will really drive adoption — time will tell.
iMessage. This is a big deal because it basically offers a better, more secure, messaging system for iOS users. It is also free with a data plan. Thus you could theoretically rid yourself of overpriced text messaging plans and just use iMessage.
This also is a major play against Twitter DMs, as the system looks far more robust and better suited to the type of DMs that I regularly send.
The best part is that this comes to the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
No doubt that OTA updates and backups is huge, but of the two, backups is the bigger deal. Yes, OTA updates is important, but not nearly as important as knowing you lost nothing the next time you drop your phone in water.
The biggest thing about iCloud is its integration to the devices. Meaning that it is not just about iOS, but about iOS and Mac OS being equal in the eyes of iCloud. This makes the entire thing simple.
Most cloud based services are pull services, where you need to go get the data you want from the cloud. Dropbox is the notable exception to this rule and it is also the exact same solution that Apple came up with.
As most dropbox users will tell you: Dropbox is pure magic. I expect the same out of Apple with iCloud.
A Bit More
Lastly, I want to share these tweets that sum up today’s WWDC pretty well:
Mike Lee: “I can finally redownload my lost iTMS purchases. Yay.”
Shawn Blanc: “I’m gonna miss the square toggle switch in iOS.”
Rands: “This is what happens when you’re no longer beholden to cables, carriers, and labels. #WWDC”
Dustin Curtis: “Apple just pissed off: Dropbox, Sparrow, Instapaper, Readability, Remember the Milk, Facebook, RIM, & the carriers. Well done.”
Fraser Speirs: “Lion “only in the Mac App Store” <- sound of a million sysadmins killing themselves.”
Marco Arment: “Shit.”