Quick Thoughts on WWDC Keynote 2017

Watching portions of the keynote today, the announcements seemed to come slow and lack some excitement (being over two hours didn't help). But after browsing the Apple website and reading all the changes coming to iOS, macOS, and their new devices, there are some very interesting things ahead.

watchOS

Not a whole lot changed. New watch faces are not interesting, but workout and music feature updates are welcome. Namely: Have a playlist auto-start when you begin a workout. 

tvOS

We get Amazon Prime video now on the Apple TV.

macOS

Apple's choices in naming today left something to be desired. It still feels like High Sierra is a joke. But the updates to Safari, like blocking auto-play video and built-in ad blockers are great. Was hoping for more improvements to Mail, Calendar, and a Magic Keyboard with Touch Bar / Touch ID for the Mac, but no such luck.

iOS

Some design choices will need to be judged upon use (like the new App Store), but there are several standout new features:

  • Do Not Disturb while driving
  • Person-to-Person money transfers via Apple Pay
  • Multi-Room Speaker Control
  • Customizable Control Center

New iMac Pro

Largely the success of this new venture will depend on it's real-world speed ability to satisfy professionals. My creative team was skeptical.

New 10.5" iPad and iOS Updates

If you were waiting to buy an iPad, now is the time. The new 10.5" iPad will be the perfect balance of portability and power. I really enjoy my 9.7" Pro, and after experiencing several of the larger 12.5" models, I can't say I recommend them for people who already own another Mac or computer.

That being said, the new iOS updates for iPad, like drag and drop, dedicated File app that integrates services like Dropbox and Adobe Cloud, and better multitasking, is bringing the iPad closer and closer to parody with the Mac. I'm excited to try these new features come September.

HomePod

Seems like a terrible name, personally, but it's clearly a play to compete with Sonos, Amazon's Echo and Google Home all at once. I've been contemplating Sonos for a couple rooms in my home, but will instead be grabbing one of these in December.

A big question I have is how Siri will deal with commands like "Remind me to...". If it can only be connected to one iCloud account, only one person in the home will be able to use features like that. But since it's billed as a "home device" that Apple clearly wants you to have in every room, it seems they should have a way to create multiple profiles. We'll have to wait until the fall for that answer.