Well, that was a very welcome update to OSX and iOS. With the increased integration, it’s making it harder for me as a Mac user to continue shunning iPhone. I’m still headed for an Android phone this year, and in two years’ time, when my contract is up, then perhaps I’ll consider the iPhone if Project Ara flops and HTC collapses.
There was great humour throughout the keynote presentation, especially from Craig Federighi, whom, let’s be honest, took up most of the time on stage anyway. I prefer his style to the not-so-sly digs at Apple’s competitors, because it does make Apple look arrogant. But hey, I guess they’ve earned that right?
The main draw for WWDC ’14 for me was OSX 10.10 Yosemite. Mavericks is already a pretty darn good OS, and Yosemite improves on that quite well. The change to flat icons and translucency everywhere is a beautiful and welcome change, although there are apparently question marks over the font choice. Given I’m not using a small screen, the issues with Helvetica Neue on a tiny iPhone screen don’t really affect me.
I love the idea of a Dark Mode, which is far less straining to the eyes. I have Tranquillity installed, but I don’t use it often because it inverts ALL colours. Hopefully the Dark Mode will be more discerning and can prove a pleasing option.
The change to Notification Center is welcome too, making it more than just a Growl replacement. The addition of widgets might spell the end of Dashboard for good, given its convenience at the side of the screen. Spotlight’s update resembles Alfred awfully, and if they allow for custom search options, then I will wholeheartedly buy into Spotlight now. This is on top of its pretty darn good integration with the system for massive search options that trump Alfred just that little bit.
iCloud finally became useful with iCloud Drive, turning it into a proper cloud service. Its integration with Mail is also finally here via MailDrop, although Gmail and Google Drive did it a long time ago, and I can’t see myself turning back to using Mail at all.
Safari’s integration with Spotlight is okay, and its RSS feed integration is kewl, but I’m already using Feedly, so it’s a bit too late. Also, FireFox and Chrome did Private Windows a heck of a long time ago, although I do like the tab view in Safari where they group tabs from the same website. If the extensions in Safari were better, I’d switch, but I like customising my browser heavily, and FireFox suits me better. It even has Tab Groups which I can organise when I have a ton of tabs open, which is bloody useful at times.
The ability for iMessages to pick up Android SMSes via the iPhone, and for Macs to pick up and even MAKE calls is brilliant, and it’s really, REALLY tempting to go with an iPhone. But I’ll have to wait and see what the iPhone 6 is like before making any decisions. Again, I don’t particularly like the lack of customisability of the iOS screens, so it’s Android for now.
The interactive notifications on lockscreen and in other apps of iOS 8 is a good idea, though I’m not sure if Android 4.4.2 KitKat has that already. Widgets in the Notification Center of the phone is too awkward IMO, so again, Android for now. The revamp of Messages is a shot at Hangouts, Whatsapp and SnapChat, and I think it’s pretty good going by Apple to integrate all of the best things from each messaging app together.
The voice messaging capabilities of Messages basically blurs the line between phone calls and SMSes, and it’s also a very nice touch from Apple. They really do know how to pull things out of the bag that you never knew you needed until it appears in their devices, and now we can’t live without it. It won’t be long before other messaging apps come up with similar add-ons.
As for the current rage over health tech, I think Apple has stolen a march on Android and Samsung. With the HealthKit, it’s a far better way of monitoring health than silly gimmicks like the IR sensor at the back of the GS5. It’s a clever way to tie people even deeper into the system, but when the system is this good, who’d fight it?
Security seems to be a huge factor in this keynote, with numerous mentions of security of data on the phone. Given the recent NSA spying scandals, it’s no surprise that Apple are harping on their security. It all sounds very nice and pretty, but I haven’t had problems with my HTC One X, so it’s a bit meh.
The end of the keynote was all developer stuff, stuff I can’t really appreciate. But it’s clear from this keynote that Apple triumphs in the OS space once again. Only the customisability of Android and its interface keeps me away from iOS, although I’m starting to warm to it ever since iOS 7. I think it won’t be long now before my tech goes fully Apple.
I just hope I haven’t given up hope on great music and end up buying Beats to match my Apple products.