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WWDC 2014 Looms Large and What do we Think we Know


WWDC 2014 Looms Large and What do we Think we Know

As of this writing, we sit on the verge of the World Wide Developers Conference (2014) to be held in San Franscisco once again from June 2 to June 6. There’s a lot of pentup anticipation around this conference much having to do with Apple’s CEO Tim Cook who set expectations at the beginning of the year that this year, it seemed in particular, there was a lot to be excited about.

To be sure, in an article titled “Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘We have a lot to look forward to in 2014’“ Tim Cook set up expectations that the Apple faithful would have been more than too happy to grab onto. In fact, in an article titled “Is Tim Cook going to break his promise? So far in 2014, Apple has delivered bupkis in terms of new products“ dated Tuesday, April 1, 2014 questions were being raised about the exact nature not only of deliverables but for that matter any deliverable.

A Lot is Riding on this Years WWDC

In this article I will look at some of the facts, the promises, expectations created and does all remain good should my understanding of the now key thing is delivered. Sylvia Plath once said “If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.

However, as is typical of the world of Apple it would be impossible to expect nothing. Yet, It is at the same time unwise to set expectations with respect to Apple unrealistically high; most especially Apple. Tim Cook’s line noted above “We have a lot to look forward to in 2014“ at Apple, for a majority of companies, might not be anything to be concerned about but in the case of Apple, unless the deliverables live up to the hype, could be very problematic to say the least. This belies the fact that you would want to ensure that reality lines up.

The Rumour Mill has been in Full Swing with One thing to Show

Apple’s rumour mill has this year been just as in full swing as any other year in its history and possibly even more so to this fact. There are two very prominent reasons for this:

  • Nothing has been delivered since Steve Job’s passing that has not been a result of his handiwork. The market is looking for something that breaks from this tradition
  • the promise of great things from Tim Cook for 2014 has only stirred the pot further.

As is typical, there have been some pretty great rumours.

MacBook Air Updated Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Putting rumoured aside let’s look at the one deliverable that was almost a non-starter. It was an update to the MacBook Air. At the height of this rumour we saw at least an updated MacBook Air with Retina display for the same cost.

Although there was delivered only last week an updated MacBook Air it was marginally updated and continued to be delivered without a Retina display. In addition, the price was dropped into PC pricing range.

This is a good update but when your expectations are for a retina display it disappoints.

The Mill has not lacked for Rumours but…

The rumour mill has not lacked for good rumours many of which numerous people have been hoping for. As an example, there have been no lack of iPhone 6 rumours. Personally, I got sick of this one and there wasn’t a day went by we didn’t see yet another rumour for some incarnation of an iPhone 6 makeover. Mostly these consisted of big screened beasts. Non of these could beat the iPhone 5 as far as I was concerned egonomically.

The iPhone 6 was at least a bigger screened phoned and that for me was a complete non-starter. What I like about the 5 is it feels just the right size; it feels like a phone. The second thing that was bothersome was this was a Samsung me too phone. So it appeared Samsung was to win on two fronts.

The One Rumour with Such Great Promise; the AppleTV

The AppleTV is now Apple’s number one best seller in terms of year over year growth. It has moved from its hobby status to full fledged product. People love their AppleTVs. This box could do for Apple in the entertainment business what the iPod did for music via the iTunes Store.

Rumoured to finally coming out with some Killer content, it appears this has happened again. There are few that would not buy in to Apple’s content model. Secondly, Tim Cook would have been able to step out there and said that he delivered in his own right.

Once again, from all sources it would appear this is not likely to happen. This is very unfortunate. There is definitely the pent up demand. With the addition of exceptional content:

  • the AppleTV would have finally arrived unto its own right
  • Tim Cook would have delivered something very Tim Cook
  • The consumer is ready

If Apple is not careful the user will choose an Amazon box or the person who can provide what the consumer wants

OSX Likely to emerge Victorious

The one rumour that will likely emerge victorious and which was never really bandi’d around but which is ultimately very logical is the emphasis on OSX. Under this scenario OSX rises with a new sheet of clothing. The goal here is to bring the OS interface in line with IOS 7. The under the hood workings would remain OSX but the interface would be pure IOS 7.

An exceptional choice no doubt. The Apple user comes out in a very strong position. IOS’ and OSX’s user interface would be consistent with neither giving up unique strengths. This could likely put Tim Cook on the map but it is more than likely to do that for Jony Ives.

In many ways, Tim Cook is the winner here. Putting the Apple user ahead in the game speaks volumes for his character. However, it would still be nice to see at least that AppleTV rumour come to light.

The Gentler Side of Technology that continues to Liberate

Some have consistently worried that we are nothing more than slaves to our technologies and technology has this potential as does any man made thing to enslave. Yet, what we will see at WWDC will be such as to produce the opposite. That is, if something can be designed and delivered in a fashion that meets needs in the most usable if not fun way, this is the manner in which it will be done.

It would remain nice to see some of the exciting rumours brought to life but not at the expense of usablility and maybe this partially explains why some things will not make it to us.

I will continue to look for an AppleTV that provides astounding content. However, I am more than delighted to have OSX repackaged in fashion that makes the most sense to the line. OSX is a fantastic product and has only gotten better with time. This upgrade, of course rumoured, continues to make WWDC an exciting venue. We will know shortly what is to be and not.

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