My WWDC experiences

I'm usually pretty good at travelling but have been hit pretty hard by jet lag on this trip. I arrived in San Francisco on Saturday and barely slept on either of the first two nights. It's now Tuesday morning and this is the first time that I've actually felt fully functional. 

On Monday morning, I was awake pretty early and got into the line for the keynote before 7am. As far as I can tell, everyone who attends will fit into the keynote room but queuing up is just part of the experience. It was good fun, I met a few nice people, and I might even go earlier if I make it to the conference again another year. 

I came away with two major impressions from the keynote.  Firstly, the rumour sites are pretty effective now and there was very little announced that hadn't already come to light already. The biggest cheer of the day seemed to be for the open sourcing of Swift but I couldn't tell if that was because it was a big deal or because it was unexpected. Probably a bit of both. 

My second impression was that the theme for the keynote might easily have been "Cupertino, start your photocopiers". This is probably a harsh assessment, but there were so many announcements where I thought that the feature announced was very similar to things announced by Microsoft, Google, Pebble, Flipboard, Spotify, or even MySpace. 

There is a new feature where you can easily move a window to fill the left or right half of the screen. WIndows has had that for a few years now and it a little overdue on OS X. The News app felt a bit like Apple's version of Flipboard. The time travel feature on the Apple Watch felt like the recently announced Pebble Time (although I expect Apple probably this feature in the pipeline before the Pebble announcement). There were a number of features that were straight out of Android. 

There were countless features like these where I thought they were very similar to features from other companies. I guess this is what happens in tech as there are only a few ways to design many user-facing features. 

This use of features from other companies was acknowledged during the keynote by Craig Federighi where several times he sarcastically said "look at all that innovation". That usually got a good laugh from the crowd.

WWDC is a developer conference so it wasn't surprising that there were many new features for them. I need to look through a lot of the documentation but the search and Siri integration both look promising. The developer-centric nature of the conference means that features that are important to consumers aren't necessarily announced at WWDC because of the long lead time before release. Those sorts of features are usually held back until the iPhone or iPad events later in the year. 

That's probably all I can mange to write at the moment. Will try to write a little more about Apple Music later in the week.