Monday, June 10, 2013

What to expect at WWDC 2013


Today is a big day for those of us who work in or around the Apple ecosphere.  It's the World Wide Developers Conference (aka "WWDC", and also erroneously known as "The WWDC").  

This is one of several points in the year where Apple unveils new technologies like the next iOS version, but the reason this one is so important is because the programmers who make the apps you love are brought up to speed in the next few days, and that has a knock-on effect for both desktop, and mobile apps - as well as desktop/laptop hardware.  Also, this is the time where iCloud and "back end" stuff is unveiled.

Traditionally, Steve Jobs would do one of his "keynote" speeches here.  In fact, the software "Keynote" (Apple's version of PowerPoint) was largely created to allow Jobs to do these presentations.  These days, it's Tim Cook that does them - however, this year were likely to see more people up at the front of stage as the likes of Sir Jony Ive, Craig Federighi and Phil Schiller establish the prominence of their roles more.  

I'm not going to pontificate about what should or should not be unveiled - there's plenty of articles out there about that today - but I do feel it's important to point out the significance of the event.

* This is a very big event for programmers, but the media only focuses on the keynote presentation the next three days are largely ignored.
* The iOS updates are the biggest of the year.
* The hardware updates are likely to be the major portion for the year, excluding iPhone and iPad, which have their own event around September, ready for the Christmas rush.
* This year you won't see Scott Forstall, since he got fired over the maps unveiled at this conference last year.
* This is the first time we'll see what Sir Jony Ive has done to the user interface.  Bear in mind that unlike Jobs, Ive is not a fan of "skeuomorphic" UI features (i.e. leather toolbars, fake linen backgrounds, etc).  He's likely to go for something much cleaner (remember - Ive designed the iPhone, iPod, iPad, Unibody Mac's, etc - he's going to head in the "minimalist" direction.)