WWDC 2016

I had the opportunity today to review the Apple WWDC keynote announcements from today through a live blog. For the most part this was a pretty sedate keynote, but there were a couple neat standouts. There were no new hardware announcements this time, focusing the keynote on new software for Apple devices. It does make me a bit wistful for the days when new software was tremendously exciting, but it seems like with all of the products out there, most changes to operating systems aren’t as magical anymore.

First up the new watchOS gave a much needed refresh to the Apple Watch. I’ve never used the device (though I’m excited for my friend Wes to post his review of his trial), and I don’t think that I have any real interest in a watch based device. However, I do admire good design, and the changes that Apple announced today show that they’re trying to evolve and keep pace with competition. In particular I enjoyed the new handwriting interface as a way to input into the watch.

Perhaps the biggest reveal of the day was the name change of OS X to macOS. This was an inevitable change, since eventually the “version 10” moniker was wearing thin on an operating system that has been v.10 since 2001. Fifteen years later OS X is going away, and the desktop operating system is taking on the same nomenclature as the rest of the product lines. As for new features, there was more integration with the rest of the ecosystem (which seemed to be a recurring theme), and the addition of Siri. I’m not sure I’ll ever use Siri on my desktop, but knowing it’s there is cool.

It was cool to see tvOS get a little love, and it sounds like the app store is doing quite well. There’s still not quite enough to get me to upgrade, but I’m sure when my current box dies, I’ll enjoy all the new features of the latest AppleTV. The addition of SlingTV is also somewhat compelling, since we’ve toyed with that service from time to time.

They ended the day with a review of version 10 of iOS and all of the new features coming to that platform. The biggest one for me was the expansion of Siri to include 3rd party apps. Because I live in a multi-platform family we elected for Google services for most of our ecosystem. However, not being able to control Google Play with Siri has been a constant irritation. Hopefully, Google will rectify this now that the API is open, and I can start my radio stations with a simple voice command in the near future.

Overall, the news was fun to watch, and I’m excited to see how Apple continues to develop its platforms.

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