Revisiting the Pre-WWDC 2018 Thoughts

Below are the items I listed in my quickfire Pre-WWDC 2018 Thoughts along with how they shaped up through the keynote. Along with unsolicited commentary.

  1. Tucked or untucked?
    • Mostly tucked I think. but considering there were more women presenters than men on stage, I think this question will be shelved in future. Apple is making good on its promise to become more diverse.
  2. Big Siri improvements and announcements. (Will we see the new Siri chief?)
    • No Siri chief, probably too soon. Besides, he has far too much work to do!
    • Siri had some significant stage time, especially with Siri Shortcuts being demonstrated and mentioned several times through the keynote.
  3. Widespread improvements and announcements for AR, Machine Learning and photo/video features (paving the way for new iPhones coming out later this year).
    • Yes. Plenty of AR announcements on iOS. Some solid stage time spent on ML and plenty of announcements regarding Photos, photo sharing and FaceTime.
  4. Dejarik” AR demo – please! (The space chess game from Star Wars)
    • Sadly not…
  5. Increased security and encryption. As well as increased privacy controls and awareness (Trump/FBI and China proofing).
    • Security, check. Encryption, check. Privacy, double check!
    • Apple launched some shots across the Facebook and ad-tracking bows. Safari doubling down on privacy and making it increasingly difficult for ad tech to find a foothold.
    • Will be interesting to see how the App Limits and Activity Reports have an effect on apps that we waste time in.
    • I wonder what the effect will be on the Facebook apps if in-app usage lowers due to App Limits as well as the curtailing of tracking on the web? Being squeezed from two sides.
    • My guess – not much effect on the giants (likely severe on those in the middle-ground).
  6. Increased and improved Health features.
    • Many announcements here for the Apple Watch.
    • The new Workouts features look great! Especially in context of running with Target Pace, Cadence and Rolling Miles (I hope they have km too?).
    • The Competition features also look appealing for those who are holding each other accountable in their fitness goals.
  7. Will iTunes finally be split into multiple apps?
    • No… not just yet. But… Apple Books, Apple Music, Apple Podcasts… Apple Video? We are almost there if you squint at it.
  8. New apps and services to bolster the burgeoning “Apple Services” narrative.
    • Definitely a lot of focus on Apple apps such as News, Stocks and the all new Apple Books.
    • No mention of Clips though?
  9. Increased iCloud storage tiers and options (iCloud TimeMachine anyone?).
    • No and no.
    • I think iCloud Storage is likely making up a decent chunk of the revenue in the Apple’s service narrative and to increase the tier sizes and lower the price may have a negative effect on that story just as Wall Street is getting on board.
    • That being said, an iCloud based TimeMachine-like backup service would be additive, not subtractive. Is iCloud Storage not already doing this you say? I am speaking in the macOS context here, so no. Effectively it would be doing what a service like Backblaze already does.
  10. Improved/re-designed Mac App Store (not expecting Mac Pro updates just yet…)
    • Yes. Called it!
    • Will be interesting to see how this fares “second time around”. Big questions around sandboxing.
    • Certainly interesting to see Microsoft and Adobe on board. However, Lightroom is not, to my mind, one of the bigger Adobe apps. Adobe testing the water maybe?
    • Having bonafides such as Panic and BareBones in the store are a vote of confidence.
    • I believe Sketch is still missing?
  11. Apple TV news to lay foundations for whatever streaming plans Apple has.
    • Well… I don’t know the American cable market well enough to know whether Charter Spectrum is a big or small fish… but judging by the lack of crowd reaction it seemed like a very small fish. I think the number was 50 million subscribers? Which does not sound very big in comparison to the US market. It’s progress I suppose. Out of all the segments, it really felt like Apple had to wring as much as they could out this segment without much to work on.
    • Yes, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos are crowd pleasers, especially with the free upgrades (but we knew these were coming right?).
    • Apple spent an awful lot of time on what amounts to very expensive and very beautiful screensavers.
    • Out of all the segments, this section reminded me of John Gruber’s “how Apple rolls” column the most. Progress, no matter how slow it may seem in the moment, Apple keep plugging away at the features.
  12. Apple TV games announcements?
    • No. For a developer conference it seemed the Apple TV segment was devoid of any developer related news. Surely… surely this is coming? All Metal and no cigar.
  13. Incremental improvements for Apple Maps.
    • Not that I can remember. But the announcements that third party navigation apps will be available in CarPlay sure roused a cheer. (Louder than the Charter Spectrum one I think)
  14. Any mentions of this possible MacOS/iOS platform unification?
    • Yes! Big news!
  15. HomePod love? (Now that AirPlay 2 and audio-pairing just got released – what next for HomePod)
    • Well… Siri Shortcuts on HomePod, so yes.
  16. Fruits of the Workflow and Shazaam acquisitions?
    • No mention of Shazaam, maybe these integrations are coming with the iPhone announcements later this year?
    • As for Workflow, I suspect they had a hand in a lot of the Siri Shortcuts, but this is just speculation.
  17. China, China, and more China.
    • Didi mention! Claiming it.
  18. More diversity on stage.
    • Big yes! Never mind Tim and Craig running on and off stage, we had Jules cycling on stage!
  19. Everything faster and more battery efficient. (So that products later this year are as thin or thinner than ever).
    • YES!
  20. Extra points for every mention of security, privacy, machine learning, AR.
    • All of the above (but thematically, these were easy calls, so no kudos here.)

Out of 20 items listed, only 18 of which could really be said to be predictions: I score myself at 12/18. Not too shabby!

Pre-WWDC 2018 Thoughts

Just some quickfire thoughts before WWDC gets on the go. Broadly, I think (or is that hope?) some big themes will be:

  • Tucked or untucked?
  • Big Siri improvements and announcements. (Will we see the new Siri chief?)
  • Widespread improvements and announcements for AR, Machine Learning and photo/video features (paving the way for new iPhones coming out later this year).
  • Dejarik” AR demo – please! (The space chess game from Star Wars)
  • Increased security and encryption. As well as increased privacy controls and awareness (Trump/FBI and China proofing).
  • Increased and improved Health features.
  • Will iTunes finally be split into multiple apps?
  • New apps and services to bolster the burgeoning “Apple Services” narrative.
  • Increased iCloud storage tiers and options (iCloud TimeMachine anyone?).
  • Improved/re-designed Mac App Store (not expecting Mac Pro updates just yet…)
  • Apple TV news to lay foundations for whatever streaming plans Apple has.
  • Apple TV games announcements?
  • Incremental improvements for Apple Maps.
  • Any mentions of this possible MacOS/iOS platform unification?
  • HomePod love? (Now that AirPlay 2 and audio-pairing just got released – what next for HomePod)
  • Fruits of the Workflow and Shazaam acquisitions?
  • China, China, and more China.
  • More diversity on stage.
  • Everything faster and more battery efficient. (So that products later this year are as thin or thinner than ever).
  • Extra points for every mention of security, privacy, machine learning, AR.

These are all wild guesses. As always, it will be exciting to see what is coming down the Apple pipes!