I’ve been reflecting on the recent tour de force developer conference held by Apple: the WWDC. CEO Tim Cook and his team presented a sweeping overhaul of the software systems that power the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers.
Since Steve Jobs’s death, Apple seemed to be running on fumes. A new phone, a new Mac, etc., but nothing powerful or innovative was presented to us technologists. Until now that is. WWDC was a groundbreaking event that unveiled new and powerful software that proves that we’re clearly in a post-Jobs Apple era. That era looks bright.
The details are unimportant, but a few points:
- Apple has changed its spots when it comes to 3rd party access to the Apple operating systems. Once closed and limited, it is now open and agnostic. Android’s lead in this key area evaporated instantly;
- Apple also has doubled down on the cloud as the technology to link its devices. Historically the cloud has been a blind spot and thusly a weakness. If Apple delivers on its promises, the cloud could become a key strength;
- Lastly – Apple remains miles behind Windows on the desktop scene, with only 80 million Macs worldwide vs 1.2 billion Windows machines. I’ve always found the Mac desktop a mismash of styles and user experience (UX) and wondered why people like it so much. No more. With the latest release the UX has been fixed. It’s now neat and tidy and coherent finally worthy to run on their gorgeous MacBook designs. I might even buy one!
In a stroke then, Apple has unified and opened its platforms in a way not seen since the heyday of IBM in the 1970s.
If Apple can pull it off and deliver as advertised, it is a computing revolution. I can’t wait to see Microsoft and Google’s response.