Developing Perspective

#54: First Impressions from the WWDC Keynote


00:00:00   Hello and welcome to Developing Perspective, the developing perspective. It's a podcast

00:00:07   discussing news of note in iOS development, Apple and the like. I'm your host, David Smith.

00:00:08   I'm an independent iOS and Mac developer based in Hardin, Virginia. This week I'm coming

00:00:11   at you live from WWDC in San Francisco. It's issue number 54. All right, so I just got

00:00:19   out of the WWDC keynote and as sort of as expected, it was an excellent show with a

00:00:25   lot of interesting stuff to talk about and I figured I'd do a show right now, just you

00:00:31   know, I'm recording at 12.45, I just had a quick lunch, here I am to talk about what

00:00:35   they talked about, what it means and kind of my initial reactions and I think it's probably

00:00:39   good to do that now before we start to get into the actual NDA stuff that they're going

00:00:44   to talk about later.

00:00:45   So it allows me to kind of just speak freely without having to worry about anything else

00:00:49   because everything I know is public knowledge at this point.

00:00:53   So first, what I thought would be interesting to say is you kind of try and-- Apple is clearly

00:00:58   very intentional about what they say at a keynote.

00:01:01   And what I always think is interesting is to try and understand what is the message

00:01:05   they're trying to get across.

00:01:06   What is the-- if they had a theme statement, if you go back to middle school English, you're

00:01:14   writing a paper, you want to have a theme statement, what is Apple's theme?

00:01:18   I think Apple's theme this year is,

00:01:20   we make the best products in ways

00:01:23   that no one else can even come close to us.

00:01:25   But more importantly, we make the best products

00:01:27   for the best reasons.

00:01:29   And you can see this in the emphasis

00:01:31   they gave both in the introductory video

00:01:33   as well as throughout the presentation about them doing

00:01:37   things that are bettering mankind.

00:01:39   And that's a little bit of marketing,

00:01:41   and that's a little bit of showmanship.

00:01:43   But I think it's also kind of indicative of Apple having

00:01:48   arrived at a point where they are not just making new products.

00:01:54   They are so far ahead in terms of product development

00:01:58   of almost all of their peers or competitors

00:02:00   that they're kind of getting into the next level.

00:02:02   It's kind of like if you have Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

00:02:05   They're totally sorted out all of the basic levels.

00:02:08   And now they're just kind of getting to a point

00:02:10   that they're just trying to make awesome things more awesome.

00:02:13   And they can start addressing meta concerns and problems

00:02:17   and making apps for the blind or the autistic or all these

00:02:21   things that aren't even on the radar for someone else who's

00:02:24   still trying to deal with the basics.

00:02:27   I think that's where Apple is these days.

00:02:29   They have crossed over from the basic concerns into dealing

00:02:34   with some of the more fundamental and impactful

00:02:38   aspects of technology, which is awesome.

00:02:41   And so the next I was going to talk about, OK, so what was

00:02:44   this show about?

00:02:45   We had a refresh to their laptop line.

00:02:48   We had Mountain Lion, and we had iOS 6.

00:02:51   There was no big surprise necessarily in terms of one

00:02:55   more thing or anything like that, which I think is kind of

00:02:57   expected at this point.

00:02:59   It would surprise me if they actually did another kind of

00:03:01   one more thing or something like that where that was kind

00:03:06   of Steve's thing.

00:03:07   And so it wouldn't surprise me that this year it's kind of

00:03:08   like that was just the show, and when it

00:03:10   was over, it was over.

00:03:12   But let's see.

00:03:13   So the laptop refresh, the first 2/3 of that,

00:03:17   fairly mundane, straightforward.

00:03:19   They took the current line of MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros

00:03:23   and just made them a little bit better.

00:03:26   They put Ivy Bridge in and USB 3.0,

00:03:28   dropped the price on the MacBook Airs a little bit, which is nice.

00:03:31   I think it's especially emphasized going after education,

00:03:34   especially as we head towards the college season and back to school.

00:03:38   Schools are wrapping up.

00:03:40   Kids are starting to go to college.

00:03:41   I think they really are trying to put a MacBook Air in every

00:03:45   college student's backpack this fall.

00:03:49   And then of course, there's the big unveil of, hey, we have

00:03:52   our first Retina Mac.

00:03:53   And it's a 15-inch MacBook Pro that is thin, not quite as

00:03:58   thin as an Air, but thin all the same, and has many of the

00:04:03   benefits of a MacBook Pro in a form factor that's more like a

00:04:06   MacBook Air, and of course, it has a Retina screen.

00:04:09   And at a pretty competitive price, that starts at $2,200,

00:04:13   which I would say surprised me.

00:04:15   I think it speaks to the power of their supply chain.

00:04:19   When you compare that to some of the prices of the other

00:04:21   MacBook Pros, it's not that much more, if anything.

00:04:25   But it's a much, much, much, much, much more powerful

00:04:27   machine, and it's doing things that are

00:04:29   just kind of unheard of.

00:04:31   So if I pull up the spec sheet for the MacBook Pros, you can

00:04:36   see that it is just so much more powerful.

00:04:39   And I mean, a retina screen is just totally crazy

00:04:42   in many ways.

00:04:43   But the cost is not that out of reach for a lot of people.

00:04:48   The MacBook Pro starts at $1,800,

00:04:53   and then this new retina one goes to $2,200.

00:04:56   So it's kind of like, for that $400,

00:04:58   you get an amazing machine with a gorgeous display,

00:05:01   similar battery life, similar in many ways.

00:05:04   But it's only $400 more.

00:05:06   That's quite something.

00:05:07   And it's definitely an impressive thing that they did.

00:05:10   I wish they had done more than just a Retina MacBook Pro,

00:05:14   though.

00:05:15   Because this is just for me personally,

00:05:18   but I work primarily at my office.

00:05:20   I mean, I want big screens.

00:05:22   I mean, it's nice.

00:05:23   And I'm sort of tempted to buy it, if only just

00:05:26   because it's awesome.

00:05:27   But I have no real practical use for it, and I doubt I'll get one.

00:05:30   Because that's just too small for the kind of things that I do.

00:05:34   I have two 27-inch displays.

00:05:36   And fair enough, a Retina display actually has more

00:05:38   pixels than a 27-inch cinema display.

00:05:40   But I was a little disappointed by that.

00:05:43   And of course, as I talked about on the show, I really

00:05:46   want a new Mac Pro.

00:05:48   And Mac Pro didn't get updated, which makes me sad.

00:05:51   So that's where we are on the new Mac Pro Pros.

00:05:58   You can just see that I think it's going to sell great.

00:06:00   And I think you'll see in Apple stores all over the

00:06:02   country, you're going to have these great displays.

00:06:05   They're going to be front and center.

00:06:06   You walk in the door, you're going to see those displays,

00:06:08   and they are just going to sell them like they are hot

00:06:10   cakes, because it's a screen technology that no one's ever

00:06:15   seen.

00:06:15   And so you'll see it, and you'll be like, wow, that's

00:06:18   gorgeous.

00:06:18   And they'll have these great demos with HD video and

00:06:20   gorgeous pictures.

00:06:21   And it's a beautiful display, and more power to them.

00:06:27   I really hope they at some point do a retina

00:06:30   Thunderbolt display and an update to update to Mac Pro.

00:06:34   We'll see.

00:06:35   I was a little disappointed, but not too bad.

00:06:38   So next, they jumped over into Mountain Lion.

00:06:40   And so Mountain Lion was not too--

00:06:43   there weren't that many new technologies

00:06:44   or things that they talked about.

00:06:46   I think the new, really previously unannounced stuff

00:06:48   was dictation.

00:06:50   So going after something like Dragon Speech or something

00:06:53   like that, which I think it's nice.

00:06:55   I think I'll look forward and enjoy using that.

00:06:59   Not that often, but I think for a couple of small cases

00:07:02   where it could be really helpful to be able to not rest my arms

00:07:05   and do that.

00:07:06   But it's really not going to be sitting in Xcode dictating

00:07:08   comments or anything.

00:07:10   And I think Facebook integration was new,

00:07:13   which is great and interesting, but ultimately not

00:07:17   that significant.

00:07:18   A few minor updates to Notification Center.

00:07:20   And then probably the most significant part

00:07:22   is that they gave it a date.

00:07:23   So it's going to ship in July.

00:07:25   So at worst, John Siracusa has 19 days or 20 days before he

00:07:33   has to launch his review.

00:07:34   And at best, he has about 52 days to go.

00:07:39   So it's definitely exciting.

00:07:41   I think I'm looking forward to it.

00:07:43   It's like 5 Live, the app I wrote for listening to the 5

00:07:47   by 5 Live shows, is already updated for the Retina screen.

00:07:51   But I've also updated it, or have an update ready, for

00:07:55   making it notification center compliant and all those types of things.

00:07:58   And that's just kind of cool.

00:07:59   I think Mountain Lion is a nice boost and it is pretty wild when they can, you know,

00:08:04   it seems, the thing that seems kind of odd actually is that they made the price $20 and

00:08:09   I almost wonder if this is the same problem that they had back in the day with the iPod

00:08:14   Touches where they couldn't give them software updates because of accounting problems or

00:08:18   rules because it seems like $20 is a very strange amount of money for them to charge

00:08:23   for it.

00:08:24   And I say that because I think what he said is--

00:08:27   it's like, I have to pull up the number,

00:08:28   but Lion has sold millions of copies.

00:08:31   I think it was 27 million copies.

00:08:33   That's the number six in my head.

00:08:34   But whatever it was, it's in the tens of millions of copies.

00:08:39   And at $30 a thing, fair enough, they made whatever,

00:08:44   a couple hundred million dollars, which isn't anything

00:08:47   to raise your nose at.

00:08:49   But in reality, and in the context

00:08:52   of all of what Apple does, that's actually a relatively small amount of money.

00:08:56   And it seems odd, though, that they wouldn't just make it free.

00:09:01   It just seems odd to me that you say, "Okay, yeah, it's awesome.

00:09:04   It's 20 bucks."

00:09:05   It's like, "Well, why don't you just make it free if it's making it $20?"

00:09:08   I feel like they would be better served in terms of driving everybody forward by making

00:09:14   it free.

00:09:15   But that's their prerogative.

00:09:17   They want to make that couple hundred million dollars at the expense of slightly slower

00:09:20   adoption, then that's fair enough.

00:09:24   And then, which is sort of in contrast to where they started

00:09:27   off talking about iOS 5 or iOS 6.

00:09:30   And they started off talking about iOS 6 by

00:09:32   talking about iOS 5.

00:09:33   And how about 80% of users are on iOS 5.

00:09:36   And that's very consistent.

00:09:37   I've written many articles, if you follow my blog, about how

00:09:40   quickly iOS 5 has taken off, and then how over the updates

00:09:44   have really driven ridiculously fast update.

00:09:49   just from regular users, moms and tops, and people who are

00:09:54   just using their iPhone, they're updating at a

00:09:55   tremendous pace.

00:09:56   Part of that, I think, is because it's free.

00:09:58   In contrast to what I was just saying about Mountain Lion.

00:10:01   And then also, it's just a device that

00:10:02   you're always using.

00:10:03   You're constantly picking it up all day.

00:10:05   So if it pops up and says, hey, there's

00:10:06   something new for you.

00:10:07   You're going to see that in a way that you may not

00:10:09   necessarily be able to-- or be interacting with it when

00:10:12   you're on your Mac or PC.

00:10:16   So that was interesting.

00:10:19   And I think it's nice for-- I think they love just sticking their finger in Android's eye

00:10:24   every time they can and talk about how the dairy product that Google shipped, you know,

00:10:30   Ice Cream Sandwich, is only at 7% in the same time it took them to get to Haiti and all

00:10:36   that.

00:10:37   And it's like, okay, I've talked about that for a long time, but it's just-- at some point,

00:10:42   I wonder if Apple will stop doing that.

00:10:44   And I guess maybe it will probably be--it will only do it if the press stopped presenting

00:10:50   this as an equal race of two equals, where in reality, they are so far ahead.

00:10:58   This part of me that almost feels like it's Usain Bolt running against a third grader

00:11:03   in a 100-meter dash.

00:11:05   At some point, that just becomes inappropriate and childish and looks just mean.

00:11:12   And so I kind of wonder at some point if they'll kind of back off of that kind of rhetoric.

00:11:15   But at this point, I think they're just doing it because the press still talks about, "Oh,

00:11:20   Android this, Android that."

00:11:21   And they're like, "Well, that's not really that interesting."

00:11:23   So then, IOS 6, a few things popped out at me.

00:11:27   It seems like they're--you know, the maps is new.

00:11:31   There's a--the passbook stuff looks kind of cool and interesting.

00:11:33   And as a user, I think that'll be cool.

00:11:36   From the developer side, I didn't see that much that was like super cool and interesting,

00:11:40   built-in native pull to refresh was kind of cool.

00:11:43   One thing that I did see on the slide that I think I'll

00:11:45   talk about probably for the rest of the episode is I think

00:11:49   they confirmed the 16 by 9 iPhone for the fall.

00:11:55   And I'll say that because they included one bullet on one of

00:11:59   the slides that says auto layout.

00:12:02   And if you're a Mac developer, you know

00:12:03   exactly what they mean.

00:12:05   So on the Mac, what they recently did-- and I think this

00:12:07   was in Lion was the first time they did it.

00:12:09   They introduced a technology called Auto Layout, which

00:12:11   allows you to dynamically organize views in your view

00:12:15   hierarchy.

00:12:16   And then they'll adjust as you resize the screen.

00:12:19   So an example of this-- or also when you

00:12:21   localize it as well.

00:12:21   So an example of this is you could say, I want this button

00:12:24   to be in the bottom right corner of my app.

00:12:28   I want it to be 50 pixels from the right and 50 pixels from

00:12:30   the bottom.

00:12:31   And then you would create another control and say, I

00:12:33   want this one to be to the left of that control by so

00:12:37   mini pixels or center it this way.

00:12:39   There's all kinds of different constraints that you can build.

00:12:42   And those constraints then allow you to dynamically move

00:12:46   the application size and its frame.

00:12:49   And it'll adjust based on all those constraints to find the

00:12:52   best fit for all of them, which allows you to do--

00:12:56   on the Mac, it's great because obviously, Windows get

00:12:58   resized all the time.

00:13:01   On iOS, though, that technology doesn't make any

00:13:06   sense unless you have multiple sized screens served with a

00:13:11   different amount of content in it.

00:13:13   And I think that, more than anything else, is strong

00:13:16   confirmation that we'll see a 16 by 9 or whatever.

00:13:20   I mean, the 16 by 9 part is up for grabs, but I think we'll

00:13:22   see a different physical sized iPhone screen this fall.

00:13:27   Because Auto Layout would allow you to be very simply and

00:13:31   very easily, rather than giving absolute

00:13:33   locations to things, give relative bounds, and then

00:13:37   everything moves around correctly as it's resized

00:13:39   between the big screen and the small screen.

00:13:41   So that's kind of one of those things.

00:13:42   And I was like, oh, I definitely wanted to sort of

00:13:44   say that on the show before I go into the session this

00:13:49   afternoon in case they give more information about that,

00:13:52   which would indicate that in a way that I couldn't talk about

00:13:54   because of NDA reasons.

00:13:55   But I think that's a very, very, very, very, very strong

00:13:58   indication that that's what's coming.

00:14:00   So anyway, that's kind of it for today's show.

00:14:03   I think I'll-- like I said, I'm going to do a bunch of

00:14:05   episodes throughout the week and just kind of be walking

00:14:08   through other parts of the keynote.

00:14:09   I'm going to probably re-watch it tonight, go through it,

00:14:12   look at all the screens, kind of pausing in different

00:14:14   places, and then be able to hopefully give you a lot more

00:14:19   depth into the keynote.

00:14:21   If not, that doesn't work.

00:14:22   Then maybe I'll shorten that down.

00:14:23   But hopefully I'll have some interesting things to share.

00:14:25   If you have any questions, comments, concerns--

00:14:27   and I always say that.

00:14:29   Questions, comments, concerns, hit me up on Twitter.

00:14:30   underscore David Smith but specifically this week if you have questions or

00:14:33   things that you're interested about that you if you weren't able to get to WWDC

00:14:37   and you're curious about things if it's I'll try as best I can to talk about it

00:14:41   I know a lot of the stuff's under NDA but I'll do my best

00:14:43   otherwise you can always follow the show on dev perspective hope you enjoyed the

00:14:47   keynote and I will talk to you later happy coding