The buzz after Apple’s WWDC 2018 keynote: Ho hum

I’ve been chatting-up developers in the food line.

I asked them if they were happy. A couple guys with Russian accents said they were. They liked dark mode and the new kits (ML and AR). Another guy, from Microsoft, liked the app store redesign. 

Craig Federighi’s hint that there would be, maybe next year, a path to migrate iOS apps to MacOS got a nod or two. But nobody I met had any plans to take that path. Why would you move from a huge installed base—the world’s most profitable—to one that’s orders of magnitude smaller, and shrinking?

Apple may have killed a few developers today. Bitmoji, Zelle, AirMeasure were mentioned as companies at risk being trampled underfoot. And with Walkie-Talkie, Apple sucked the oxygen out of what might have been—with better APIs—a whole category of third-party money makers.

Asked if anybody was disappointed, Eli Sapir, CEO of Apptopia, stepped right up. “I’m disappointed in everything!” he said. “There was no improvement in the core apps—Phone, Contacts, Calendar—the apps that everybody uses. Instead we get useless things like Animoji and f…ing Memoji that nobody uses.”

Others defended Apple. There are good business reasons, I was told, for the company to move into spaces currently occupied by popular millennium apps like Snapchat.

But that’s what I call feature-matching, which is not quite the same thing as innovation.

12 Comments

  1. David Emery said:

    Based on the summaries I’ve seen, there’s some potential significant new features. AR has a lot of potential, but it’ll be up to App developers to see if it actually works. (I’m thinking about Haptics, that got a lot of buzz but in my experience hasn’t really worked out.)

    From a user perspective, the only really interesting thing was Group FaceTime. I was particularly underwhelmed by the Mac OS announcements. Was there any increased commitment to sw quality? (The Verge article on this was spot-on, I thought: https://www.theverge.com/2018/6/4/17419154/apple-wwdc-2018-ios-12-mac-macos-rebuild-trust )

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    June 4, 2018
  2. John Butt said:

    I agree fully with Eli Sapir, there has not been an update of any magnitude in Numbers for years.
    However it is good to finally se an upgrade to search on photos and the app store, but soooo late.

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    June 4, 2018
  3. Fred Stein said:

    A lot to like, especially things for kids and millennials, Even if they are gimmicky, the features will drive stickiness.

    Performance enhancement – OMG YES!

    Improvements for Apple Watch are a big deal, because Apple may well have an insurmountable lead in this category. It will tough for anyone to catch up with Apple’s Watch OS and chip lead – even more so since Samsung has fragmented with Tizen. The long arc of computing says that leadership in the next size down counts for a lot.

    That said, I agree with Eli, regarding Calendar and Contacts. Not mentioned Siri still does not understand very much, either words on meanings; Apple Maps still lag Google. I find things in Google Maps that I cannot find in Apple Maps. Maybe this is why CarPlay had to integrate Waze and Google Maps.

    I was hoping for big news on HealthKit.Tim Cook had been talking this up for quite some time.

    I look forward to the Stocks App on the Mac. Running more iOS Apps on Macs – super.

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    June 4, 2018
  4. John Konopka said:

    Siri seemed to get a big upgrade in that it can be customized. I’m interested in seeing how that plays out. Does that mean I can expand the vocabulary?

    The new dark mode and quick look and stacks for macOS will be useful.

    The performance enhancements for older phones seemed impressive. It should be good for developers if people are happier using apps on older phones.

    The external GPUs look interesting. The performance is orders of magnitude better than the machines I used to make a living programming.

    The video wall was awesome. I’m guessing that was using multiple projectors.

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    June 4, 2018
  5. Gianfranco Pedron said:

    “Eli Sapir, CEO of Apptopia, stepped right up. “I’m disappointed in everything!””

    That’s his prerogative. When life throws you a lemon, Eli, don’t throw it back. Make lemonade … and sell it.

    … meanwhile, the quiet kid in the photo above, wearing torn jeans, is already downloading iOS 12 Beta and will probably be tweaking his apps during his flight home in his private jet.

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    June 5, 2018
    • John Konopka said:

      Every Apple keynote is greeted by disappointment. My favorite Joy Of Tech cartoon shows a totally dejected guy leaning against a wall. An observer asks “What’s wrong with him? Apple just announced a cool new product.” The second observer explains “It wasn’t a Phaser.” (As. I remember it.)

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      June 5, 2018

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