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WWDC 2013: A cynic’s summary

Posted by Sam Golden on 12th June 2013

Monday saw the start of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference. The event offers developers the chance to get an in-depth look at Apple’s new operating systems – OS X for computers and iOS for mobile devices.

Taking place in San Francisco across five days, Apple’s WWDC claims to be focused on letting developers meet Apple engineers and take “apps to the next level”.

On the first day of the conference Apple wowed the (admittedly fanboy-filled) crowd, with a host of flashy services and functions that the general public won’t be using until the Autumn.

As usual the international media all had their eyes on Apple’s conference. I’ve not been able to pin down why yet. I’m leaning on simple laziness, some kind of ulterior motive or perhaps plain ignorance. It often seems to be the case that Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook gain a share of coverage that is over the odds, especially around events like this.

I mean it’s not like there are a ton of amazing start-ups out there changing the world right now…

Anyway, despite this slightly half-baked rant, I succumbed to the World’s peer pressure and decided there must be a reason why everyone cares so much. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I figured it out.

‘Highlights’ included:

A new operating system that doesn’t play by the rules

Almost exactly like the old operating system but called OS X Mavericks. Apple has pulled a bit of a wildcard move here and decided that naming its operating systems after big cats was a bit silly. Instead it’s opting for Californian place names. My vote’s on OS X Compton next, hopefully Apple will include NWA’s first album on iTunes. I’ve not got a copy with super strict DRM yet.

Apparently the best feature of the new OS is the ability to make you more organised, through the addition of tabs and tags in Finder. MORE TABS, MORE TAGS, IT’S ALL GOING ON!

OS X Mavericks also uses similar multi-tasking technology as previous Apple mobile operating systems, allowing apps to run in a low power state for almost instant recall… this could be quite useful.

A new computer that’s better than older ones

Imagine if your brand image was so sticky and so ‘cool’ you could have the entirety of your target audience glued to the screen every time you unveiled a new product. Oh wait, you don’t have to imagine, it happened last night.

The Mac Pro has had a new snazzy design; the first time since 2003. Now instead of resembling an industrial electronic cheese grater, it looks like some kind of alien artillery shell – polished, black and… pretty weird.

Anyway, apparently it’s FASTER and – according to Phil Schiller – more innovative than his ass, or something.

No prices or release dates have been announced yet, but what we do know is there’s more processing power, memory and ports than the last model… I guess that’s kind of innovative.

iCloud now kind of useful

Still nowhere near as accessible or cross compatible as 99% of the other cloud hosting providers out there, but iCloud now has iWork integration and you can edit your Microsoft Office documents on it.

Also, in what can only be described as underwhelming, iCloud can now be accessed on Windows. Admittedly the iCloud keychain sounds pretty nifty but following the latest news in the world of international cyber espionage, I’m not sure if I’m sold.

A ‘new’ mobile operating system

According to Apple, iOS7 is the result of  a major redesign– surely by this point they’re just parodying themselves? iOS7 promises ‘thinner fonts, flatter images and subtler animation.’
In fact, the only thing that stood out to me is it looks like the OS is moving closer to aligning with Microsoft’s recent Windows 8 redesign, mainly made up of ‘thinner fonts, flatter images and subtler animations’. To be fair it does look better, but “completely redesigned” come on! I might be eating my own words on its release but, at the moment, just look…

Screenshots via Know Your Mobile

It will also include a brand new futuristic Control Center that can be accessed anywhere. This gives users unlimited power in their hands with immediate access to their volume, flashlight and… wait for it… airplane mode.

Last but not least

It was announced that everybody’s favourite creepy helper robot, Siri, has got a brand new voice with added monotony. Not only that, but it’s now available in creepy robo-female and creepy robo-male mode.


Sam Golden