Apple WWDC 2011 – Here Comes The Cloud!

Another June, another WWDC. What do we have to show for it? Well, quite a bit.

Lets start with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion – iOS coming to the desktop.
There is no simpler way of putting it. Since Apple’s ‘Back To The Mac’ event with the preview of Lion we was the introduction multi-touch gestures becoming de-facto with using a mac. This makes sense given that 73% of Apples Mac sales are notebooks and they all come with the fantastic glass track pad. For me, this is the most exciting with Lion and the most annoying, because now I have to get a Magic Track Pad for when i’m working desk bound. Any one want to buy a pristine condition Magic Mouse?

For more information on OS X 10.7 Lion, Scope out Apple’s site.

Next Up – iOS 5

Now, most sites got their views on WWDC live last night, but i had a more pressing engagement – getting the dev build of iOS 5.

This was not wasted time!

I’ve been using iOS 5 on my iPhone 4 today and the two things I talked about here have been addressed. Firstly, and most importantly, notifications. I’ve been in and out of meetings today and during which I’ve been able to glance at my phone and see the person that’s been in touch and their message and then quickly interact with the notification. The biggest surprise? The fact that existing apps, already work with it! This isn’t something that requires a change to the apps, it is the old push notifications, just finally, done properly.
This isn’t perfect mind – there is nothing to let you know you have notifications waiting. Prime real-estate in the top bar where the navigation and play icons sit. I venture a bet there will be something there in coming builds.

The second thing? the UI. Yep, there have been a few minor tweaks that have freshened things up a bit. It all seems a bit quicker (if buggy, but hey, fist Dev Beta) and the other features I’ve fawned over today?:

  • New, Faster, Hardware button using, Editing in picture roll, camera app.
  • The fact that you can use your device while it’s syncing (its slow, but enough to text on)
  • The split keyboard on the iPad – thats just great

There will be more with the coming builds, but I do hope Apple push dev’s hard here with iOS % to get this our before Fall – it deserves to launch before the iPhone 4S (Yes, i said iPhone 4S).

And Finally, iCloud

It took Apple the screw up of MobileMe for iCloud to be born. For that we can be thankful. Apple are in a unique position. They control their hardware (for the purpose of this article I’m skipping past hackentoshes and the dev team) and their OS’s. They have the easiest set of devices to synergize (seriously, go in to an Apple store and you’ll see that all the devices they sell, can fit on one of those tables).

So whats the big deal and what was the problem in the first place? Well first problem was the price $99 per year, for email, calendars, contacts and images that synced – all things Google offered for free. Painted as ‘Exchange for the rest of us’ was the wrong tact. Why? because no body wanted exchange for the rest of us! Things like that were for the IT admins in the office to fix. We we wanted is for apple to stick with the old mantra of theirs “It Just Works”. That is what iCloud really is. It takes the thinking out of the cloud. Your contacts, you pictures, you calendars, your mail – all backed up in the cloud and ready for you to sign in to a new device.
The same comes with the things you’ve bought with Apps and Books and Music.

And Music

iTunes Match. This is only the beginning I think. So, for $24.99 a year (A YEAR! – which will probably just have the $ exchanged for a £ here in the UK) Apple reads your music collection and anything that you have that they also have, get linked in a big list stored on their servers (in the iCloud) and when you want a track on your device, you just click to download from the cloud. Nicely if Apple’s copy is a better quality one that yours, they will replace it with a 256Kbps version (read: lots nicer to listen too).
Now there is no talk about music that has been downloaded and not paid for, but as it has been raised a few times already, $24.99 a year may be the way that we pay our pennance for downloading and we are effectively, legalising our content.

Also not mentioned were; Web based version of iTunes to listen to music in browser, the shifting of music that was not on Apples servers and not one mention of video.

Which leads me nicely to September – The annual iPod announcement that this year will have public access to all of iCloud and the potential launch of the iPhone 4S – I call it the iPhone 4S as my perception is that the next iPhone from Apple will be as the iPhone 4 – and iPad with more RAM.
Now 2012’s iPhone, that I want to see, because i’ve been wishing for a Liquid Metal based devices for a few years now!

Images courtesy of Apple Inc.




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