Apple WWDC round upMissed today’s keynote?

Don’t want to watch 2 hours of video presentation? Here is my first impression round up of random thoughts on today’s keynote at the Apple Wordwide Developer conference.

The Show

It was a great show. Tight and fast presentation, it felt like the team presenting was enjoying themselves. Especially Craig Federighi, who I hadn’t really paid attention to before, was very entertaining to watch. Especially the video segments felt more sincere, fresh and incredibly thoughtful and polished. This was Apple presenting itself without the need for a charismatic sales person on stage.

The Hardware

Then there is a new Mac Pro. The computer that all the super nerds were waiting for is back and it looks very different. Super-small it feels almost like a successor of the sadly unsuccessful G4 Cube. It’s black, it’s round! Whoa, round, right? Crazy. It’s shiny, which seems odd, but it’s made out of aluminum around a thermal core, which might be pretty phenomenal when you see it in real life. And best of all it’s not just designed but assembled right here in the US. Overall it does feel like Apple’s new super car. And we don’t even know the price tag yet.

The Macbook Air got a bump as well, but until we see retina screens on those machines we don’t need to talk about them.

Apple also quietly updated the Airport Extreme and Time Capsule with faster speeds and new looks. Tower-like. They look odd, but it will be seen what they ‘feel like’ in real life.

OSX

More apps are coming to OSX, a clear sign that iOS is taking a strong influence over the operating system for their Macs. Tabs in the Finder, tags and other stuff are coming. The OS looks more and more polished, exactly what is needed. But the real story is the naming change. Gone are the cat names. Apple covered all the important ones, there were none left. So Apple made this incredible smart and amazing move to name the next iteration of their OS ‘Mavericks’ after a famous surf spot in California. Tim Cook explained that future OS releases will be named after famous Californian locations in homage of Apple being from California. What a classy and incredible way to create a sense of place for this truly global company. Fantastic.

iOS7

There is something more here than just flat design. It’s airy, light and translucent in many ways. Of course, this will piss of some people, but overall it feels fresh, something you want to pick up and try out. Almost like a new set of clothes. But it’s more than just fashion, it’s iteration and growth. The training wheels are coming off and  Everything looks German, and I overall like it.

One of the challenges of flat design is that for icons you are left with basic shapes, colors and gradients and very little else. Only by emulating real world elements can you create diversity. The new icons on the home screen are simplistic, full of color gradients and represent the apps well, but all the icons combined on one screen can feel like a big Easter basket full of pastel-colored eggs.

iTunes Radio

I love Songza and listen to way more radio, now that i have an iOS device – this will be a fantastic addition to have this more integrated into music player. Let’s hope the playlists hold up.

Marketing

Designed by Apple‘ is a proud proclamation of what Apple as a company is all about and gives a great insight into their design philosophy. It’s the 21st Century “Think Different”. But it’s also a reminder to all tech writers and pundits out there that this is a company that has been and wants to define American design over the next decades to come. Bold statement, but who else could take that position if not Apple.