I'm back on deck after my WWDC jaunt

My last post here was after the first day of WWDC. I wrote a little bit about how there was nothing really new from Apple in the WWDC announcements. 

Since then, I have sat through 4 more days of the conference, learnt a lot and met many great people. I've also gone for a quick trip to Las Vegas where the temperature was over 40℃ (104℉). This is much hotter than any human should have to bear on a regular basis but it did provide a useful way of getting to the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. Both were amazing places to visit. I'm now back sitting at my desk, with icy cold rain outside and I'm wondering if my trip really happened or if it was just a dream.

Anyway, I walked into the conference on the Tuesday morning after writing my original summary of the keynote and realised a number of things. 

Firstly, WWDC is a developer conference. Very little of what was announced is going to affect actual consumers, in the near future. Sure, iOS 9, Mac OS X 10.11.el.capitan and watchOS 2 are all coming out in a few months and consumers will benefit from those, but how many of the millions of iOS and Mac users really care about that? Although, saying that, I'm often surprised how many normal people know about various obscure features of iOS that I wouldn't expect them to even know about.

Secondly, there is a lot going on the first day at WWDC, with the two-hour keynote in the morning, followed by the two-hour State of the Union presentation in the afternoon. No matter how much of the information you can take in, there are many other things that you miss. Tuesday was a lot like that for me. 

Thirdly, it's really easy to get caught up in the WWDC bubble and the SF tech bubble. During the conference, the Apple watch was everywhere. I'm sure that if I were to go to Google I/O or the Microsoft Build conference, I would see Android Wear devices or Microsoft Surfaces everywhere, even though it's not like that in the real world too. 

Compared to Apple developers, people in the real world don't really care about Apple Watch. Not yet, at least. Maybe never. During the conference it felt like every other person I met had an Apple Watch. Even people from countries where it's not on sale yet. People were excited about the product and excited by the opportunities. 

After leaving the conference, I had two experiences that made me realise I had been in a conference bubble. I was out to dinner on the Friday after the conference with seven people, none of whom had been at the conference. At the table not a single person was wearing an Apple Watch. This was back to reality

The next day, I was in a taxi in Las Vegas and the taxi driver was asking me about the Apple Watch. He couldn't understand why anyone would pay hundreds of dollars to have notifications appear on the wrist. He had a good point. 

Now that I'm out of the conference it'll be interesting to see where Apple goes over the next few months.

This post has got rather long and I'm trying to wrap it up but there are several technologies and features that I need to write about before wrapping up.

Apple Music looks interesting and is coming at the end of June. Apple has a lot of marketing clout and hundreds of millions of customer credit card numbers in their database so they could easily acquire millions of subscribers to this service. Their offering is especially compelling because of the cheap family plan, and it will put a lot of pressure on other music services. It will also be interesting to see whether Connect can be more successful than Ping was a few years ago.

The News app on iOS is a bit of an unknown at this stage. I think it could be really interesting in terms of news discovery but we'll have to wait and see how it works in the real world. I've used Flipboard in the past but haven't touched it for at least a couple of years because it didn't give me much that I already couldn't get from the web, and didn't help with discovery in the way that I would like.This looks like a good advance on Newsstand but we'll have to wait until it's released to see what it's like.

The search features of iOS look very, very interesting. If you are interested, watch this WWDC video of the session on the search APIs. It is only apparent now, how much iOS apps were missing search. I think that this could make a huge change for iOS user by opening search on the device to include the whole internet, even when users don't have an app installed. This could be great for both developers and users. This means that a company like airbnb can expose all their rooms via the search APIs by allowing Apple to crawl their website. These rooms will be available for search by users, whether or not they have the airbnb app installed. Watch this space.

I've got more that I could write here about iPad multi-tasking features, Metal and incredible graphical performance improvements, and Swift but I've written more than enough for now. I try to keep most of the posts here to about half a page and this has got way beyond that.

Normal service has now resumed.