Tuesday, June 7, 2011

WWDC 2011


It's a military term, and also a reference to a very important date in history without which, life as we know would not exists.

Jump forward to the year 2011, to a gathering of 5200 in San Francisco, the "D" takes on a totally different meaning. 

Watching the Keynote, I cannot help thinking "Duh" to so many things.  Lion's full screen app functionality springs foremost to mind. Full screen apps have been around the days of the Commodore. I still remember Apple worshippers use to say "why the need for full screen web browsing?" My answer has always been why not? Finally the gods of Cupertino agree. Duh!

There were a lot of "new" things introduced in this gathering of the highest ranking members. Many many more things that were not highlighted.

A lot of it consist of things that should have been in the first place, and a lot of it mainly to catch up with the up coming competitor. (Or plural if Microsoft can catch up). Admittedly Apple does make the improvements look cool and easy to use. 

Here are just a few of the Duh moments.

1. Mail in OS X

Finally, finally a decent mail program or app for the "desktop".  It is so much easier scanning mail on iOS devices and also they work for Yahoo Mail, something not possible currently unless you pay. (Poor Yahoo! will be just so sad and poorer if it works on the desktop)
The new interface looks just like the mobile version, but hopefully even more powerful. Currently it simply sucks.

2.  iMessage

Still think the "i" thing is getting way overused, but hey thats consistency for you. Apple took away Whatsapp from iPod Touch users who paid for it without an explanation, and gave iMessage as a consolation. It also keeps everyone in the ecosystem, swim out of the pond and you are dead.

3. Reader in Mobile Safari

First thing first, Android uses open source Safari. Safari is open sourced?

Never mind that, let me just say Reader is a good idea and pretty amazing to see in demo action. That's the one cool innovation I have seen.

4. PC free iOS

This deserves the biggest DUH award of the year. What else can I say... Duh.


Clearly they have spent all their creative energies in the actual product, saving little for names. It just reminds me of the old Tarzan shows: "iCloud, uDumb..uh uh uh awwww yeee awww yeee aww"

The Temple of Cupertino is finally ascending to the realm of cloud computing, or rather directed active  virtual storage. Computing implies mathematical labour to produce something. 

They have been doing that on MobileMe with contacts and calendar, then failed miserably with file storage and photos. Now they have expanded the functions and polished it up to the speed and simplicity of Dropbox. (Supposedly for a seamless experience, they still call each function Apps)

Top it off, the service is now free.

At least I know what the MobileMe subscriptions were for, simply R&D funds for iCloud free service. A bit of a Duh moment, but I must say when they get it, they do it pretty well.

To play the Devil's Advocate, I do see a negative side to this new found convenience.

First is to consider the number of iOS users. Then consider how much these users are using the camera function alone. Then imagine the trigger happy users filling up the bandwidth a myriad of photos flying  back and forth to all linked devices. Then finally multiply by the 9 functionality "apps" and possible third party apps. Simply mind boggling to imagine. Worse when you consider the "eco friendly" data centers (The actual quote is "Eco friendly as data centers can be", thats like saying non-radioactive as nuclear plants can be)  needed to support all these whizzing bits and bytes

Recently electronic giant Sony was hit at least three times by concerted hacker attacks. Vital private data and trust were lost. Sony is still wheeling from the debacle. 

Now imagine these same hackers targeting Apple, which is possible since they like to boast how safe they are from viruses and spyware. That is a scary thought.

All in all, Apple delivered their beliefs with typical unwavering conviction, they are the best and likely only one to grant seamless digitization of your life. You no longer need to look outside beautifully constructed iOS village. 

I have to admit they make a compelling reason to stay with their ecosystem. Doh!

Happy Duh and Doh Day people.

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