Exciting changes coming in iOS and OSX Mavericks
With Apple WWDC 2013 (dub-dub-DC as we found out) behind us, we thought it would be a good time to quickly recap the highs and lows of Apple’s iOS7 and OSX 10.9 Mavericks announcements after our first Apple World Wide Developer Conference.
Of all the new announcements at the Apple WWDC 2013 Keynote on Monday, there are many new and noteworthy features happening behind the scenes that have us excited for the future of the platform and how these devices will interact with people day-to-day.
For simplicities sake, I chose to list some “winners” and “losers” to best summarize my take on what these changes mean for the ecosystem. It’s not meant to cause any sort of flame war; it’s simply a quick hit list of who gained and lost this week at Apple WWDC 2013.
Apple’s iOS7 and OSX 10.9 Mavericks: The Winners
Graphic Designers and UI Artists
The biggest announcement from this week was the new user interface revealed in iOS7. With new scrolling features, a built in physics engine, and a focus on simplicity, the new iOS is a huge step forward for the platform. The modernized and minimalist look freshens up an interface that was starting to look long in the tooth. With a renewed focus on content, Apple is starting from scratch; and, this is a good thing. It’s especially true if you make your living designing apps. Apple completely changed the paradigm on iOS7. Every app in the app store will have to revisit the user interface to figure out if it works with iOS7. The last thing an app should do is look dated.
File Syncing Apps
Any app that moves large files around should be dancing on the tables today. With the announcement of the new multitasking features, apps in iOS7 can now move large amounts of data around in the background. This is a huge gain over forcing a user to choose to update a file, then sit and stare at a progress indicator while the file updates. Now, when you launch the app all the new files are waiting for you.
Speaking of background updates, iOS7 app updates can now be pushed directly from the App Store. For developers this is great news. One of the huge advantages of the iOS platform is that users can upgrade apps and OS versions quickly. Now they don’t have to go through the process of launching the app, opening the App Store and tapping the “Update” button. The device will automatically download the updated apps when the time is right, provided a user has Wi-Fi and is plugged into a power source.
People Using Multi-Monitor Display
OSX 10.9 Mavericks is another big feature we’re excited about. With the new OSX 10.9 Mavericks multi-monitor support, each monitor has its own spaces and its own full screen; plus, the doc and main menu are available on every screen. This is great news for people who have laptops and like to plug into larger displays at work.
Apple’s iOS7 and OSX 10.9 Mavericks: The Losers
iPad App Developers
The biggest negative takeaway from the week was that iOS7 Beta is not ready for iPad. That may not seem like a big deal, but for those whose primary apps are iPad only, it’s a huge disadvantage. Some iPhone apps already need a significant amount of work to catch up with the new iOS7 UI. Our iPad customers are going to look to us for insight as to how their apps will fare on the new OS. We simply can’t know until the iPad Beta is ready.
It seems every year Apple takes a look at some of the most popular utilities on the OSX and iOS platforms and integrates those features directly into their platform. There were some pretty amazing to do list apps that lead the way to Reminders on iOS. This year was no different. iOS now has a built in flashlight. Tabbed browsing was brought to Finder. iCloud Keychain Sync eliminates the need for an add on like 1Password. In the end this is good for the common user, since most people don’t go out and seek these utility apps. It’s bad news for developers who need to go out and create more great utilities.
Apple has the app culture, and this week only helped to bring home that fact for us. There’s now even more reason for developers to create and perfect their app on an Apple device, then migrate it to Android. iOS7 makes Android look like a second-class citizen. Device fragmentation on the Android platform is a real problem. There still isn’t a competitor in the tablet space that even comes close to the iPad. The key feature that Samsung seems to keep pushing is tapping phones together to transfer files, which Apple has now run circles around with AirDrop for iOS. The integration between the iOS and OSX platforms is only getting tighter, offering the user an unprecedented unified experience that just works, to use a well-known phrase.
Developers who installed Beta 1 on their primary phone
Yes, I did this. I couldn’t help it. It’s the new shiny toy, all the cool kids had one, and I needed one too. So I downloaded iOS7 Beta 1 and installed it on my primary phone. I will say this: it is beautiful. Eventually, it will be great for end users. It’s definitely a Beta 1 release of a piece of software. Bottom line, don’t pay the $99 and sign up for the developer program so you can get a sneak peak at what Apple is doing. There is a reason they didn’t release iOS7 to everyone this week. It’s simply not ready.
Apple WWDC 2013: Our Final Take
In the end, we feel that this is a huge step forward for the platform. The biggest winners of the week are anyone who uses apps since apps can do more than ever without users having to think about it. There are so many new ways that these devices can help us to interact with one another and with the world around us. Their potential opens up a whole new marketing channel that is more direct to the consumer than ever. We feel better than ever that iOS has all the tools to produce the cutting edge apps our clients demand. We are also confident that Apple has done enough to keep its lead over the mobile competition.
We had a great week at Apple WWDC 2013. We learned a ton, met great people, and consumed our share of Odwalla. But mostly, we fell in love with the most advanced mobile operating system on the planet all over again. We can’t wait to incorporate these new features into iOS7 and are already making plans for Apple WWDC 2014 (and 2015, 2016, 2017…)