WWDC 2013—hopes and fears

WWDC 2013 is today. These are my hopes and fears. I’ll be brief[1].

  1. iOS7 design overhaul. If there is a redesign, I’m hoping it’ll go a lot further than skin-deep changes. Replacing faux leather backgrounds and reducing gradients and glossy overlays just won’t do it.

    “Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer – that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” — Steve Jobs

    Ive needs to rethink how it works, not only how it looks—if a redesign is truly in the works.

    Show us how it’s done Jony.

  2. iOS7 inter-application communication a.k.a. “more sharing options”. This is about the only place where Team Android truly has a point: inflexible interaction between applications is limiting developers and leaving users with a 2007 smartphone experience. If iOS is to remain the number one app-platform of choice for the foreseeable future, Apple needs to get this one right, and preferably sooner rather than later.

    I’m afraid this won’t make it into iOS7.

  3. Maps and Siri. Apple just can’t match Google on this front, and they won’t be able to design their way out of this either. Apple will have to get its hands dirty to get this right. Faster. Better. Stronger.

    That being said, I really believe that Google Now and Siri will each evolve in entirely different directions. Siri will become an alternative way of interacting with your Apple mobile device, Google Now will become the freaky know-it-all assistant that will get to know you better than your spouse.

    Apple will announce this WWDC that it’s constantly improving both services. Maybe it will learn Siri some more tricks, but nothing major.

  4. iCloud — “The cornerstone of everything Apple does for the next decade.” iCloud is an umbrella term that covers many different services. Apple will keep improving many of these services, but the one leg of iCloud that Apple still needs to start getting right is File Management in iOS. While this is indeed related to my second point (inter-app communication), managing files goes a lot further than transferring files between apps. Right now, each file or document is locked up inside its application silo. This makes it very hard to work on a single file from within multiple applications.

    I’ve put this into the iCloud category because, whatever solution Apple comes up with, I believe iCloud will be the cornerstone.

    I don’t expect anything in terms of a solution this year.

  5. iRadio. No idea what Apple will do to innovate in this market. However, given that it took Apple a while to get the record labels to sign off, I’m betting it isn’t just some Spotify/Google Play Music All Access/Pandora rip-off.

  6. Hardware — not my final point by accident[2]. I don’t expect any new hardware products at this WWDC. Not even a Mac Pro. My guess would be: a new Mac Pro this fall, and Apple’s TV platform (think: channel apps, games) in spring next year.

    I do expect most of Apple’s laptops to make the leap to Intel’s Haswell architecture. Improved battery life and CPU / GPU performance across the board. I don’t think Apple will fade out the non-retina MacBook Pros just yet, but I fear they also won’t get updated to Haswell either.

    Sorry, no Retina MacBook Airs this year.

    iWatch, is that still a thing?

  7. We won’t see Sir Ive on stage.

    I so hope I’m wrong on this one.

  1. Sorry about that.  ↩

  2. Sorry, I snuck in one extra point after all.  ↩

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