WWDC 2011 Thoughts

My thoughts on Apple’s WWDC announcements

There 3 big areas that were focused on: Lion, iOS 5, and iCloud. Within the first two they focused on 10 ‘marquee’ features and 9 for iCloud. Below are my thoughts on each of the marquee features and any additional comments for that area.

LION

 • Multitouch gestures – I’m primarily a mouse use so not sure how much of these gestures I will use. I can see they would be handy when on the laptop, but if I am at home and I am doing anything significant I have a small BlueTooth mouse I use.

 • Fullscreen apps – I can see it coming in handy in specific situations – working LightRoom, do a large spreadsheet in Excel, but in general I am so used to having multiple windows open and have tools to manage my interaction with the windows.

 • Mission Control – I use Spaces and Expose pretty heavily so I am looking forward to trying this out this feature. But since I use a mouse primarily I am wondering how the experience will be. In the demos they highlighted the multi-gesture interaction.

 • Mac App store – I have not been a big user of the Mac App store to date. But the features that get my attention : ability to load purchased apps on multiple machines and auto updates.

 • Launchpad – Not really interested. I use function keys and Launchbar to open apps. Do not see myself taking my hands off the keyboard and use a mouse to go to Launchpad and then click on the app I want to use

 • Resume – The ability to have the app and/or system to open to the same state I left it in – woot

 • Autosave – Too many times I have had an app crash (or quit it by mistake) and lost my changes – looking forward to the apps I use most often getting updated.

 • Versions – The times I need to use Time Machine to go back and get a deleted file are not often, but when I need to it is really great to have that functionality. Same for versions – will not need often but when needed it will save my ass

•  Airdrop – meh. I could see using it at home once in awhile and maaaaaybe at work – but not a big motivator

 • Mail – The new features looked good but because work is still on Exchange 2003 for their backend I can’t use Mail for work. I am stuck on Entourage 2008 – which has ok Exchange support, but would much rather be on Mail or even MS Outlook 2011.

 • Other things I have read are in Lion
    • Full Disk Encryption – Stayed away from FileVault for a variety of reasons but looking forward to this feature. Gives peace of mind in case laptop is lost/stolen. But will not activate this on day one. Will let others try it and report issues.

    • Group as folder – I am a bit anal (no comments from the gallery) and like to organize my files and can see myself using this feature

   • Unified buddy list and status – I was using a 3rd Party App (Chax) to give this feature but Chax was causing some crashes. Looking forward to getting this feature built into the application

    • Built-in restore partition – Allows you to repair or reinstall OS X without the need for discs – WOOT! Great trouble shooting tool

    • Safari – improvements so one bad website in one tab will not hose the complete app means less force quits of Safari. Other key feature was Reading List. I use Instapaper very heavily and do not see myself moving off of it. The built-in solutions are a great intro to the feature but dedicated tools are better (I am talking to you RSS reading)

    • Resize from any edge – small but cool feature.

Bottom line – for $30 this is a no brainer. Hell at $100 this is a no brainer (but don’t tell Apple)

iOS 5

 • Notifications – WINNING. This is one of the two features that really got my attention. Having a video/game/whatever pause when a notification came in was less than optimal. I did get really spoiled using WebOS and their notification management scheme. I will need to spend sometime with it to determine if it is as great as it sounds – but any change was an improvement over the current method of notifications

 • Newsstand – I am interested to see how this is implemented. I am moving all my magazines to digital. Some of them have dedicated apps (Fortune and Wired) and the rest of the magazines I currently have are part of Zinio. Not sure if the mags in Zinio will be broken out individually. It would be great if they were.

 • Twitter – A very infrequent user of twitter – primarily as a consumer of info, not a creator. Not sure how big of an impact this will have on my daily interaction with the device.

 • Safari – Tabbed browsing and the fact it ‘remembers’ the web page when you go to another tab are big improvements and will definitely impact my daily usage – especially on the iPad. Reading List I am not as interested in since I currently use Instapaper.

 • Reminders – I like the geolocations features but from what I have seen/read the app is pretty simple. I currently use Remember the Milk and will stick with it to see how full featured Reminders really is

 • Camera – Biggest enhancement that will affect me directly is the quick-launch and adding a way to launch camera from the lock screen. Using the volume button to take a picture sounds cool but I usually work in portrait mode so the button is on the wrong side for me (I hold with my right hand)

 • Mail – Nothing that will have an immediate impact on how I use mail.

 • PC Free – Second big feature. My current behavior is to manage my interaction with the apps and music on my device via iTunes on my Mac. I am training myself to stop always having to connect to the Mac. First step is using Pocket Casts to manage all my podcasts. Next step is to update apps wirelessly. I am looking forward to this functionality.

 • Game Center – Meh. Not a big gamer.

 • iMessage – Potential is huge here. Lot of my friends are currently on iOS devices and I am planning to move Bev and the boys to iPhones this fall when their contracts are up for renewal.

 • Other
   • iTunes sync – by itself the ability to sync purchased songs is not that big a deal to me. The ability to sync my collection to the cloud is something I am interested in. My concern is how do I sync a subset of all my music to different devices. The fact I have all my music on my Mac does not mean I want all of it on my iPhone.

   • The other question is streaming. From what I have read you can not stream music, only sync. To date I am not a fan of streaming, but it is something I would be interested in investigating.

Bottom line – Really looking forward to iOS 5

iCLOUD

 • Contacts/Mail/Calendar – Currently I am committed to the Google ecosystem. I have a me.com address but rarely use it and and not really concerned about it syncing. I am looking forward to seeing what the functionality is of the 3 PIM apps, but they would need to be really great to get me to switch.

 • App Store – I like the idea of buy once/download many and the auto-upgrade functionality. I am just now starting to investigate purchasing apps via the App Store and I can see the family starting to buy more.

 • Books – Well, I work at Barnes & Noble. Not much else to say 😉

 • Backup – Currently using Time Machine for local backup and Mozy for cloud syncing. I also have the boys both on Mozy so would have to be pretty compelling to get me to switch.

 • Documents – Outside work (where we use the MS Office Suite) I don’t do a lot of document creation – and for the few that I do create I usually fall back to Office. I am starting to experiment with other apps for note taking and drafting blog entries – for this kind of tasks I look forward to the syncing. Do not really expect MS Office to support the syncing for quite awhile.

 • Photo Stream – I am trying to use my iPhone camera more and the autosyncing is pretty damn cool. The issue is that my digital image application of choice is Adobe’s Lightroom. I like the syncing between iOS devices and the Mac Apps – but not sure how I will need to modify my workflow to take advantage of the photo syncing.

 • iTunes in the Cloud
    • Stuff I bought on iTunes – Percentage wise I have a very small number of tracks that were bought from iTunes, so syncing purchased stuff is not a big win for me
    • Stuff I ripped – But the iTunes Match function is a big deal. Having all my tracks sync’d gives me a sense of security that my music is backed up (currently I do not sync music to the cloud). Question I have is if I sync my complete library to the cloud from my MacBook Pro, how much of it gets synced down to my iOS device? Can I specify a subset?

Bottom line – I think the potential for iCloud is huge – just not sure how I will benefit from it in the short-term.


Well – that is my 2-bits on the WWDC announcement – would be interested to know what you thought was awesome and not so awesome.

Advertisements

One thought on “WWDC 2011 Thoughts

  1. Great post, Jess. And, overall, I’m in complete agreement. Resume & Versions will be AWESOME, but yet LaunchPad is a complete non-starter for me, a fellow LaunchBar user, as well. It’s strange: Some of the “wow!” features being highlighted by others are simply not that useful for many (e.g. Twitter integration) – but for some others, I’m sure they will be paradigm-shifting changes, and huge benefits in integration. I just don’t see it, but maybe I’m already being generation-gapped by newer users. *shrug*

    And, I personally want more control over the automatic download features: I want to download “this artist” to my iPhone, or “this genre” of apps to my iPad – I do NOT want to have it downloading everything, just causing me to have to manage even more details on-device.

    Oh, and regarding price for Lion: Too late – someone from Apple heard you. I’m hereby recommending we boost the price – for at least a subset of users such as yourself – to “What they actually WOULD pay” 😛

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s