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.
• 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)
• 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.
• 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
• 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.