Apple’s WWDC Keynote Was One We Never Dreamed Could Happen

1 minute read
| Analysis

Apple’s WWDC keynote address was one that we hoped for, dreamed about but never thought would actually happen.

Tim Cook at WWDC 2017 keynote.

Tim Cook is pumped. It’s been earned.

I don’t know how to says this any more bluntly. This keynote was pure genius.

  • Apple’s keynote was a bases-loaded home run. It was a 21 point Superbowl comeback in the 4th quarter.
  • Instead of time wasters and filler, we got amazing glimpses at what Apple has been working hard on since the last keynote.
  • The next macOS continues to be refined while committing to APFS sooner than some expected.
  • We were hoping for new hardware, but even in our hopes, conditioned by previous keynotes, we didn’t think so much new hardware would ship immediately (iMacs) or next week (iPads).
  • We got a tantalizing glimpse of an iMac Pro, 22 teraflops, up to 128 GB of RAM, a Mac to die for, due out this December.
  • Major improvements were discussed to iOS 11 and the iPad hardware that finally make the iPad a compelling, powerful tool. The Files feature was hinted at, but the immediacy of it in the keynote was a visual stunner.
  • Apple Pay person-to-person payments. Yes!
  • Serious attention to graphics performance, VR and AR.
  • HomePod looks to be a stellar smart speaker system and will be launched in December with a very un-Apple-like, modest price of US$349.

And that’s just an overview of what was introduced.

Stunning

Apple has taken a lot of heat in the last year for not delivering new products that were compelling. The Mac had been ignored. The iPad seemed to be stagnant in its technology. iOS was having trouble making the transition to a creation tool on iPad. Amazon was grabbing all the mind share around smart speakers. We weren’t sure Apple would fous on extremely high end graphics needed for first class VR and AR. But every negative has been remedied.

This keynote showed Apple in a feisty mood. The company came out swinging for the fences. The atmosphere was that of a company that was tired of being seen as lagging behind, not innovative, and resting on its iPhone laurels.

Now, there’s so much excitement, so much to talk about that we’ll all be busy for months sorting everything out. Thanks Apple. You nailed it all.

This keynote was dazzling, the best in years. Apple is back.

12 Comments Add a comment

  1. Agreed.
    (BTW, you might want to proof your 5th bullet point. Either that or the new iPad Pro is astounding)
    This is going to be a good year. I have to admit I skipped over the AppleTV and Apple Watch portions. Those aren’t part of my world. Maybe a watch with new hardware this fall, maybe. And the Apple speaker was interesting. I did not expect them to really dive in. A very good idea to position it as an exemplary speaker, oh that can also do these other things rather than a mediocre speaker that listens in to everything you say, transmits to home base, and then orders stuff for you.
    I was completely gobsmacked that they updated the MacBook Air. I was sure it was EOL
    The new iPads are fantastic. Might have to consider updating my iPad Air this fall. Lets see what the reviews are and how much I lose by not having a Pro version.
    Drag and drop is a lot bigger than most people probably realize. To drag and drop text from one app to another they must have overhauled how text is selected. That would be fantastic, and sorely needed.
    The new iMacs are great. I got one of the old 27″ 5K models last fall but you know, Kaby Lake isn’t THAT much faster than the chip in my iMac. Sure the TB3 and USB-C ports would be nice. But I don’t really need them right now. And the new graphics chip is a bump up from what I have, but…but really I’m OK really with the one in my system. It’s fast enough for what I do. And I got to use my new 5K iMac for six months already so it’s fine. What’s that? They also dropped the price? And added an upcoming Pro version with a Xion processor?
    Well sonnava*******
    No but it’s really OK.

  2. geoduck. Typo fixed in bullet #5. Thanks!

    I think the MacBook Air survives thanks to the education market. At a local community college, in the bookstore, they sell a new MBA + MS Office (1 yr sub.) for $599.

    I agree on iPad. These new iPad Pros combined with iOS 11 will have me buying a new iPad soon.

  3. Modest price of $349? for a Speaker? I think that’s a very high price. It pretty much does what the Amazon Echo does and that’s $179 with regular discounts I believe. Ok I’m sure this speaker will sound better.. and it’ll connect to Siri and the apple echo system better… but at the end of the day for “normal” users and not true audiophiles is it giving that much more functionality then the Echo? $170? or almost twice the price? I don’t think so.
    I think they’re pricing is way out of line here.

  4. Jamie

    I must be past the point of no return in my cynicism, I wasn’t super excited about anything they announced today. Egad, have I become a troll? 😉 A not very upgradeable iMac for the price of a used car? iPod Hifi 2.0? The problem with iPad Pros is also partly the screen size for a lot of work, adding features can’t change that. I haven’t ever been interested in Watch. Ditto for AR and VR. I really don’t care about Michelle Obama’s opinions. It was a complete bust for me. Honestly, the only thing that made me go, ‘Cool!’, was Prime coming to Apple TV.

  5. Yes, it was perfect! Agree completely with your review.Never expected that much in 1 keynote, but very happy with the new products and os enhancements.
    I think the speaker pricing was adding a Sonos Play 1 with features like the Echo.

  6. vpndev

    Am I the only one who noticed the “Apple Pay Cash Card” ??

    It’s there at ~55 minutes into the stream.

    No other mention, but this could be huge.

  7. iGrouch

    Emperors New Clothes I’m afraid.

    At this stage, Apple is taking the piss and it comes down to one think the cost of working with Apple hardware.

    As always Apple presented some impressive technology. But consider this. To buy a new extended keyboard now costs €149 because the older wired version at €54 is no longer available. I can’t see many spending over €5,000 on an iMac, and don’t get me wrong, it is impressive but not when it is not very upgradable.

    All this proves that Apple is focused on catering to the upper middle classes with more money than sense. It is a boutique company and the reason that I went the Hackintosh route many years ago and will remain on it for the foreseeable future. My Mac Pro 1.1 served me well between 2006 – 2014. Well worth the investment at the time.

    Apple had a golden age between 2006 -2010 but then hey dropped the ball around 2010 when the original iconic Mac Pro was more or less abandoned. Johnny Ive et al had visions of compact versions where they did not see the merit of the Porsche of computers.

    It’s all a shame really as the OS is well ahead of anything else out there but when added to the hot air, flash in the pan, crassness that is evident in the tech world, it has be said that we have a long way to go before the tech industry has truly matured. What I mean by that is a lot of what we see is superficial.

  8. Scott B in DC

    When can we start the jokes about High Sierra and the legalization of recreational marijuana in California (#justsayin)

  9. DMO

    No, you aren’t. I was wondering how it worked to receive a payment, and although you can transfer the funds to a bank account, I think the float may be substantial. Would that be competition for Paypal? And if it were to become a physical card, as well . . .

  10. wab95

    John:

    I was trying to watch the live stream during a conference call concerning some real science (I know…but at least I wasn’t chairing the call), and had to go back and look at specific parts after the call. Here’s my personal take.

    Apple got serious about addressing the criticism with which they have been excoriated these past couple of years, particularly following the last keynote. In particular, they have responded to the issue of a professional machine (expandability may still need to be addressed with a future Mac Pro – if there is to be one), including multiple configurational options to fit varying needs. They have responded to the issue of processor iteration with the adoption of the 7th generation Intel chip set. They have responded to the MS challenge of processing power on a tablet device with one that excels the power on many current PCs, and they have addressed the issue of multi-tasking by unleashing differential features and performance of iOS on the iPad vs the iPhone, thereby making the iPad more Mac-like. One can quibble as to whether it is sufficiently feature – rich, but we can at least have that discussion.

    On a more personal note, once the presentation had sunk in, I felt like an immigrant to the West from a small town in the former Soviet Union who walks into a supermarket for the first time in his life. So. Many. Choices. And to quote one such immigrant, one is nearly paralysed by choice.

    I am now cycling back and forth on which options I am likely to pursue, and in what order. The new iPad Pro will be for me a no-brainer, to borrow a phrase. I increasingly use my iPad professionally, and this looks like a worthy upgrade, although I need to better understand which features are hardware vs the soon to be released iOS 11. I’ve decided that I can wait until the Fall, in any case, when iOS 11 is released to make that purchase and then hand my current iPad Pro to my son, who is an avid iPad user.

    The hard choice is on the mix of laptop and, for the first time in years, a possible desktop. I’d be lying if said that I’m not interested in the iMac Pro. With a beast like that on my desk, I could easily get by with a far less capable laptop. The only problem is, I travel. I mean, I really travel and will deploy for months at a time if I’m running a clinical trial overseas. The iMac Pro then might as well be on Mars. So there’s that.

    I didn’t get the first touch bar MBP, as I wanted to wait for the Kaby Lake processors. Now they’re here. But, if I get either an iMac Pro, or even a 5K iMac, I could go with a 13” MBP (which I’ve never used – but it’s cheaper and still highly capable) or even a MB. Given what I do, the modest price differential between the top end MB and a 13” fully kitted MBP (okay, it’s $900, but over the next 3 – 4 years, chump change), the MB’s value proposition is challenged. If I go with a non-flagship laptop, it will probably be the 13” core i7 MBP. I will need to play with one first, as the 15” was a real change from my old 17”, and importantly, the 13” is a dual core, whereas the 15” is quad-core, which could make a difference when crunching through large data sets and generating graphical outputs. Needless to say, these would be a small snack for an iMac Pro.

    Yes, I’ve got some thinking to do, but time to do it. Once I’ve made my purchases, I may also have some ‘splainin’ to do with the Mrs as well as with my grants administration – depending on purchase patterns.

    The burden of choice. So great to have it back. In spades.

  11. pjs_boston

    Apple’s WWDC announcements, awesome as they were, are only the tip of the iceberg. The work Apple is doing behind the scenes to deliver these features perhaps even more amazing. I watched Jon Gruber’s ‘Talk Show’ interview with Craig Federighi and Phil Schiller. What really struck me is the how Apple is demonstrating deep strategic thinking in bringing together disparate innovations to deliver new capabilities without sacrificing privacy or security.

    One example of this is the way Apple has leveraged APFS to deliver drag and drop on the iPad without compromising sandboxing. Another is the amazing cross-functional integration required to deliver ProMotion graphics while maintaining battery life. Apple is not only firing on all cylinders, they are adding new cylinders to the engine in mid-flight!

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