As experienced Apple watchers know, the WWDC gives hints as to what to expect from the company for the coming year. After any Apple event, there’s all sorts of breakdowns as to what was announced and analysis into what it could mean.
OS X El Capitan (10.11), iOS 9, multitasking on the iPad (finally!), WatchOS and Apple Music were all interesting and were all predicted by the rumor mill. No real surprises for anyone who actively follows the company (though judging from the quality of guidance from Wall Street analysts, a lot of them could benefit from shutting up and following some of those rumor sites).
What was interesting this year, though, was what was between the WWDC keynote’s lines and what they left out entirely.
No Apple TV SDK — Last minute rumors pointed to no new Apple TV this year. Maybe it was because putting together an a la carte, app-driven replacement for cable isn’t as easy as everyone thinks. Maybe it wasn’t ready for mass production. Maybe it just didn’t exist.
What was expected by everyone, though, was a developer kit for the Apple TV. The biggest complaint about the Apple TV by the people who own the device is that you take what Apple gives you, in terms of apps, and that’s that. Without the kit or new hardware, the use of Apple TV is dwindling and even diehard Apple users are looking elsewhere for their VOD needs.
Apple hearts privacy — In the last few weeks, Apple’s ramped up its PR machine to push the talking point that the company cares about your privacy.
It was hard not to notice how hard Apple’s been pushing the issue in the last few weeks, with Tim Cook’s public declaration to the government that it has no plans to make its encryption work with the whims of law enforcement and that calling out the business practices of Google (and, by extension, Android) and Facebook.Apple’s positioning itself as the anti-Google/Facebook and pointing out that it doesn’t collect your data and that it has no interest in selling you anything (other than, you know, iPhones, iPads and anything else the company makes).
No Dre today — No matter what you you think of the Beats deal, it was hard to get away from those corporate images of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre together with Tim Cook and the company’s executive team. Yeah, Trent Reznor had something to do with the company, but the only people who had a “laying on of hands” in Cupertino was the Interscope Records founder and the good doctor.
Fast forward to today. Jimmy Iovine took to the stage. Reznor filled the role of Jony Ive in the company’s Apple Music video presentation and ad. But except for a few shots on Dre doing…something…he was absent from the launch of Apple Music (formerly Beats). Maybe he was working on another PhD. Or another medical speciality.
…One More Thing — Apple’s trying to get into the social media game. Again.
Remember Ping? You probably don’t. It was the company’s attempt, back when people bought music from the iTunes Store instead of streaming it, to be social. Fans could post what they’re listening to and musicians could reach out to those fans. It was supposed to be a huge, virtual Woodstock but instead, no one came and the company shut it down and never spoke of it again, like some deformed child in the attic of a bad horror movie.
Without mentioning Ping, Apple’s rolling out a way for musicians to reach out to their audiences through Apple Music. I suppose it’s because if there’s anything that there’s a dearth of, it’s social media platforms for musicians, aside from Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, Band Camp and, while we’re at it, MySpace.
Photo via Scott Schiller/flickr.