This is probably the overall best WWDC in recent memory. Apple showed a confidence and long-term vision for their platforms that I haven’t seen in a while. Announcements were numerous, exciting, well executed, and pretty monumental going forward.
Being a daily user of OSX there are many changes I appreciated, and the visual overhaul was a long time coming. I like how they came up with a refined design language instead of just cloning the iOS7 look, much of which I wasn't a fan of. The dock icons, for example are tastefully updated, and infinitely more consistent than they are now in terms of size, angle, and style. They retain their general look but modernized in a clean way. The dock style brings consistency with iOS. Window style is cleaned up. Simplified toolbars are nice, I especially like Safari. Typography update is welcome. Translucency is fine is they don't go overboard (doesnt look like they have). In short its a well considered visual overhaul that is long overdue, bringing consistency with iOS while retaining the soul of OSX, I definitely approve of the direction.
Quick thoughts on main features:
Incredibly useful and innovative concept that increases the stickiness and synergy of both platforms. Eases one of the major pain points of using multiple devices at once. Increasingly, Apple devices are more than the sum of their parts, and this takes it to the next level in terms of seamless transitioning.
Phone Calls/ SMS
Been fantasizing about a feature like this, not much more to I can say. If works as advertised it will get a ton of usage from me. Standard SMS being sent to the messages app on OSX and ability to send new ones is also great. Exactly as it should be.
This is something I would also take advantage of all the time- very well thought out and incredibly practical.
Very clever improvement thats also a no-brainer- no more fiddling with hostpot settings from the phone, and needing to turn it on then remembering to shut it off. Presumably its one click from the computer if signed in from same account.
I dont use mail, but the new features look great, including automatically uploading large attachments to iCloud and markup options.
This elicited a sigh of relief from me and many others Im sure. Great to finally have direct access to iCloud files, as well as the ability to use it as integrated cloud storage. Seems to add all the benefits of dropbox with other features of iCloud. Good to see it will be accessible from Windows + the web too.
Airdrop OSX-iOS - This should have been there from the beginning, but nice its finally arriving. (peer to peer file sharing with auto-discovery) Previous was between iOS devices only.
Looks to be a massive improvement. More profoundly, it looks to wean people off using a browser (and thus Google) for most searches. As this is for iOS too, it is pretty significant in terms of decreasing their dependence on Google. It's not out of the question to think Apple might be laying the foundation for their own search engine, or at least greatly minimizing the need for a 3rd party one.
Some additions/additions have overlaps with OSX (Spotlight, hand-off, etc), so will skip those. I'll just mention a few more I loved:
Great new adjustment and editing tools (that also sync with all other devices) Happy to see that now iCloud saves ALL photos instead of last month or 1000 (iCloud photo library). Huge improvement, and can now be used as a default cloud photo backup solution. Integration of 3rd party apps for editing also nice, as well as search options and intelligent photo caching on device.
Time-lapse option is pretty awesome, as well as increased manual controls, self-timer, etc.
Increased messaging options are a nice addition, including tap to speak (great option for replying to texts in the car, etc). The myriad of group messaging and location options are welcome, as well as consolidated attachments.
This was a bit of a surprise, but good to see there's some major changes since KB has been stagnant for a bit. Predictive text looks very impressive- I know theres similar things on Android/BB, but this seems like a different animal since it scans the context of messages and can pick out one word responses based on questions, as well as style of speaking. Very cool.
3rd party KBs
I have to admit this stunned me, did not think it was something Apple would do. Thought it was a joke at 1st. Definitely shows how much they've changed their philosophies. Great option for those that prefer other KBs (swype, etc). I'd probably keep the default though.
Family Sharing - As someone who shares purchased apps with family members devices, this is extremely welcome and eliminates the need to sign in to purchase with my own account, authentication needed to update, device limitations, etc. Also notifications for iap permission to other devices is cool.
App extensions- Positive change in policy, should lead to much more flexibility and robustness in moving data between apps.
3rd party sharing enhancements - Nice expandability in sharing info w/3rd party apps and cloud services
Widgets- iOS finally has widgets, and it seems like an elegant and streamlined solution to have them in the notification center. Personally I dont really use widgets but can see the appeal.
Touch ID - Natural progression seeing it can be used for 3rd party apps, and no doubt it will be secure. This is pretty huge, and can render entering password into the phone almost obsolete. This is a huge advantage I see iOS having over Android, as so far Touch ID is the only reliable biometric solution out there, and iOS apps will obviously be updated to support it. The Android situation is a bit more complicated obviously.
Obviously the potential is huge, if fitness/medical apps are updated to support it, and notification options they mentioned could be game changing. Would tie in nicely with a future wearable with more biometric sensors.
The potential for this is also obvious. Having a centralized app to control disparate home automation devices would clearly be the ideal, instead of using separate apps for all manufacturers, as is the ability to set up scenes and Siri integration. This is assuming it gets support fro the major players- which I assume it will. (BTW, what happened to "Android in the Home'?) Also, seems like something we should get on ;)
Seems like this would be extremely useful for devs in terms of cloud functionality, instead of going to 3rd party solutions.
Search options, discoverability, layout all seems improved. Better beta testing ability, video previews, and app bundles are also a good step.
Metal/Scene Kit/Sprite Kit
Metal looks to be huge in terms of intensive gaming/3D and removing the Open GL overhead. I also see this as an important precursor in a potential AppleTV that has gaming capabilities, either streaming from an iOS device or with built in hardware. The pieces are all there (appstore/hardware/developer support/userbase/SDK tools/Airplay) Apple just has to put it together. They could take a huge chunk of the home gaming market if they wanted to, and the forthcoming A8 chip would have more than enough power to create immersive visuals on an HDTV. The A7 is already impressive, as are the demos they showed.
Not a programmer, but obviously this was a pretty surprising and profound announcement. I'm assuming its meant to attract even more developers, as well as encourage even more efficient development. Some would say its a risk to move away from established Obj-C, but seems to me it will pay off. Such an effort into creating a new language also shows how serious they are in investing in their platform development tools. Looks impressive. You can share your thoughts on this.
I don't see how anyone who uses Apple products or is thinking of using them could not be impressed with this event. Its obvious they've been hard at work on many fronts, and what theyve been doing with their quiet time. Future of both platforms looks bright, synergy between them is stronger than ever, and ecosystem looks to get significantly more powerful and robust. I can sincerely say that my expectations were exceeded. Whats even more exciting is the new class of hardware that this software will enable-things like 64bit chips, along with the M7 chip, Touch ID, combined with these new frameworks. All indications point to the fact that we'll be seeing quite a bit on hardware front in the fall. Should be their biggest season by a wide margin. Exciting times. :) As for me- someone who uses a Mac, there's too many truly beneficial features I would be missing out on if I'm not using an iPhone. This also goes the other way, which of course is part of the strategy. iPhone 6 here I come :)