Quick Thoughts on WWDC 2017

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I haven’t had enough time to think about all the WWDC 2017 announcements yet — there were so many — so I’ll most likely voice my thoughts and perhaps even come to some conclusions on a future podcast episode, but in the meantime, I wanted to share some of my thoughts and worries.

watchOS 4

My wife will certainly love the new Toy Story watch faces, but I was more interested in the Siri watch face and complication. This could perhaps finally mean getting what I’ve always wanted — a wrist computer, which will display information about things I don’t yet know I need, based on my location, what I’m doing, my calendar, reminders, and all the various other tidbits Siri can find in my iPhone. This has potential and execution will be key, but it could take a few years to perfect.

tvOS

I feel as if the Apple TV and tvOS are stagnating a bit again, with Apple being frustrated about not being able to get the content deals they want. I half-hoped that the Apple TV would be integrated into the rumoured “Siri Speaker”, but that didn’t happen. I am however curious when we’ll get to see a new version, supporting 4K video.

macOS High Sierra

I love that Craig Federighi started off the macOS section of the keynote with praise for Safari — Don Melton must have had a huge smile on his face, despite being now being better known for his transcoding expertise instead of being the creator of Safari and WebKit.

Craig surprised me with AFPS coming to Macs this year — I was so sure it would take them another year or so to perfect everything. The filesystem team surely has to be an all-star team to pull all of this off.

Updated Macs

All The Macs™ got some love on stage in the form of Kaby Lake updates. I hope this is once again the beginning of regular refreshes when new CPUs come out, hopefully without any meaningful delays or skipping of generations.

iMac Pro Sneak Peek

This has the potential to be an amazing machine for many professionals, who don’t necessarily need a Mac Pro. It can be maxed out with 18 cores, 128 gigs of ECC RAM1, Radeon Vega GPUs with up to 16 gigs of VRAM, and 4 TB SSDs. I do wonder if Apple hasn’t painted itself into yet another thermal corner, as they did with the “trash can” Mac Pro. They could have easily made the display part of the iMac thicker (even thicker than the iMacs of past generations) and I’m pretty sure not one single person, who is right of mind, would have complained about it. More space would have made it easier for the RAM to be user-replaceable2 and giving the uprated components inside much more space to breathe. The fans could then theoretically be thicker, moving more air and perhaps even operating at slower speeds.

I also hope that Apple will change their minds on the Space Grey accessories — I want that keyboard and trackpad without paying $4999 for them.

iOS 11

I love the fact that Apple finally figured out how to sync iMessages between devices — a small, but very welcome change. All the other syncing — in Photos, regarding Siri, and more — is as welcome of course. Not much else spoke out to me, but then we got to the iPad…

I love the reimagining of the macOS metaphor on iOS — the Dock and Spaces will make many things so much better. And that’s not even mentioning drag & drop, which I have been waiting for quite a while now. I was extremely impressed with the Markup features too, as well as unlocking the iPad with a tap of the Pencil — others have had that feature for a while now, but having it integrated with the operating system is a huge bonus. The new Files app will also let me bring more work to the iPad. The new 10.5″ iPad…

10.5″ iPad Pro

I am still disappointed that it didn’t receive the 2732×2048 px UI at 326 ppi (think iPad 9.7″ vs. iPad Mini 7.9″ — same resolution, different screens) from the 12.9″ model, but I’ll get over it. I have one on order and it should hopefully arrive in the next two weeks or so. I was hoping that the 64 GB model would do, but after checking my usage on my 12.9″ iPad Pro (128 gig model), I found that I have barely 20 GB of free space left. Oops. I went for the 256 gig option, with LTE, in Space Grey. I wish it came in black. Skipping the colour and screen resolution, this new model seems to be the perfect compromise between portability and productivity — I’ll verify that soon enough.

HomePod

I was hoping for something like this. I’ve been looking at Sonos speakers for these past few weeks, but rumours of the HomePod held me back. I’m an Apple Music subscriber, so it seems to be a perfect fit, but I do wish it had app support for third-party podcast clients like Overcast. AirPlay is a solution, but not perfect.

I also hope that Apple can figure out how to get five of these set up as a home theatre system for the Apple TV. Well, that and selling them at a lower price. I would love to have 5 wireless speakers for watching my Netflix and iTunes rentals.

eGPU Support

This is huge. I currently run two systems — a desktop for all my processing needs (mostly photography, video, and audio editing) and a MacBook Pro 13″ (late 2016), for when I need to me more mobile. Having an eGPU could theoretically let me just use a MacBook Pro with an external screen… This will be something that I’ll be following closely.


This was one of my favourite Apple keynotes in recent years and after some being disappointed over the past year or so, I’m now again happy with what Apple is doing. They took the first steps with the Mac updates and hopefully will keep them updated regularly from now on. I still hope we’ll see a Mac Mini refresh sooner rather than later, a sensible Mac Pro configuration for people who don’t need Xeons but would like a full-sized GPU, and a new iPhone which will blow the Galaxy S8 out of the water (not melting my credit card at the same time).

  1. The kind that John Siracusa likes.
  2. The iMac Pro will not have a small “door” like the regular 27″ iMac does, according to what we know today.

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One Comment

  1. Way to go Don Melton! Why on earth would anybody need to know a page has already been added to their bookmarks?!

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