I get it. Apple blew it! The keynote was lame as always and there was not a single awesome new thing announced. Or… was it? I thought so too! I can not remember when I was that disappointed of a WWDC keynote before. They basically completely neglected the Mac and focused only on silly teenage stickers in Messages and presented a new Music app that looked just as crappy as the one before.
The thing is… I thought about the keynote a little bit, had a look behind the scenes and skimmed through the developer documentation plus I watched the Platform State of the Union in the middle of the night (German Time). The main keynote is more or less just the consumer facing event with which Apple has to kick off the conference each year. The unofficial developer keynote follows after that and you get much more information on what is coming to all platforms soon. After all this I have to get some thoughts out there (They might be a bit confusing, but it’s late ;)).
Actually… There are some amazing new features on all the systems. I won’t list them here, they are all over the internet right now. But the thing with the watch providing activity tracking for wheelchair users? Making clear once more that privacy is an integral part of all Apple does? (The State of the Union explains how they solve this issue) The fact that they want to enable more people to learn how to code? They gave a scholarship to a nine year old girl that has two apps in the app store! How amazing is that?
Google and Amazon throw out boxes you can talk to to order stuff on the internet, play music and turn the lights off. Technically most of these things are really mind-blowing! But these gadgets are only available in the US. Why? Maybe because they would run into problems with privacy policies in ethically more developed countries of this world? I am not willing to jump on the hypetrain at the expense of my privacy, that’s why I will never use these boxes from Google or Amazon. And who knows whether these tools will be around in ten years. Just look at Google Glass… a totally failed and abandoned product. Some of these gadgets probably will stick around, but Apple’s goal is different. They have so much money, they don’t have to chase every hypetrain journalists and analysts accuse them not to jump onto. There are similar things that are clearly created for rich white people, like HomeKit. But in general they want to make people’s life better (and earn a shitload of money of course). Better lives does not necessarily mean that people don’t have to flip the switch for lights anymore. Being even more lazy is not a better life. I have the impression that Google’s superficial goal is to make lives easier. That’s a totally different thing. Better lives means for example that people using wheelchairs can use an activity tracker if they want to. Apple takes care of seemingly tiny things like the fact that the watch does not tell a person in a wheelchair to stand up, but to get rolling from time to time. Laugh about this small thing, but people probably really like that. Apple tries to be inclusive and they are probably the only company that takes that much care about such things.
My point is… There’s a lot more to a company and to an ecosystem than yet another great thing each and every year. There are values and ethical issues with lots of things that are going on in the technology world these days. Go back a few years and remember the pace with which new technology got introduced. For about two decades now, the speed escalated almost on a daily basis. Maybe it is a good idea to slow down a bit and take a breath. As a developer it is almost impossible to keep up with every new technology you have to support each year. There is just not enough time to make everything right. Apple takes this time. They are in a position where they don’t have to jump on each hypetrain and throwing out gadgets that nobody needs every year. They are more and more integrating all their platforms. It took some years but everything comes to fit together. Sure, there’s the possibility that they are „the new Blackberry or Nokia“ and that they don’t see that they are left behind by other companies. But I’m pretty sure that they have great new stuff up their sleeve which is just not ready yet.
Maybe it’s just me getting older, but I don’t want to go on with this pace in the technology world. Go on you people out there, research the hell out of every little bit of technology. Create amazing things, fly to Mars and make lives longer! This is important work! (please don’t destroy humanity with your fancy AI) What I want for now is that all my devices are working together, being gradually improved over time with seemingly tiny new features. At some point, it will be the right time to jump to the next level. But is this supposed to be each and every year in June? Why do people think that Apple has to create a new iPhone-like „gamechanger“ every year? I’m sure Apple stocks will drop significantly today/tomorrow, because analysts will once more preach that Apple is doomed. The iPhone is nine years old now. Look back ten years and realize how smartphones changed our lives during that time. Can you imagine this being the normal speed our lives change every year? It’s time to slow down. Sometimes you need to stop and take a breath to not burn out. Time to check on the technology we have and how it can be improved to make this world a better place.