Apple were more true to the "Developer" part of the Worldwide Developer Conference than they have been in recent years. Most announcements were about allowing developers to be able to do more with less effort and greater consistency.
We had a bit of off-the-record inside information yesterday from an expat Aussie who now works at Apple as a designer that there would be some exciting announcements in the visual space (OS X Yosemite, the new Photo app with iCloud, and others were the proof of this).
What did we get right ?
Internet of Things (IoT) and Home Automation
We got those about right, but they were mostly put out there as a single slide with the icon and name of "HomeKit". This is a new developer Framework (for non-developers, this is something that we use to be able to maintain a standard with others around the world on the iOS platform - a bit like having a particular type of cable that plugs into the right equipment).
Apple did the same thing with iBeacons last year and that category is heating up all by itself.
Beats by Dr Apple
Wasn't really formally announced but as a group we did make a live phone call to Dr Dre himself as a new "employee" of Apple to demonstrate the ability to make calls using your mobile phone from your Mac computer.
iOS 8 and OS X
These were the major announcements for the conference and both received shrieks of joy and chuckles of satisfaction from the 6,000-strong tech/developer contingent as each new feature was shown. More on this in later posts.
More $$ to Developers than Google
No specific numbers were mentioned, but a good old slam against Android on adoption rates were popped up against some impressive figures on developer numbers (9 million currently registered, having doubled in the past year alone), weekly downloads, etc.
We got that one right. No mention of iPhone 6 .... it will be announced at a separate event later in the year.
Not quite announced as hardware, but our Part B of this prediction came true in the sense of the new "HealthKit" framework which will allow health equipment and app developers to exchange data, allowing the user to build up a comprehensive health profile from disparate sources on their device - and subsequently to share that information with Health Care Providers for active health management (having heart trouble, your Doctor may know before you do and call you to let you know).
What did we get completely wrong?
A swing and a miss on the following:
iBeacons were not mentioned at all. There are, however, nearly a dozen presentations and labs covering the iBeacon technology over the week so obviously there is still an appetite.
Transformer MacPad and Multitasking in iOS 8. This was a wild shot for us, and others who we spoke to are disappointed that this won't be happening. However, Apple have dealt with the problem of mobility and interchangeability of devices a little differently by adding a set of core capabilities to the new OS X Yosemite and iOS8 which will let your devices pick up from where you left off without having to think about it ... start an email on your iPhone and if you haven't yet finished it by the time you get back to your Mac, it'll be waiting for you to complete on the Mac (or any other devices of your choosing). Apple have also added a slew of other capabilities to iOS8, including a Widget/Extension registration so your favourite app can appear on your notifications screen along with weather, messages, etc.
General Hardware Updates ... Following along with Apple's re-focus on developers at this conference, no hardware updates were announced.
Apple TV Update .... Nope. Nothing to see here. Keep walking!