Apple WWDC Impressions: On The Verge Of Something Spectacular

Many people have described Apple’s worldwide developer conference (WWDC) as uninteresting. I think that Apple is turning up the heat. I felt a great tension in the air there.

Right now, Apple is filling in some gaps. We get these great API calls for more effectively making UI elements resize and retain relationships to other elements, we get new mapping apps, we get new ways of controlling devices and the ability to very very easily customize UI elements so everyone’s apps can feel the same while looking different.

But it feels like biding their time. There are so many hints and rumors, from Apple television sets to 7″ tablets to 4″ smartphones. Back to the Mac feels in flux, half way to completing its goals. Laptops and desktop computers are adding components that make them more powerful and more visually appealing, but only some of them get upgrades and only one gets a retina display. Half of the Mac systems have moved to SSD drives and half of them haven’t. Siri is a very interesting start that could change the way we interact with small devices, but I wouldn’t want to rely on it right now. Apple bakes in Facebook and Twitter, but only Facebook and Twitter. Apple demonstrates a new sharing API but it only offers sharing from a handful of services.

There was nothing earth-shattering announced, but at the same time there is an amazing groundwork being set for what feels like a burst of creative energy out of Cupertino, a blow your socks off moment, maybe more than one.

WWDC itself, conversations with people at Apple, conversations with other developers, it feels like that Giants-Astros game Wednesday night. It’s the ninth inning and the crowd, very passive earlier, suddenly senses history. Matt Cain has three outs to go, three outs to a perfect game, three outs to only the 22nd perfecto in baseball history.

We don’t know what is going to happen. It just feels like we are on the verge of something spectacular.