When I look at the keynotes addressed to developers by Google and Apple1)Both conferences are developer conferences, even if they are pushing marketing threads side by side, the conclusions are disastrous for Apple. I didn’t always dislike Apple; but year after year it becomes clearer that their innovating motor is gone, and that they’re running out of the bs people are willing to swallow.
I’ve been waiting for quite a long time to see the WWDC keynote because I’m obviously not a fan and I liked the Google I/O keynote enough to actually want to see ‘what the other guys are doing’. It’s no secret that I’m an Android user, and I recommend it to anyone. But everyone seems to be fond of Apple, so I said… why not? However…
In the first 15 minutes of the keynote, Apple showed us a 10 minute commercial which started with “I have no idea what a developer looks like”, in which you see samples of the most useless things you can do with your iPad, Cook launched a petty apropos to Windows 8’s adoption rate (which has bigger numbers than anything Apple ever sold when it comes to desktop OSes) and you could see that, how amazing! you can change the color of your theme, and you can make your forever-staying-there menu dark!
By this point, Google’s presentation already introduced android|one, the (belated, I would say) push of monoculture in the Android world, moving the updates of your device in Google’s backyard, and you had a glance at the new Android design, which has some revolutionary ideas. Integration and real design updates. This is in the first 15 minutes.
Apple moves on to presenting the OS X desktop. Since Google doesn’t have a desktop OS (chromebook is not a desktop OS) it is unfair to compare them; instead, we should compare it to the other OSes that roam around the world. Apple introduces a new color theme (present since Windows 3.1, KDE 1.0 or GNOME 1.0) and then moves on to ripping off Windows 8. Not even 8.1, I’m talking about the original Windows 8, launched in 2012 as a developer preview. It rips off a bit of the search button from Google, and they start emphasizing on how amazing it is that your search bar can transform metric units into imperial units. iCloud is nothing but what Dropbox and Google Drive have been for what it feels like ages.. And even if they’ve “thrown in Windows too” on the iCloud Drive, Windows already has way better solutions there, and they will probably have more users from Windows than the MacOS X mandatory ‘adopter’.
The sidebar is as useless as any sidebar since Windows 95. In fact, OS X’s changes are so uninteresting that the guy who’s presenting it can’t stop saying “it’s just beautiful”, “wow”, “can you see how amazing it is?”2)you can’t, the screen is simply too small. This is why the presentation became a stand-up routine rather than a technical or marketing preview.
The mail application now sends attachments on the web. After we’ve spent years learning not to open attachments, and not to open LINKS in mails, Apple wants all their users to send their attachments through a public service, for which you only need a link. Very smart, Apple, very smart, I feel secure, especially since I know that my data is safe with you. Funnily enough, this is one of the things that people would lynch Google for, but hey! Nobody said it’s going to be fair.
I will not comment the two presentations minute-by-minute. They presented interesting things and there was a lot of catching up with Android. I couldn’t be enthusiastic about it, and I will definitely not want a device with iOS 8, if it’s this limited. They showed us things that Android has been doing for years now and called them big surprises. Knowing how hard Apple enforces limitations on their platform makes me pretty sure that my next device, in two year’s time, will still be an Android.
The numbers they presented were kind of pitiful when compared with the numbers presented by Google last year. The presentation didn’t shine at all; by the way, did anyone understand what Dr. Dre was saying when called? I haven’t, and it shows that the technology is not there yet.
I come across the need to be ‘integrated’ more and more often. This is normal; we’re finally catching up with Plan 9. However, when your big innovations are ‘something like dropbox’, ‘a Haskell rip-off’, ‘a Windows 8 envy’ and ‘catching up with last year’s Android’ while trash talking Windows and Android… Come on, it might work for brainwashed consumers, but not for people with a straight mindset.
But wow, third party keyboards! Amazing. I think the most pitiful part was the fact that each presenter told the audience what it should think: “you should be wow”, “aren’t you amazed?”, “super!”, “amazing stuff”. Otherwise, they can’t disguise the fact that Apple’s iOS8 is a mediocre release with two things that might catch on 3)will catch on, in fact, because Apple can and will make them mandatory: Metal and Swift.
Below, the WWDC 2014 keynote:
and the Google I/O 2014 keynote:
Conclusion: Google still knows developers, and it grows faster at design… and Apple is doing the ‘catching up’ game now.
NOTES [ + ]
|1.||↑||Both conferences are developer conferences, even if they are pushing marketing threads|
|2.||↑||you can’t, the screen is simply too small|
|3.||↑||will catch on, in fact, because Apple can and will make them mandatory|