Last week at Apple's WorldWide Developer's Conference, the company announced some cool changes and additions to its lineup. iOS 7, iRadio and new Mac Pros all hit the stage, so here's my take on what went down.
I'll start with iOS 7 - which made massive, almost shocking, visual changes. But did they introduce anything "new"? Not really. Just another evolution of iOS, or more touting of fluff features that no one will use. There's some nice new eye-candy features, but nothing mind-blowing IMO.
So what would have been mind-blowing? User accounts, true multi-tasking, side-by-side apps, maybe a hardware dock to dock it up, wireless charging, better syncing features, better battery usage because the OS is so slim and sexy.
The only real new 'feature' is background usage, or how the OS utilizes apps that are in the background, is nicer, but it's still not true multi-tasking (like Blackberry and now Android 4.1). They made massive upgrades to the stock camera app and that's real nice, so yeah, I like that.
One big thing is that there's no iOS 7 love for iPads... yet. iOS 7 ships in the fall, which means I can't test iOS 7 out on iPad for a bit. That's BS. I'm sorry, but iOS 7 beta should be available for iPads, 'today' like the iPhone's is. Why? Because the iPad is supposed to be this great mobile device slayer-of-traditional-PCs and they don't have its new OS beta, filled with a bunch of new "features" (
Next up is something I really did like... the introduction of iRadio!!! And the price!? FREE! (with ads) and FREE with an iTunes Match account which has no ads, (25 bucks a year). That's just huge. I like how Siri is bigger, integrates with iRadio, and hopefully she's better. As documented in other pieces on this blog, I have an iTunes Match account... and I'll certainly be enjoying this.
Now on to the new Mac Pro... and finally, they brought out a new form factor. After ALL THESE YEARS they bring out a new form factor and... it's BS. What in the hell were they thinking here? I mean, it's almost like Apple said, "G4 Cube, meet the Intel Cylinder". HA... BS. And if that wasn't enough, there's something else that really gets to me about this. It's not the form factor, or its guts, but it's what it doesn't offer. If you want to "expand" your 'tower' or 'desktop', you have to go 'external' peripherals. BULL. SH*T.
Okay, so tell me again what is the difference between the new Mac Pro and a Mac Mini, other than massive video and processor etc.? Nothing. I mean that's a silly statement sure (the hardware pales in comparison), but geeks like 'desktops' because you can expand them and add upgrades over time. This new cylinder is garbage. Apple is forcing me to buy an extremely limited and expensive 'Thunderbolt' connected external devices to match the current internal speeds of these said devices. BULL. SH*T.
That brings the score to: Design, 1 - Useful Needs of the Consumer, 0.
It is the exact same crap they pulled with the iMac, etc.
At this point, your best bet is a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air (at least with the Air you know you're buying a throw-away laptop). I guess their angle is that they took the 'traditional' desktop and made it (nothing but) a Mac Mini on steroids. What really happened was that they took the 'PC' and killed its form factor, neutering any internal geek love. The iPad didn't kill the PC, Apple just did. Now if I want to upgrade, I have to build it at checkout, and that is going to be über $$.
Speaking of their notebook line, I LOVE the MacBook Air I have. I absolutely love it. The new MacBook Airs will finally be on the cutting edge, shipping with the brand spanking new Haswell chipset from Intel. This is huge. If I were to own a new Mac, for my dwindling usage of a 'PC', I'd own a phat new MacBook Air, hands down.
OVERALL... I'd say it was a half-decent event. I give them a solid 'B' today - 'B' for, yup... Bullsh*t. I'm sure some out there might still wonder, "Why so harsh, Aaron?" Well, I'll tell ya. It is because they are the second richest company on the planet, and all they gave me today was a new UI for stock apps on my iPhone and iPad. BFD.
I mean, this new interface must be the greatest thing in the world to develop. I mean, it must be the hardest most expensive thing in the world to have done - and not have done for the iPad (today). I mean, truly a new UI borrowing features from existing competitive companies, introducing new 'features' that have been around for years with other phones, and hacks, etc., must have been so expensive to develop - OF COURSE that's all we get! Cupertino... start YOUR copiers. At least Redmond designed something different (sucks, but different).
Apple Inc. is the richest tech company in the world, and Google (bless their privacy stealing, sometimes pathetic apps, and wasteful, black hearts) are running circles around them. Why can't we have built-in ad blocking in the new Safari? (I know why BTW) Why can't OS X have received a UI overhaul to match iOS 7? Oh, because they needed ALL their resources on iOS... bullsh*t. Developers have redesigned UIs for years now (I used to for both Windows and OS X) and it's not 'that' hard.
Apple is the richest tech company in the world... how about they hire more people if this is all they can put out?