Apple After Steve Jobs

WWDC 2014: Expectations are just too high

We are less than a month away from Apple’s annual developer conference and yet again, expectations are way too high. Whare are your expectations?

Historically, Apple uses the WWDC gathering to focus on two things: their operating systems and developement tools. Consider Apple’s goal: to delight developers in order to have them commit to the platforms. IMHO, everyprevious product announcements was a bonus, a way to highlight something. Take for example WWDC 2010 where the iPhone 4 was announced. Sure this device was a big announcement (remember Retina Display, new form factor?) but to me this was FaceTime and iMessage the star of the show, both services are at the base iOS ecosystem stickyness. The same is true with iCloud when it was announced a year later along with iOS 5.

So, personally, I don’t expect the iWatch or the Apple TV to be shown (just like this guy). I do expect (hope?) Apple to talk about an Apple TV SDK. A pre-release version of iOS for the current Apple TV could be shown, just like they did with CarPlay last year, well in advance of iOS 7.1. An update to the Apple TV hardware and software in the fall could seal the deal.

As for the iWatch, Apple can introduce the rumored “Healthbook” in iOS 8 as a new plateform for third parties health related data gathering. That being said, Apple could introduce the iWatch later in the fall that take advantage of the freshly released iOS 8.

Then, there is OS X 10.10. Remember, the Mac business is relatively small compared to iOS and the iPhone. Some are expecting Apple to put focus on OS X but I highly dougt it. Since the release of iOS 7 new design, we all agree that Apple could be on the verge of introducing the biggest OS X redesign since release 10.1. This surely will make the headlines in the blogosphere but this won’t be much of a game changer. Remember, Apple clearly said they don’t want OS X to be iOS and vice versa.

We don’t waste time thinking, ‘But it should be one [interface]!’ How do you make these [operating systems] merge together?’ What a waste of energy that would be. Phil Schiller

WWDC 2014 could be the year where Apple shows that they have been working behind the scene in order to beef up iCloud, the service that tie all plateforms together (iOS, OS X, iTunes, App Store, iBookstore, etc.). We know there is room for improving photos management on iOS and document management. iCloud Photostream wasn’t that great and not only introduced complexity in photo management but ambiguity. Managing documents on iOS is a pain and is in need of a real solution. Healthbook if it is real will certainly be using iCloud for storing and syncing data. Pricing of iCloud storage could also be revisited as competing products offer more for less money.

So, set your expectation lower. Look at the past for hints on Apple’s intentions for the next WWDC.

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