Apple opened it’s’ World Wide Developer’s Conference today, affectionately known as WWDC by the Apple crowd. The Keynote address is legendary for being the major event where revolutionary new products are announced. This year’s Keynote did not disappoint.
It was not as tightly presented or executed as it was when Steve Jobs was alive and still at the helm. But it was filled with glimpses of amazing products, some available immediately but most only available to developers in beta so that they can have a head start developing their products that take advantage of the new features announced today.
Three products stand out in my mind. The first is the sneak preview of the iMac Pro, a smoking new machine available next Christmas. It isn’t really intended as a consumer machine but there will be many professional programmers that will buy one anyway. At the high end it features an 18 core Xenon processor and a display like none ever built before. It borrows cooling technology from the MacBook Pro line to make it the coolest running desktop in its processor class. They are offering two terabytes of SSD storage as a high end option. It is truly a breath taking machine. And at $4999 for the entry level machine, it is modestly priced. Did I mention it supports up to 128GB of RAM?
The second product that impressed me was iOS 11 for the iPad. They are finally turning it into a machine that can do most everything that a desktop can do. It is certainly a premiere appliance computer. It much of a developer’s machine but then all the developers will be clamoring for an iMac Pro. They have added an app that lets you access the file system. They have finally mad multitasking useful. And they have added drag and drop between apps. They’ve added a bunch more features but those were the ones that stood out in my mind.
The third product that wowed me was the HomePod smart, wireless speaker system. Once again, Apple has taken their time and got the product right instead of rushing to be the first to market with a new product. By waiting until they got it right they have guaranteed their dominance of the category.
I know I said there were only three things that grabbed my attention and for the most part that is true. I do want to comment on three new libraries that they made available to developers today. The first is Metal2, their graphics library. When combined with the other two libraries, core ML Machine Learning and ARkit Augmented Reality API, they have set themselves up to be the premiere immersive environment development platform. This market is growing exponentially and may single handedly keep Macs relevant in the shadow of the huge mobile device market that accounts for most of Apple’s revenue.
Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.