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Apple Watch: WWDC 2017
Monday, 2017 June 5 - 5:27 pm
A few thoughts about this year's announcements.

Amazon on AppleTV
This announcement came early, and was barely a blip in the presentation. But I think it's interesting because it may be a sign of increased cooperation between Apple and Amazon, perhaps to team up against Google. There was also a little-noticed news blurb earlier that Apple and Amazon are joining Foxconn's bid for Toshiba's memory chip business.

Safari Tracking Prevention
New versions of Safari will limit the ability of advertisers to track users across the web, presumably by sandboxing cookies and otherwise disguising the user's identity to the requesting site. This is another attack on Google's advertising model (and Amazon's, for that matter); I always find it interesting when Apple tries to shift the battlefield away from an advertising-driven economy and more to a device-driven one.

iMac Pro
This is a weird beast. On the one hand, it is a beast, sporting impressive specifications, but is it really the device that professionals want? The rumor mill says there is still a true Mac Pro in the pipeline; but then, what's the point of this machine? There must be a specific market (creative pros) that Apple is trying to hit with this device.

Apple Pay Peer-to-Peer
This is basically Venmo, but Apple users will switch to this in droves, since it's integrated into Messenger and dead simple to use. Venmo may hang on as the de facto cross-platform payment system, but it'll definitely take a hit.

Siri Translate
Apple's just trying to keep pace here, what with Google Translate doing essentially the same thing (and in more languages). Not sure what the long-term play is; maybe language translation is just table-stakes for any voice assistant.

Augmented Reality
Apple mentioned AR and VR a lot during the presentation, so this is clearly an area of high interest. The surface and object recognition in the AR demo from WingNut AR was pretty impressive. I can see a lot of opportunities for gaming (imagine game night with your friends, but you all stand around a table looking at AR through your iPads) and even movies (a fully three-dimensional animated story, which you can watch from any angle). It's neat stuff. But Apple will need developers to make something of this quickly, because Microsoft is looking at exactly the same ideas.

iPad iOS11 Multitasking Features
Clearly, Apple is going after Surface Pro users here, with expanded multi-tasking capabilities (drag and drop across applications, a Mission-Control-like view of open apps), an exposed file system, enhanced document management features (scanning and markup), and improvements to the Apple Pencil. It might quiet people who are calling the Surface Pro an "iPad killer", for a while.

Apple's use case for devices always seems to be an urban apartment dweller who has no existing devices. In this case, it's an intelligent speaker for someone who doesn't already own a stereo system, and has $350 to spare. Is that a big market? I'm a bit skeptical. But probably, it signals that Apple is serious about the home automation space. I'll expect to see more when AppleTV and tvOS are updated later this year.

No New Mac Mini
Damn it.
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Posted by Ken in: techwatch


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