Join 3,432 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


WWDC 2014: Buttons so different you won't want to lick them anymore
June 1, 2014 7:38 AM   Subscribe

WWDC is almost upon us, and with it comes the live-streaming keynote, delivered at 10am PST, in which Apple traditionally announces new software (and sometimes something else to boot). Rumors of an iWatch abound, but just as intriguing is the popularly-believed notion that Apple will be introducing a new design to OS X which matches last year's iOS 7, breaking clean of the Aqua interface which has defined the Mac since January 2000. Rumors abound.

If you're not an Apple geek, of course, caring about any of this is pure reality-distorting hype, but if you watch Apple keynotes the way mainstream America watches the Superbowl, this month has been one of unbearable anticipation. Why not pass the time by watching keynotes of years past, such as the unveiling of Aqua in 2000, the classic introduction of the iPhone and iOS, or the debut of OS X Mavericks and the shockingly-different iOS 7 from just last year.

Do you prefer your geekery to be of the comprehensive over-analytical variety? Spend the day catching up on all the old novella-length Ars Technica reviews of Mac OS X instead: the pre-Aqua beta, the introduction of Aqua and Quartz, and the final public beta, followed by 10.0 proper. From there OS X's visual style iterated through Puma (10.1), Jaguar (10.2), Panther (10.3), and Tiger (10.4), before consolidating and unifying its interface with Leopard (10.5), which took two and a half years to release. Snow Leopard (10.6) famously offered "0 New Features", instead focusing on developer frameworks and reliability, but Lion (10.7) marked the first shift towards an iOS-like interface, including controversial changes to scrolling and to scroll bars. Mountain Lion (10.8), the last of the cat-themed OS Xs, was also the first to be sold as a direct download from the new Mac App Store, and is perhaps best-known for introducing system-wide integration with iCloud.

Last year's California-themed Mavericks (10.9) mostly played second fiddle to iOS 7, but it hinted at changes on the Apple design team following the departure of Scott Forstall; along with its changed branding, it eliminated the infamous skeuomorphism which had become a trademark of Apple design under Jobs and Forstall. (Craig Federighi, demoing the leather-free windows, joked: "No virtual cows were harmed in the making of this.") Beyond the introduction of a new OS price — free — and a couple of relatively minor changes to the OS, including a revamp of John Siracusa's least-favorite OS X app, Mavericks was a fairly staid release; presumably Apple's focus was on finishing the still-incomplete iOS 7 as much as it could in the several months it had spent developing it. This just paves the way, though, for some potentially-exciting new changes tomorrow morning...
posted by Rory Marinich (386 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Where's Dre's iWatch?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:50 AM on June 1 [10 favorites]


Maybe we can get a damned Mac mini update.

probably not, though. sigh
posted by curious nu at 7:53 AM on June 1 [13 favorites]


It's interesting that they're going to live stream the keynote again. When was the last time they did that? A couple years ago? There's got to be something more to it than iOS8 (which photos of banners being put up about have already been leaked online), but I doubt it's a new iPhone or iPad, but it's got to be something.
posted by mathowie at 7:55 AM on June 1


The Buyer's Guide suggests a Mac Mini update is possible, even likely. I hope so, because I'd love my next computer to be a Mini.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:55 AM on June 1


It's gonna be a prosthetic limb, the iPendage.
posted by BeerFilter at 7:58 AM on June 1 [14 favorites]


Maybe we can get a damned Mac mini update.

Unlikely. WWDC is generally dedicated to developers. There'd be nothing about a new mini that would require Apple to release at WWDC.

I'm also saying no iWatch at this thing. I also maintain there won't be an iWatch ever. Sure, there will be some sort of wearable at some point, but the last thing it'll do is tell time. I already have an Apple watch. It's called an iPhone.

Is there a reason we have this post a day before there's anything to report besides rumor?
posted by cjorgensen at 8:00 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


I think they might be showing off their Google Glass competition: iBalls.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:04 AM on June 1 [6 favorites]


Is there a reason we have this post a day before there's anything to report besides rumor?

Partly because the OS X stuff is what really interests me here; it's going to be the most significant change to one of the most popularly-used desktop interfaces on the planet in 14 years. iWatch, sure, sounds great, but there's a reason I emphasized "new UI" keynotes and Ars Technica's reviews.

Partly it's because I have been practically foaming at the mouth all month waiting for this keynote, since I am an obsessive Apple keynotes fan, and I figured there'd be other similar enthusiasts here. The keynote isn't about product, it's about performance of product. It's one of the most fascinating marketing events of the year. Jobs' keynote unveiling of the iPhone is one of the single best "live marketing performances" I've ever seen, and, sure, the bar is pretty low, but that doesn't make Jobs' presentation anything other than masterful. It's what got me into marketing as a teenager.

Partly it's here so there'll be a livethread during tomorrow's announcements. Now that FanFare means no liveblogging TV shows, I had to get my fix somehow.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:06 AM on June 1 [8 favorites]


I already have an Apple watch. It's called an iPhone.

all we need is an iMonocle and iTophat to go with your iPocketwatch and a person can dress like a proper iMonopoly mascot...
posted by ennui.bz at 8:07 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure I buy it, but this does look a little suspicious...
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:14 AM on June 1


My understanding is that the two OS teams are still understaffed, so I hope that they don't release a drastic change to OSX because the level of bugs between iOS and OSX 10.9 is too high as is.
posted by michaelh at 8:15 AM on June 1 [4 favorites]


I hope they have found some way to supercede headphones, and that's what they are announcing. Maybe the iWatch will transfer sound to our ears through our bloodstream while we exercise, and that's why Dr. Dre has his credentials.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:18 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I watched the keynote live stream last year, Matt.
posted by wotsac at 8:20 AM on June 1


I would love for there to be some sort of wearable tech, but if the rumours of a larger iPhone are true, two significantly new hardware product offerings in one year seem like a tall order. And I think I'd rather have a large iPhone than a watch.
posted by Phire at 8:22 AM on June 1


Yeah, the iOS 7 keynote was livestreamed.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:22 AM on June 1


Given the likelihood of a further shift in the All-Ivey design of the desktop, I suspect this will be a feature release, but honestly, I'd really like another Snow Leopard where the OS team gets a chance to just kill bugs, scratch itches, pay off technical debt, and just generally harden the internals.
posted by fatbird at 8:27 AM on June 1 [16 favorites]


WWDC is generally dedicated to developers.

Oh, sure, I'm just general Apple-griping. =)
posted by curious nu at 8:29 AM on June 1


If they don't talk about a new  Tv or the watch / fitnessband device I... I... I'm going to set the building on fire. I mean it this time. (flames, FLAMES on the side of my face...)
posted by entropicamericana at 8:38 AM on June 1 [4 favorites]


What is the appeal of the iPhone getting even larger? I find with the 5 my hand is stretched to the limit already trying to reach the screen buttons to control, say, the music player (why they're not all placed at the bottom I've no idea).
posted by Flashman at 8:50 AM on June 1 [5 favorites]


While we're wishing for stuff, I hope they recognize that while, yes, the developers will come to them because they have the platform they want to be on, you do need to throw them a bone now that the hotness is wearing off. I used to daydream about them making the iOS provisioning process less insane, and I hope that happens someday.
posted by ignignokt at 8:56 AM on June 1


I'm looking forward to them finally announcing an iPod Classic with higher capacity. because I live on the candy planet in a bubblegum house.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:02 AM on June 1 [13 favorites]


I use exclusively Apple products, but boy I wish they'd just have a year or so of fixing bugs in their software instead of constantly reinventing everything. Particularly a new UI; I mean, flat design worked so well for Microsoft in Windows 8! OSX is a crappy Unix and gets worse with every release. E.g., in 10.9 they managed to break remote filesystems. And iTunes 11 is even worse, if that were somehow possible.

Maybe they'll finally replace that embarassing file recovery GUI, the I'm flying through space in a Time Machine! thing? At least the underlying backup product there works well, but someone was smoking way too much skeuomorph while watching 2001 when they designed that GUI.

Apple's marketing is so good they don't even have to buy ads on Metafilter.
posted by Nelson at 9:03 AM on June 1 [8 favorites]


Nitpick: the WWDC keynote event is at 10am Pacific Time, or 10am PDT, not 10am PST.

People make this mistake constantly, which is why I recommend you just use PT (and ET, etc.).

Yes, it does matter.
posted by intermod at 9:09 AM on June 1 [12 favorites]


Oh god, iTunes 11.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:11 AM on June 1 [6 favorites]


What is the appeal of the iPhone getting even larger? I find with the 5 my hand is stretched to the limit already...

While I too see little appeal in a larger device, Android phones with large screens have been a success. Globally, more than a third of new Android phones sold have 5-inch or larger screens. I often see people using big-screen smartphones two-handed; typically holding it in their left hand while touching the screen with their right hand.
posted by RichardP at 9:14 AM on June 1


My impression of the general windows 8 backlash was more that it was about the schizophrenic nature of the UI (switching between metro and the desktop) and lack of a start button, and not as much about the flat look.

I'm kinda looking forward to a "flat" OS X. There are certainly plenty of bugs in 10.9 that need fixing, and while trotting out a list of fixed bugs might be a marketing win with the tech crowd, it's a pretty tough to turn that list into a video spot on national tv or the front page of nytimes.com
posted by strange chain at 9:19 AM on June 1


...all we need is an iMonocle and iTophat to go with your iPocketwatch and a person can dress like a proper iMonopoly mascot...

I think we'd get more bang for our buck from an iCane.
posted by sutt at 9:22 AM on June 1


I swear, if they screw up OS X I'm going back to Linux on the desktop. I'm pretty happy with my MBP running Lion, but I'm not so in live with it I wouldn't switch back to CentOS. I do, personally, dislike the "flat" style; it looks crummy on my iPad.
posted by wintermind at 9:30 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Look, I don't want to start a derail (I own several Apple products myself that I'm quite happy with), but I cannot abide falsehoods. OS X is certainly not one of the most popularly-used desktop interfaces on the planet.

Windows 8 alone outnumbers OS X systems. Desktop market share March 2014.

Again, I'm not looking to stir up trouble or start the typical flamewar that accompanies every Mac vs PC post, but we can't outright claim an OS is among the most popular on the planet just because it's one of our favorites.
posted by johnnyace at 9:32 AM on June 1 [13 favorites]


What is the appeal of the iPhone getting even larger? I find with the 5 my hand is stretched to the limit already...

Not everyone has the same size hands. A big part of why I'd never buy an iPhone is the dinky form-factor that seems lost in my giant hand.
posted by octothorpe at 9:32 AM on June 1


it's gonna be a laptop wherein one can spill tea all over it and it will magically repair itself
posted by angrycat at 9:34 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


I already touch my laptop screen expecting it to do something - not all the time, but often enough.
posted by R. Mutt at 9:37 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


The developer conference doesn't seem a likely place for an Apple TV update, alas. I have a friend who'll be hoping it's all about fixing the bugs in streaming, but he's also got the weirdest problems with streaming I've ever seen. We occasionally have weird issues with switching automatically between the (non Apple) DVD player and the Apple TV for control, but otherwise our TV setup works well. Our poor friend can't make any of his gear work without fighting and nobody can figure out why.
posted by immlass at 9:39 AM on June 1


johnnyace: "Look, I don't want to start a derail (I own several Apple products myself that I'm quite happy with), but I cannot abide falsehoods. OS X is certainly not one of the most popularly-used desktop interfaces on the planet. Windows 8 alone outnumbers OS X systems."

I don't really understand. In what sense is it false to say that OS X is one of the most popular desktops in the world? By your link's testimony, it's number 2, if we count Windows as a single OS. Even if we don't, it's still number 5, which ranks it among the most popular OSes. So I don't really see what your point is; it is not a falsehood to say that OS X is popular.
posted by koeselitz at 9:45 AM on June 1 [9 favorites]


Obviously Apple's purchase of PrimeSense means it can only be one thing: an iKinect. No longer will you be forced to touch your computer like some primitive cave-person. No, from now on you will interact with your computer in a manner befitting the specimen of homo superior that you clearly are: whole-body wild flailing.

Embrace the future. (I mean this literally: the gesture for unlocking the screen is a pantomime hug).
posted by Pyry at 9:45 AM on June 1 [8 favorites]


Partly it's here so there'll be a livethread during tomorrow's announcements.

Problem with this is that the real announcements get buried under a pile of pablum and then the actual stuff gets missed.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:46 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


What is the appeal of the iPhone getting even larger?

So that a few years can go by and users can claim "Apple invented the large phone and everyone else copied them!"
posted by dobbs at 9:47 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


If they get rid of my skeuomorphism, my next computer will probably be a chromebook, or even just an android tablet. Like a matte screen (as opposed to all this glossy BS you see these days), skeuomorphism is actually a Good Idea as it keeps everything from looking Exactly The Same. Jony Ive needs a leash.
posted by sexyrobot at 9:47 AM on June 1 [7 favorites]


Maybe we can get a damned Mac mini update.

Unlikely. WWDC is generally dedicated to developers. There'd be nothing about a new mini that would require Apple to release at WWDC.


Hardly, last year's significant MacBook Air update was part of the WWDC opening presentation.
posted by furtive at 9:48 AM on June 1


Look, I don't want to start a derail (I own several Apple products myself that I'm quite happy with), but I cannot abide falsehoods. OS X is certainly not one of the most popularly-used desktop interfaces on the planet.

I don't think you understand what "one of" means.
Lumping everything together, Mac OS X is number 2 behind Windows.
If you want to split everything up by version, Max OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) is number 5, which is behind various Windows versions, but ahead of some other Windows & Mac OS X versions.
Either way, it's one of the most popularly-used desktop interfaces.
posted by w0mbat at 9:49 AM on June 1 [5 favorites]


I enjoy WWDC far more than the fall iDevice reveals because I've always thought the software was more personally interesting than the hardware.

And as for teams being stretched thin, that I agree with*, but I actually found Mavericks to be a shockingly solid release considering the annual pace. They managed to completely rework the kernel and completely rearrange how executable timings worked--which could have easily been a huge disaster but it worked.

iOS 7 certainly has a lot of rough spots, but I was pretty solidly impressed that they managed to add a 64/32 bit dual execution OS stack on a brand new ARM architecture AND conceptually rewrite the entire visual design and GUI behaviour of the thing in less than 7 months (post Forstall, basically).

* WWDC14 is my deadline, I buy Lightroom and sunset Aperture unless there's something announced for the poor neglected thing.
posted by whittaker at 9:50 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


On the size thing, the iPhone seems fine in use until you test out a ginormous android phone for a few hours (not the Galaxy note but all the 5.5" ones). The iPhone feels like a tiny toy and cramped and surprising that it still only comes in the smaller size.
posted by mathowie at 9:51 AM on June 1 [5 favorites]


Like a matte screen (as opposed to all this glossy BS you see these days), skeuomorphism is actually a Good Idea as it keeps everything from looking Exactly The Same. Jony Ive needs a leash.

Forstall, is that you?

It's gonna be a prosthetic limb, the iPendage.

AppEndage, surely.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:52 AM on June 1


I don't think you understand what "one of" means.


Using "one of" is bit disingenuous when almost everyone uses one of three OSes.
posted by thecjm at 9:55 AM on June 1 [6 favorites]


I was pretty solidly impressed that they managed to add a 64/32 bit dual execution OS stack

Multi-architecture support has been part of XNU since the beforetimes, and has been used by Apple in a serious way since the introduction of 64-bit PowerPC.
posted by conorh at 9:56 AM on June 1


Conorh, Oh I'm well aware of Apple's multi-architecture history. I just think it's nontrivial to write a mobile dual-architecture OS and one of the architectures has never shipped in a product before.

Anybody who thinks it is—and that it's a matter of course that it would happen invisibly to the user—should hear about what it was like to run the 64bit version of Windows XP sometime.
posted by whittaker at 10:00 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


breaking clean of the Aqua interface which has defined the Mac since January 2000

Wut? Apple has been deprecating more Aqua features in each release. There is no Aqua left. The defining features of the Mac interface that remain, go back to OS 7, if not to the original Mac 128k.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:07 AM on June 1


I had a friend who broke an ankle and was using an iWalk for about six months. It was pretty neat, actually.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:09 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


No argument on the difficulty front, just pointing out that a lot of the infrastructural support had already been laid and tested.
posted by conorh at 10:12 AM on June 1


No longer will you be forced to touch your computer like some primitive cave-person.

Visions of Phil Hartman as cave man -developer: "these new touchscreens frighten and confuse me."
posted by shothotbot at 10:12 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


I don't want to argue this further, and I know statistics can be used to support almost any position, but just because OS X is one of a few choices does not automatically make it one of the most popular.

Just because a small percentage of people bike to work does not make cycling one of the most popular forms of commute. Again, disclaimer, I'm not attacking Apple, but hyperbole benefits no one.
posted by johnnyace at 10:14 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Boy that "one of" comment became a quick derail. Let's put this to bed. The fine chart linked shows

88% using Windows
8% using "Other"
4% using MacOS

So yes, MacOS is "one of" the most popular OSes in the world, why, it's almost half of Other! It's also a very tiny minority in the world. It is however quite a popular choice among the types of nerds who hang out on Metafilter (back in 2012 we had 26% of Metafilter users using MacOS compared to 48% Windows), so a post here about MacOS rumors seems topical. Frankly I would rather discuss this after WWDC's marketing event is over and we have facts, but, well, this is Metafilter and there's a rush to post first. At least it's a good post.
posted by Nelson at 10:16 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


In most rooms I'm in, it's the most popular.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 10:17 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


I don't want to argue this further...but...

Dude, c'mon. You're a good guy but you should have quit typing at, "Look, I don't want to start a derail..."
posted by cribcage at 10:18 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


In most rooms I'm in, it's just another OS to support.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:29 AM on June 1 [4 favorites]


4% is for 10.9. From the same site, the cumulative total over all OS/X versions is 7.39% - it's the second most widely used operating system on the desktop, with four times the share of the third most widely used.

That said, it's an OS that's seemingly gotten worse with each version. I stayed on 10.6.8 for the longest time, but eventually I had to upgrade. Having tried 10.7, 10.8 and 10.9 in quick succession, I find that the versions get slower as they go, with no great improvements in functionality.

Having been an independent developer for many years, my dislike of Apple has steadily grown as they relentlessly grind their developers. They made it extremely hard for me to sell my program without giving them 30% off the top - 30%! - and yet the restrictions they put over and above that made it impossible to sell through their system.

It's not just that I'd have to slavishly adhere to their style guidelines, meaning that I'd essentially have to have two completely different styles, one for OS/X and one for everyone else (which means that some of my UI can't actually be implemented at all) - it's that they forbid you from having a free trial of your software. Being privy to my sales figures, I can tell you for sure that well over 90% of our sales come from people doing loading the time-limited demo and then converting that into a paid version.

The worst is that they won't tell you exactly what conditions you will be bound by under the developer program - until you pay them $99 to sign up for the developer program! I was able to get a copy of the conditions from a friend who secretly sent me a PDF, which I then discarded.

I've been using Apple products for over 20 year now and I regret it. They're a greedy evil company - fuck them.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:36 AM on June 1 [18 favorites]


Given that about a year after the release of iOS 7 I still curse at it in frustration every single day I use it, one would accurately describe my reaction to this news as "dread".
posted by mwhybark at 10:37 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


I haven't even seen a desktop Mac since I quit my last newspaper job, almost three years ago. Meanwhile I see iPhones all the time and MacBooks with some regularity. So I'm not surprised the consumer desktop has been pushed way to the back.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:38 AM on June 1


You should have quit typing at, "Look, I don't want to start a derail..."

Fair enough. Back to lurking. My apologies for pedantry.
posted by johnnyace at 10:42 AM on June 1


Personally, I feel like an Apple discussion is not an Apple discussion unless it's as contentious and heated as can possibly made without gladiator-style combats. Besides, the point you raised was worth bringing up IMO.
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:54 AM on June 1 [5 favorites]


The developer conference doesn't seem a likely place for an Apple TV update...

Not unless it's an update that allows developers to make apps for the Apple TV.
posted by jbc at 10:59 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


Anybody who thinks it is—and that it's a matter of course that it would happen invisibly to the user—should hear about what it was like to run the 64bit version of Windows XP sometime.

This is, almost entirely, due to architechtural decisions made a decade ago.

Every time your application makes a function call for the kernel to do something the kernel has to be in memory. In the case of Windows this is easy because it occupies the upper 2GB of the virtual address space on a 32-bit Windows. The kernel is already in the address space. The kernel also takes in arguments as pointers into the apps address space. This is important for later.

32-bit OS X on the other hand runs the kernel in its own virtual address space. So every time you need to trap into the kernel it involves resolving the virtual memory to physical memory of the parameters of the function call, loading the kernel's address space, then mapping that same physical memory into the kernel's virtual memory space.

So every time you need to call the kernel to do something on OS X it involves a couple of extra trips to the MMU and a flush of the TLB. Windows developers looked at the situation 15 years ago and probably said "fuck that, flushing the TLB every time you need to drop into kernel space? do I look like I want to cripple performance?". The Windows way of doing things also limited applications to an absolute max of 3GB of address space (compared to OS X and Linux where it's 4GB of address space per process thanks to the kernel having its own virtual memory address space).

But, on OS X, since the function calls are taking the parameters from memory directly (since you need to remap the physical address to the kernel's virtual address space you can't just dereference a pointer like on Windows) it also means a 32-bit kernel can accept a call from 64-bit application. So if the 64-bit app says "I need you to do function X, the parameter is in 73456234FD20" that address is translated to its physical memory address (which is irrelevant for the kernel since the MMU is doing the work here) and then translates that physical memory address (again, irrelevant for the kernel yada yada yada) to something the kernel can understand like 03000040. Well within a 32-bit virtual address space. This lets a 32-bit kernel with 32-bit drivers run a 64-bit app.

Windows on the other hand is stuck since the kernel exists in the upper half of the app's virtual memory space and only there. It would take a major amount of changes to Windows to have the kernel in its own address space and since x64 is the way of the future who gives a shit, right?

But here's the trippy part. OS X developers are pretty smart cookies and they know that flushing the TLB is probably not the best of things. So the 64-bit kernel actually does reside in the application's address space now. It sits in the lower half of the address space on 64-bit systems. So now you don't even have to make the trip to another address space! There's 16 exabytes of virtual address space! So you get all the speed back on 64-bit OS X!

And now you know the rest of the story.
posted by Talez at 11:00 AM on June 1 [53 favorites]


On the size thing, the iPhone seems fine in use until you test out a ginormous android phone for a few hours (not the Galaxy note but all the 5.5" ones). The iPhone feels like a tiny toy and cramped and surprising that it still only comes in the smaller size.

The Galaxy Note 2 (which I have) IS 5.5"...the 3 is only a bit bigger at 5.7"...pretty much all the new Android phones are 5.5"...I honestly couldn't imagine trying to type on anything smaller. As a gay, though, I have a lot of gay friends and they ALL have iPhones and always ask me stupid shit like "how are you enjoying your phablet?" (Srsly NO ONE outside appleland has used that term in like 2 years) to which I usually reply "how are you enjoying your ever-shrinking market share? (~15% iPhone/80% android worldwide, FYI) ...it's odd really...it's not even an apple-fanboy-bubble that they live in, just an iPhone bubble...it's weird.
posted by sexyrobot at 11:16 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


I'm honestly hoping that they manage to cram a 4.7" screen into a form factor not much bigger than an iPhone 5S by banishing bezels to an otherworldly dimension.
posted by Talez at 11:19 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


On the size thing, the iPhone seems fine in use until you test out a ginormous android phone for a few hours (not the Galaxy note but all the 5.5" ones). The iPhone feels like a tiny toy and cramped and surprising that it still only comes in the smaller size.

Hmm, I dunno, I get the need for bigger screens, but I like that my thumb can *just* reach everything on the iPhone. Any bigger and ergonomically I have a phone that requires two hands for many functions.
posted by jeremias at 11:20 AM on June 1


Honestly I can't imagine using a phone bigger than the 5" model I have now - it's right at the edge of what's usable one handed on most instances. Hell, I'll probably try to step back to a 4.7" model if they're still being made next year.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:21 AM on June 1


My hope for the developer-and-software focused WWDC discussions here and around the internet is that they're more about technical choices, features, and discussing interesting ways that software solves problems rather than the internecine squabbling that comes from tribally identifying with your expensive pocket computer's logo.
posted by whittaker at 11:24 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


This is, almost entirely, due to architechtural decisions made a decade ago.

Oh wow. It's 2014? I meant two decades ago. Windows NT 3.1 is July 1993, right? Holy fucking shit NT can almost drink.
posted by Talez at 11:27 AM on June 1 [9 favorites]


To be fair, I assumed you meant a decade prior to XP-64's release.
posted by whittaker at 11:29 AM on June 1


Hmm, I dunno, I get the need for bigger screens, but I like that my thumb can *just* reach everything on the iPhone. Any bigger and ergonomically I have a phone that requires two hands for many functions.

I am wary of bigger screens for this reason. Maybe Apple's UI team has found a technical solution for this that they will unveil at WWDC, because I can't imagine being able to use a tablet phone with one thumb or finger, the way that I can now with my iPhone. Having a bigger screen just because Android users do... It would be a huge step backwards for iOS in terms of usability.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:31 AM on June 1


I did notice that iOS 7 introduced a fairly standardized navigation gesture to swipe in anywhere on the left edge in in order to do the same thing as hitting the back arrow.

I think that's a deliberate solution for issues in having the thumb on the right hand—in one-handed operation—reach that button (already a problem for some with the taller screen in the iPhone 5 chassis.)
posted by whittaker at 11:35 AM on June 1


What is the appeal of the iPhone getting even larger?

Why not offer a diverse set of sizes for a diverse market? Larger phones are very popular. I know a number of people who have moved to Android because of them. There are of course, still smaller Android phones. I assume smaller iPhones would still exist.
posted by juiceCake at 11:38 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Posting late to this, but I'm grateful for this post Rory.

Watched the keynotes for a couple of years now and I'm looking forward to the new hardware the company will announce (typing this on the 2012 retina I bought after the first one I viewed as well). The creeping flat approach from iOS into OS X excites me much less, but as long as Apple keeps enough info present and not hidden within the changes it'll be good enough.

Certainly I couldn't contemplate going back to a Linux variant as a full-time desktop interface anymore.
posted by northtwilight at 11:40 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


There are of course, still smaller Android phones. I assume smaller iPhones would still exist.

On the contrary, no flagship Android phone exists in a size less than 4.7". Even the HTC One "Mini" which is still a cut down version of the 5" M8 is 4.5 inches. Every phone smaller is a cut down version of the flagship phone with a worse screen, worse CPU, less RAM and less storage.

Performance versions of Android phones don't exist at 4 inches. Your only choice for a high performance smartphone is literally an iPhone.
posted by Talez at 11:42 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


Oh, and I love those novella length OS X reviews by John Siracusa. I look forward to each one like some people anticipate a Harry Potter book's release.
posted by whittaker at 11:45 AM on June 1 [7 favorites]


What are you all doing with your phones that you only use them one-handed? On my phone I might:

- Text or email: requires two hands
- Browse web (which unless you're exclusively visiting sites optimized for mobile and only from a list of bookmarks, requires two hands)
- Take a photo (one hand, I guess, though I use two)
- Answer phone (one hand)

I mean, if all you're doing is pulling it out of your pocket every two minutes to look at tweets, sure, sure, one-hand-use is critical to your mission.
posted by maxwelton at 11:54 AM on June 1


Mavericks was a donkey of a release. Lots of broken details and issues, as the profits from iDevices distracts the engineers.

I think we might have reached peak OS with Snow Leopard, but then I might be entering the "get off my lawn" years of my OSX history
posted by C.A.S. at 11:55 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Its telling how much of this thread is about the iOS and Phones, as opposed to OSX.

I think the world might be passing me by, as I get all excited about hacking the firmware on a Mac Pro tower from the last generation, rolling up my sleeves and popping some fast Xeons pulled off of a used server and having a 12 Core tower in a nice big silver case with a door. Again, for me, Peak Mac arrived and I think we're on the downslope
posted by C.A.S. at 12:00 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]


I might be entering the "get off my lawn" years of my OSX history
It's possible. I pretty much had the day experience to your night; faster, almost double the battery life, a bunch of small irritations from prior releases fixed, Safari's webkit2 stability issues practically eliminated, and not a single compatibility issue with any of my apps--a first on any of these upgrades for me (I've run in-place upgrades of every OS starting with Leopard).

Then again, I don't use gmail and that mail.app business was one of several highly visible, showstopping user facing bugs people encountered.
posted by whittaker at 12:01 PM on June 1 [5 favorites]


My hope for the developer-and-software focused WWDC discussions here and around the internet is that they're more about technical choices, features, and discussing interesting ways that software solves problems rather than the internecine squabbling that comes from tribally identifying with your expensive pocket computer's logo.

Yes, but to be fair, you knew that was never going to happen, right? ;)

Hmm, I dunno, I get the need for bigger screens, but I like that my thumb can *just* reach everything on the iPhone.

I am wary of bigger screens for this reason. Maybe Apple's UI team has found a technical solution for this...


While I can't fathom a desire to try to type one-thumbed, android (or at least Samsung, anyway) has come up with a solution for this. You can set the keyboard and/or dialpad over to the side and a bit smaller if you like...either side, for you lefties. The browser has a ...thing...too, where wherever you swipe in from the side there is a wheel of choices, like back, bookmarks, etc and when you choose one it opens another tier of choices (like for back there's also forward and refresh) it sounds more complicated than it is. It's really intuitive. Srsly, for every reason you can think of for why a bigger screen would make your life more complex, there's an entire team of people whose whole job is to make it less so.
posted by sexyrobot at 12:04 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


- Browse web (which unless you're exclusively visiting sites optimized for mobile and only from a list of bookmarks, requires two hands)

On the contrary I usually browse the web one handed. This post including copy, pasting, selecting the italics for quoting was done one handed on an iPhone 5.
posted by Talez at 12:05 PM on June 1


- Text or email: requires two hands

I type with my left thumb, unless I need to type very quickly.

- Browse web (which unless you're exclusively visiting sites optimized for mobile and only from a list of bookmarks, requires two hands)

Scrolling and reading is about 95% of my web usage, which only needs a thumb. If I need to type, again I can just use my thumb to reach the entire keyboard.

- Take a photo (one hand, I guess, though I use two)

This one can be a bit more difficult, but again, I can reach the shutter with my thumb.

Two hands make everything easier, of course, but I like that iOS doesn't make it a requirement by virtue of a disciplined approach to hardware and interface design. I hope there's a software solution to the tablet screen approach that Apple is going to take. Maybe the input manager API will be opened up to third-parties to offer drop-in keyboards — or perhaps they might announce licensing and integration of Blackberry's swipe-up keyboard. That would be a nice way to fix the UI problems that will otherwise be introduced.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:06 PM on June 1


forget using the phone, i have tiny hands and can barely hold the thing (a 4S, granted with a big mophie juice pack case) securely. larger phones are absolutely a Bad Thing for me. especially when a lot of the time i'm using it on public transit, sometimes holding on to a pole or strap with the other hand, and trying to be aware and hold it securely enough to not get it ripped out of my hand by some punk kid.
posted by misskaz at 12:08 PM on June 1


also, pockets on women's clothes are often much smaller than on guys'. if the phone is too big for my pockets i'm forced to carry a purse even when i'd prefer not to.
posted by misskaz at 12:09 PM on June 1 [6 favorites]


I'm not even sure why browsing would require two hands. Thumb scrolling, double tap to zoom in intelligently on text even on full sized web pages.
posted by Talez at 12:09 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


I might be entering the "get off my lawn" years of my OSX history

I too am still stuck on Snow Leopard. I've sort of told myself it's time to move on, I even had an AskMe about whether it's a good time to get off 10.6.8 and onto 10.9, but then I was waiting for a .3 release and by the time that dropped there's talk about 10.10, so I may as well wait. Thing is: SL does everything I need it to do, and is extremely stable for me. I also do need to use a couple of essential PPC apps, so Rosetta is an issue. My hardware is still quite adequate (late 2009 i7 27" iMac), so no push from there. My workflow for what I do is all mapped out and functioning smoothly.

Maybe I just don't know what I'm missing /shrug/. I'll watch the WWDC and maybe this time I'll suddenly be seized by lunatic lust for the awesomeness that is 10.10, and finally upgrade. We'll see.
posted by VikingSword at 12:11 PM on June 1


Talez: "Windows NT 3.1 is July 1993, right? Holy fucking shit NT can almost drink."

We've been seeing drunk NT in the stripper bars up here for years.
posted by Mitheral at 12:13 PM on June 1 [3 favorites]


The Galaxy has one-handed mode you can activate/deactivate with a quick left-right swipe, and then it gives you the whole screen at a smaller size so you can reach everything easier.
Can't swipe to make the iPhone bigger though.
posted by hypersloth at 12:23 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


misskaz's point about women's pockets is a good one. My wife got her iPhone 4S fished out of her coat pocket while she was cycling in Beijing -- partly because the thief was a pro, and partly because the pockets on women's clothing are for shit and even an iPhone 4S was an easy target, size-wise.
posted by bokane at 12:30 PM on June 1


I hate my Galaxy Note 3, Samsung has crippled it with its bloatware that supersedes some functions I rely on from speech recognition to the basic function of the camera or the home button.

I don't really want an iPhone for the software but I do miss the small form factor.

Try zooming out one handed if there is no dedicated screen button.

Try safely turning the page on the Kindle app which insanely requires you to swipe or tap on one side of the screen or the other.

Try using the maps feature to navigate without walking, driving, biking, or faling into a ravine.

I'm composing the majority of this post using speech recognition entirely because typing on literally any phone tablet or phablet has become frustratingly impossible whether it's hunt and peck or using swype.

Oh and I have kids which means that at least one hand is usually stuck serving food, managing entertainment or just preventing disaster.

On the other hand I've become exceptionally good at contact juggling with one hand sometimes dropping my phone a quarter inch or so so I can stretch a pinky to reach a top left button that is otherwise inaccessible.

But I'd sure welcome an OSX update that replaced Finder with something consistent and unterrible. Guessing I'll still be waiting.
posted by abulafa at 12:36 PM on June 1


Yeah...I can see all that being an issue for some (oddly though, IIRC it was women who were big early adopters of the 'big phone')

Which just draws attention to why threads like this devolve to discussions of phone os's...desktop os's are kind of...done...for the most part. As in the way typewriters were 'done' sometime in the 1920s...there just isn't a lot more room for improvement (at this time), at least on the user-facing end. Whereas there's still a lot of differences between phone interfaces...and a lot of this has more to do with patents and cross-licensing (like typewriters in the early 20th century) than anything else, really. Give it a few more years and likely every phone will have every feature and you can set it up however you like.
posted by sexyrobot at 12:49 PM on June 1


Oh, and any 'revolutionary' changes to desktops at this point in time is really just a cash grab for more software/hardware sales...which is understandable, of course :/
posted by sexyrobot at 12:53 PM on June 1


It's possible. I pretty much had the day experience to your night; faster, almost double the battery life, a bunch of small irritations from prior releases fixed...

As someone with a MacBook Air with 4gb of memory, memory compression has been a boon as well.

I have a work-provided, Xeon-equipped dell tower running linux, mostly it exists to run VMs. The host distro seems to change every 6 months or so ("ooh new and improved Ubuntu UI!", "ooh new version of gnome!", "ooh tiling window manager on arch linux!"), usually as a reaction to the shortcomings of the previous linux installation. My memory is too short, because each time I do this I end up cursing some combination of the distro's maintainers, the nvidia/xorg maintainers (why does putting a monitor into portrait mode and making the change stick have to be so hard?), and the people maintaining the desktop environment ("let's do a top-to-bottom redesign so we can target tablets and phones!").

OS X has bugs and regressions, but at least there is a single entity that's responsible for the entire system and has the resources to make sure stuff works. Apple pisses users off, but at least they have some financial incentive to fix things, whereas OSS developers seem to generally be free from such constraints and can close regression tickets as "won't fix."

For example: I've been able to remap caps lock -> control in OS X using a GUI menu for as long as I can remember. I used to be able to do the same thing in unity/gnome, but that panel disappeared in 14.04 (maybe 13.10, unsure). Other people complained about this, but ultimately my recourse was to dig up a man page, write a small script, and figure out which rc file to call it from so gnome-session wouldn't overwrite my settings. It wouldn't be such a big deal if it were only one instance when you upgraded the OS, but inevitably there's three or four things like this each time the OS gets upgraded.

Anyway, I guess I'm saying that all OS upgrades suck, but OS X updates have tended to suck less.
posted by strange chain at 12:55 PM on June 1 [7 favorites]


On the contrary, no flagship Android phone exists in a size less than 4.7". Even the HTC One "Mini" which is still a cut down version of the 5" M8 is 4.5 inches. Every phone smaller is a cut down version of the flagship phone with a worse screen, worse CPU, less RAM and less storage.

Sure. But I never qualified smaller phones as being flagship. And just because the smaller Android phones are not flagship doesn't mean Apple will do the same thing with theirs.

I have one of these less then flagship phones myself, with less resolution, a worse CPU, less RAM, and less storage myself (thankfully with stock Android) and I'm perfectly happy with it. I can only speculate, from my own experience, that people like different things and need different things (hell, I know people with the new Blackberrys), and people may well be happy with a smaller iPhone, whereas others may be happy with a larger one.

The fact that Apple puts out different iPads of different sizes may also indicate this, not to mention that I know people with full size iPads and iPad minis. If it works for iPads why not iPhones? I have a Nexus 7 2nd generation because the 10" tablets are not my thing, but I do realize they are great for others. I don't see the issue with diversifying products.

The fact that larger phones are flagship may indicate they are pretty popular, hence Apple may release a larger iPhone and diversify the iPhone like they have with the iPad.
posted by juiceCake at 1:09 PM on June 1


I also maintain there won't be an iWatch ever.

Apple made an iWatch a number of years ago. But they forgot to include the wristband. So the product failed.

I bought one not realizing it was meant to be used as a watch. I hated it like everyone else. Then I bought a wrist band for it. Overnight it became my favorite electronic device ever. I wear it on my wrist, and snake the cord up my sleeve and can listen to podcasts and music all day.

When it dies, I'll get down on my knees and pray that I can find an old refurbed model on eBay. I'm not interested in any other iPod or iPhone. I realize the functionality is extremely limited compared to the vast array of functions offered by any modern smart device these days. I have a smart phone, but it's too clumsy to use as a device for listening to music or podcasts. My "iWatch" really does mostly just one thing and but, damn, it does it so freaking well.

In my mind, Apple made a gigantic marketing error here by not originally including the wristband. If they had, we'd all be walking around with Dick Tracy phones by now.
posted by marsha56 at 1:22 PM on June 1 [12 favorites]


They announced iTunes Radio at last year's WWDC, which has no API or anything to do with developers. So I wouldn't really rule anything out.
posted by smackfu at 1:40 PM on June 1


2015: the year of Linux on the iWatch desktop.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:45 PM on June 1 [4 favorites]


Sure. But I never qualified smaller phones as being flagship. And just because the smaller Android phones are not flagship doesn't mean Apple will do the same thing with theirs.

I think the crux of my point is that it's hard to tell which people really prefer because there's no real choice. Screen size comes down to fanboyism rather than any sort of preference.

I'll buy a 4.7 inch iPhone if the chassis gets a bit taller and the bezels to away. I won't if it becomes a monster wannabe slate that struggles to fit in my pocket.
posted by Talez at 1:56 PM on June 1


I just got Snow Leopard on vinyl
posted by porn in the woods at 2:04 PM on June 1 [9 favorites]


In my mind, Apple made a gigantic marketing error here by not originally including the wristband. If they had, we'd all be walking around with Dick Tracy phones by now.

There will never ever ever be a wrist-phone. Many have tried. All have failed. It is the one format of phone that has never been accepted by consumers. It has been tested for years, it just does not work.
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:26 PM on June 1


What is the appeal of the iPhone getting even larger?

An aging population needs larger screens. Anecdotally I know a number of people who have switched for that reason, though I am sure it's too small a factor to be driving the overall embigification of phones.
posted by Dip Flash at 2:31 PM on June 1


One problem with increasing the screen size of an iPhone is that Apple has been very good at keeping fragmentation among iOS devices minimal (which keeps their platform popular with developers despite smaller market share.) The retina phones are the same screen size, but with the pixels doubled. The iPhone 5 was a bit unusual in that they essentially stretched the form factor the height of a row of icons. So now, instead of the 3:2 ratio of all the other iPhones, it's 71:40. I could see them widening a version to be 3:2 again, but since that won't have the neat pixel relationship with the smaller iPhones I suspect it'll happen when they discontinue those.

It has been tested for years, it just does not work.

Same used to be said of tablets.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:59 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


An aging population needs larger screens

Kids do too. More area to watch movies, or play games, afaict.
posted by bonehead at 3:03 PM on June 1


I think the crux of my point is that it's hard to tell which people really prefer because there's no real choice. Screen size comes down to fanboyism rather than any sort of preference.

Ok, and it may have to do with what the screen manufacturers are willing to produce but still, does this clear up the original question, which was:

What is the appeal of the iPhone getting even larger?

It seems odd to me not to understand that different things appeal to different people and markets, as well as products, evolve. Apple themselves offers different sized iPads (smaller to larger), different sized iMacs (smaller to larger), different systems in terms of power (from lower memory/processors to higher memory/processors) and this isn't particularly questioned so why is it different for the iPhone? I have yet to see a proposal that Apple should just sell the Mac Pro and bugger the iMac line and the mini because what is the appeal of anything other than the Mac Pro?
posted by juiceCake at 3:06 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Same used to be said of tablets.

No, quite the opposite, everyone said tablets are the ultimate form factor. But a wrist phone is about as useless as a shoe-phone. It is about the worst form factor you could make. What are you supposed to do with it? Use it as a speakerphone? It's bad enough hearing one side of a conversation from cell phone users, nobody's going to want to have all their conversations out where everyone can hear both sides of the call, that has zero privacy. So what are you supposed to do? Hold it up to your ear and talk to your wrist? Use earphones? Unwieldy. Bluetooth headsets? You can already do that with a phone in your pocket. Lots of people wear wireless headsets all the time, they're called "bluetards."

But more than these obvious problems with practicality, there is one overriding factor: almost nobody under 30 wears a watch anymore. They are an anachronism. A whole generation grew up without wristwatches, because they can get the time from their cell phones. Look at reviews of all the faddish "wearables" lately. People whined about the Nike Fuelband and the Jawbone UP products, they said it hurt their wrists when they typed on a computer.

Sorry, your wrist phone is a solution to a problem nobody has.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:44 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Apple has for some years now given advice about the environmental credentials of their devices. Given the near ubiquity of cloud computing, I would like to see Apple make a statement about privacy. It is a hot topic in the post-Snowden era and, I think, could be a major competitive advantage for Apple. Apple is one of the few tech companies that does not rely on advertising revenue, why not take a shot across Google and Facebook's bow by pointing this out, and then make a commitment to privacy a core advantage of Apple's products?
posted by bakery at 3:55 PM on June 1 [8 favorites]


Apple doesn't make money by advertising, but their strategic partners do, and they may be reticent to go down that path.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:11 PM on June 1


So what are you supposed to do? Hold it up to your ear and talk to your wrist?

No, you have a corded headset where you snake the cord up your sleeve. That's what I use now, just not with a mic. With the phone on your wrist, the cord is never dangling or in the way.
posted by marsha56 at 4:15 PM on June 1


Given the near ubiquity of cloud computing, I would like to see Apple make a statement about privacy.

(facepalm)

Apple Privacy Policy

iCloud security and privacy overview

iOS Security

Update on National Security and Law Enforcement Orders

MacOS X Security Configuration Guides (10.3 through 10.6, other papers available for current OS versions)

Shall I go on?

On preview, from another conversation:

a corded headset where you snake the cord up your sleeve

Never going to happen.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:17 PM on June 1 [7 favorites]


Not everyone has the same size hands. A big part of why I'd never buy an iPhone is the dinky form-factor that seems lost in my giant hand.

I have enormous hands. I've only met one other person offline who actually has hands even the same size as mine, and no one with bigger hands. Like, i have to use toenail clippers to trim my finger nails because the regular ones curve at way too acute of an angle. My hand is longer edge of palm to fingertips than most laptops are front to back, unless it's an aircraft carrier sized laptop.

I think giant phones are stupid and i hate them, even though i can use them. Even with my giant mitts i still need to use two hands on a lot of them because even my mega-thumbs just aren't long enough. I was actually mad the iphone 5 got larger, and that it wasn't more like some of the concepts shown that had less "chin" and "forehead". I still have thumb coverage beyond the top opposite edge of the phone without straining, but on the "classic" sized iphone it was like using a high sensitivity gaming mouse to play an FPS or something, in that my thumb barely had to move at all to hit everything it felt like.

If they introduce an even larger phone than the 5 i'm going to be steamed. Phones just keep getting bigger and bigger and usability seems to be taking a back seat, which is very anti-apple. The iphone 5 was a very careful step of taller but not wider(and really, not that much taller either). I really doubt they're going to throw out the work/research they must have done on exactly how much bigger to make it this quickly.

It's a "people want a better horse" sort of situation. The entire concept of having a combination phone table is like having a combination car wheelchair. You end up with something that isn't really big enough to be a tablet, but isn't really small enough to be not-awkward as a phone.

I really hope that apple has the balls to say "you want something that sucks, and we're not going to give it to you, sorry".

It's also a very good argument that they're not going to introduce ANOTHER resolution again. As it is you have currently have iphone 4/4s, iphone 5/5s/5c, retina ipad, and not retina ipad. They're not going to make a bigger screen and lower the DPI, so they'd need to increase the resolution. I just don't see them adding another resolution when they're still going to be supporting the 4s and ipad 2(or at the very least, the non retina ipad mini) in ios 8. I mean it's not unprecedented, it just seems like an odd thing to do. every resolution change thusfar has been "double it", or in the case of the iphone 5 "add some pixels to the top but otherwise leave it alone". There's no easy, logical solution to that to be had here.

It's possible. I pretty much had the day experience to your night; faster, almost double the battery life, a bunch of small irritations from prior releases fixed, Safari's webkit2 stability issues practically eliminated, and not a single compatibility issue with any of my apps--a first on any of these upgrades for me (I've run in-place upgrades of every OS starting with Leopard).

Mavericks added an entire hour of battery life, at least, to my aging 17in macbook pro i then handed down to a friend. Basically everything that wasn't heavy lifting felt peppier, in my nonscientific assessment. I also have the very oldest system it can run on, i think, a maxed out 2007 imac. That thing is a tank, and for the most part it still feels impressively fast for its age(no one ever thinks it's as old as it is until i tell them, which also says something about how forward looking the first aluminum imacs were at the time). On both those machines it felt faster than anything had since snow leopard, and possibly faster than even snow leopard had felt. The only times the imac feels slow is when it's say, applying a bunch of changes to photos in aperture. It can still transcode 1080p video while being used for web surfing at the same time without chugging... which is the kind of thing lion would utterly choke on.(although lion was a fucking piece of garbage in general, ugh)

It completely hosed my retina macbook pro though. Everything worked great, except that if you wanted truly good battery life you have to use safari... and safari kept hardlocking the system. This was fixed in the very most recent updates rolled out for 10.9.3, but now safari locks up for 10 seconds or so and then crashes and sends a bug report. I've googled around about this problem a lot, and found a few people talking about it... it seems like an oddly not very widespread problem though.

What are you all doing with your phones that you only use them one-handed?

Everything.

The iphone has this awesome feature i regularly try and do on say, windows 8 tablets or whatever. You double tap a block of text and it auto-zooms to fit that bit of text, or photo, or whatever to the screen. Double tap again, and you're back to the fully zoomed out view.

On top of this, almost EVERY site now has a mobile view, which even if it sucks, at least scales up the text and fits it to the screen.

Unless i'm actually writing text i never use two hands. Looking through my homescreens, i only see a couple apps i'll definitely pull out two hands to use, and they're camera related. The only other exceptions are like, messages.app if i'm replying to or sending something.

Aforementioned mega-hands might come in to play here, but yea.
posted by emptythought at 4:25 PM on June 1 [3 favorites]


The times that I'm wearing long sleeves are exactly the times when I don't need to be screwing around with a phone*.

*~8.5 months out of the year.
posted by Benjy at 4:27 PM on June 1


everyone said tablets are the ultimate form factor

Not anybody who used them, pre iPad. It was always the cool idea that nobody could make work well.

Now that doesn't mean anyone is going to crack the Dick Tracy watch anytime soon, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was Apple that did it. (No offense to Marsha56, but that iPod setup is a bit inelegant for Apple.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:32 PM on June 1


On the contrary, no flagship Android phone exists in a size less than 4.7". Even the HTC One "Mini" which is still a cut down version of the 5" M8 is 4.5 inches. Every phone smaller is a cut down version of the flagship phone with a worse screen, worse CPU, less RAM and less storage

Z1 compact? the screen is lower resolution than the 5 inch one, yea, but you don't need more than 720p at 4.3 inches because 342ppi is already past the bar of "higher than this is pointless".

Same cpu, same amount of ram, same camera, etc. I actually can't find a feature that's lesser on the smaller one other than "it's smaller". It's not super duper ultra cutting edge still, but it's close, and i'm pretty sure a newer version is just about to come out(and the A2 is essentially that, already)

I agree though, it's kind of crap that for the most part if you want the nicest possible android phone your choice is huge massive battleship.
posted by emptythought at 4:32 PM on June 1


It completely hosed my retina macbook pro though. Everything worked great, except that if you wanted truly good battery life you have to use safari... and safari kept hardlocking the system. This was fixed in the very most recent updates rolled out for 10.9.3, but now safari locks up for 10 seconds or so and then crashes and sends a bug report. I've googled around about this problem a lot, and found a few people talking about it... it seems like an oddly not very widespread problem though.
Strange, I have the first gen Retina MBP (and adore the hell out of it) and I had serious safari issues in Mountain Lion that were partially mitigated by running webkit nightlies and then completely mitigated with Mavericks. So it must be a weird, specific thing. Have you tried running a nightly? It's incredibly inobtrusive to launch and it uses the shell and all your settings from safari without you doing anything and there's no need to uninstall if you don't find it useful.
posted by whittaker at 4:33 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


I assume most people saying things can't be done one-handed with a larger phone have never had to use one for an extended period of time.

My hands are not large and I have no issues using the Note 3 with one hand. The thing is, you become accustomed to holding it differently. I don't grip my phone like a bat like I did when I had a tiny iPhone. It sits on my four fingers, with my pinky stopping the phone from falling to the ground. The pressure from my thumb moving around on the glass is the other part of the "grip". (So, basically, I'm securing the phone via the screen and back rather than the sides.)

I've been using Apple products for over 20 year now and I regret it. They're a greedy evil company - fuck them.

I switched to them in 2003 and regret it also. I hate them. I still have a Macbook Air but it's a piece of shit (the latest version of it). I briefly had a Google Pixel and loved it but there are things it just couldn't do. I'll try another Chromebook later this year and hopefully never purchase another Apple product in my lifetime. Fuck 'em in the ear.

I hate my Galaxy Note 3, Samsung has crippled it with its bloatware that supersedes some functions I rely on from speech recognition to the basic function of the camera or the home button.

Huh? I have a Note 3 and don't use any of the bloatware... and its presence doesn't cripple anything that I'm aware of.

Try zooming out one handed if there is no dedicated screen button.

I don't know what this means? Zooming the camera? A web site? What is a "dedicated screen button"?

Try safely turning the page on the Kindle app which insanely requires you to swipe or tap on one side of the screen or the other.

What?! You swipe left or right. From anywhere on the screen. It can absolutely be done one handed. This is true of the Google Books app and the Kindle app. If you're saying you must swipe or tap on the opposite side of your dominant hand, you're mistaken.

Try using the maps feature to navigate without walking, driving, biking, or faling into a ravine.

I assume you're trolling. All functions of Google Maps can be done one-handed except zooming out, which requires you to pinch the screen, just like on any other phone.

I'm composing the majority of this post using speech recognition entirely because typing on literally any phone tablet or phablet has become frustratingly impossible whether it's hunt and peck or using swype.

I have small to normal sized hands and can type on the Note 3 one handed with no issues. That's without going into the "one-handed mode" as well. I use Swype but can do it with any keyboard.
posted by dobbs at 4:58 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


The reason I want larger iPhone screens, at this point, is simple: books. I used to have an iPad but it broke, and since then I've been trying to read books on both my computer and my iPhone.

My Mac is just not a good reading environment. Too many distractions, zero cuddle factor, generally awkward to use. My phone is surprisingly decent, and I've read a good dozen books on it over the last month or two, but god is it cramped on the iPhone 5's screen. A 5.5-inch phone might be what I need to do away with my need for a tablet altogether; I'd try before I buy, but that seems very promising to me. (It would also make for an excellent writing tool, if the keyboard was scaled up to fit.)
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:58 PM on June 1


But I'd sure welcome an OSX update that replaced Finder with something consistent and unterrible. Guessing I'll still be waiting.

Yes please!

I can't believe they've let this travesty go on for as long as they have. It really needs to be taken out back and disposed of.
posted by flippant at 5:00 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Relax people. I'm sure that if they introduce a bigger iPhone they'll keep the small one too. Choice is good.

I personally do like larger screen phones. Is it harder to do some stuff one handed? Yes. But the trade off is worth it for me for better ebook reading, better web browsing, better video watch etc. I basically don't use a tablet any more. My phone is so capable for browsing and that sort of thing that if I need more it's because I need the keyboard on my laptop.
posted by markr at 5:18 PM on June 1


Sorry, your wrist phone is a solution to a problem nobody has.

But why would a wrist device automatically be assumed to be used as a phone? Cjorgenson made an earlier point that a wearable is possible, but the ability to tell time will probably not be it's main, secondary, or even tertiary use. The advantages of a wrist device over a phone are you don't have to fish it out of your pocket or purse all the time. The obvious and most published advantage of this is you don't have to look at your phone every time there's a message or status update. But, I don't think Apple would release a device for only this purpose. One possibility is using it as a wrist-mounted digital key and wallet. This would fit in with why Apple rolled out iBeacon last year. And a device attached to your wrist would be harder to lose (or steal) than a phone or a wallet.
posted by FJT at 5:18 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


A phone without bezels will only encourage sales of cases that add them back.
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:33 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


I assume you're trolling. All functions of Google Maps can be done one-handed except zooming out, which requires you to pinch the screen, just like on any other phone.

See above regarding exactly my complaint about zooming out one handed. You literally demonstrated the issue while claiming it's not one. Trolling indeed.

Now try actually reading in Kindle without dropping the giant overweight phone mid swipe. It's designed for two handed operation or being dropped on the floor repeatedly, no middle ground.

Seriously I'm glad it works for you as a phone, but I must go through four taps to get to Google Now, Samsung's Siri clone arbitrarily works or doesn't depending on whether you're in vibrate or not - and even then unpredictably. It's unresponsive, hard to unlock and the stylus apps are almost entirely gimmicks.
posted by abulafa at 5:36 PM on June 1


Firstly, keep in mind you have a galaxy note 3, which is enormous even in the world of larger phones. Here is your phone next to the Galaxy S5, which is what most here are talking about when we say "large phone". You basically bought the biggest phone on the planet. Even large phone fans don't generally consider the note 3 to be usable with one hand.

As for zooming one handed. On the current google maps, double tap with your thumb, on the second tap keep it down and slide up and down. This zooms in and out.
posted by markr at 5:58 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Strange, I have the first gen Retina MBP (and adore the hell out of it) and I had serious safari issues in Mountain Lion that were partially mitigated by running webkit nightlies and then completely mitigated with Mavericks. So it must be a weird, specific thing. Have you tried running a nightly? It's incredibly inobtrusive to launch and it uses the shell and all your settings from safari without you doing anything and there's no need to uninstall if you don't find it useful.

I should try that. Literally right after i posted that the tab bar glitched out, safari froze... and i got logged out and had to log back in o_0 And yep, it's a 1st gen 1st revision(2.3ghz)

Relax people. I'm sure that if they introduce a bigger iPhone they'll keep the small one too. Choice is good.

What makes you think this? When they introduced the 5 that was it. Either you bought last years model, or you got the new larger one.

I mean i guess the ipad mini sets a precedent here, but i don't see them introducing two models unless there's a drastic difference in size. And i also don't see them making like, a 6 inch phone.

The worst way i could see this going, that's also realistic is that the small model is the 6C. So you're boned, as with most other manufacturers into either getting the large flagship model or the smaller, crappier model(which will likely be a slightly updated 5s essentially).
posted by emptythought at 6:01 PM on June 1


Charlie don't surf apologies for the face palm. That is a great collection of links, thanks. I guess my broader point is that Apple could incorporate strong statements about privacy into their Keynote address à la their regular statement on environmental factors. Having the information available and having everyone know about it are two different things, no?
posted by bakery at 6:02 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: too many distractions, zero cuddle factor, generally awkward to use.
posted by oulipian at 6:11 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Apple's marketing is so good they don't even have to buy ads on Metafilter.

Apple, like certain other of the big tech companies, is a really conflicted and weird mixture of elements. I'd actually say that only Google is such an odd bag of elements; parts of Google are super awesome and exciting and parts of them are just the worst thing imaginable. Apple's a similar way, though it exists along different lines.

If you are at all a student of industrial design, UX design, or advertising, then Apple is essentially one of (if not THE) biggest names in its field. Industrially, the only names that come close to rivaling Jonathan Ive, who's designed every Apple product since the first iMac, are ones like Dieter Rams and the other behemoths who literally changed the way the world made products look. It's not just a matter of just looking good, either; Apple has done some marvelous innovations when it comes to how products are built, enough so that they've almost singlehandedly forced other computer manufacturers to up their game on their high-end products in order to compete.

As far as UI/UX design goes — basically the most important part of developing any interactive system — Apple's been important in the field for about as long as the field's existed. There was the Macintosh, obviously, but then with Aqua they started pushing a certain notion of computer-as-experience that had never been approached in quite the same way before. For all that OS X has some serious issues that Apple doesn't resolve because it doesn't jibe with their approach (this is one of the weird lines that its existence is drawn along), it has absolutely inspired some of the best software design of the last decade and a half. I don't just mean Apple products, though plenty of their work is aces, including OS X itself; I mean the innovations they come up with have been what pushed some of today's best designers into doing some of their finest work. Web development, too; some of the biggest and best web platforms owe part of their design to ideas which were originally debuted by Apple at some point along the way. Facebook and Tumblr, which have each been vanguards in pushing certain UI trends, each owe a lot to Apple's work.

iOS was huge too. I mean, criticisms of Scott Forstall and his team aside, they did such a monumentally brilliant job of envisioning what a multi-touch OS would look like that now the iPhone's design is going to remain a fundamental part of how we think about the way mobile OSes can work, warts and all. Again, you can see this in the way that the original iOS team has since gone on to do extraordinary things beyond Apple. Bret Victor is one of the most interesting guys I know of working in any medium, and Mike Matas has had hit after hit (he most recently built the surprisingly-great Facebook Paper app). While I don't think the iPhone design is the end-all be-all of mobile design, and love a lot of things about Windows Mobile (Android, meh, not so much), the amount of work that Apple did was astonishing, and some of their apps are still just extraordinarily beyond anything else that's out there. GarageBand for iPad, in particular, is absolutely incredible.

From that lens, what's really neat about iOS 7, and about whatever Apple'll be releasing tomorrow, is that now Apple finally has design-minded competitors who're doing pretty good work of their own. Apple under Tim Cook has responded, meanwhile, by putting Ive, who as aforementioned is maybe the most brilliant designer in a company of brilliant designers, in charge of completely reworking how Apple thinks about software. Ive is working on a schedule that is virtually torturous — iOS 7 was built in a ridiculously short period of time — so among other things we're seeing this crazy talented guy subjected to a trial by fire, making mistakes and trying things out on the fly and putting out work with a roughness that Apple generally doesn't tolerate. I mean, iOS 7 is their first OS ever where they changed the UI with iterative updates over the year, rather than delivering changes all at once. The original iOS 7 was far too rough to let stand for a year. And I doubt it's done now, though some of the changes over the last year have been beautifully playful and silly and somehow understated all at the same time. Ive and his team have got an eye for detail that pleases me immensely.

My bet is that iOS 8 is going to have a number of refinements that iOS 7 lacks, and that OS X 10.10 is going to have a bit more polish than iOS 7 did last year, since the team working on it has had more than twice as long to figure it out. I doubt it'll please everybody, or be remotely close to perfect. But I also feel, and felt last year with iOS 7, that Apple and Ive have a vision in mind for what modern user interfaces are capable of being, and that they're going to create a whole bunch of things that five years from now will be commonplace in how designers think about interface period. If Aqua and the original iOS were interface-as-experience, i.e. a computer UX that gave you some kind of emotional attachment to what you were doing beyond "this is a tool that I have", we are now in the era of ubiquitous computing, where computers have gone beyond experience to a partial replacement of reality — and for ordinary folks, too, rather than just a couple categories of nerd. iOS 7's big thing was using three-dimensional visual layering to suggest a depth of interface and content, where interface largely floats above content rather than coexisting with it, and where content has a lot more space to breathe/information density because it isn't compromised by the buttons that it shares room with. iCloud's web interface works the same way, using very minimal color touches to create layers of interface that don't touch the content whatsoever, and in some ways I think that web interface is closer to what we should expect from a Mac OS than iOS 7 is.

The one hint we were given last year is that iBooks on Mavericks essentially doesn't have an interface at all; once you start reading a book, there is no chrome, and elements only appear above your novel when you hover over it to access them. QuickTime X works the same way. I bet we're going to see a new approach to UI rendering that's less enamored with the notion that windows need to have permanently-visible chrome, and that includes more information in less space but disappears whenever it's convenient to do so. But that's speculation based on not much evidence, and I would love to be completely wrong.

Anyway, as a design geek it is super cool to see all of this happening, and not because any designer is deluded into thinking that Apple's work is ever perfect; with work of this magnitude, nothing ever really is. But that's going to get unveiled for the first time tomorrow, and it's going to be unveiled in a keynote, which is really one of the most entertaining forms of marketing that I've ever seen. It's also incredibly informative, if you're at all curious about how branding works and how marketing works with product to create a message for a general consumer base.

Every year, Apple's products gain a ton of new features. And every year, it is Apple's job to create a narrative which somehow interweaves various features and product lines into a single cohesive branding message. They do a lot of their brand work in-house, which is unusual for a product company; their marketing team traditionally works very closely with the people who actually make the product, and Phil Schiller, Apple's VP of marketing, is one of the highest-ranking people in the organization period. So while marketing is always kind of going to be a sleazefest, Apple's marketing at least works pretty rigorously to incorporate their product line into their messaging, and the keynote is basically the performance of a year's worth of advertising before the ads themselves hit the market.

If you haven't seen the keynote where Jobs introduces the iPhone, it is a really fascinating example of this. Watch the way he teases out the notion of a new product line, slowly revealing more and more about what it looks like, how it works, what this new product even is. He taunts and misdirects and jokes about people's ideas of what an iPhone must be, simultaneously mocking the existing market and building anticipation for what he's about to reveal. It's masterful. For a good hour he demos every app on the goddamn phone, but does it in an order which is constantly showing off: "This is how powerful our phone is. This is what it can do that only computers did before. These are the things that will change your life, and the world, forever." If you want an even more ridiculous example of this, look at the Aqua keynote, in which Jobs introduces the UI that defined his Apple comeback by spending two minutes focusing on goddamn checkboxes. It's insane.

Even the lesser Apple keynotes can still be pretty interesting; things like their advertising the iPhone 4 by focusing on its Retina display and front-facing camera, despite there being OS features which were a bit more exciting at the time. Because people being able to see each other on their phones as they talk was a big deal, and so was having a "print-worthy" screen. Even though video chatting was nothing new. Even though the iPhone 4's pixel density wasn't the best on the market. Apple made a killing with the iPhone 4, because they figured out what would sell their phone better than anybody else's, and it was deceptively simple.

So anyway, last year's WWDC keynote was one of the best they've had in a long while. Jobs' last few were kind of lackluster; his best recent one was the iPad demo, which was deliberately relaxed and downtempo (and which a lot of people hated). The first round of keynotes post-Jobs pretty much just reminded the world that Tim Cook, as freaking badass of a guy as he is, just isn't an intimidating or charismatic figure. Last year, though, Apple debuted a much different tone than they've had in the past, one that's a lot friendlier and more playful and more actually-earnest than it was with Jobs at the helm.* Lots of jokes were fired about, less at Android (as Jobs would have done it) than at themselves, at technology, and just whimsical in general. The keynote opened up with an ad that focused much more on Apple's love for designing things than Apple's done before, and it felt visionary and yearning in a way that was infinitely less douchetastic than, say, Think Different (which I also loved but come on). And then Apple announced iOS 7, people went nuts, and it really felt like a whole shift in a company that hasn't shifted for a long time.

Thing is, Tim Cook spent a lot of time last year downplaying Apple's upcoming strategy. Said that Apple was focusing more on improving existing products than releasing new things entirely. This year he's done the exact opposite. His words exactly were that Apple will be entering new product categories — not category, singular, but categories plural. Very few things have leaked, which suggest that Apple's doing the thing it does with all its biggest products and locking its entire product team in a basement for the year. And the rumors that have come out have been about things like Apple becoming really serious about body monitoring and health tracking, which are... weird. Very weird. Not to mention Apple's been way more playful about secrecy this year — the official WWDC app has sessions named things like "Still Our Secret," "We're Not Telling," and "You're Just Going to Have to Wait a Little Longer", which again suggest that they really do have something that they think is going to make waves. Whether those things will drop now or in their second big event in September are up in the air, since Apple doesn't have a pattern with those things particularly.

I know there's always something weird about posting to MetaFilter about "hey look at this Major Corporation do a thing!", but from a design and engineering and product standpoint, as well as from a marketing one, Apple is a fascinating entity. Their entire set-up as a company is a strange one, and they do some really unusual things, and even though that doesn't make them less shitty in the ways that they're shitty, I think the good in this case is enough to outweigh the bad. Again, the fact that Jonathan Ive has been given the go-ahead to design a new user interface for the Mac is kind of crazy insane for anybody who gives a damn about product design; I cannot express how much I've been anticipating the reveal for this all month, except maybe by writing a whole essay explaining all of the things that make tomorrow seem so exciting, and hey look a wild essay appeared and now I am an hour closer to not spontaneously combusting with excitement in the process.

*Jobs wasn't cynical, mind you, but his earnesty was kind of overwhelmingly intense, and halfway delusional half the time. Which is what made him such a great presenter.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:14 PM on June 1 [33 favorites]


Apple's problem, as far as I'm concerned, is that nothing they have under wraps has the potential to be the next iPad in terms of sales. To say nothing of the iPhone.

Tablet sales are peaking, laptop sales have remained remarkable constant despite some of the best (and best priced) machines Apple has ever made, and digital music sales are declining for the first time. Streaming media is taking over and Apple has been very slow to the game. Also, and this is just an opinion, but app developers are getting smarter about shifting their revenue outside of Apple's domain and therefore avoiding the 30% haircut.

A watch, a me-too health wearable, a set-top box, the long rumored (and presumed dead) TV, Beat's hardware business, simple won't move Apple's revenue meter. Even a very successful streaming service (which I expect) will take time: industry leader Spotify is probably around a $1B a year business (and unprofitable at that). Really it's a problem of scale; when you're a $40B+/quarter business, a $500M/year new product isn't enough.
posted by 2bucksplus at 6:39 PM on June 1


For a good hour [Jobs] demos every app on the goddamn phone, but does it in an order which is constantly showing off: "This is how powerful our phone is…

Part of the reason for doing it in that order was that on the prototype phone he was using doing it in a different order would crash it. The speech crafted around it really sold it, though.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:42 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Apple's problem, as far as I'm concerned, is that nothing they have under wraps has the potential to be the next iPad in terms of sales.

When they launched the iPad, it didn't have the potential to be the iPad--at the time, I remember a lot of menstruation jokes and scepticism about it being any different from the many tablets that had flopped before. The iPad wasn't new, it was just the first tablet that actually sold really well.
posted by fatbird at 6:42 PM on June 1


When they launched the iPad, it didn't have the potential to be the iPad…

When I saw the launch my reaction was, "It's an oversized iPod?"

When I got to try one out my reaction was, "It's an oversized iPod!"
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:48 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Part of the reason for doing it in that order was that on the prototype phone he was using doing it in a different order would crash it. The speech crafted around it really sold it, though.

I didn't know that. That... is kind of amazing.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:01 PM on June 1


I've also heard much of the original iPhone keynote was SJ going through static jpgs instead of real apps.
posted by mathowie at 7:10 PM on June 1


See above regarding exactly my complaint about zooming out one handed.

As markr wrote: "As for zooming one handed. On the current google maps, double tap with your thumb, on the second tap keep it down and slide up and down. This zooms in and out."

Now try actually reading in Kindle without dropping the giant overweight phone mid swipe. It's designed for two handed operation or being dropped on the floor repeatedly, no middle ground.

I read books on it every day with the Kindle and Google Books apps. One handed. With my girly hands. Because you can swipe left or right from anywhere on the screen to turn pages.

I've never dropped my phone and am so certain my lady-hands won't ever drop it I don't even have a case on it.

I must go through four taps to get to Google Now,

Tap once on the Google search bar that's, by default, at the top of each home screen.

You know, for a few dollars you could get Nova Launcher and configure home home screen to do whatever you like. Want to launch Google Now with the home button? It can do it. Want one app to open when you tap an icon and another to open when you swipe it, it can do it.

Samsung's Siri clone arbitrarily works or doesn't depending on whether you're in vibrate or not - and even then unpredictably.

I wouldn't know about Samsung's Siri clone as I don't use it. You don't have to, either. Google Now works perfectly well.
posted by dobbs at 7:13 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


But why would a wrist device automatically be assumed to be used as a phone?

That just happens to be the specific feature marsha56 wanted. Which is why we were discussing it.

Cjorgenson made an earlier point that a wearable is possible, but the ability to tell time will probably not be it's main, secondary, or even tertiary use.

That's not the primary feature of the iPhone, but I use it exclusively when I want to know the time. Actually, timekeeping is probably the one function I use most on my iPhone. I use it to time my cooking, as an alarm clock, to remind me of appointments, etc. Basically everything I do related to time, I just put it in my iPhone and do whatever it says, whenever it says to do it.

The advantages of a wrist device over a phone are you don't have to fish it out of your pocket or purse all the time.

Neither do I, if I want to take calls on a bluetooth headset, or issue Siri commands.

The obvious and most published advantage of this is you don't have to look at your phone every time there's a message or status update.

Yeah, Microsoft tried to push this in 2003 as the SPOT Smart Watch and it was a notorious flop. And there is a rumor that MSFT is once again developing a watch. They never learn.

But, I don't think Apple would release a device for only this purpose. One possibility is using it as a wrist-mounted digital key and wallet. This would fit in with why Apple rolled out iBeacon last year. And a device attached to your wrist would be harder to lose (or steal) than a phone or a wallet.

My personal theory is that the purpose of the iWatch is as a "knocker." It is a fictitious device that Apple does not intend to produce. It exists solely on paper, solely for the purpose of strategic leaks that will incite fear in other companies, and trick them into diverting their efforts into producing a product that will fail, that is intended to compete with an Apple product that doesn't exist.

Anyway, this is not the direction Apple is heading. I think they're developing Ubiquitous Computing, which is another old Xerox PARC concept from the 80s. The technology was never good enough, until now. This will make the fad of "wearables" look obsolete before it ever happens, and makes "the internet of things" look like toys.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:14 PM on June 1 [3 favorites]


You don't even need to swipe to flip pages on the kindle app. Just tap anywhere vaguely on the right-hand side of the even.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:16 PM on June 1


When they launched the iPad, it didn't have the potential to be the iPad--at the time, I remember a lot of menstruation jokes and scepticism about it being any different from the many tablets that had flopped before. The iPad wasn't new, it was just the first tablet that actually sold really well.

Not to mention that wins at that level are exceedingly rare. Mostly innovation happens through incremental changes, not bomb drops. But we like the new and shiny, and if it's not a holy-shit moment, we declare it boring.

Apple did it three times with the pod, phone and pad, and it may be years before the next one comes, if it comes. Most companies would murder puppies to have that kind of lightning strike happen just once.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:25 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


"Too many distractions, zero cuddle factor, generally awkward to use. Lame."
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:34 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Pyry: "No longer will you be forced to touch your computer like some primitive cave-person. No, from now on you will interact with your computer in a manner befitting the specimen of homo superior that you clearly are: whole-body wild flailing."

The machine was rather difficult to operate. For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive -- you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure, of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same program.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:44 PM on June 1 [3 favorites]


Yea it's completely hilarious to me how quickly people forget how widely and with what volume the ipad was shit on. "This is dumb, it's just a huge iphone" was said over and over and over to the point that people started saying it ironically.

ios 3.2 kinda sucked also, and ios 4 took its sweet time actually making it back over to the ipad. despite that, it was almost instantly a success and the haters were promptly forgotten.

I remember the first time i used one(roommate got one on launch day) my immediate thought was "Wow, this thing is WAY too heavy". And yet, they sold them as fast as they could make them pretty much non stop.

That does remind me of one of the legitimate gripes people have with the ipad, specifically the first one. If you bought in a year later and got the ipad 2, you're still getting updates. Thats like one of the longest tails any tablet like that has gotten. But if you bought the first one? you're stuck on ios 5. It got two updates then it got shitcanned. The same situation played out with the "core duo" 1st gen intel macs, vs the core2duo ones that came out so quickly afterwards. Was it even a full year? See also, the people who bought the first iphone before the price drop(or really, at all. you had to sign a 2 year contract and pay like $600). Also how quickly some of the ipod touches got cut off, the 4 never even got ios 7 even though the iphone 4 did.

Still bitter about the ipad vs ipad 2 OS update thing though...
posted by emptythought at 8:50 PM on June 1 [3 favorites]


The kindle app on the iPad mini for a person with my particular size hands has basically turned reading into an inputless process, the way I hold my tablet and advance through the pages means that the only limiting factor for me is my ability to absorb and process the written word, it's probably as close to just fucking a book instantly into my head as I'm ever going to see in my lifetime, doesn't hurt that trade paperback is my favorite book form factor.

Fuck skeuomorphism forever and always, if I wanted a felt and leather card table to be the leading design cue for the way I interact with my information appliances I'd be a blackjack dealer.

That said Apple can and should be better with their we know what you want and we know what you need design philosophy and I think if they devoted a little more of their person power to taking advice from the actual users of their products rather than jerking each other off over font choice, they would arrive at something truly effortlessly amazing at what they do best, simple, powerful, elegant, seamless: computing as biological process, nothing between the user and the end result. I know Jobs was the avatar of that philosophy, but it's been 32 years, it's discipline, not genius that makes apple great.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:01 PM on June 1


I think the ubiquitous computing possibility is unlikely. Apple's tendency is towards focused and concrete things, whereas ubiquitous computing is diffuse and abstract. I am having a hard time picturing an advertisement of a silhouette person rocking out with a ubiquitous computing... terminal... screen... smart-dust... thing. The problem is that ubiquitous computing is hard to even describe without retreating into abstract academic nonsense.

I think if Apple is going to announce a completely new hardware product, the most likely possibility is iGlasses. First, there's the futuristic cachet that Apple loves to tap into (compare to a hypothetical iWatch, which suggests to me dick tracy rather than 'the future'). Second, it plays to Apple's strengths in highly-constrained hardware and interface design. Third, Google has set a remarkably low bar for Apple to clear here-- the Google glass is kind of underwhelming and definitely overpriced (seriously, Apple could price the iGlasses at $999 and still undercut Google by $500).
posted by Pyry at 9:03 PM on June 1


John Gruber's "WWDC 2014 Prelude". I know Gruber's a polarizing figure; for my money, he's one of the best tech bloggers out there, for all he's focused on the one domain.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:23 PM on June 1


Apple is probably waiting for Venture Industries to perfect the SmartWatch and then buy them out.
posted by juiceCake at 9:32 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


C'mon Major Corporation, do a thing!
posted by mazola at 10:08 PM on June 1


Oh yeah, kudos on the title.
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:43 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


If Apple does ever release a wrist device I will bet money it won't look like a watch. I've got this idea that I've been meaning to mock up for a while … :

A band — not a watch — with a landscape-oriented screen on the inside of the wrist. The orientation is perfect — it matches the dimensions of existing iOS notifications, so all alerts can be sent to it without any redesign needed. The long lines that a horizontal display allow are key: a square or circle display requires many more line breaks and so provides much less information density than a landscape display.

The inside of the wrist is great for notifications because it's private — with a standard watch the person next to you sees the sext from your husband before you do.

Now do me a favor and look at the inside of your wrist as if you're reading said sext. I find it an incredibly natural motion and I think you will to. Reading the outside of your wrist takes far more twisting and tension than reading the inside.

The inside of your wrist is also visible while you're on your phone or device. Meaning you can still get value from it while you're playing Angry Birds, something that's impossible with a traditional watch design.


There are issues here for sure — the biggest I see is the discomfort of a chunky band on your wrist while typing. Maybe it's super low profile, maybe it's really easy to twist it around so the screen is on the top of your wrist. Heck, maybe the comfort is such a big problem that it sinks the whole thing!

BUT: an inside-wrist screen feels like the future to me. And I want it :)
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:55 AM on June 2 [6 favorites]


@wemayfreeze, that's a really interesting concept. I like it !!
posted by marsha56 at 2:09 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


I liked iOS7 so much I bought a Note 3. Which is better than an iPhone in every conceivable way.
posted by salmacis at 5:24 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the revelation on how to zoom out on Maps. Truly, that semi addresses my frustration.

Now if only even one other application, even from the same company, adopted that ux. Note how Metafilter's own layout in mobile chrome varies from unzoomable to zoomable but slightly off so the edges of paragraphs are lost unless you manually zoom out.

Clearly everyone's thumbs are longer than mine, as using the kindle tap, swipe, or any other gesture has equal likelihood to turn the page, highlight text, lookup a definition or straight up mistap the soft back button and eject me from my book entirely.

My hands are large, hence my hopeful purchase of the largest phone made. I'd be willing to tolerate and adjust to the terrible Samsung software suite and inconsistent ux if... no wait. I literally can't finish that sentence.

The last time I installed Nova Launcher my stability went to hell. The app switcher failed to launch half the time and although the settings say I'd configured my hone button, the configured app never launched.

What I'm saying is every software workaround for a usability issue reduces general expectations for usability.
posted by abulafa at 5:30 AM on June 2


The thing about the wearable tech question is understanding what problem it solves. Learning that you got an email or a text? You already know that when your phone buzzes. Being able to check who/what it is without reaching into your pocket? Okay, I can see that maybe, but I don't get the "it's less rude" argument. Looking at your watch is as clear a sign you're not engaged in a conversation as looking at your phone. Watch companies have acknowledged as much -- there are a bunch of watches out there designed to allow you to check your watch by feel to minimize the rudeness factor. (This was a personal favorite that never took off.)

I can't find it to link, but someone posted a photo of their smartwatch design, which was a hairy arm with YOU ALWAYS HAVE EMAIL scrawled on it in ballpoint pen. Which, yeah.

A health monitor I can see (or even better, something I could take running WITHOUT my damn phone on an armband), but that's a niche market, and a lot of initially eager users have come to find monitors annoying. Just as more and more smartphone owners are starting to disable app notifications and slow down the rate their phone checks for email.

So maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see Apple seeing the use of a wrist device that just goes HEY YOU HAVE EMAIL or HEY YOU HAVE BEEN SITTING TOO LONG AND I'LL ADD THAT TO A LIST OF DATA YOU WILL NEVER LOOK AT. Hiring Ahrendts is a pretty clear sign that wearable fashion will soon be a concern of theirs, but I can't help but think that their wearable devices will skew at least slightly in a different direction than what most people are expecting.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:05 AM on June 2


The thing about the wearable tech question is understanding what problem it solves.

The iPad didn't solve any problems.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:09 AM on June 2


The iPad didn't solve any problems.

I wouldn't quite call it a problem, but it fits a specific niche perfectly: reading/browsing/watching a movie on a big enough screen that is lighter and cooler than a laptop, and with a battery that lasts long enough to not bring a charger with you (unlike almost every laptop, ever).

I don't see the niche for the wearable stuff in the same way, but maybe once it's developed I'll understand.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:15 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


The iPad didn't solve any problems.

I disagree. It didn't solve problems that were immediately apparent to a lot of users. Myself included -- I had no intention of getting one, and only did when I wound up in a job situation that had me going to a lot of conferences, and I got tired of lugging around a laptop just for taking notes and checking email.

Once I got it, I saw it solved a buttload of problems with using a laptop that I'd gotten used to as "the way things are". Lighter weight, instant-on, less heat/noise, no cord, longer battery life, less of a barrier between me and my family, etc. Switching to a tablet made a whole lot of things better (with some trade-offs, of course). It solved so many problems that now I don't touch my laptop unless it's for something I need a laptop for. And judging by what's happened to the laptop market post-iPad, a whole lot of people feel the same way.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:18 AM on June 2


Oh man, I hope smart-watches--or at least those with backlit displays--don't catch on because I have a feeling that I'm going to lose my shit to an arrestable degree the first time I go to a movie theatre after they're released.
posted by whittaker at 6:26 AM on June 2 [5 favorites]


My point is that saying an iWatch or wearable or whatever else doesn't solve any problems doesn't mean that's not what Apple is doing, or that it won't be a hilarious success. That's all.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:37 AM on June 2


I can't remember where I saw it (probably another Metafilter post) but there was an article about a difference between designing tech for (some) men and (some) women. Part of that article was that tech designers were losing out on a huge market because they weren't seeing tech as jewelry-like.

I like jewelry and I'd love a piece of tech that I could wear that would look nice* and that would tell me the time and a couple other things. I mean, I wear a watch because I like the way it looks. I'd wear a digital watch. I'd wear a digital watch that let me check the weather (with a click - I don't want to have the front too cluttered) or even one that let me change the face based on my current outfit or mood. Email checking, eh, it'd be hard to read. Dictionary? GPS? Texting and twitter, of course. Recording sounds would be awesome. Also a bird id app.

So literally, a wearable tech device would solve a problem I have - easier to carry than a phone so I don't have to take a purse everywhere. Is it a problem that tech designers seem to take seriously? Absolutely not. But it's there and much more obvious than what the ipad was going to do.

*Now. Do I think that Apple designers have the same aesthetic tastes as me? Probably not. Based on the Google glass designers' ideas, I'm wary but, a white and grey slim watch a la Mac Air, would be okay.

wemayfreeze - that's how my mom wears her watch! I totally agree with your vision.
posted by hydrobatidae at 6:59 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]


So literally, a wearable tech device would solve a problem I have - easier to carry than a phone so I don't have to take a purse everywhere.

It would solve a problem for me also, because when my partner doesn't want to carry a purse guess whose pockets get used for her phone?
posted by Dip Flash at 7:11 AM on June 2


Making a wearable that works without a nearby phone is a lot harder than making one that works with a phone.
posted by smackfu at 7:40 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]


The inside of the wrist is great for notifications

I think you should work for Apple because you have convinced me a solution exists to a problem I never knew I had, but, now that I know, I really want it.
posted by honestcoyote at 8:00 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Especially if you want it to be small and last a while. Radios eat batteries for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:00 AM on June 2


I've had a couple of phones with actual radio - not Internet radio using expensive data, but plain old over-the-air radio. Loved being able to listen to NPR while on my walk.
posted by theora55 at 8:07 AM on June 2


True, it's the transmitting that uses the power.
posted by smackfu at 8:10 AM on June 2


With the new Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) (which Apple also uses in iBeacons) it should be feasible to have a relatively long-lasting phone-tethered (or iBeacon-tethered?) wearable.
posted by Maecenas at 8:15 AM on June 2


Everybody seems more relaxed this year.
posted by whittaker at 10:13 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Welp. If you hated the reskinning of iOS 7, you're officially entitled to go fucking bonkers now.
posted by ardgedee at 10:16 AM on June 2


165 comments before the Keynote even started. Only one about the actual Keynote.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:18 AM on June 2 [3 favorites]


I would absolutely believe how much time they spent crafting that trash can.

The inside of the wrist is great for notifications

That's why I wear my watch that way.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:18 AM on June 2


This looks really really slick.
posted by naju at 10:20 AM on June 2


Apple needs to hire some comedians.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:21 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]


I hope I can turn translucency off.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:22 AM on June 2


So Spotlight is now a Google killer?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:25 AM on June 2


adios, Quicksilver :(
posted by dhruva at 10:26 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]


Steve Jobs once said Dropbox wasn't a product, it was a feature. And here it is.
posted by jedicus at 10:27 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]


and taking on Dropbox directly, I see.
posted by dhruva at 10:27 AM on June 2


Hopefully iCloud is less of a cluster in this iteration.
posted by ardgedee at 10:28 AM on June 2 [3 favorites]


Steve Jobs once said Dropbox wasn't a product, it was a feature. And here it is.

Marco Arment: “Dropbox: 'We’re probably alright.'”
posted by Maecenas at 10:28 AM on June 2


These guys don't use favorites the way I do
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:32 AM on June 2


What the fuck are they gonna say, "Oh shit, we're doomed?"
(They probably are fine (ish) though.)
posted by entropicamericana at 10:33 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Nobody uses favorites the way anybody else does.

I wonder whether Apple is not so much trying to enhance searching convenience as they are trying to slowly wean the user from being accustomed to Google as a default search engine.
posted by ardgedee at 10:34 AM on June 2


These guys don't use favorites the way I do

I use favorites to agree with a funny and/or insightful comment.
posted by kmz at 10:37 AM on June 2 [3 favorites]


Okay, they're getting my attention for real with the iPhone/Mac integration.

I know they're not inventing anything new, but they're finally implementing it.
posted by ardgedee at 10:40 AM on June 2


This is pretty much the best Keynote since we lost Steve.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:41 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


OK. This handoff stuff is impressive. I wonder what the carriers think/thought of it.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:41 AM on June 2


what about faxes though does it work with faxes
posted by oulipian at 10:41 AM on June 2


Talk to your mother, Craig!
posted by Maecenas at 10:42 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Here it is.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:42 AM on June 2


"People like him"? What do you mean, people like him?
posted by naju at 10:43 AM on June 2


Geez, who would hang up on their mom to phone Dre?
posted by ardgedee at 10:43 AM on June 2


Eminem?
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:44 AM on June 2 [5 favorites]


What do you mean, people like him?

People who are not his mom.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:45 AM on June 2


point.
posted by ardgedee at 10:45 AM on June 2


The integration is neat. I'm not sure how much use I'd get out of it personally, because if I want to be available for phone calls I will have my phone with me (if it needs charging, hey, there's a USB port in the computer), but it seems like a slick implementation of something that other people may like.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:45 AM on June 2


Hip-hop moguls.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:45 AM on June 2


Tim Cook has a really schoolmarmish public speaking style.
posted by ardgedee at 10:47 AM on June 2


Metafilter: a toxic hellstew
posted by Maecenas at 10:50 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


I don't think Tim likes Android very much, guys.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:50 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


....and yet the first announced feature of iOS8 is something they took from it.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:52 AM on June 2 [3 favorites]


I dunno about interacting from the lock screen
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:52 AM on June 2


Did I miss something or are they showing a tiny-bezel iPhone 6 without mentioning it?
posted by theodolite at 10:55 AM on June 2


I think that's their standard iphone frame mockup thing. It doesn't show the full body of the iPhone in the slides. You can see something similar in past presentations
posted by grandsham at 10:57 AM on June 2


They did that with the announcement of iOS 7 last year... it's just zoomed way into the screen, that's all.
posted by whitecedar at 10:57 AM on June 2


reddit live update Has a running list of announcements.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:58 AM on June 2


The typeahead taking into context the other person's messages is pretty nice.
posted by whittaker at 10:59 AM on June 2


FINALLY SOME KEYBOARD IMPROVEMENTS
posted by wemayfreeze at 10:59 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Better register that "contextual predictive typing fail" tumblr right now.
posted by naju at 11:00 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Well, bakery, there's another explicit mention of user privacy...
posted by whittaker at 11:00 AM on June 2


Okay, the predictive typing is pretty clever, not only reacting to your input but to whatever text you're replying to.
posted by ardgedee at 11:00 AM on June 2


Did they fix iOS 7's ambiguous shift key? Doesn't look like it from the screenshots I've seen.
posted by whitecedar at 11:01 AM on June 2


The typeahead taking into context the other person's messages is pretty nice.

That is a neat way around the classic AutoCorrect fail of obscene messages to family/co-workers.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:02 AM on June 2


I know I am jaded, but I am bored. Bet the stock price crashes tonight and recovers over the next week. Sell short!
posted by cjorgensen at 11:02 AM on June 2


I wonder how that "instant hotspot" works with my carrier in regards to my their TOS. I'm on the old AT&T "grandfathered unlimited" (the one they're trying so hard to get us off of) and supposedly tethering is a no-no.
posted by sourwookie at 11:03 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


The future is that we are all just nudges to computer-supplied Markov processes. So easy!
posted by chortly at 11:03 AM on June 2


That's what happens after every keynote.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:03 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]


Yeah, he's presenting features of Kik/WhatsApp/Hangouts/GenericMessenger#2354 as if they were revelations.
posted by Pyry at 11:03 AM on June 2


Quicktype also automatically responds to to "where r u?" with GPS coordinates, and "are you ok?" with a link to your medical history.
posted by theodolite at 11:05 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


"Why don't you fuck off and die?"

Fuck off | Die | Not sure
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:05 AM on June 2 [10 favorites]


Yeah, he's presenting features of Kik/WhatsApp/Hangouts/GenericMessenger#2354 as if they were revelations.

That's SOP for any product announcement, not just Apple.
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:06 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


The new iOS mail features look awful nice.
posted by leahwrenn at 11:07 AM on June 2


I've never been clear what The Enterprise means. Is it just a euphemism for "working in an office"?
posted by Grangousier at 11:08 AM on June 2


Generally Enterprise is 500+ employees.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:09 AM on June 2


Yeah, "working in an office." But also "letting your IT guy manage/deploy a whole bunch of devices at once."
posted by whitecedar at 11:10 AM on June 2


Lots of privacy mentions. Cool.
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:11 AM on June 2


Enterprise means various things, but generally the word is a shorthand for processes that have to be done at a large scale, or behavioral configurations that are prioritized for the organization's requirements rather than the user's requirements.

In the case of what Federighi is describing right now, he's explaining that you can now flash-configure iOS devices rather than having IT grunts doing it by hand or depending on third-party applications to do it. It doesn't mean much when you're handing phones out to half a dozen people, but when you have to equip dozens or thousands of staff, it can be a godsend.
posted by ardgedee at 11:11 AM on June 2


Whaaat, proactively contacting hospitals? My blood pressure just went up.
posted by naju at 11:12 AM on June 2


Enterprise is usually an office with enough people to merit a dedicated IT staff and not just some guy.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:12 AM on June 2


Enterprise is usually an office with enough people to merit a dedicated IT staff and not just some guy.

Not if you ask that guy.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:14 AM on June 2 [4 favorites]


I'm looking forward to full AirDrop. Never made sense to leave it out, but maybe they didn't have both directions ready, last time around.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:14 AM on June 2


Oooh, that family setup is nice.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:15 AM on June 2


Thanks! Didn't want to derail, and certainly shouldn't drop in that snarky Star Trek comment I had lined up. In any case, definitely won't go into work wearing a red shirt.
posted by Grangousier at 11:16 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


(Specifically the purchase tracking and being able to require parent confirmation of any iTunes purchase through a "child" device. Photo stuff, whatever.)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:16 AM on June 2


That family thing is overdue.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:16 AM on June 2


The thing that's really overdue is the ability to merge the different iCloud accounts you've ended up with, but I suppose that's never happening.
posted by Grangousier at 11:18 AM on June 2


Or Apple IDs, rather.
posted by Grangousier at 11:19 AM on June 2


That iCloud pricing tho. Less than half the price of Dropbox and twice the space.
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:22 AM on June 2


One more thing
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:23 AM on June 2


Man... the new iCloud photo/video syncing stuff is my holy grail.

Thanks to Photo Stream and Wifi Sync, tethering my phone and computer via USB cable has become mostly unnecessary in the past few years... except when it comes to getting videos off my phone.

Hopefully my days of teaching parents how to manage free space on their devices is nearly over! :o
posted by whitecedar at 11:27 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]


Flappy Bird clones to get separate, dedicated Flapp Store
posted by oulipian at 11:27 AM on June 2 [10 favorites]


Nah, they're not even at the reason why they have these keynotes at a developer's conference.

Still and all, this might be a record-breaker for keynote length.
posted by ardgedee at 11:27 AM on June 2


iCloud isn't like dropbox though. It isn't a filesystem level disk. It's more like a hosted space.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:30 AM on June 2


Just literally gasped re: custom keyboards.
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:33 AM on June 2


Third party keyboards are a great addition, I love swype type keyboards.
posted by Harpocrates at 11:34 AM on June 2


Soooo...if they don't say anything about a Mac Mini update today, when's the next likely time for an announcement like that?
posted by redsparkler at 11:34 AM on June 2


SQUEE CAMERA API
posted by Maecenas at 11:35 AM on June 2


Lots of stressing privacy/security.
posted by whittaker at 11:35 AM on June 2


Redsparkler: Fall most likely.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:36 AM on June 2


It's the Keyboardnote!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:37 AM on June 2


A Mac Mini update is likely to be slipped under the door like the last Air update.
posted by wotsac at 11:37 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]


Wow, if they release a Majel Barrett voice for Siri, millions of nerds could now die happy.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:38 AM on June 2


\m/
posted by Maecenas at 11:39 AM on June 2


Soooo...if they don't say anything about a Mac Mini update today, when's the next likely time for an announcement like that?

They won't.

They are long overdue for an update, so no idea when they would. Traditionally, August (back to school) is a good time. Or October (Christmas). But honestly, I'd bet it'll be a stealth update (unannounced). There's a good chance it'll never see an update.

That's a time/date stamp down there that may haunt me.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:40 AM on June 2


I missed it... seriously, third party keyboards? That can be something.
posted by ardgedee at 11:40 AM on June 2


Better keyboards and predictive text were the main things I missed about Android when I switched. But I'm happy to see a lot of the other changes, too.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:40 AM on June 2


Wow, if they release a Majel Barrett voice for Siri, millions of nerds could now die happy.

Also you could set up your house so yelling "Battlestations!" could trigger red lights and sirens
posted by oulipian at 11:42 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Yes, thank you, that was the joke.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:43 AM on June 2


> They won't.

I wouldn't bet either way. There's usually some kind of Mac hardware announcement at WWDC, even if all they have to declare is some incremental tweaks. On the other hand, precedent is at best an indication of what might happen, not what will.
posted by ardgedee at 11:43 AM on June 2


Also... did anybody else notice the use of a Honeywell thermostat rather than a Nest during the home technology integration API?
posted by ardgedee at 11:44 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't bet either way.

Yeah, I've been wrong before, but if I had the chance to shove all my chips in on "no mini at WWDC" I'd do so.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:44 AM on June 2


The store isn't down. No updates for you.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:45 AM on June 2 [3 favorites]


Objective-C without the C

That's Smalltalk, right?
posted by 1970s Antihero at 11:46 AM on June 2 [3 favorites]


Okay, Obj-C haters. Now you have something new to hate.
posted by ardgedee at 11:46 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Wow, called the third-party keyboard support. Didn't expect that!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:46 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Well shit
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:46 AM on June 2


Majel Barrett voice for Siri

GLaDOS!

I have to say, the mood in my (Apple-based) office has gone from a couple folks keeping half an eye on a liveblog to almost total work stoppage over the last 45 minutes or so...
posted by Ian A.T. at 11:46 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Wow. Swift. Wow.
posted by whittaker at 11:47 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


The ghost of Bret Victor still lingers at Cupertino.
posted by Maecenas at 11:49 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]


It seems like we're now in a pattern where OS X and iOS trade off their developer and UI releases.

Last year iOS7's changes were mostly UI and OS X got core updates in Mavericks.
This year iOS8's changes are mostly core and OS X's updates are mostly UI and user services.
posted by ardgedee at 11:56 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]


Nice. Runs on iPad 2 and iPhone 4s
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:57 AM on June 2


Tim Cook is well on his way to becoming a serious iconic figure. He's killed it today.
posted by naju at 11:58 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]


WHERE THE HELL IS MY WATCH, TIM?
posted by entropicamericana at 11:58 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


SHOW'S OVER GO HOME
posted by ardgedee at 11:58 AM on June 2


[drops mic]
posted by ardgedee at 11:59 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


oh god please let Dr. Dre come out and do the "you're still here?" bit from Ferris Bueller...
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:00 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


NO MORE THING
posted by Grangousier at 12:00 PM on June 2


I think Craig owned it.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:00 PM on June 2


SHOW'S OVER GO HOME

Can't not read this in Animal's voice.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:00 PM on June 2 [2 favorites]


ONE MORE THING: Mac Mini shrunk to size of watch
posted by oulipian at 12:00 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


It seems like we're now in a pattern where OS X and iOS trade off their developer and UI releases.

It makes sense when you have two OSes to cannibalize each. Advances on one get sucked into the other. It's like Apple is competing with itself.

Tim Cook is well on his way to becoming a serious iconic figure. He's killed it today.

Yep, I don't miss Jobs at all. I love his products and love the company, but I wouldn't want to work for him or even see a movie. Cook makes me sad that we're not friends.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:01 PM on June 2 [5 favorites]


No hardware announced? Wow.
posted by northtwilight at 12:05 PM on June 2


Holy shit. That was the most developer-friendly I've seen Apple be EVER.

App extensibility is huge. Swift looks amazing (and hey who namedropped Bret Victor just last night!). There are gonna be some awesome new things to do with this.

Cook makes me sad that we're not friends.

Basically, this.

Even when Jobs was alive, Cook had a reputation for being the guy so hardcore competent that he kept Apple running behind its mad visionary. Now he's in charge and it turns out he's... nice?! charming?! open?!

I love that dude. And he seems bent on making Apple more overtly friendly and less up its own ass, too, which is nice.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:07 PM on June 2 [3 favorites]


Asked for an inch, and they gave a mile. Not too shabby. I'll probably be downloading and installing iOS8 and OSX10.10 tonight.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:12 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing Apple Swift doesn't have much to do with this Swift programming language or this one.
posted by jedicus at 12:14 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


No hardware announced? Wow.
This is a common sentiment (including in the stock market) at every WWDC which is a bit perplexing to me; how often has WWDC unveiled non-refresh hardware?
posted by whittaker at 12:14 PM on June 2


Yosemite looks cool, can't wait to try it. Disappointed there wasn't a new mac mini announced (I sorely need to update mine).

Feeling a bit of dread about Swift, though. (Sigh, yet another language to learn...)
posted by kira at 12:17 PM on June 2 [2 favorites]


This is a common sentiment (including in the stock market) at every WWDC which is a bit perplexing to me; how often has WWDC unveiled non-refresh hardware?

They debuted the retina MBP 2 years ago at WWDC 12, IIRC...
posted by northtwilight at 12:17 PM on June 2


> I'm guessing Apple Swift doesn't have much to do with this Swift programming language or this one.

Nope, Apple Swift doesn't have much to do with either.

Currently skimming through The Swift Programming Language, which I just downloaded through iTunes. Dare I say ... it's kinda Pythonesque?
posted by needled at 12:19 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Swift isn't going to get covered in depth by the mainstream tech press, but it's a huge move in the right direction. I've been dabbling in Objective-C recently and I hate it for basically all the same reasons I hated working in Java ten-fifteen years ago. It's annoying in a lot of the ways that C and C-style languages have always been, with a long and thorny cycle between writing code, compiling it, and testing it, and a lot of overhead before you can get to the minimal testable version of the program you're actually interested in writing.

"Interactive programming" isn't the industry's current buzzword du jour, but it's a term I always liked for the way that writing code ought to work (and usually hasn't, in practice). It's an old Lisp-evangelist phrase for condensing that write—compile/eval—test loop into as little time as possible, so you basically test code as you write it in very small chunks. And that's exactly what Swift was shown doing in today's demo. It'll be a huge leap forward in terms of everyday programming practice.
posted by RogerB at 12:21 PM on June 2 [5 favorites]


"Hello, world" in Swift:

println("Hello, world")
posted by needled at 12:23 PM on June 2


Very pleased with how Yosemite looks. Continuity is omgwtfbbq levels of awesome.
posted by Talez at 12:25 PM on June 2


Now he's in charge and it turns out he's... nice?! charming?!

I wonder if Sabih Khan feels the same way.
posted by asterix at 12:26 PM on June 2


> Dare I say ... it's kinda Pythonesque?

I half wonder if that's why Python was the only other language benchmarked in the speed bar graph: When asked, "It's so much like Python, why don't I just stick with Python?" Apple can reply, "because zoomy zoom zoom."
posted by ardgedee at 12:28 PM on June 2 [2 favorites]


Dare I say ... it's kinda Pythonesque?

The nested function calls look like Scala.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:28 PM on June 2


Nope, Apple Swift doesn't have much to do with either.

I know. I should have been more clear. I was obliquely pointing out that there are already two unrelated languages by that name (albeit only one of any consequence at all), so maybe Apple should have come up with a more original name. At least it's searchable.
posted by jedicus at 12:29 PM on June 2


Interactive notifications could work quite nicely with my iWatch concept I outlined above.
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:31 PM on June 2


> I was obliquely pointing out that there are already two unrelated languages by that name (albeit only one of any consequence at all), so maybe Apple should have come up with a more original name.

And they're all using the swift bird to represent their languages, too.
posted by needled at 12:38 PM on June 2


It'll be a huge leap forward in terms of everyday programming practice.

I was so spoiled by HyperCard.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:42 PM on June 2 [3 favorites]


Really looking forward to Continuity, if only for the "Hey, you know that phone in your pocket? The one you can't hear because you're working in the middle of a noisy airplane factory? It's ringing." My current solution for that problem is troublesome and unreliable.

But my lousy eyesight and I hope we'll have the option of turning off all that translucency nonsense.
posted by HillbillyInBC at 12:43 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


I'm looking forward to skimming the free book on Swift Apple's put out.
posted by sparkletone at 12:44 PM on June 2


I forgot this keynote was today, so I missed it. From the few bits of news I've seen, Yosemite looks pretty cool. I'm just afraid it's gonna turn out that my "early 2008" iMac won't support most of it.
posted by dnash at 12:47 PM on June 2


SWIFT BIRD DEVELOPERS FOR TRUTH
posted by ardgedee at 12:48 PM on June 2 [4 favorites]


I wonder how that "instant hotspot" works with my carrier in regards to my their TOS. I'm on the old AT&T "grandfathered unlimited" (the one they're trying so hard to get us off of) and supposedly tethering is a no-no.

From the copy
Your Mac can automatically use the personal hotspot on your iPhone when they’re within range of each other.*

*Check with your carrier for hotspot availability.
So I assume you have to be able to tether for this to work.
posted by Talez at 12:52 PM on June 2


Any concerns regarding the "touch ID" and privacy?
posted by whyareyouatriangle at 1:03 PM on June 2


Swift is exactly what the world has been clamoring for - a Smalltalk that looks like C.

(We're in the middle of "new languages because of reasons" explosion at the moment. There's some cool stuff out there (coffeescript comes immediately to mind) that does actually de-cruft syntax and increase the expressiveness of the programmer - but Go, Dart, Hack, etc. seem more like pointless vanity projects. A little different, but not really as much of a productivity gainer over what's already in the field. Swift looks like another one of these languages, sadly. I could be convinced otherwise, but the examples I'm seeing so far, well - REPL features are nice, but the syntax looks antiquated and awkward.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:04 PM on June 2


Web version of the documentation for Swift.
posted by sparkletone at 1:06 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


So they'll sell you 20gb for 99 cents a month, and give you 5gb for free for emails and however much for iCloud drive... But there still kneecapping you at 5gb for backups?

Most of my not overtly techy friends just ignore that "not enough space" message. It's so irritating. If they're going to give you all that space for other things, why not give you at least as much backup space as what size phone/iPad/etc you bought? Ugh.
posted by emptythought at 1:07 PM on June 2


Any concerns regarding the "touch ID" and privacy?

It's isolated at the hardware level FWIU. So, no. Not out of the gate anyway.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:08 PM on June 2 [2 favorites]


Any concerns regarding the "touch ID" and privacy?

It's an interesting turn from the initial description of Touch ID, where Apple said there wouldn't be third-party access. Maybe they just needed time to kick the tires.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:09 PM on June 2


Also wtf, OSX gets "dark mode" but not iOS? I'm still convinced I remember them showing something like that when they introduced 7, and now it's 8 and you still have to jail break to get f.lux or anything similar.
posted by emptythought at 1:10 PM on June 2


Blazecock: I don't think they meant never, just that it wasn't implemented yet. Security is a huge concern for this system and hastily implementing any aspect of it would have serious consequences.
posted by whittaker at 1:10 PM on June 2


So, as to Jony Ive's OS X: I definitely wouldn't call it flat. I really like the visual design language of the icons.
posted by whittaker at 1:13 PM on June 2


Go, Dart, Hack, etc. seem more like pointless vanity projects.

Dart seems like an almost Microsoftian NIH language for Google, but Go is catching a lot of mindshare among the HN set as a real advance for server side programming, mainly because the lack of exceptions gives them an anti-Java ribbon to wear, and the concurrency model is much, much easier to work with. Add Rust to that list, and the language I'd bet on still being in major use in 10 years is Go.
posted by fatbird at 1:14 PM on June 2


> Also wtf, OSX gets "dark mode" but not iOS?

It has to be implemented within the app. Apple Maps uses it, and so do some third party apps like Waze. I don't know if the iOS version was ever intended to be user-accessible.
posted by ardgedee at 1:15 PM on June 2


Also I didn't realize until now that the iPad 2 is still supported. God, the people who bought an iPad 1 got So. Shafted.

That's an impressive amount of updates for a mobile device/tablet though. That thing is older than the 4S, right?
posted by emptythought at 1:16 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


> It's an interesting turn from the initial description of Touch ID, where Apple said there wouldn't be third-party access.

By description it sounded like the API only provides responses relevant to whether or not the user is valid. The app will not have access to the user information.
posted by ardgedee at 1:17 PM on June 2


Also, you know who Swift is aimed at? All the Javascript/webkit cross-platform toolkits. Sencha, Phonegap, Appcelerator... Swift is pretty clearly Apple's bid to wean coders off of "Obj-C is too hard/crufty/verbose, etc., so I'll use a JS toolkit".
posted by fatbird at 1:18 PM on June 2 [4 favorites]


Any concerns regarding the "touch ID" and privacy?

It's an interesting turn from the initial description of Touch ID, where Apple said there wouldn't be third-party access. Maybe they just needed time to kick the tires.


It acts as a gatekeeper to Keychain. The Touch ID system service authenticates you then allows the app to access the already saved password. The developer never gets your fingerprint.
posted by Talez at 1:25 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Also I didn't realize until now that the iPad 2 is still supported. God, the people who bought an iPad 1 got So. Shafted.
Actually, I could almost hear the agonized screams of developers who still have to make the applications they code run on iPad 2 for iOS8 and anything that still only has 512MB of memory. iPad 1 has 256MB and I have no idea how it would have run iOS6/7.
posted by whittaker at 1:29 PM on June 2


Also I didn't realize until now that the iPad 2 is still supported. God, the people who bought an iPad 1 got So. Shafted.

That's an impressive amount of updates for a mobile device/tablet though. That thing is older than the 4S, right?


The iPad A4 only has 256MB of RAM. The iPhone 4 A4 has 512MB of RAM. The iPhone 4S has an A5. Memory requirements combined with graphical horsepower probably has something to do with model support in iOS7 and 8. iOS6 only really existed on the 3GS because it was greatly stripped down and Apple was still selling it at the time.
posted by Talez at 1:30 PM on June 2


But how does one square the notion that touch ID remains at the hardware level or is isolated from the developer and thereby private with NSA access to one's iPhone?
posted by whyareyouatriangle at 1:32 PM on June 2


From my experience doing the occasional app support for my mom, iOS 7 runs really well on her iPad 2, or at least the cut-down version of it that's available for that device does. I was pretty impressed, especially as I got burned in the past upgrading a 3GS to the newest iOS.

(Other experiences are valid, however...)
posted by Ian A.T. at 1:39 PM on June 2


re: no new hardware:

> They debuted the retina MBP 2 years ago at WWDC 12, IIRC...

Which is why whittaker specified "non-refresh." Hardware isn't uncommon at these things, but it's got to be something that affects devs. A new mini isn't something that gets Keynote time.

> Hardly, last year's significant MacBook Air update was part of the WWDC opening presentation.

But the focus was on the new processor and the fact that there was a slew of features directly affecting devs like "app napping" and such, but yeah, it's not impossible for them to have hardware featured, they just have to have a reason. Last year they were fighting the "can't innovate" narrative, so needed to point out the Air had a 13 hour battery life, dwell on the Mac Pro, and announce new wireless techs. I don't want to make a "no true scotsman" argument, since it's easy to look back and see how common or uncommon hardware is at WWDC. It's just not where I ever expect to see these announcement. Sometimes I am wrong, but I think going into this one it was obvious it was going to be focused on the new OSes.

They may still release something, but it'll be a stealth update.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:40 PM on June 2


But how does one square the notion that touch ID remains at the hardware level or is isolated from the developer and thereby private with NSA access to one's iPhone?
The 88-by-88-pixel, 500-ppi raster scan is temporarily stored in encrypted memory within the Secure Enclave while being vectorized for analysis, and then it’s discarded after. The analysis utilizes subdermal ridge flow angle mapping, which is a lossy process that discards minutia data that would be required to reconstruct the user’s actual fingerprint. The resulting map of nodes never leaves iPhone 5s, is stored without any identity information in an encrypted format that can only be read by the Secure Enclave, and is never sent to Apple or backed up to iCloud or iTunes.
So even if you could access the Secure Enclave it doesn't actually contain a useful fingerprint to populate a database with.

If the NSA wanted your prints there are far easier ways to do it. Get you arrested for some random thing, fingerprinted at the station and you're in The System™.
posted by Talez at 1:42 PM on June 2 [2 favorites]


Blazecock: I don't think they meant never, just that it wasn't implemented yet. Security is a huge concern for this system and hastily implementing any aspect of it would have serious consequences.

Agreed. I'd understand Apple's conservative approach to opening up a feature that grants access to the phone, to bank account data, to other sensitive accounts etc. I can see it make running jailbroken devices more dangerous for the end user, but then users who are that sophisticated probably do not purposefully use the fingerprint scanner to begin with.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:48 PM on June 2


Also I didn't realize until now that the iPad 2 is still supported.

Weren't the iPad 2's heavily marketed towards enterprise customers? Could there be large installations out there?
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:51 PM on June 2


Pretty much. Huuuuge education userbase too.
posted by whittaker at 1:53 PM on June 2


A little different, but not really as much of a productivity gainer over what's already in the field. Swift looks like another one of these languages, sadly.

Programmers tend to overemphasize the importance of a language and its syntax and underestimate the importance of the libraries and run-time. Perl was successful in spite of its godawful syntax because it was essentially a scriptable libc. You could unlock the full power of Unix -- stuff like creating sockets and making low-level system calls -- without having to compile a C program. It was a huge step over Bourne shell and awk.

Swift seems to be a similar breakthrough. It's not interpreted, but it is incrementally compiled and interactive. And importantly, it's tightly coupled with Cocoa. You can call Cocoa libraries with a clean syntax and with no performance penalty. Trying to use Cocoa from Python is awkward and slow.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:56 PM on June 2 [5 favorites]


The iPad 2 was a massive upgrade over the first iPad. The annual updates to the iPad since have been comparatively incremental. The first iPad was more like a proof of concept that happened to sell like hotcakes.
posted by ardgedee at 2:00 PM on June 2 [2 favorites]


A lot of focus on gaming. I'm thinking that maybe they're priming the pump to make the appleTV a serious gaming device.
posted by Mick at 2:04 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Weren't the iPad 2's heavily marketed towards enterprise customers? Could there be large installations out there?

It was being actively sold until three months ago. Apple generally give a major release after the last time it was sold and that's it.
posted by Talez at 2:05 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


ardgedee has it right I think: the First iPad is pretty much in line with, for example first Kindle, as a sort of pathfinder/engineering sample that just happened to be publically available. Admittedly, the first iPad is significantly more polished than the first Kindle.

That coupled with the massive, massive installed base of iPad 2 in schools and companies probably means that they are going to be the "Windows XP/IE 6" of iPad development for at least a couple years to come.
posted by grandsham at 2:14 PM on June 2


I'm on the old AT&T "grandfathered unlimited" (the one they're trying so hard to get us off of) and supposedly tethering is a no-no.

Speaking as someone else on that program, I think you mean "grandfathered 'unlimited.'"
posted by entropicamericana at 2:24 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


I am super curious about the Hand-off feature, and exactly how much of this will be usable from various apps, other than the core OS ones (like Safari and Mail or iMessages/Messages).

Like, what about iMovie? There are 2 versions, one for iOS and one for OS X. Would this mean that you could use your iPad/iPhone as a "camera" to capture footage, then "hand-off" that to your laptop/desktop to do editing and exporting the fniished movie? Because that would be freakishly awesome.

It reminds me of that feature in the movie The Minority Report (and Iron Man), where a character was looking at a file on a tablet device, then moved over to a workstation and the file they were looking at "moved" over to the workstation and they then did a whole bunch more stuff on it, etc., etc. That would be freakishly awesome. Also freakishly scary if it didn't work and you had to try and figure out what went wrong (I work in IT, so I'm just thinking about all the "new" features that I'm going to get to watch my end users find the holes in).

Either way. Super cool new stuff.
posted by daq at 2:40 PM on June 2 [2 favorites]


RE my whining above about backups, it looks like they're backing up infinite photos now. Photos were what made backups oversized for iclouds 5gb, and i've never seen a device on which disabling photo backup didn't instantly solve that problem.

So if photos are being handled separately now, they have essentially given people tons of storage in the way i described/wanted. Cool.
posted by emptythought at 2:41 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


The handoff feature also paves the way for real smarthome functionality. This will let your home network/computer know when you're around and communicate seamlessly with your device.

The other continuity features open up some interesting use cases for apps, too. That home automation lightbulb/vacuum/bidet you have doesn't need a desktop app of its own — your computer can talk directly to the phone app.
posted by wemayfreeze at 2:50 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Photos were what made backups oversized for iclouds 5gb

That, and iMessage threads with a ton of picture/video attachments. Fortunately it looks like iOS 8 will make that less painful to deal with ("tap to see every attachment from a conversation").
posted by whitecedar at 2:52 PM on June 2


That coupled with the massive, massive installed base of iPad 2 in schools and companies probably means that they are going to be the "Windows XP/IE 6" of iPad development for at least a couple years to come.

I think this is wrong. The timeline might be correct, but I bet iOS 8 will be the last os to run on the iPad 2. Then it'll be a lot like the iPhone. As the new one comes out the OS supports one less. The iPhone 4 is the last to support iOS 7. When 8 comes out I am certain it'll only run on 4s. 9 on 5, etc. My prediction is this is how the iPads will function as well. So the couple of years might be correct, but they won't be like XP/IE 6 in any manner. There won't be a concern over how many people are using it. There won't be accommodations. One day Apple will say, "Done, no new apps for that. No new updates," and it will be over.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:56 PM on June 2


I'd usually agree with you regarding updates but the iPad 2 is in a unique situation where it has an identical amount of RAM as its younger siblings and a much lower resolution screen. We've never been in this situation before. RAM is usually one of the biggest feature restricting factors on smartphones and the GPU won't be taxed with the quarter of the fill rates required compared to the retina models.
posted by Talez at 3:06 PM on June 2


Actually I'm stupid. It's the first gen ipad mini where it's the same. The iPad 3 and onwards is 1GB.
posted by Talez at 3:08 PM on June 2


Yeah, the first-gen iPad Mini was a miniaturized iPad 2.

I can't imagine they're not going to worry about what would happen if they tell the big education customers "if you want new software and bug fixes, just make the $400-a-head investment again." Maybe they'll continue letting people submit/update iPad 2-compatible apps as long as they're tagged as such, like the non-retina Mark Of Shame they put in the app store during that transition?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:16 PM on June 2


the ipad 2 is going to get updates for as long as the ipad mini does, i think. I mean yea, there's exceptions to this rule like the ipod touch 4 vs the iphone 4, but they've never handed out that many ipod touch updates.

The ipad mini shipped with ios 6, but most importantly is still on sale and is still going to be sold when ios 8 comes out(or at least right up until that date), that means it's essentially guaranteed to get ios 9. There's several reasons for that, but the biggest one is that every device so far has gotten 3 updates minimum besides the ipad 1, iphone 1 and the 3g, and some of the ipod touches.

if the mini gets ios 9, and the ipad 2 doesn't i'll be weirded out. It'll be extremely arbitrary. It wouldn't surprise me however, if that's the last update either of those machines got.
posted by emptythought at 3:22 PM on June 2


That iCloud pricing tho. Less than half the price of Dropbox and twice the space.

The 200GB for $4/mo is in line with Google Drive's 100GB/$2 tier. At that price point I don't see why anyone would go with the $0.99 plan unless they were only using it to back up an iPhone.

I do like that $4 tier. I use drive and need maybe 150 GB for photo backups and don't want to shell out $10 a month for the next tier up.
posted by thecjm at 3:24 PM on June 2


Oooooooooh. Wi-Fi calling (T-Mobile) is in iOS8.
posted by Talez at 3:27 PM on June 2


I forgot this keynote was today, so I missed it. From the few bits of news I've seen, Yosemite looks pretty cool. I'm just afraid it's gonna turn out that my "early 2008" iMac won't support most of it.

If it supports 10.8 or 10.9 it'll support 10.10. Basically anything C2D onwards with 64-bit support is the hard cut-off.
posted by Talez at 3:32 PM on June 2


That iCloud pricing tho. Less than half the price of Dropbox and twice the space.

I wonder if iCloud Drive will allow public access to files the way Dropbox does. Being able to copy-paste a URL to a file has been pretty useful for sharing small bits of work.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:51 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Sigh, I can't believe I was tied up *all day* and missed all of this. Is there a good summary site, better than MacRumors?

I've found out about HomeKit and HealthKit and keyboards and Yosemite (Gruber has good birdies!) and iCloudDrive (finally putting bad memories of MobileMe to rest, or more of the same crap?). And Swift looks potentially very exciting...

What did I miss?

(Aside: my son's elementary school still uses a massive number of iPad2 devices. That is going to stick around.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 3:52 PM on June 2


Is there a good summary site, better than MacRumors?

The precis summary.

Longer summary.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:55 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Called it.

I think they're developing Ubiquitous Computing,

OS X Yosemite’s “Continuity” links apps and more across desktop and mobile
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:58 PM on June 2


The Wirecutter's summary is good, too.
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:04 PM on June 2


From the wirecutter summary:

First of all, beyond Photo Stream (which stores your last 1000 photos), all photos will now be automatically saved to your iCloud Photo Library (this will quickly fill your 5GB free allotment though, so you might want to spring for more storage).

So wait, what the fuck. Which one is it? Is no one sure right now? do you get unlimited photo storage, or does it count towards your total? If they're autosaving all of them to there AND it counts towards it, and they're charging... then that's kinda scummy.

I'm not saying they're required to give it to us for free, but that just seems like a sleezy upsell tactic i wouldn't have normally associated with them.
posted by emptythought at 4:20 PM on June 2


If Swift has usable closures, rather than the memory traps that Objective-C blocks were, I'm all up ons. Even after two years as a full-time iOS dev with a background in C++, I was able to get things done four times faster in JavaScript than I was in Objective-C, as much as I wanted to like it.
posted by ignignokt at 4:27 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Good news for those of us worried about privacy and online tracking: Apple will let you ditch Google search for DuckDuckGo in iOS 8 and OS X.

As a big fan of DuckDuckGo this is pretty awesome.
posted by Rory Marinich at 5:12 PM on June 2 [8 favorites]


I'm thinking that maybe they're priming the pump to make the appleTV a serious gaming device

It was announced recently that Minecraft (#1 Android, #2 Apple for paid games) has sold more units, about 20 mil, on mobile than on pc and console combined. Never mind that the interface on mobile sucks barnyard waste, it still moves more units on phones.

I think this is all about gaming on iOS devices. I would be surprised if Apple is thinking TV seriously at the moment.

Apple has a real large company problem. To sustain high grown they need another iPhone. Given how low margin the TV and console/set-top box markets are, I don't think Apple sees either as markets worth their time.
posted by bonehead at 5:28 PM on June 2


Apple has a real large company problem. To sustain high grown they need another iPhone. Given how low margin the TV and console/set-top box markets are, I don't think Apple sees either as markets worth their time.

This is the biggest myth about Apple today. Why would Apple care about growing larger? They are already so large, they dominate every supply chain they use. They're already sitting on so much cash, they don't know what to do with it.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:53 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


That's not something unique to Apple, that's a problem of market-based capitalism generally. Microsoft had the same problem a decade or two ago: hence the xbox.
posted by bonehead at 5:59 PM on June 2


Why would Apple care about growing larger?

Wall Street.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:08 PM on June 2


I'm just glad they're unifying AirDrop to work between iOS and OSX.
posted by peeedro at 6:10 PM on June 2 [2 favorites]


Somewhat disappointing that Swift uses reference counting under the hood, apparently with some sort of system of strong/weak references that you have to use if you want to break cycles.

I guess this is for backwards compatibility with the old runtime, but it seems odd to be introducing a language with those warts in 2014.
posted by jcreigh at 6:23 PM on June 2 [2 favorites]


> Given how low margin the TV and console/set-top box markets are, I don't think Apple sees either as markets worth their time.

Even if Apple doesn't have any good ideas for what to do with their Apple TV, it's obvious to Apple that not maintaining a foothold in this arena is risky. If/when the cable TV subscription model eventually dissolves, Google, Amazon, and smaller players like Roku have their own set-top systems and will make a late entry extremely expensive and risky.

Apple's made clear noises that the AppleTV in its current state is a profitable product and that they're going to continue treating it as a viable venture, even if they're not sure what to do with it.

Our household is pretty thoroughly subscribed to the Apple media ecology model, and TV nights amount to picking web-based video programs on our iPads and using Air Sharing to the AppleTV to view them on the living room TV. We haven't had cable TV for a year, and aside from the occasional sporting event it hasn't been missed.

The AppleTV is a pain in the ass if you can't use a touch screen controller. At the other extreme, if you have an iPhone or iPad you don't really need to use the AppleTV's native UI at all. So I think of it more as a utility add-on to an existing Apple-using household; on its own it kind of sucks. And this also makes it hard to judge on its own merits in relationship to Amazon, Google, and Roku's products, since those companies aren't able to make the same assumptions Apple can, and so they can't offer some of the same features (or, at least, the ease of access to those features) to certain subsets of users. Yet.
posted by ardgedee at 6:35 PM on June 2


Why would Apple care about growing larger?
Wall Street.
Yup, and that's definitely the reason why Apple's trying to buy themselves private piece by piece right now.
posted by whittaker at 6:40 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Unrelated to the keynote, it occurred to me today that, re: wearables, with Beats Apple just bought one of the most well known and profitable wearables companies. Given the decline of wristwatches, headphones are the only wearable digital technology that many folks use on a daily basis.

Which to me underscores that Apple is going to try to move into wearables. For many people a wearable thing can't just be cool, it also has to speak to a sense of personal style. Beats nailed the fashion side of their product and Apple wants what they know.
posted by wemayfreeze at 6:58 PM on June 2


Our household is pretty thoroughly subscribed to the Apple media ecology model, and TV nights amount to picking web-based video programs on our iPads and using Air Sharing to the AppleTV to view them on the living room TV.

I have an apple tv and I basically only use it to rent movies that aren't on hulu/netflix. Everything else, I use the xbox 360 for. The interface for the AppleTV is awful, and I'd almost always rather just use the xbox controller to navigate around.
posted by empath at 7:39 PM on June 2


The interface for the AppleTV is awful,

I'm not an Xbox person at all, so apples to oranges, but I love the interface on the Apple TV compared to the old Roku we had for Netflix. It's easier when I use the phone as my remote, though.
posted by immlass at 7:47 PM on June 2


>Why would Apple care about growing larger?

Wall Street.


Apple does not care about Wall Street.

"If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock."
-Tim Cook
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:11 PM on June 2


Apple Wants Siri to Move Into Your Smart Home
posted by homunculus at 8:12 PM on June 2


Apple does not care about Wall Street.

That is true to an extent, but they do care about Carl Icahn. They've been buying back stock so that they don't have to care about him, though.
posted by empath at 8:34 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Somewhat disappointing that Swift uses reference counting under the hood, apparently with some sort of system of strong/weak references that you have to use if you want to break cycles.

I guess this is for backwards compatibility with the old runtime, but it seems odd to be introducing a language with those warts in 2014.


I don't have any first hand experience with it, but I believe obj-c/cocoa had a garbage collector option a few years ago, which was subsequently deprecated in favor of ARC. With their focus on smooth interactions (especially in more constrained iOS systems), I don't think apple would consider a new system language that could be subject to GC pauses.
posted by strange chain at 8:58 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Not that it's at all easy, but Nitro in Mobile Safari has garbage collection and is practically free of GC pauses. They've shown it can be done, but it would still be a monumental task to bring that to something sitting on Cocoa.
posted by ignignokt at 9:02 PM on June 2


“Guess/prediction: in a few more years, Swift-only apps will be able to opt in to garbage collection.” –mikeash
posted by whittaker at 4:31 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


So wait, what the fuck. Which one is it? Is no one sure right now? do you get unlimited photo storage, or does it count towards your total? If they're autosaving all of them to there AND it counts towards it, and they're charging... then that's kinda scummy.

It's really just that Photo Stream is confusing. It's not so much cloud storage as it is a cloud-based method to sync your photos among your devices. You take a photo on your phone, it goes up to Photo Stream, then gets downloaded to iPhoto on your Mac. All your photos are backed up, and Apple doesn't have to pay for cloud storage.

Great idea, in theory, except that people just want cloud photo storage. They want to be able to delete photos from their phone and still have them available to the phone. And they want to lose their phone and not lose their photos. So now Apple says, "fine, you can backup to the cloud, but you have to pay for the storage you use."
posted by smackfu at 5:52 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]


ARC is one of the great pleasures of writing objc code for iOS right now. Best of both worlds memory use for a really minimal conceptual overhead every cocoa developer has already paid for. It feels like a damned clever solution. That said, my desire to bet against Mike Ash is limited. March of technology / certain class of apps / etc.
posted by ~ at 6:00 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


homunculus: "Apple Wants Siri to Move Into Your Smart Home"

I hate articles like this. Nobody outside of Apple knows what Apple wants to do. They are one of the most famously opaque organizations in the world, and are currently better at keeping their own secrets than the NSA.

Yeah, they released a (fairly modest) new SDK. However, nobody knows what Apple want to do until Tim says so himself. Apple literally only communicates big announcements via keynote speeches -- the CEO is essentially the organizations only PR rep.

Even then, Apple have left more than a few much-touted products out do die on the vine. I would bet on CarPlay to be the next to go.
posted by schmod at 7:24 AM on June 3


Even then, Apple have left more than a few much-touted products out do die on the vine. I would bet on CarPlay to be the next to go.

CarPlay is a pretty lightweight API as far as features go to establish a beachhead in the car. It's literally a headend with an AirPlay server implementation with some return channel touchscreen info. They leverage a lot of the existing technology they've already spent money on developing for iOS and OS X. Short of dropping the entire AirPlay stack I wouldn't expect this to die on the vine seeing as it gives them so much for what amounts to very little work.
posted by Talez at 8:29 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


I am not a lawyer, but if I am reading this correctly, it means that beta version of the operating systems and SDKs are still under NDA, but Apple allows developers to discuss new APIs and features that have been introduced at WWDC in public. That should cover pretty much all the new stuff in iOS 8, Yosemite and the Developer Tools.

--Apple Has (Partly) Lifted the NDA for Beta Releases

They've made things a little easier for developers to communicate with each other and the public.
posted by whittaker at 8:35 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


I'm going through the online Swift tutorial, and it's a very unlovely language - syntax and structure does matter, it's why Python and Ruby are doing as well as they are, and why Groovy and Coffeescript have taken hold.

Apple didn't put a lot of thought into the human-readability aspect of their new language, and that's something of a disappointment. It's better than ObjC, granted, and probably better than Javascript. It's a ways behind more recent entrants.

I'm half convinced they should have just rolled F-script in as a first order dev environment - Smalltalk syntax and idiom fits on an index card, and there's 30 years of best-practices, including patterns and anti-patterns, already documented.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:44 AM on June 3


Everything else, I use the xbox 360 for. The interface for the AppleTV is awful, and I'd almost always rather just use the xbox controller to navigate around.
The PS3 Netflix client is slick as hell and certainly makes the AppleTV Netflix client look stodgy and inelegant but I still use the AppleTV client for two reasons:
  1. The AppleTV uses 6 Watts of power when active. The PS3 uses 189.
  2. I despise that every non-AppleTV Netflix client immediately windows the film at the moment the end credits start and advertises something else to watch that will autoplay in 10 seconds. Somebody else put it so excellently: "It's like having somebody slap the book out of your hand the very instant you finish the last paragraph."
posted by whittaker at 9:19 AM on June 3 [5 favorites]


As far as the NDA, they put the pre-release documentation on public web pages this year, so it would be a bit silly to try to try to enforce secrecy against registered developers.

For instance: iOS 8 API Diffs
posted by smackfu at 9:27 AM on June 3


My holy-shit way-to-sweat-the-details moment: Yosemite renders text underlines in a way that leaves space for hanging elements.
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:03 PM on June 3 [4 favorites]


I'm sure that looks neat to some people but it just gives me a proofreading heart attack because I can't tell if the "g" is going to display underlined on other systems.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:08 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]


Upgraded my Air to OS X 10.10 (ten ten ten? aka 42), and it's nice, but not very changed.

As for Swift, I really like the change, and if you can understand javascript it's fairly easy to understand (except for a few of the more esoteric areas). Now the big problem they need to fix is the arcane project structure in Xcode.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:13 PM on June 3


I'm sure that looks neat to some people but it just gives me a proofreading heart attack because I can't tell if the "g" is going to display underlined on other systems.

If I understand you correctly, why wouldn't it? It's a last-layer text rendering change. It's like worrying that your text document will be anti-aliased on an OS with anti-aliasing turned off because you originally wrote it on a computer with anti-aliasing turned on.
posted by whittaker at 1:23 PM on June 3


Oh, you mean you're worried if a hanging element on the end has no underline because of rendering or because you failed to select the entire text before marking it up as underlined?
posted by whittaker at 1:28 PM on June 3


Exactly. That is one of the things I specifically have to watch for in my job, so yeah. Panic mode!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:02 PM on June 3


Is that an existing typographic thing, or is this just Apple making stuff up?
posted by smackfu at 2:36 PM on June 3


No, it's a real thing.
posted by whittaker at 2:51 PM on June 3


I'm sure that looks neat to some people but it just gives me a proofreading heart attack because I can't tell if the "g" is going to display underlined on other systems.

I assume it will only affect programs that use the Cocoa text renderer directly. I imagine Word, QuarkXPress, InDesign, etc have their own renderers.
posted by jedicus at 8:05 AM on June 4


I imagine Word, QuarkXPress, InDesign, etc have their own renderers.

Word appears to: Write some underlined text that contains a descender ("g", "j", etc.) and then zoom into the document.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:06 PM on June 4 [1 favorite]


Upon further research, it's actually not a Yosemite feature. It's been around since 2010. It works in TextEdit, but not in Pages.
posted by smackfu at 2:20 PM on June 4 [2 favorites]


« Older The Making of Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love'. A...  |  The personal price of exposing... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments