My WWDC 2010 Keynote Comments

The WWDC keynote is over. It met my low expectations and here’s my two-cents.

Quick Bits - Commentary placardAs I previously mentioned, I wasn’t expecting much that would be personally exciting from the WWDC keynote. And I got what I expected. It was a developers conference so I shouldn’t be hugely surprised that the main topic was iPhone apps and all the things they can do and money to be made.

iAds scares me a bit. If the limited screen real estate of the apps becomes cluttered with ads then it becomes a lot less useful to me. I realize developers need to support themselves and families so I’m not about to say I won’t use any app with ads in them. I just don’t want the UI to suffer so that the ads can be placed. But the test will be in the implementation.

The addition of PDF support to iBook may be enough to get it back on my iPad, but since I already have GoodReader it probably won’t be back. Still, its a good added feature to the app. The ability to sync books between devices (a la Kindle) is also another necessary feature. Still, the Kindle platform will be my primary e-book source since it’s not dedicated to Apple devices. Amazon took the right approach in separating the Kindle hardware folks from the Kindle books folks. There’s no incentive for the books people to limit devices.

As for the iPhone itself – every time there’s a keynote the reality distortion field hits me and my AT&T loathing weakens. But then true reality takes over and I’m able to resist. The new screen seems sweet. Building in the antennae as part of the case design (it’s wrapped around the phone) looks cool but freaks me out. I’m old and remember all those warnings about keeping cellphone antennas away from your head. While my brain can logically understand it’s no worse than having the antennae inside. Still, that same brain would freak out about being cooked since I’m not a borg that wears a Bluetooth headset all the time.

I was happy to hear my iPod Touch would get a free upgrade to the newly renamed iOS as would my iPad.

Going on at the same time is Microsoft TechEd but it’s gotten almost zero play in the news. The news from there that caught my attention was Windows 7 SP1 beta in July and it would be just a patch roll-up, no new features.

Apple has created yet another video calling standard, FaceTime (only iPhone to iPhone and on WiFi at first). Apple says they will make this open but I haven’t seen open defined. If it’s an open api controlled by Apple it may be problematic for other vendors. On the other hand I’m not sufficiently up on the technology to know if there was a good open standard already in existence.

I guess the business community was underwhelmed by the keynote because Apple stock was down almost 2% today.

Pet peeves:

Apple keeps calling HTML5 and open standard. It’s more accurately and open standard to be since it’s still a working draft. All HTML implementations (including Mozilla’s and Google’s) include proprietary tags because the standard isn’t defined and the developer has no choice. Like all marketing, these claims (on all sides) contain a significant amount of self-serving spin. Apple’s own HTML5 demo gallery is coded to only load in Safari which seems unnecessarily self-serving but speaks to the fact that the HTML5 standard is still be written and Apple must write to their vision of the standard.

Apple says they didn’t go after Google’s business but Google came after theirs. Apple defined Google’s business as search. Google isn’t in the search business, it’s in the ad business. And Apple is going after the ad business.