Reinvention.

There has been an awful lot of grumbling in my Twitter timeline about this year's WWDC, Apple's annual developer conference. A few of these have simply been whinges about the fact that Apple hasn't championed that individual's particular burning interest. A good number however seem to stem from an expectation that somehow the changes and improvements aren't sufficiently radical.

While I'll accept that I have some bias in Apple's favour these comments seem crazy to me. Not least of which as I don't actually want a reinvented wheel every year. We don't need an entirely new interface every twelve months; slow steady progress and iterative refinement is the bread and butter of updates to critical software.

However I also outright dispute the accusation. This year we are getting unparalleled third party integration into:

  • iMessage
  • Siri
  • Notifications

When you dismiss the ability for any third party app to hook directly into Siri or iMessage as insignificant then I have to presume you're just not paying any attention. It's a HUGE deal that multiplies Siri's capabilities — limited only by the ingenuity of app developers (and they're a fairly ingenious bunch). Similarly, being able to group order and split the bill for a restaurant right in the iMessage window before you even get together…

I'm sorry it's boring for you but for the day-to-day usability of everyone else's most important computer it is an actual bona fide paradigm shift. This will change the way people use their iPhones, small ways for sure, but on a scale of every few unlocks — dozens of times per day.

This defines the entire suite of Apple's OS revisions for me; opening up core functionality to third parties is the major improvement but there are so many small quality of life revisions and they all feel so well thought out and elegant. This was the most positive set of announcements at WWDC for a while, and surely the quality of life and ease of use is why the majority of us own Apple tech in the first place?