Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Scoring Spitballing WWDC 2014

Boy, did I ever get this one wrong.

Get your wallets ready, everyone: new hardware is almost guaranteed.

No hardware announcements at all, but I wasn’t disappointed. That keynote was packed, and I’ll get to more as the day progresses. On the plus side, at least I was totally correct about the lack of a MacBook Air update.

Let’s talk about OS X, the star of the show:

My guess is that the closest approximation of OS X’s future aesthetic is the Calendar day view: varying weights of Helvetica Neue, varying shades of grey to define heirarchy, and plenty of whitespace. Perhaps mix that with the brighter palette of iOS 7 and I think that’s nudging in the right direction.

OS X received more of an overhaul than I expected. Sure, I called Helvetica (as did everyone), but I didn’t think they’d bring as many aspects of iOS over to the desktop. Between translucency and the very iOS-like Notification Centre, it feels a lot more coherent. From what I’ve seen so far, I think it looks fantastic.

I hope for an update to AirDrop, so files could be instantly sent between a Mac and iOS device. I’m entirely unfamiliar with the tech requirements for this, but I’m spitballing here.

Truly, the tip of an interoperability iceberg. Let’s talk more about this soon.

Onto iOS 8, and one of its tentpole consumer features, Health (previously known in the rumour blogs as Healthbook):

I not sure Healthbook would be introduced without the hardware, even if parts of the app don’t necessarily require additional hardware. Therefore, I think it’s plausible that Healthbook and related aspects will be a component of the iPhone 6 launch.

Nope. Health and the related HealthKit developer tools were both introduced today. As someone who isn’t a fitness enthusiast, I’m intrigued by what they can bring to the table. So far, unfortunately, it appears very US-centric. For example, one of the features mentioned was the ability for Health to keep track of specific vitals and notify your doctor as soon as they fall outside of a certain range. All of the hospital logos on the following slide, though, were American.

Apple launched a few other Kits today, most notably HomeKit, which is a set of APIs and common standards for “smart” home appliances. Both HealthKit and HomeKit are establishing standards in sectors that have traditionally resisted any sort of interoperability. Apple is swinging their weight around to make bold changes.

One feature I’ve long hoped for is something like Notification Centre’s “Today” view appearing automatically in the morning on the lock screen. I haven’t seen any rumours that something like this is coming, but I’d love it if it were.

Nope.

As rarely as I use Siri, it would be so great to see an official API for third-party developers.

Nope.

Likewise, it’s so easy to buy stuff on iTunes and the App Store with TouchID that an API for that, too, would be rad.

Oddly, yes, this arrived.

Whatever the accuracy of the rumours, I’m very much looking forward to WWDC this year. Maybe Dr. Dre is, too.

Strangely correct.

Overall, I scored pretty low for predictions. I need to have a coffee and think about this keynote. Make no mistake: it was huge.