Apple Innovation; Story-Telling Sells iOS.

Today’s keynote at WWDC marked day one of Apple’s giant developer love fest, and while we pretty much knew what was coming, Tim Cook and team still managed to toss a few surprises at their legion of loyal followers. So in case you didn’t happen to spend the afternoon glued to your screen, these are the best and brightest developments to come out of today’s onslaught of all things Apple.

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Apple led with the revamp of their mobile operating system, iOS 7 is here. Lead by product design guru, Jony Ive, its his first iOS. A minimalist, elegant, devoid of the infantile artifice that infected its latest incarnations. It’s pretty impressive. And here’s all you need to know about it. The interface has been completely revamped. Everything—from the typefaces to the built-in applications to the color schemes to the icons. There’s nothing left from the old iOS. This is one of the cornerstones of iOS 7, according to Ive himself.

Ultimately, design defines so much of our experience – Jony Ive

But is this really as big a step forward as the flashy, well polished video suggests? Does it really define an entirely new direction?

Breaking down the ‘enhancements’ piece by piece its hard to tell. The new control center looks exactly like what Android has had for a few years now. Flat design is prominent on Windows 8 Mobile and on Google’s Nexus line of flagship devices.

Its about bringing order to clutter – Jony Ive

iTunes Radio is no real update on the offering from Pandora, which some 60 million consumers of all mobile OS’ have enjoyed since its launch back in 2000. iOS 7’s Multi-tasking is almost identical to the one found on Android from release 4.0. Camera filters have become a standard inclusion in device camera apps after Instagram’s success.

So what’s actually new? From what I can tell there are only two ‘new’ features. First is Apps Nearby. The location based search for Applications in the App Store. Which is actually quite cool, particularly if your a tourist or new to a location. The location based search allows you to quickly find apps that help navigate, explore or understand an area.

Next is Airdrop for iOS. This feature has been built into Mac OS for a few years now. I love it. It let’s you exchange files with other Mac users directly over WiFi, even if no Wifi network exists. Bringing this to iOS is a huge plus, but its not new. In fact is has me asking the question…’AirDrop is great, so why didn’t you bring it to iOS sooner?’

Defining an important new direction – Jony Ive

So there you have it. iOS 7 is a bucket full of other people’s ideas. But according to Apple’s propaganda, everything is new, going in a new direction. What do you think? Has Apple’s strength become marketing, flashy videos and Jony Ive? Has the real innovation from product been lost?

 

© Scott Bales 2014. All Rights Reserved.