I’d like to share a few thoughts on Apple’s WWDC 2012 announcements. I think we can finally say that iOS 6 is evolutionary and Apple takes care of its entire ecosystem.
Evolutionary, not revolutionary. The sixth generation of Apple’s mobile operating system represents an enhanced major release. The improvements are evident in the eyes of the users that will notice new features, new useful options and pixel-perfect finishing touches that are the result of an obsessive attention to detail. The improvements are evident in the eyes of the developers that will finds a ton of awesome APIs (currently under NDA) that they’ll definitely want to start using in their apps.
And requests like Siri support and Notification Center widgets for third-party apps? Inter-app communication? Multitasking rethink? Home screen redesign? Not yet. Apple is focusing on polishing the experience as we know it and creating a mature ecosystem.
Until two years ago, it seemed that Apple had forgotten Mac OS X, but in reality was just concentrated on building a strong breakthrough mobile platform for the post-PC era. Apple is not losing interest in the Mac platform, but plans to strengthen its ecosystem all together (iOS, OS X and iCloud). A year ago at WWDC 2011, Steve Jobs presented iOS 5 (a huge improvement), Lion (the iOS-ification of OS X) and introduced iCloud (the key element of the ecosystem evolution). In 2012 Apple unveiled Mountain Lion (the unification of iOS and OS X) and announced annual OS X release cadence, just like iOS. Today we see an iCloud-ification of both platforms.
So what? In 2012, the challenge is not to build the most advanced mobile or desktop operating system, but the most advanced ecosystem. Hardware, software and services have never been as integrated as they are today. Amazon and Samsung are creating their own ecosystem on top of Android. Microsoft is behind in the mobile OS market, but its desktop OS still remains the standard for PCs and is preparing the tablet-laptop convergence with the upcoming Windows 8. The post-PC era has just begun, the tablet (the very real Post-PC device) market is just beginning to take off and will be huge, the ecosystem war is under way.