The biggest takeaway from today’s Apple announcements at their annual worldwide developers conference was how many companies they’ve just disrupted.
Hey Blackberry, you know that your BBM that many find to be the sole reason they stick by your side instead of bolting for a shiny new iPhone. Say hello to iMessage. Start a conversation on your iPhone and continue it on your iPad. If you still want to talk to your friends tied to their Blackberries, there’s always What’s App.
So Dropbox, you’ve been one of the most useful apps I’ve come across in quite some time. My files auto-synced in the cloud, I barely have to think about it. I move effortlessly from one machine to another and my stuff is right there, a click away. Welp, I’ve got some bad news for you. iCloud. 5 gigs of storage and get this, it’s free. Well, unless you’ve got some non-iTunes music you wanna sync. That’s gonna set you back $25 a year. Cmon, that’s a fraction of the money you’ve stolen from artists and those poor multi-millionaire music executives (if any of them still exist anymore.)
What else? Instapaper, a brilliant app by former lead developer for Tumblr, Marco Arment was just replaced by a feature in Apple’s Safari browser, called “Reading List” which stores what you’re browsing for offline reading later, and syncs it across both your iOS devices and your Mac. Poor guy. His reaction on Twitter was priceless.
If Larry David is a social assassin, what does this make Steve Jobs?
Some companies were disrupted in a positive way. Today was Twitter’s lucky day. Apple just built in Twitter integration at the base level of iOS5. Enter your Twitter credentials in your iOS device settings and you’re set. No need to log into Twitter again for most of the apps you regularly use. Shoot something with your iPhone or iPad camera? Bam, send it to Twitter. Tired of having to keep logging into Twitter on Safari? No longer. Same goes for YouTube, Maps, and your contacts.
Remember all those times you had to fumble with the lock on your iPhone to shoot a photo? No more, you’ll be able to have a one click shortcut on the lock screen to get right to shooting. If you hate using the on screen button to shoot images as much as I do, you’re in luck. You can make the volume button a camera shutter.
The news and magazine business even got a little disrupted, with a new feature called Newsstand, which will be a place for all your newspapers and magazines. Don’t really see the value-add here, since you already download them in the app store. Better organization and background downloading seem to be the benefit.
You know how Android phones have these really cool notification pages that tell you all sorts of things like how your stocks are doing, what the weather this weekend will be, who just emailed you, and what your significant other just posted to their Facebook wall? It’s finally come to your iPhone and iPad. Customize it for what you want to see. Much more useful and informative than that boring screen-saver you’ve been staring at.
That covers your iOS devices, but what did Apple present for the Mac? Lion is the new OS, and it’s only going to be available as an Apple App Store download for $30. A lot of what is coming here morphs it closer to an iPad experience. Full screen apps, all sorts of gesture based features like swipe to change apps or go back and forth between webpages. Mission control lets you manage your documents like you’re grabbing them and moving them around physically.
The most blatantly iPad-esque feature is Launchpad which literally looks like the way your apps are presented in grid format on your iPad, but on a Mac. Apple’s newest mouse supports gestures but you’re going to get a lot more out of this if you’re using a trackpad or laptop. Even the mouse is getting disrupted. No-one is safe.
Perhaps the most life-altering feature here is Resume, which has two parts: auto-save and versions. This is something that is long overdue for the entire software industry. The OS will automatically save where you are in any app in short increments, so if you happen to lose power or just boneheadedly close your app while working on it, you’ll get back the documents and everything else exactly how you left it. If you want to go back to where you were at some point in time, Versions has you covered.
So in summation: Blackberry, Dropbox, Instapaper, GroupMe, and heck even AT&T and Verizon took a bit of a beating today from Apple. Twitter comes out on top. Unfortunately for Anthony Weiner, there was no “one more thing” in the form of a Time Machine.