WWDC 2020.

I cleared my work calendar yesterday so I could watch the Apple keynote at WWDC 2020 in its entirety. WWDC, or World Wide Developers Conference, is Apple’s annual gathering geared toward developers. This year the event is virtual. From what I’m hearing online it’s being well received. I’m happy Apple is able to maintain their momentum.

I’m not going to get into a complete rundown of thoughts and opinions on the keynote, fellow blogger Dave at Blogography does a fantastic job here. H/T to Dave.

However, I will touch on a couple of thoughts around the keynote. First of all, I LOVED the production of the entire thing. Obviously pre-recorded, the pacing was fantastic, the presentation was concise, and there were no time filling demos of games or other things just to, well, fill time. There were drone shots, zoom shots, and we were afforded the opportunity to see parts of the Apple campus not usually available to the general public. I hope this type of keynote is used as a model for future Apple endeavors, because I enjoyed this keynote more than any I’ve seen in at least the past five years. No pauses for applause and accolades, let’s show and go. It was fantastic.

Apple CEO Tim Cook opened up with a statement on the company’s stance on Black Lives Matter and I commend them for the $100 million dollars they are pledging to make this world a better place in this regard. It may be just a drop in Apple’s financial bucket, but it’s a heck of a lot of money and a bigger effort than their technological contemporaries. I have always loved Apple for their societal stances and the way they back up these stances with action and this is no different.

As the presenters moved through the new features of iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS, and the other operating systems, I couldn’t help but notice how much attention is focused on user privacy. As more and more of our lives move to digital platforms, user privacy is probably the most important element of our experience. While many like to crow about how great Google’s Android ecosystem is, I’m always concerned with the amount of information Google is scraping from user data for ad revenue generating purposes. And what happens if that user data ends up in the wrong hands? Bad things can happen.

Apple focuses on doing as much as they can in the way of processing user information locally, on the user’s own device, and as anonymously as practical. Does this hamper some of their efforts when compared to companies that do this processing in the “cloud”? Yes, it does. But I believe the trade off is worth it. Unless you’re running your own cloud, with all of the administrative tasks that come along with that endeavor, the closest thing you’re going to get to solid user privacy and have a digital presence is to do it through Apple’s ecosystem. I appreciate that focus and that’s why I always recommend Apple’s iPhone and iPad to friends and family looking for a routine, casual digital experience.

iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and macOS, as well as the other things announced during the keynote, look rock solid and very compelling. I’m excited about the releases coming out later this year.

While I explore Linux and my Raspberry Pis and the like, I’m always happy that I still have my Apple devices as well. Apple helps me look forward to the future.

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