WWDC 2015 Debrief

On the whole, WWDC 2015 brought less news and less change than its two immediate predecessors. Apple is still on top of the world, but this year, it’s about refining and polishing, not wide-reaching changes.

That’s not to say there isn’t news to be talk about. As someone whose tablet is basically a Netflix machine most weeks, I’m excited Apple finally realized they can do cool things with it. Unshackling the iPad from the iPhone’s feature set is a huge change with tradition, and one I welcome.

watchOS (sigh) 2 is bringing all sorts of new functionality to Apple Watch, including native applications, third-party complications and more. While I’m academically excited about this news, I’m holding my breath to see how these chips fall. My guess is that while the apps will be far better than they are today, I won’t suddenly be using my Watch for far more than I do today.

OS X El Capitan looks like a Snow Leopard moment for the Mac. There’s good stuff in 10.11 — and I’ll be reviewing it again this year — but for the average user, I’m not sure there’s a ton to get worked up about. I don’t think that’s a problem, however. Some stability and some breathing room will be welcomed by many.

There’s no doubt that the thousands of developers flying home this weekend have a lot of work to do to get ready for iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan. There’s no doubt that users will welcome the changes coming to their iOS devices, Macs and Watches, but from those I’ve spoken to this week in San Francisco, everyone’s less stressed than in the last couple of years. That’s a good thing, and I’m looking forward to an exciting — but not overwhelming — year on Apple’s platforms.