Apple held their annual WWDC conference today. As expected they didn’t have any news regarding a new iPhone, which makes me a sad panda even if I knew it was coming (or I guess not coming, as the case may be). So what did they have? The newest (and possibly last) OSX release, iOS5 details, and iCloud.
A lot of journalists seems to be pretty excited about iCloud, but I’m left wondering why I should care at all. iCloud allows you to seamlessly sync all your files (docs, photos, videos, music, etc) and accounts across all your devices. Photos and music won’t count toward the 5GB iCloud space limit. The cool thing (from an “Apple are a bunch of RIAA stooges” perspective) is that for $25 you can have music you DIDN’T get from iTunes “authorized” in the iCloud and it will be available for download from the iCloud to your iDevice.
Well guess what, with the upcoming iOS5 all my iDevices will sync wirelessly with my iMac every night anyway. Are you trying to tell me I’ll be out and about with my iPad, realize I forgot to put that Kids of 88 album on it that I got since last night and need it so desperately that I’d have to download it from my iCloud on the spot? Not to mention I didn’t get it from iTunes so I’ll have to pay $25 a year to authorize it?
What if I’m working on an iWorks document on my iPad and I immediately need to work on it on my iPhone? Isn’t it cool that they sync almost instantaneously to each other? No. Not at all. Who the hell needs that? I don’t even use iWorks. Or do any content creation on my iPad or iPhone.
And it syncs your mail. So what? Don’t we all have Exchange or at least IMAP email at this point? If you have gmail you’ve had email and contact syncing across all sorts of devices for ages.
Apple makes two weird assumptions:
Everyone I know uses their iPad mostly in their house. It’s the ultimate couch computer. If not there, then in bed. Or maybe in the kitchen. Some people bring it to the gym. But even in that case you don’t have away from your house for very long. You don’t leave it at work. Syncing every night isn’t a problem, especially now (well, this fall anyway) with wireless sync (which was a LONG time coming).
And as to content creation, who the hell wants to write long documents on their iPad? Or edit movies? Or create music? Those things are all cute diversions, but they’re all much more suited to actually sitting down with a real PC with a real OS (unless you’re Damon Albarn and then you can create an entire sub-par Gorillaz album on an iPad).
I think Apple is looking to create an ecosystem that allows for people to no longer have computers. You won’t need to have a central PC to sync your iDevices to. Which is nice, don’t get me wrong. But who the hell is that customer? It’s not me, that’s for sure. And not any time soon. Until the iCloud allows for streaming all my files and a hell of a lot more space than 5GB (seriously, I have single movies bigger than that), I just don’t care. Sorry Apple. When’s iPhone 5 coming out?