WWDC: No Apple TV, Very Little HomeKit.

WWDC had all kinds of new Apple stuff. iOS 9, OSX El Capitan, Apple Music to compete with Spotify.

But HomeKit barely got a mention. Oh well.

Here's the quick takeaway (leaving HomeKit for last):

iOS9 and El Capitan

These are (as usual) both free upgrades. You're going to get them both.

El Capitan is a mountain in Yosemite.

That's a hint that we're looking at an evolution of OSX Yosemite here -- much like Snow Leopard was the 2.0 version of Leopard, and Mountain Lion was the evolved version of Lion.

Both El Capitan and iOS 9 seem like evolutionary advances - there will be new features, but the best "feature" either will offer is increased performance and bug fixes.

As for iOS 9 - there will be changes. Newsstand has been replaced with a Flipboard-style reader called News.

Maps will be somewhat better, with public transit information (an unacceptable omission to this point, which renders Apple's Maps almost unusable in cities),

But what, really, is the point here? We live in a world in which Google Maps exists.

Best-case, Apple can make a Maps application that is almost as good as what we've already got.

Newer iPads will gain the ability to do side-by-side multitasking.

Apple Music

Apple *finally* releases their Spotify competitor, and again, it's tough to see any differentiators.

It costs exactly the same as Spotify - $10/month for a single user, $15/month for a family.

It (probably) has the same music available. There will likely be exclusives, but no Taylor-Swift-level game-changers were announced, so that's unlikely.

Apple Music will have a MySpace-style artist-only feature called Connect, where artists can post messages or unreleased music. This will, of course, thrive or die based on its adoption and use by content makers.

One differentiator that may exist, but which wasn't really discussed, would be the total integration of your iTunes library -- with Apple Music filling the gaps for the music you don't own, and vice versa.

In that case, for instance, you'd type "Taylor Swift", and instead of getting a Spotify-like avalanche of lousy T-Swift covers "inspired by" the artist, you'd see the songs you already own, and buttons to purchase the songs you don't already own.

Or, in the alternative, you'd type in "Modest Mouse", because you own "The Moon And Antarctica" and "Good News for People Who Love Bad News". And sure, you can listen to your locally-stored tracks... but you can also check out the new album on Apple Music.


Oh, the disappointment. Apple really didn't have much for us here.

They let us know that we'd be able to access our HomeKit devices from anywhere in the world, using iCloud.

(Which is... fine. I guess. I can access my Nest from anywhere in the world, too, you know. That's kind of the point.)

There was a cool graphic of a home blueprint with an iPhone.

But we were expecting so much more! A new AppleTV, which works as the HomeKit hub! An AppleTV SDK! A Sling-TV-style Apple TV service!

It's been over a year since HomeKit was announced, and I'm still not sure exactly what it offers.

Here's hoping that it's worth the wait. Because even if HomeKit launches in the fall, they're going to be facing an uphill battle.

I'm going to be trying HomeKit out, to some extent. But "We have a new home automation system - just wait 18 months!" is a LOT to ask of your customers, especially in the tech space.


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