What I'd Love to See at WWDC or Later.

This is definitely more of a wish list than a prediction. As much as I love discussing rumors like the next person, I can honestly just wait until the Keynote to find out the deets. And honestly, none of us know the demands of getting things through Apple's pipeline, whether it be supply chain issues, demand (even if we think since we want it everyone really wants it), or strategic positioning for the future. So without further adieu, here's my list of what I'd love to see at WWDC 2016 or even later, let's say a year into the future.

  • 4k or 5k external display with similar technology that the iPad Pro display has.
  • An upgrade to the rMBP with a much more powerful GPU card and the option of the same keyboard that the MacBook has now.
  • A new iPhone even if it just has a better camera on it. I think I use my iPhone the most out of any Apple product and even when I was in the middle of nowhere Canada without cell reception, I still used it as my goto camera for quick snaps.
  • An Apple Watch with better battery life and much more extensive healthcare features such as sleep tracking, blood pressure monitoring, improving the health monitoring for catestrophic events such as a heart attack or stroke, etc.
  • A new interface to Apple Music, specifically making finding & sharing playlists easier (it's currently like a 3 or 4 step process to get to a playlist and more times then not the playlist is not there when I come back to the app the next day). Would also love to see the predictive suggestions of music algorithm improve.
  • Redesign of the Activity App with extended features and similar social aspects as other fitness tracking apps.
  • More ResearchKit and CareKit. I really think even if I don't utilize these as much as others that health and education will greatly benefit from such kits and thus society in general will benefit.
  • A TV service similar to Netflix with English Premier League & Champions League coverage so that I can cut the cord finally :-).
  • A revolutionary product announcement such as Apple working on an electric car. I know this is most likely folly since they typically do not announce products, they present them but still. I'm not even sure it is considered a rumor or secret with Elon Musk stating they are working on it in his 2016 Code Conference interview.

Forbes - Apple Most Valuable Brand but Google #2 and Facebook #5?

To no one's surprise - Apple was named by Forbes as the most valuable brand in their powerful brand list.

The bigger surprise is that Google as a brand is #2 and Facebook #5. It states that the Google brand is worth 82.5 Billion and Facebook 52.6 Billion. Do people really go, oh it's made by Google or done by Facebook, I can trust it, it's quality? I find this list to be a bit off, with Sony languishing in #76 coming in 24 spots below....wait for it...eBay at #52. Strange list. 

Apple Partners with SAP and Inevitably Weighs in on the Enterprise Market

At the end of last week, Apple announced a new partnership with SAP to revolutionize work on iPhone and iPad. After their somewhat unexpected partnership with IBM and the success of the MobileFirst apps this partnership almost seems par for the course. In fact, according to reports, IBM welcomed the partnership as they are close to both companies.

Heather Clancy of Fortune Magazine writes:

IBM isn’t explicitly mentioned as part of the pact disclosed Thursday, but its presence looms large and the company’s global services chief Bridget van Kralingen is almost gleeful about the potential for getting in on the action.

After all, IBM is tight with both companies. SAP is one of its closest allies for cloud services, and the two renewed their vows in early April. The two years since IBM and Apple teamed up to co-create a series of business mobile apps have also been fruitful: as of December, there were more than 100 of them in the ever-expanding catalog across a broad range of industries. Not coincidentally, van Kralingen was intimately involved negotiating the prenuptial details of both deals, if you will, in her role as senior vice president of IBM Global Services.

“You’ve got this confluence of skills—interactive experience and design, combined with strong analytics, all within the context of a specific industry,” she told Fortune.

Now that Apple has teamed up with SAP too, IBM’s consulting teams can work on an even broader range of mobile apps that link more closely to SAP’s widely used array of back-office systems, van Kralingen said.

Apple moving into the enterprise market has been inevitable ever since the rise of Mac sales that came with the introduction of the iPhone. As soon as users enjoyed using Macs, iPhones and iPads at their homes it was only time they would prefer to use them at work. With a pretty clear vision coming out of Apple now that the iPad is the device of the future that will essentially replace the laptop, it makes perfect sense they want to sell them to enterprises. Apple provides the hardware, SAP and IBM the cloud platforms, consultants and business apps.

From the beginning, Apple has seem to be focused on hardware, apart from maybe the Education & Health areas. Apple has referred out most enterprise app consulting. Is partnering with IBM really any different in their minds then referring similar business out to consulting shops? With the IBM partnership they have just lubed the rails for enterprises that have been legacy customers of Big Blue to start buying iOS devices. With SAP's cloud platform receiving the Apple stamp of approval and ensuring the SDK and apps are being built in Swift, Apple is helping SAP in the competitive cloud market and welcoming legacy SAP customers to buy iOS devices. Now add in the fact IBM has a partnership with SAP to consult on their platform and we call that a win/win/win for all three companies involved. 

It was inevitable that Apple would enter the enterprise market in some manner. Previously, it was probably much more a passive effect but paired with two of the largest legacy companies in business software, Apple is now definitely weighing in. 


Apple Music 2.0

John Gruber on Apple Music and Coherent Product Design and Marketing

 Coherence in product design leads to coherence in product marketing. And vice versa: incoherence in product design leads to incoherence in product marketing.

John's pretty spot on here. I switched to Apple Music from Spotify because of the size of the library selection and ease of setting it up for my wife and father in law with family sharing. I was hopeful that the algorithm of suggesting music through me loving songs would be on par with most Apple products. But instead have the feeling like Apple Music has been all a bit like throwing paint on the wall and calling it art. Apple Music has been trying to do and be everything all at once with suggested music, connect/follow artists, radio, editor playlists, curator playlists, and on and on. In theory, it's like the best of Pandora and a Spotify on steroids, if only it was delivered in Apple's trademark simple intuitive way. Similar to my feelings on the upcoming rumored Apple Watch 2, I'm super hopeful to see what Apple does with their latest iteration on Apple Music. It seems like all the content is there, it's just not accessible enough yet.