My Only Note from the Apple Watch Event

Here are some things I know about Apple:

Apple now designs and builds their hardware and software together.

That's the most obvious consequence of 2012's reorganization of Apple's executive team. Jony Ive and Craig Federighi work in tandem designing software and hardware for all of Apple's products together. The org chart says so, Cook says so, and they say so themselves.

Apple will design for the newest device they have, even if that device has not been released yet.

The chevron next to the "slide to unlock" text on iOS 7 drew some criticism for being both a bit too heavy handed and being confusing, considering that the Control Center invocation symbol was an arrow directly beneath it, pointing up.

 This was semi-corrected by turning the arrow into a line, which then turned into a chevron when pulled on, but the slide to unlock chevron looks the same. 

This was semi-corrected by turning the arrow into a line, which then turned into a chevron when pulled on, but the slide to unlock chevron looks the same. 

What we didn't know at the time was that the next device to come out of Apple was the iPhone 5S, with Touch ID providing a way of unlocking the phone that didnt involve swiping at all. In fact, the "slide to unlock" language didn't even display until 5 seconds after the screen turns on.

I believe, and others said as much after the release of the phone, that iOS 7 was designed with the iPhone 5S in mind, being the best hardware available, and that they didn't factor in the strange symbology until complaints in the beta chain started to heat up. Even then, the solution they provided was half hearted, as they really intended to solve the problem with new hardware.

So, if something is confusing in a new release in one half of their output, we might expect a solution to come in the second half when it arrives.

Apple cares about backups.

The original Macbook Air introduction in 2008 included a long section where Steve Jobs justified a laptop without an optical drive. In it, he described all the reasons people used optical drives, and how Apple had provided solutions for each leading up to the device's announcement. Playing movies, installing software, making backups, and burning CDs, and for each of them they presented a solution that didn't involve a CD drive.

The solutions to music and movies is easy to remember even now: buy them from Apple, and put them on an iPod. The first was probably said knowing that ripping movies was already so common at that point that that was how most people would be watching movies in any case, but Apple was still in tight negotiations with production studios, and coming out and advocating for theft was probably not the best move.

The solution to backups? Apple not only created a one click software solution to backups with Time Machine, they made a hardware device to pair it with (Time Capsule) that offered no-frills wireless backup. I remember that introduction, too: it got stage time at that same event.

When each minute of a keynote presentation is scripted down to the minute, you can know for sure that anything Apple spends time on during one is important to Apple.


So, this new Macbook. I saw many parallels between this introduction and the introduction to the 2008 Air, but none moreso than what we use ports for nowadays. And, in similar fashion, Phil Schiller went through the reasons we use USB, and how we don't need them anymore thanks to innovations from Apple.

"When you want to watch content on your TV, you do it with AirPlay. When you want to share files, you do it with AirDrop. When you want to get on a cellular network, from your Macbook you can initiate a hotspot, on your iPhone.

And then he says somethng about Beats headphones for when you want to listen to music. Thing is, the Mac has a headphone port. It's one of two ports on the damn thing, and he's talking like it doesnt exist and wireless headphones are the way they think this works.

Except I don't think they thought that at all. I think they used what they thought was a gaping hole in their presentation to throw in some Beats promos and get a laugh, instead of put in what they really wanted to put in, whch was a cloud-based backup solution for Macs that Apple is going to introduce with the next version of OS X this summer.

Why else would they go without mentioning backups? It's the main reason I plug my Macbook Pro in to anything. Do they expect peoplenot to use backups? I don't think so: I think a universe where people don't back up their Macs is a scary one for Apple, considering the mayhem that occurs at Apple Stores when Geniuses have to deliver the bad news to anyone whose phone is nuked and didnt have iCloud backup turned on.

I think we'll see something like iCloud storage leveraging automatic, cloud backups for every Mac running OS X 10.11 launching this year, announced this summer at WWDC. If they didn't, it's an incredible oversight that's going to mean pain down the line for all the people who use this machine, as well as the Apple Store employees that service them.