The Apple WWDC 2019 splash graphic

I spend six months every year looking forward to a single day… the WWDC Keynote. This is an absurd behavior as it’s going to be further three months before I can use anything I see there in production. But, every year, I do the same thing.

This year, however, things seem different. Apple has changed their behavior.

Thinking Different

It began on March 18 when Apple took down the store to launch an updated iPod Air without warning. And and new iPad Mini. Everyone thought the Mini was dead. Tuesday brought an updated iMac with an octopus built in and updated graphics card. What the hell was going on? Oh, and they bumped the iMac Pro. Apple doesn’t do incremental releases. But they also don’t really lower prices either, which they then did on the high end MacBook Pro SSD upgrades. Fortunately, the week calmed down.

As the year progressed, WWDC got closer. Personally I expected some new equipment to be released. I’ve been needing a new laptop, hopefully with a new form factor. Then, two weeks before WWDC, Apple dropped an octopus in the MacBook Pro. Last week Apple updated the iPod Touch.

Those last two are applause warm up lines for Apple. They get the audience amped up for something later in the keynote. And. They. Were. Too. Small.

The Apple WWDC 2019 splash graphic

Prognosticating (Badly)

First things, first. A new Mac Pro. Apple has been talking about this for a while. Promising something more upgradable than the last one. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it right now… NUCs. I think the smartest thing they can do is replace the Mac Mini and Mac Pro with a Mac NUC. Something small and modular. Give people a reason to buy computers frequently and return them for recycling often. They’ve done an amazing job building out their recycling capabilities. Chain devices together with USB-C and you’re golden. Furthermore, pair that with a MacBook Air or Pro and you have a mobile workstation that doesn’t break the bank, but a ton of raw power available when your plug in at the desk.

Swift 5.1 has branched a while ago. It represents module stability and is important to creating backwards compatable binaries. We’re going to get the first beta of it in Xcode 11. Also, we’re finally going to get that “Ah-ha” moment with Bitcode. I know they gave us an explanation about why, as developers, we should care when it was released, but it always seemed kind of weak to me.

We’re going to get a big demo of Wizards Unite. That’s been in Beta for about a month at this point. I’d imagine that it will drop as will iOS 12.4 and a new macOS.

I feel confident in those. Thinking about it, every crazy idea is on the table. AR glasses. United iOS/macOS. The first custom Apple chip in a computer. All of it. Remember, new MacBook Pro was too small for this event.

A New Apple

This is going to be the beginning of Apple as a HaaS platform. Hardware as a Service.

You’re going to own your computers in the same way you own your phone. You can, but it’s cheaper if you don’t.

I already buy my phone for the full price on the Apple Upgrade Program for full price, but I get a new one every year. It’s wonderful. If I can get a steadier upgrade cycle on computers for a similar rate, I’ll do that too.

See you on the other side of the keynote.