Gruber's WWDC 2014 Prelude

John Gruber's post leading up to WWDC 2014 is a perfect example of why I think his is the definitive commentary on Apple. Calm, cool, collected. Above all: rational. He understands that Apple is a company that relies on tried and true patterns, and that their intense focus is sometimes the best indicator of what comes next from the company.

A couple of things in particular jump out:

Regarding the Beats acquisition, he says that he doesn't feel it requires much more thought. I have to agree, considering the press surrounding the announcement. Speculation is all well and good when it's a company like AuthenTec or Siri or Burstly. In the normal Apple acquisition, those companies are typically gobbled up and we don't hear from them again for months, if not years, until their tech is fully baked into Apple's products. This situation couldn't be farther from a normal Apple acquisition. A comparatively gigantic company that will be run as a separate entity from Apple is not something from their playbook. As Gruber rightly points out, Filemaker doesn't count. They're such an insignificant part of the business when you compare it with a monstrous industry presence such as Beats.

But what interests me, and why I agree that there isn't a lot underneath the surface to dig into, is the press rounds Tim, Eddie, and Jimmy made after this. As secretive and quiet Apple typically is, they're not a company of liars. Sure, you'll have Steve or Tim expertly dodge questions and play coy at events like AllThingsD, but when they come out and say something, you should be able to trust the words that they say. I think what they did here was be very clear with their intentions. Things may evolve over time, but I don't think there's necessarily some huge secret that everyone is completely missing. Which is nice, for a change.

John also brings up OS X 10.10, which he predicted would be called "Yosemite" back in April (and the photos from WWDC would indicate he was absolutely correct). With the minimal amount of rumors popping up around iOS 8, I fully expect OS X to be the star of the show. With a "flatter," more iOS-inspired redesign of the interface expected, one thing that John brought up that interests me more than anything is this:

[...] I expect the system font to change for the first time since Mac OS X 10.0 back in 2001. (If you want to be pedantic, Lucida Grande has been the system font since the public beta release in 2000.) Helvetica Neue is the obvious choice, since that’s what iOS uses. The wildcard would be Apple Sans (perhaps with a new name), a new typeface Apple has been designing in-house for years. (And if OS X switches to Apple Sans, maybe iOS 8 will too.) Bottom line, though, I think we’ve seen the last of Lucida Grande.

I love the idea that Apple is coming up with their own custom typography to fit in with their vision of the new OS X. System-wide Helvetica Neue wouldn't bother me at all, but I am very curious to see if this comes to fruition. If it does, I think once everyone in the comments section finishes their initial freakout, we'll look back at Lucida Grande months from now and realize how dated it looked. Type is such an important aspect of Apple products, and I fully expect they would come up with something that is beautiful and speaks to the new design direction.

And tucked away at the bottom, Gruber's thoughts on backup and photo storage for iOS devices:

People should not have to worry about this with their iOS devices. Apple charges a premium for larger storage capacity devices — doing away with backup quotas should be part of the value users get in exchange.

And along those lines, I would love to see iCloud-based photo storage go unlimited. Let us store all the photos we take with our iPhones and iPads in iCloud.

This would be the most exciting announcement for me today. Take the burden off the consumer, make the question of "do I have a backup?" even easier to answer. If you have an iOS devices, then, yes, you have a backup, because you won't need to worry about how much iCloud storage you have. We're living in times where Flickr gives you 1TB of free storage. There is no reason why Apple shouldn't offer this type of benefit to their customers. Effortless, unlimited storage and backup for everything that's important to them. No more tears at the Genius Bar.

Well, okay, let's be honest; There will always be tears at the Genius Bar...