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5 things that irritated me about Apple’s WWDC keynote

I watched all of it. I stuck through it. I did skip some bits where I just couldn’t handle the stupid whooping.

Here, then, is my perspective on the 5 things that really annoyed me during Apple’s WWDC keynote:

1. The whooping guy
After almost every second sentence, whilst Tim or any of the other Apple spokespeople were taking a breath and perhaps hoping for some applause, one guy obliged. Continually. One guy felt the need to loudly “WHOOOOOOOOOP” like a train going through a tunnel.

Occasionally when the rest of the audience actually cared about something that was said, we’d get a proper round of cheers. But most of the time the polite applause was joined by this singular whooper.

I found it quite difficult to concentrate watching the majority of the keynote because of this. It was almost like a flipping annoying laughter track. Not good at all.

2. Can’t innovate, my ass.
Who was it? Phil? I can’t remember the guy’s name — but it was during the sneak peak of the newly designed Mac Pro. In reaction to the reveal of the cylindrical plastic machine, he felt the need to quip, “Can’t innovate, my ass!” This drew lots of applause. All the while everyone was wondering just how innovate it was to make a smaller version of a huge tower. I’m sure they’ve done a lot of jiggerypokery to make it super-thermodynamic or whatnot, but the new Mac Pro is an also-ran. A lovely piece of also-ran design, sure. Innovative? I don’t think so. The iPhone was innovative. The App Store was innovative. I think the Mac Pro is just nicely designed.

The fundamental issue here is clear: Apple has been exceptionally irritated by media coverage claiming it can’t innovate. And I don’t think the Mac Pro sneak peak will have helped quiet that. Apple is supposed to be above all this. Not any more, clearly. Game on. That comment was a lovely signal to the likes of Samsung (and more) who’ve been poking fun at Apple — keep it up. It’s working. They’re getting annoyed.

3. iOS 7
It was painful watching the iOS 7 demonstration. You needed a triple-dose of Apple koolaid to avoid thinking, “Er, this is exactly what we’ve had with Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone… for ages.”

There was nothing ground breaking. If anything, it was catch-up. This is precisely what we’ve all been expecting. Obviously they needed to do something about the poxy notification features. Obviously they needed to spruce up the UI a bit. But goodness me, how many times do you need to show us the gorgeous weather app functionality? Like we haven’t seen moving cloud animation or thunderstorm animations. Utter balls. The good news is that iOS 7 has more or less got Apple caught up. So hopefully they might even be in a position to shock and delight us at some point. Don’t hold your breath.

4. The German Apple Store
I felt like I was having an out-of-brain experience sitting watching the keynote last night when all of a sudden Tim Cook started talking about architecture. By all means give us a little reminder of the number of stores (what was it, 400?) and the number of people attending each store per day in total (1 million). But don’t waste our collective time showing us a video of the detail of the German store’s architectural features.

5. The Defensive Presentation
I suppose we’re all so accustomed to Apple on the relaxed offensive. Or Apple basically not bothering about the competition. In yesterday’s keynote I was struck by the continual mentions of Android. If 93% of all iOS devices are on the latest operating system version, cool. That’s nice. I don’t think you necessarily help your cause by highlighting Android in so much detail. From a mobile industry standpoint it is exciting to see this sort of defensive positioning — it gets a lot more difficult for the rest of the market when they can’t figure out a) what annoys Apple and b) what they’re feeling sensitive about. Remember a few years back to the good old Jobs presentations? One comment could change the course of the marketplace in minutes. Dealing with a much more pedestrian Apple should be a lot simpler for many of its competitors, especially given the primary thing the management can think to do with all their astonishing profits is to… er… give it back to their shareholders.

If you haven’t managed to catch the keynote yet, check it out here:


  1. I was most impressed with iOS 7 as I didn’t expect such a dramatic redesign with so many new features/improvements. And sure you might be able to say these have been on other phones for ages (not sure how long this is? A year?), but you can’t say that they are as well executed and integrated as on iOS. And iOS 7 will be able to be installed on a 4 year old iPhone; I doubt a 4 year old android phone has these same features.

  2. I didn’t notice the whooping – well, it didn’t really register. Sort of goes with the territory.

    You’re right about the lack of innovation though – I like some parts of the new UI and hate others (like the home screen) but there was nothing really new there. They’ve held back on the new iPhone so maybe something well come out of that announcement.

    Personally, I think we will look back in years to come and see that Steve Job’s death was the beginning of the end.

  3. Unfortunately the whooping comes with every live event in USA and spoils most live concerts.

  4. I’ve been a Mac addict since ’85 and it has served me well. I love all the new changes but I feel that they were all things that should have been done anyway. I didn’t see any innovation as there always was in the past, but lets see what comes later this year. At the end I was really praying for a “one last thing” moment.
    I think we all have to get over the fact that Robb is dead and we will have to wait till the Stark kids grow up a bit.

  5. Steve jobs did a hella lot of Microsoft bashing. Plus I do recall posters of how blazing fast the G4 was, In those posters they showed the Intel person on fire because they couldn’t keep up And Come on, let’s not forget The Mac PC ads. Google is just the new Microsoft in regards to Apple showing how they feel

  6. The whooping, yes, very, very annoying. But it’s not just Apple events. This problem is more widespread. There was a time when the audience would allow a speaker to speak and only applaud/cheer at truly worthy moments. These days speakers at nearly any kind of event are interrupted after every other line by whooping morons. I personally think this has come about as a result of too many people watching rubbish reality TV shows.


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