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Big Revolution - Apple has a timing problem

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Welcome to Tuesday's Big Revolution. Let's get stuck in... – Martin
 
June 5 · Issue #100 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Tuesday’s Big Revolution. Let’s get stuck in…
Martin

Big things you need to know today
You can now stick out your tongue via Animoji.
- Yesterday, Apple held one of its quietest (for news) WWDC keynotes in a long time. But there were lots of small things to note. I’ve written more on it below, but if you want just the key points, Recode has you covered. And if you’d like to watch the edited highlights, check this video by The Verge. Meanwhile, MacStories offers an in-depth look at iOS 12.
- iOS 12, MacOS Mojave and WatchOS 5 were the stars of the show, but a couple of tidbits that came out later in the day caught my eye: app developers can now offer free trials of non-subscription apps via the App Store, a long-running request. Also, the original Apple Watch will be obsolete come the launch of the next version of WatchOS. That includes those $17,000 ‘Edition’ versions, although I’m sure most people who bought one won’t feel too out of pocket.
- As expected, Microsoft has officially announced it’s bought GitHub. The deal is worth $7.5bn in Microsoft stock.
- The 20-minute VC becomes the 40 million VC. Podcaster Harry Stebbings, who got into the world of venture capital through interviewing the stars of the field in his ‘Twenty Minute VC’ interview series, has reportedly closed an initial £40m for his first fund alongside his partner, the well-establish Fred Destin.
The big thought
Apple has a timing problem
Even the most ardent Apple fan couldn’t deny that yesterday’s WWDC keynote didn’t offer much in the way of excitement. If chocolate sprinkles make for a perfect cappuccino, Apple just gave us an empty cup with a dusting of chocolate powder in the bottom.
iOS 12 has some useful features. The time management stuff seems to have attracted the most mainstream interest (even though Google announced similar features last month), and the new AR-powered ruler app will be useful. But this year’s iOS update is really all about stability and speed.
Apps supposedly launch 40% faster, the keyboard can appear 50% faster, and getting ready to take a photo can be up to 70% faster. This is good stuff, especially if you use an older iPhone like the 6S, but a faster phone doesn’t get people excited – it just makes them happier with their existing device.
You could argue that given Apple’s success, it doesn’t need to excite people every time it holds an event. You could say that taking the time to make iOS more stable and smooth is brave, given how few headlines it will generate. 
But big tech companies generally only have a couple of major opportunities to wow the public every year. They can’t expect the press to attend an event every month, so these large gatherings are key to setting out the big vision of the company.
No doubt, September will roll around, and a new iPhone will arrive that may or may not be exciting, and we might get new MacBook Pros and a new Apple Watch. But it’s all become a bit predictable, hasn’t it? Apple has a timing problem.
Yes, Apple needs to take the time to do ‘boring’ optimisation work on iOS, but why build iOS around these big, annual feature bumps and then disappoint people when the bumps aren’t very big? 
Couldn’t improvements to ARKit have rolled out when they were ready? Couldn’t an over-the-air update have cranked up the speed of iOS without much fanfare, as soon as it was ready? Imagine if the fancy ruler app just appeared on everyone’s phones one day, rather than being built up as one of the significant new features of a new release.
Drip-feeding minor new features through the year would delight users more than trying to present them as something more exciting than they are.
What would Apple have shown yesterday instead? How about breaking with tradition and demonstrating something from the labs? A work-in-progress? Such tech may be months or years from release, but at least it would show Apple is doing something more exciting than its current product line would suggest.
“But Martin, Apple doesn’t do that – it only shows products when they’re ready that’s the magic!” Tell that to your AirPower charging mat. Maybe it’s time for a fresh approach?
One big read
Forget DeepFakes, Deep Video Portraits are way better (and worse) Forget DeepFakes, Deep Video Portraits are way better (and worse)
Way more convincing than DeepFakes, welcome to the world of Deep Video Portraits. The techniques creators say they’re aware these could be used in unethical ways, but want to make sure people realise what’s possible with the latest technology.
One big tweet
Nicole Lee
Saw a review that called the baristas at Starbucks "barristers" and now I can't help but imagine a Starbucks styled like a courtroom. "ORDER, ORDER IN THE COURT. WITH EXTRA WHIP"
7:56 AM - 5 Jun 2018
I’m now imagining a world in which for one day a year, barristers and baristas swap jobs. 🤔
That’s all for today...
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