State of the Mac

One of the fun things to do following WWDC is look at what's announced, and then try to figure out how that might affect things in the future. For example, when the Notes app was overhauled and gained the new Sketch tool, it didn't seem to be a particularly interesting feature. When the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil were introduced, though, it became very interesting.

This year, digging into betas, there seems to be hints of a "dark theme" for iOS. That's interesting because my colleague, Rene Ritchie, really wants it. It's even more interesting when you consider how it would be useful for a device with an AMOLED display. There's a reason, after all, why Apple Watch already has both.

On the Mac side the tea leaves are proving harder to read. For me, macOS Sierra was one of the more underwhelming point releases in recent memory. Sure, Siri is nice, (and perhaps more useful if someday there's an always on feature), and there were some geeky things like a new filesystem under the hood. Sure, developer conferences are for developers, not for consumers.

But consumers count on developers to create cool new features, and macOS Sierra didn't seem to offer much in the way of cool new tools to build them with.

Watch OS, iOS, and TV OS, in that order, all received some really nice upgrades. Features that customers will really be able behind. macOS? Not so much. Certainly nothing that seems to point a way to an exciting hardware refresh. Apple's already started rolling out DCI-P3 wide gamut color and USB-C connections, after all.

Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe the rumored new MacBook Pros with OLED function keys, and the rumored standalone 4K or 5K displays really will show off cool new stuff for the Mac. Or maybe the post-PC era really is upon us. Maybe the computer really is just one device among many now, and not nearly the most important one for most people anymore.

I can't speak for you, but I'm writing this editorial on my everyday productivity tool — the iPad Pro. It's what I like to think of as the "computer for the rest of us". It's already incredibly functional and I can't wait to see iOS 10 up and running on it.

And I can't wait to see what cool new iOS devices really make it shine.