We witnessed something amazing yesterday: a WWDC keynote that will be remembered for a long time. And not for the reason you might expect.
As developers, it’s easy to focus on the fantastic software that was announced: a UI refresh that’s getting a thumbs up from designers and developers alike, great new user-facing features in iOS and OS X, and literally thousands of new APIs that let developers do new and amazing things with their apps. We even got a new programming language!
But that all pales in comparison to the undercurrent for all these changes: Apple has a newfound confidence in itself. It’s at the top of its game, and it knows it.
This is personified by the man who ran the show: Craig Federighi. It was only four years ago that we first saw him on stage at an Apple event. His shaking hand is still painful to watch, especially if you’ve felt that same fear while giving a presentation on stage. Yesterday, we saw a different man, one that owned the stage and the products being presented.
With this confidence, we’re starting to see some important cultural change in the company.
- Legal agreements that lets developers talk about technologies without breaking confidentiality.
- Opening up proprietary technologies like iCloud: providing more transparent access, without hiding things through opaque APIs.
- Improvements to the App Store that give developers better ways to manage and sell their products.
This confidence manifests itself in many ways. When was the last time you heard an Apple executive tout the best product line he’s seen in 25 years?
In short, with confidence comes a new kind of openness. As developers, we’ve always struggled with a company that doesn’t want to give anything away. Yesterday, that started to change.