I'm fairly certain that prior to last Sunday, anyone interested in Apple software was excited to see what might be announced at the WWDC keynote, but was cautiously optimistic after last year's releases. While great achievements technically and aesthetically, iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks were not without their share of pain points, some of which were strongly pronounced and felt by developers.
I'm also fairly certain that no one expected what they actually received.
Apple's keynote presentation was one of the most electrifying, exciting, and enjoyable presentations the company has led in the past few years. The presenters knew that they had a killer show, and it was evident in their confidence and levity. There were so many announcements, so many new features, so many enhancements, updates, and changes that we could barely keep up as we watched. Slides that could have sustained large parts of past presentations were blasted by in mere seconds. It was an all-out assault on our expectations, and I didn't hear a single person complain. The changes to OS X and iOS were pleasant surprises that shined a new light on where Apple's focus lies: enhancing and connecting all the parts of its platform. There was no update on retail, no pie charts, and no boring demos from developers. It was non-stop, and it was all building on itself.
And then Apple sullied the inside of the Moscone Center's largest room with brain matter as they announced Swift, an entirely new programming language for apps, making developers' heads explode. I don't think (aside from Apple engineers who worked on it and company insiders) that a single other person saw this coming. There's been plenty of conversation in the community and on podcasts about where the company needs to go to keep moving forward, on the future of Objective-C, and on Apple's own limitations and shortcomings in being able to turn this massive ship and all its passengers against the sheer inertia and mounting technical debt it's been incurring. While many questions remain to be answered over the course of the summer and coming year, the general feeling that I gathered is that people are seriously excited and positive about what's to come.
As creators of software, there's certainly a lot to do. But it's the kind of stuff that takes you in new directions and allows for entirely new experiences. I'm more excited to see what's coming than I could have anticipated.
Let's get to work.