WWDC Table Stakes

I spent a good portion of the day today walking around San Jose with other bloggers and podcasters as the WWDC crowd starts rolling in. There are lots of familiar faces and several new ones. Moving the conference to San Jose seems to be generally welcomed by most folks I talk to. Hotel rooms are less expensive and downtown San Jose is pretty, with lots of good weather and trees.

There is also an underlying buzz of general excitement for Apple’s new announcements tomorrow at the keynote. There seems to be more energy than I’ve witnessed before prior WWDC keynotes. It’s as if following the attention-sucks that the new campus and the mythical Apple car created, folks expect Apple to come back home with focus on its existing (and possibly a few new) consumer electronic devices. 

My own feelings on the WWDC keynote are mixed. I’d like to get into the excitement but I also, frankly, feel a little exhausted. I’ve spent a lot of the last year doing work on the iPad and while there is much to love about the iPad, it often feels like swimming upstream when, at this point in the iPad’s lifespan, it shouldn’t. The general consensus here in San Jose is that tomorrow we’ll get a lot of power features for iPad but that doesn’t bring out joy in me as much as it does a sense of … well … “finally”. If Apple wants to impress, that is the starting point, not the ending one. If we don’t have significant iPad improvements tomorrow to file management and multi-tasking, I’m going to have to reconsider the iPad as a platform. To me, fixing several of the iPad productivity shortcomings tomorrow is table stakes.