Apple confident and relaxed as it launches new joyful vibrant iOS
This year's WWDC sold out in 71 seconds. The urge by Apple developers to see what was "next" from Apple was clearly strong and you could tell that by the build up to the company's developer conference in San Francisco.
The queues started early, with people who had secured their tickets months ago still keen to camp out overnight to ensure they got a good seat. A chance to see Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, on stage and a chance to be a part of it all.
Half an hour still to go and the main hall at the Moscone Center was crammed with 6,000 people eager to cheer or boo depending on what was said.
Apple's developer conference is a funny beast. Like Google I/O, and BlackBerry Live, the room is filled with developers keen to see Apple succeed, but at the same time they want to know that the time and money they invest to create apps for the company's phone and desktop operating systems is going to be worthwhile.
A beautiful video focusing on typography and simple statements about the simplicity of design quickly sets the mood and the show begins.
Tim Cook isn't as charismatic as Steve Jobs, but he is still a great presenter, following and teasing the crowd through the presentation that lasts over 2 hours. You can tell he is excited, that there is big news to come, big news that will be welcomed.
There are a few jokes, a couple of digs at Android, and an overall relaxed vibe. A year ago Apple's keynote at WWDC was more subdued. Perhaps it's the new playful and colourful interface of iOS 7 that has put a smile on its face?
The teases continue and we start with a playful demo to show the iPhone is clever, before getting down to business, but even then the playfulness continues to shine through.
"We did not want to be hindered by a dwindling supply of cats," explains Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice-president of software engineering, about trying to come up with a name for the new version of OS X. The next side reveals the new OS is to be called OS X Sea Lion.
There's a snigger, and a wonder whether it's real or not, before Apple give us the real name: OS X Mavericks. But the gags don't stop there, Federighi is on a roll, and the crowd are with him.
Likewise Tim Cook also embraces the crowd, even to calls from a developer that simply said: "We love you Tim."
Federighi's quips didn't end with the sea lion joke. On unveiling iOS 7, the company's new mobile operating system, constant references where made to the lack of nostalgia. "We ran out of green felt," was Federighi's comment about Game Center's new look.
This was an Apple keen to show that the random ode to the old world was gone. Sir Jony Ive and Federighi have put an end to that, as they start to lay the foundations for the next 10 years. Ive through a thought-provoking video, Federighi on stage with demos and slides detailing the top 10 new features.
What those foundations are, we are only just starting to learn. Apple is still being Apple, taking the best bits from elsewhere and enhancing them to suit their needs. iOS 7 features elements that you'll sware you've seen before.
Android's settings panel, Windows Phone 8's multitasking view, BlackBerry's swipe to get back to your message box, the ability to snap square photos and then apply filters to them like Instagram. Then there's the weather app that will remind you of Yahoo's recent efforts combined with HTC's offering from the past five years. The colourful playful Mail app could be mistaken for an estranged sibling of Gmail and Mailbox. The list goes on, something we are sure the Android, Windows Phone and others will be eager to point out.
As always the easily pleased crowd is wooed by the showpiece that Apple presents. A parallax wallpaper is going to be the thing to show off come release day, as is the flashlight from the new settings menu that pulls-up from the bottom of the screen.
Most confident was Phil Schiller, the exec in charge of all things Mac marketing. Rattling through the launch of an updated Haswell-powered MacBook Air, new routers, his big hurrah was a new Mac Pro. Smaller but more powerful than anything before it.
"Can't innovate any more, my arse!" was his confident cry to the audience after playing a bass heavy video of the new desktop computer. This was Apple fighting, Apple taking the bull by the horns and saying we've still got that Steve Jobs "Boom!"
As the show drew to an end it was clear the Apple staff around us were "pumped" and "psyched". They all looked excited at what the company is set to offer over the next six months.
And rightly so. There are some nice new features that at this stage look to catapult Apple back to the top of the pile and quell any need for an uprising just yet.
There is a reason they are relaxed and confident. They've just announced an iOS that will make many people happy the moment they install it on their phone.