The 5 Most Impressive and 5 Most Cringe-Worthy Moments from WWDC 2015

Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference went off without a hitch today—more or less. Predictably, we learned about the next version of OS X (though we surely couldn't have predicted the name choice of El Capitan) and of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 9, which boasts an improved battery life and new Siri features. We also learned about News, Apple’s Flipboard-style article aggregator and Newsstand replacement, and Apple Music, a music-streaming service that will be available on June 30.

Despite some substantial announcements, the keynote was also packed with awkward moments, from Drake's unrehearsed ode to Apple Music while wearing a vintage Apple jacket, to Eddie Cue's frisky cha-cha to a Cuban radio station.

Here, we’ve broken down the most outstanding moments of the day’s event for you— the good, and perhaps more importantly, the bad.

 

What Apple Got Right

 

1) Female Executives Onstage!

White men have long graced the stage at Apple events. In contrast, according to Gizmodo, only six women in the entire history of WWDC have been onstage during keynotes! Apple raised that number to eight today after VP of Product Marketing Susan Prescott introduced the News app to us and VP of Internet Service Jennifer Bailey told us about the rollout of Apple Pay. We still have a long way to go before women are equally represented in the tech world, but it’s a step in the right direction.

 

2) A Song from The Weeknd

Unlike U2's appearance at last September’s event, today’s performance by Canadian R&B singer The Weeknd was an unexpected and refreshing choice.

 
 

3) We Get "One More Thing . . ."

We were convinced Apple had made all of its big announcements when Cook decided to play us a short history of the App Store (you know, the one in which Neil De Grasse Tyson compared the invention of the App Store to the invention of the telescope).

But just when we thought the event had officially fizzled out, CEO Tim Cook announced “One more thing.” While the ensuing Apple Music announcement fell a little flat, it was a nice moment nonetheless.

 

4) Tim Cook Hung in There

Speaking of Tim Cook, we‘re pretty certain he fired whoever the speech coach was who told him to speak in languid, drawn-out sentences and to try and make jokes—two things that have unfortunately been the cornerstone of most of the chief executive’s past presentations. Cook wasn’t onstage long, but when he was, he was direct and to the point. And amazingly, he only used the word revolutionary twice.

 

5) No Boring Stats About China

You know the segment at the beginning of each announcement where Tim Cook rattles off a bunch of stats about Apple’s Q1 sales in China? This time, we got to watch a funny video of a drone spilling coffee on Bill Hader instead.

 

What Apple Got Wrong

 

1)   Eddie Cue Busts a Move

When Apple’s Senior VP of Internet Software and Services took the stage to demo Apple Music, he wanted to show us more than how to change stations in the app. When Eddie Cue, enrobed in a salmon pink shirt, began self-consciously wiggling his hips to Cuban music, was it more reminiscent of Night at the Roxbury or salsa night at the senior center? We’re still not sure.

 

2)   Why So Many Videos?

First there was the video with Bill Hader. Then the one about the App Store, then the Apple Music ad. It was fine at first, then it felt like when the substitute teacher pops in a tape because he didn’t get around to planning a lesson.

 

3)   Apple Music—What’s the Value Proposition?

When Steve Jobs announced the iPhone, he compared it to the existing smartphone brands on the market and clearly laid out how the iPhone was superior to what was currently available. That’s what we kept on waiting for with Apple Music. The presentation was scattered and didn’t make clear how it was better than Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud, or any of the other popular streaming music services of today.

 

4)   Kevin Lynch Undersold Apple WatchOS2

We heard about some pretty cool improvements to the Apple Watch OS today, including native third-party apps, app integration with fitness tracking, and alarm clock mode. Yet VP of Technology Kevin Lynch breezed through the features with such little gusto that he didn't give anyone a chance to appreciate what he'd said.

5)   Drake

Need we say more? Since when does Apple cling to celebrities to try to be cool? It reeked of desperation when Eddie Cue brought Drake onstage to plug Apple Music. 

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Author Details

Donna Cleveland's picture

Author Details

Donna Cleveland

Donna Cleveland is the Editor in Chief of iPhone Life magazine and is a journalist with ten years of experience in writing, reporting, and producing multimedia content. In her eight years at iPhone Life, she has produced over 15 in-depth guides and 20 issues of iPhone Life magazine, along with countless articles, podcasts, and blog posts. Aside from managing the editorial team and outside contributors, Donna co-hosts the iPhone Life Podcast, teaches online iPhone educational courses, and enjoys reporting on live Apple events.

Donna began her career as a newspaper reporter before joining the iPhone Life team, where she pairs her penchant for storytelling with her love of Apple products. She's the proud owner of an iPhone 11 Pro and Apple Watch Series 4 and is a defender of AirPods as the best wireless earbuds.

Donna holds a master's degree from the University of Iowa School of Journalism & Mass Communication and earned her undergraduate degree in Media & Communications from Maharishi International University. Her writing has appeared in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Little Village Magazine, Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, the Fairfield Ledger, and the Iowa Source, and she was a researcher for American journalist Claire Hoffman's memoir, Greetings from Utopia Park. She is also the host and executive producer of a feminist podcast, Thread the Needle (theneedle.co).