I have owned quite a few Apple products over the years and there have been a number of real innovations. The iPod revolutionised personal music, the iPhone changed the paradigm of the smart phone and many other things have both excited and changed the world. Many pundits almost expect Apple to change the world and read volumes into situations when they don't. Apple fans are also not aware of the genuine innovation by other platforms and assuming something Apple does is new just because Apple are doing it.
In this context the new IOS7 operating system has been launched. A new 'flatter' and 'translucent' interface primarily aimed at the iPhone is extraordinarily conservative in it's scope but very necessary.
The necessary part of the problem is that the simulated leather and homely backgrounds of the iPhone going back to 2007 are now looking dated. The digital simulation of the very analogue world of leather note books, pages and post-it notes are something of a 'ye olde worlde' look. The result of the redesign is a flatter interface that used translucence to provide depth. No one has played with this yet but to many of us this seems very much the interface already available on the latter Android versions or Windowsphone. Not a copy as such but rather a homily to the opposition without actually mentioning them.
Then there is the little niggle over the iCloud being a service. Approximately 20 minutes of the WWDC keynote was editing documents in the cloud with iWork. Excuse me Apple have you not heard of Google Docs or Office Web Apps. The iCloud has been 'a disk in the sky' with a bit of email or calendar even though the late Steve Jobs claimed iCloud was much more. Adding IWork in the cloud seems to acknowledge that the iCould has been exactly a 'disk in the sky' whereas Google, Amazon and Microsoft have led the charge towards cloud services. The new 'IRadio' seems a response to music streaming services previously ignored by Apple.
Apple have been a key innovator over the years but in 2013 I detect a little catch-up. Some of the things seem to have been previously stopped from happening by the 'vision' of the company founder.
I happen to think the new announcements from Apple are welcome enhancements to products but on this occasion even Apple's greatest fans must surely acknowledge the 'innovation' is that Apple are now joining a party that has already started.
Link: Apple Event 2013