After watching Apple keynotes for over a decade now, I've had a unique experience each time I see the ever changing lineup Apple of products and statistics.
Steve Jobs has, obviously, continued to play a a role in the way Apple presentations are delivered, posthumously. What I saw this past week, was a presentation and product update that have demonstrated some not-so-obvious changes to the typical style.
Longer but Faster - This year's WWDC keynote was roughly 2 hours in total, but it moved much faster. I attribute this to the quicker paced speaking and spending less overal time rephrasing talking points.
Sarcasm - There was definitely much more humor and personality to this year's presentation speakers than was previously. As I said above, even after Steve Jobs' passing, the signature Apple stage presence has continued to be a very conserved and rigid performance. This year, however, even Tim cook had a much more relaxed and natural vibe (as best as I can tell).
Death of Skeuomorphism - Skeuomorphic design is wasteful, bulky, and honestly annoying. It's a design philosophy that Apple can't stand to continue, so they have made a very obvious decision. Even with the Retina displays, iPhone 5 is still a smaller display size than many of the newer smartphones on the market. They need every bit of space devoted to useful function.
The new UI as a layered "grid" system - As mentioned above, every bit of space is necessary to keep up with competitor's UI. The grid system with layers (aside from beauty) allows for more information to be placed in the screen, with less waste. Btw, since when is Google making a UI worth copying?? Apparently, that time is now. I've had a chance to toy around with the beta of the New OS, and it seems to have adopted many features from Google's Android and THEN some!
3D display? Room for more? Another thought has recently occurred to me, when watching this keynote. It seems that the adoption of grid, depth of layers, and the somewhat silence beyond, makes me think that Apple has been toying with the idea of a 3D display. For anyone who has used the Nintendo 3DS, it has some drawbacks, but the effects and privileges it affords are fantastic when used well.
Apple is facing its competition with Android by refining its iOS further beyond. Apple is also competing with Samsung by taking the high road with it's quality and innovation. So far, they seem to be meeting that with a few more tricks up their sleeve. I look forward to their Fall event to see some new mobile hardware.