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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

The Back Page: WWDC 2017: Welcome to Apple Reality


TIM COOK takes the stage.

Good morning! Welcome to San Jose and WWDC 2017. It’s great to be here. We have a lot of things to talk about this morning, and we couldn’t be more excited to share them with you. We’ve got a lot to cover today, so let’s get started.

I want to begin today by talking about tvOS. The Apple TV is the world’s most advanced set-top box, and customers love it. The innovative Siri Remote makes it a breeze to search for apps, TV shows, and movies from our expanding catalog of partners. Last fall we introduced new features like the TV app, to bring all of your shows into a single, convenient place, and Single Sign-On. And today we’re going to make the Apple TV even better by introducing Watch For Me. There are so many great TV shows out there that nobody has the time to consume them all. But thanks to advances in dark data and machine learning, we can train the Apple TV to figure out which shows are the most important for you to have seen—then it can go ahead and watch them for you, identifying the most important parts, the funniest jokes, and the best quotes. It’ll distill those into an easily-digestible two-minute highlight, which you can watch at your convenience, as well as generating relevant tweets and Facebook posts for you, so that nobody will know you haven’t seen it yet.

On to Apple Watch. In the year and a half since we announced it, Apple Watch has become the world’s most popular wearable device. Customers are loving the ability to get notifications on their wrist, the ease of tracking their fitness, and, of course, the customizable bands. Today we’re announcing watchOS 4, and we really think you’re going to love it. I’d like to turn it over to Kevin Lynch to tell you more.

KEVIN LYNCH comes on stage.

Millions of people are enjoying their Apple Watch for staying fit. Every day I see tweets and posts about people priding themselves on completing their activity rings. But with watchOS 4, we wanted to take that a step further. So we’re introducing the new Life Clock feature, which gives you a precise reading of how much time you have left to live, if you continue in your current behavior. For example, if I sit down for more than two minutes, Life Clock will begin lopping years off my life expectancy. If I eat an ice cream cone, Life Clock will know, and send me a notification that I need to go to the gym immediately to run off those calories. And Life Clock can even lock me out of my house if it determines that I need to take a walk around the block. Of course, you can never really satisfy Life Clock, but the best any of us can hope for is to keep running. Oh, look, Life Clock is telling me that if I don’t get off this stage, Tim is going to let me have it.


KEVIN runs off stage, and TIM reappears.

Thanks, Kevin. Stay healthy! Now I’d like to talk a little about macOS. The Mac turned 33 years old this year, and we here at Apple see it as an integral part of our company’s future for the next 33 years. We’ve got some exciting updates in store and here to tell you about them is Craig Federighi.

CRAIG lopes on to stage, shakes his mane of gray hair, and grins for the crowd.

Hey everybody, you having fun out there?


Great. I’m here today to tell you about the exciting new features coming to you in our latest macOS update. In keeping with our theme of naming things after California landmarks, we’re calling this release macOS Bakersfield. That’s because, not unlike its namesake, there’s not a lot going on here.

Sporadic laughter.

Really, there’s nothing new in here. Just this new default desktop picture.

A picture of Bakersfield appears.

We hope you’ll enjoy macOS Bakersfield as much as we do when it arrives later this fall.

CRAIG gives a winsome smile, then strolls back offstage again. TIM’s back.

Thanks, Craig. I’d like to move on to iOS. Here to tell you more about the latest developments in iOS is Craig Federighi.

CRAIG comes back out, waving and smiling at everyone.

Hard to believe it’s been 10 years since the iPhone came out. We’re very excited to announce the latest release of our revolutionary mobile operating system, iOS 11. iOS 11 is jam-packed with features like protective pre-emptive multi-memorying, real-time dispatch polarity reversing, and, my favorite, thread coordination via priority collusion. It’s the most powerful version of iOS we’ve ever released, so let’s go to a quick demo of the top feat—

CRAIG glitches, jumping back and forth instantaneously, his famous coif pixelating. His voice becomes staticky, garbled. The whole thing then freezes and a multi-lingual message appears on the screen, superimposed over a power icon.


TIM COOK removes a pair of goggles and tosses them across a conference table at a collection of engineers. Their hopeful faces droop. Tim shakes his head.

We’re going to have to cut VR from the keynote. Anybody got anything else?

He spots something in front of one of them: a monochrome white disc about the size of the plate, with a few perforations.

That. That’s the new Siri Speaker, right? It’s ready to go?

One engineer starts to pipe up.

Uh, sir, that’s a pi—

**The others hurriedly elbow and shush him. Tim nods and gets up from his chair. **

Make sure it’s ready for the keynote. See you Monday.

Tim leaves the room, and the engineers stare down at the disc. The one who spoke up reaches out and unclasps it, then pulls out a slice of pizza and gives it a forlorn look. One of the others shrugs.

Okay. Somebody let Jony out of his sensory deprivation sanctum. We’ve got work to do.

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is now available for pre-order.]

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