Work is done for the day, or at the very least it's been tucked away and minimised, hibernating until tomorrow morning's burst of inspiration and caffeine. Firstborn is fed and going through the motions of his strict running up and down regimen. Desk is cleared and carefully arranged to tidy, right-angled correctness. Four fingers of Kit Kat are aligned just so beside a fresh cup of coffee (in standard issue Pantone mug, naturally). And me, I'm nestled nicely into the lumpy comfiness of my chair, eyes staring into my iMac, fingers poised over my iPad. There is calm, there is readiness. Bring on the WWDC keynote.
This is my sport. I don't watch football or cricket or racing. I watch software update announcements. And it's not just the keynote itself – it's about the speculation beforehand, the knee-jerk tweets during, and the blogged analysis afterwards. What will happen? Will one of my shiny things be made a bit shinier? Will another be made to look dull and awful by a new shiny thing? Will there be One More Thing?
So far, nothing is happening. And this nothing happening is being observed by an enormous audience of developers and tech journalists, all sat staring at a big screen on a big stage. One might draw comparisons with a certain 1984 advert that depicted mindless drones doing pretty much the same thing, except this crowd is buzzing with gleeful anticipation. The energy is more One Direction than Orwell.
Of course, One Direction probably don't kick off their concerts with self-congratulatory videos of people saying how mind-blowingly awesome apps are. This doesn't bode well. What an exceedingly dull start to – OH MY GOD THAT KID TOTALLY HAS AN iOS-CONTROLLED ROBOT HAND.
Okay, that's got everyone's attention. Maybe tonight Apple will be launching a new range of cyborgs? Here comes Tim Cook (essentially Steve Jobs played by Paul O'Grady) to dazzle the crowd with the incredible, the revolutionary, the game-changing … run through of sales figures? We were promised so much more by the robot-handed boy, this is something of a come down. He even comes out with blindingly obvious "we're shipping the best Macs in our history", as if the audience were completely unaware of the concept of progress.
Come on, Tim. I could be playing with my son right now, Tim. Show us something new, Tim.
Never fear, here comes the cavalry! On to the stage bounds Apple SVP Craig Federighi, essentially a stock photo of a handsome business man. And he's got the good stuff. He's got Yosemite. And very nice it is too. Even the most trivial of updates – a new trashcan, dark mode, translucency all over the place – is met with rapturous applause.
I'll be perfectly honest with you, after the first few opening jokes (huhuhuh, he said "weed"), I missed quite a lot of what Federighi was saying because I got distracted by an important search for images of Yosemite Sam. Hearing about the new stuff is all very well, but it's vitally important that every nerdy little joke that pops into my head is sent twit-wards. Nobody cares, of course, but I like to amuse myself with interjections among the dev-jargon and nerd-rage. I've barely glimpsed the best examples of Warner Bros' angry ginger varmint before "Handoff" is mentioned and I'm sent on another errand to find a picture of Luke Skywalker with – yes – his hand off. Never mind tweet, I'm a hoot.
Should start paying attention again really – some of this Yosemitage looks quite impressive. Just as it dawns on me that this Finder-centric update is essentially a great big middle finger to Google (competing with Microsoft is SO five years ago), the lady wife hollers from downstairs. Time for the boy's bath. Why can't Apple do a better job of scheduling their events around my timetable?
The Keynote is left to itself for a while. Time passes. Things happen.
Where was? What's happened? This thing is in full flow now. Features are announced in quick succession, it's hard to keep up let alone catch up. Twitter is awash with WWDC-fever, but there's so much reaction that it's tricky to pick out a decent summary of the last half hour. From what I can gather, somebody had a phone call with Dr Dre. A few weeks ago, this would've seemed quite odd. Right now, after the Beats acquisition and everything, it … it still seems quite odd. That's Dr Dre.
Hang on. Something else is happening on Twitter, something else is being responded to with equal passion and is seeping through the cracks of the feed. As countless others like me across the globe watch and comment on events unfolding in San Francisco, another impassioned conversation crashes in. Breaking news: somebody got smushed in Westeros.
In the great overlap on the Apple/Game of Thrones Venn diagram of fandom, there is chaos. Spoilers and announcements crash into each other; nobody knows where to look. We want to know about this stuff now, but we don't want to know about that stuff just yet.
So I'll abandon the tweets and just stick with the video feed. But it's no use: they're down to the meat of the keynote, the developer tools. The further into this I go, the less I comprehend. I'm sure it's all very impressive, but without my codey friends at hand to interpret, it's all lost on me. Federighi's just put a slide up that appears to be utter gibberish: Tuples! Clear Mutability Syntax! Multiple Return Types! REPL! I really, really wish I'd been around for the Dre moment now.
And then … it's over. There is no One More Thing, no robot hand for the rest of us. There is just a room full of excited developers rocking in their seats, desperately trying to download betas before the sandwiches go or their bladders give out.
My coffee is gone, my Kit Kat is de-fingered. My Mac and I will go to sleep soon and dream of translucency. Tomorrow we'll hit the tech blogs, find out what all of that was really about.
Written for MacUser.