To kick off WWDC this year, Apple gave us a glimpse of what the world would be like without apps.
In an opening video for the conference, a new employee at Apple haphazardly unplugs the App Store servers and sends the entire world into full-scale chaos.
Instagram gone, a young woman stands on the street shouting “Selfies?!,” offering physical portraits of herself to folks running past. A group of travelers attempts to break into a home as the owners barricade the door — “This isn’t an Airbnb!”
Without Waze and Google Maps, drivers seem to lose the ability to drive entirely, or read maps, crashing into each other, though everyone seems to escape these crashes safely.
In the wake of the Appocalypse, as the media calls it, folks are taking to an above-ground IRL black market App Store, with plastic surgeons offering Face Swaps, a Candy Crush table where users simply smash candy with a hammer and a Tinder hut with dudes showing off their stuff.
After the video, Tim Cook explained that this disastrous scenario could never really happen, framing how app-crazy we’ve all become as a way to lead into the company’s yearly developer conference.
But some people on Twitter brought up how this might be a little insensitive, given the timing:
And it is a bit technically and politically tone-deaf, as on the one hand, Apple is misrepresenting technical infrastructure while depicting car crashes and chaos as a joke. This, in a world where cyberattacks and their potential aftermath are an increasingly real threat, not to mention actual terrorist attacks.
The ad also seems to have hints of Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad.
That said, others seemed to react positively to the opening video.
Given the “riskiness” of this apocalypse theme, Apple clearly tried to approach this from the safest POV. For example, everyone in the car crashes seem to escape any real danger, and, interestingly, the only people in the Tinder booths are men. (Not to say that objectifying men is any more acceptable than objectifying women, but the basic premise of Tinder isn’t necessarily Apple’s fault.)
Plus, there is some core of truth in the video. We are shockingly dependent on our apps, and exaggeration is one of the most basic comedic devices in the book.
You can watch the Appocalypse video below: