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Tech

WWDC 2020

I always look forward to WWDC, and having just finished the video, I wanted to share my first impressions. These are just short comments on features I am interested in.

This post might be updated a couple times during the next few days.

iOS

App Management

I’ve never struggled with library organization, but the App Library feature looks really nice.

Home screen

Widgets on the home screen is something that I’ve never really wanted, but again this looks really nice. I thought the various sizes and iterations were great, and the Smart Stack seems really clever. Changing my primary widget throughout the day as I move from work to evening to night is definitely something I would use.

Picture in Picture

This is something I have wanted on the iPhone because I enjoy it so much on the iPad. I love that you can swipe it to the side and still hear the audio.

Siri

I like that Siri isn’t going to take over the screen. This is another UI improvement that I didn’t really know I wanted.

20x more facts? I do hope I will get fewer “here’s what I found on the web” responses.

Having Siri send voice messages will be helpful. I send voice messages frequently.

I’m not at all hopeful about the Siri’s ability to translate, but the Translate app looks really intuitive. Maybe it will be good in the future, but I’m skeptical.

Messages

This is my favorite way to communicate.

Pinning messages will be very useful. Inline replies seems helpful but possibly complicating.

I love the idea of mentions so that I can mute a group message but still know when someone is talking directly to me.

Maps

Having guides in Maps sounds great. I enjoy the Maps app, and more ways to explore and discover without jumping to Yelp or a third party app will be nice.

I don’t bike anywhere, but I’m sure many will be really excited about this.

App Store

I’m not sure about App Clips. It seems like it could become something used frequently, or it could be something that disappears in a couple years.

Compact Call Notification

This wasn’t mentioned until the iPadOS overview around minute 36, but I love that incoming call notifications will no longer dominate the screen.

iPadOS

Sidebar

Having a sidebar in photos sounds great for browsing and organizing. I have over 30k pictures so any way they can help me more easily navigate that amazon would be great.

I’m happy to see sidebar in other apps, especially Files. I see that it is in Notes as well, but I don’t really use folders in Notes.

It looks like they are taking the buttons for sort options out of hiding. You used to have to pull down in certain places to reveal these sorting options. They were essentially hidden. Glad to see them in toolbars.

Sidebar looks helpful in Music as well.

Calls

Again, I love that phone calls will no longer dominate the iPad screen.

Search

In a similar vein, I very much like the new compact, MacOS spotlight like search bar. So much better than having the search interface dominate the entire 12.9″ screen.

Not only will it be more similar to Spotlight on the Mac in the way it looks, Universal Search makes it more similar in function as well. I love this so much. I think this is my favorite new feature.

Pencil

Handwrite in any text field?! Wow! How much will I use it? I’m not sure, but this is so cool. Using the Pencil to add a reminder or search the internet sounds so fantastic.

I love the new pause-to-auto-form-shape feature (a la Linea Sketch app) and the handwriting recognition improvements (hopefully similar to the power of GoodNotes).

Overall, the Pencil enhancements look like they might make handwriting in the Notes app more usable.

AirPods Software

Seamlessly moving between devices sounds great. We will see just how seamless this actually is.

I don’t have AirPods Pro. Spatial audio sounds cool, but I normally just don’t care about high quality audio. That sounds weird to type, but it isn’t something I have been willing to pay for in the past.

WatchOS

I don’t have an Apple Watch, but I have been thinking about getting one. I was hoping something here might convince me that an Apple Watch would be useful.

I am most interested in added workout routines they call core training and functional strength training because my fitness routine has been focused on in-home workouts — pushups, squats, and dumbell curls.

Wind Down sounds helpful, but I’m not sure I would actually use it.

Privacy

I always enjoy hearing Apple beat this drum. I believe Apple truly values privacy, and hearing them talk about it is always a breath of fresh air.

I like the idea of proximate location.

Visually indicating when an app uses the camera or microphone is fantastic.

They talked about a new practice of reporting how apps collect your data, and they compared this new reporting to the way you check a nutrition facts label before you buy food. This is a great metaphor, and I hope it is that simple to interpret. I’m skeptical, however, about how much I will really be able to understand and know.

MacOS

Control Center on the Mac looks great.

Improvements to searching Messages would be really helpful.

Safari

Speed and privacy improvements sound great. I like the customizable homepage.

Apple Silicon

More performance with less power sounds wonderful.

iPad apps running natively, unchanged? Wow! As someone who uses an iPad as my primary device, I love the sound of this.

Timeline

Developers can get started with an Apple Silicon Mac mini this week.

First Apple Silicon Macs will ship by the end of the year.

Full transition will take place over the course of two years.

There are still more Intel Macs coming.

Public betas release in July.

Addendums

#MykeWasRight about iPadOS having home screen changes.

Somewhere I saw on Twitter that the Notes app is finally dropping the grainy, pseudo-paper like background. Finally!

On ATP, it was said that iOS 14 has emoji search. Yes! It isn’t on iPadOS yet, but presumably it will come in a later beta. One would hope.