As WWDC Keynotes go that was a pretty big one so I thought I’d collate a few thoughts on what stood out to me from what was announced on Monday.
The new 15” MacBook Air sounds like it’s going to be a great option for people wanting a Mac but not wanting to all the way to a very expensive Mac Pro. I’m not a Mac user mainly because over the years I just haven’t really managed to get on with the OS, this is probably because I haven’t spent enough time with it but I’m certainly not going to drop over £2k to find out. This is probably the first Mac to make me think about taking the plunge one day. Decent size and not over powered for my needs
The Mac Studio and Mac Pro will never been on my radar as I simply don’t need it but the performance Apple are getting out of their ARM based silicon is amazing and makes me wish something would come to windows for the power savings alone.
The new contact posters features sounds like it’s going to be pretty cool and makes me wonder if business will be able to integrate this in any way so they can show branding when they call. Possibly a bad idea and would get abused but might be good for marketing.
What does concern me however is if there is any oversight of people’s shared posters. For example say have a contact for someone for some time then they decide to make the photo on their card offensive or worse sexually inappropriate, could this get displayed on someone’s phone unexpectedly. I imagine you can turn this on and off but seems unlikely you’ll have to approve each poster every time someone changes it. Can picture workplace stalking scenarios where this might be a problem.
Live Voicemail & FaceTime Voicemail
Live voicemail will be a game changer for me. I am on the road a lot or with clients and will often get calls I can’t take. Getting a live transcription of the voicemail will really help me manage my calls when I am out and about on site. I just hope this isn’t locked to certain carriers like Visual Voicemail was for quite a long time.
Being able to leave FaceTime video messages will be good for loved ones and can’t wait to try this out.
This year Apple have added a bunch of quality of life features which will make using the app that much nicer. The standout feature for me was the Check in feature. It’s awful that we live in a world where women don’t feel safe and in some areas are not safe to walk home at night alone. Whilst this won’t change that, being able to keep tabs on your friends or loved ones as they travel home will help put minds at rest and in the hopefully unlikely event anything happens and someone goes missing the location and path data will be invaluable to police if it leads to an investigation.
AirDrop & Name Drop
Once again some great quality of life features. I’m hoping this one will stop friends and family sending pictures whilst we’re out in WhatsApp which trashes the quality.
Keyboard and Dictation
I’m going to reserve judgement on this until I’ve experienced it. Over the last few years it feels like the autocorrect system has got worse and worse. Maybe the new machine leaning will make the difference. Similarly Siri dictation is still pretty poor currently so any improvement here is going to be welcome.
Over the years I’ve often thought about doing this and dabbled with Day One but it generally never stuck. This journal app may not change that but the suggestions features and prompts sound rally interesting if only for trips away prompting you to write up your memories at the time along with media and events linked right in. I’m definitely going to be giving this one a go.
Standby seems lost on me. Maybe it would make a good night stand clock similar to watch if you charge it overnight but the rest of the time my phone lives in my pocket. Most MagSafe phone charger stands designed for bed stands have all been designed for your phone being upright, if this doesn’t work in portrait then we’ll all need new charging stands.
Widgets & Lock Screen
It’s a real shame Apple are out of sync when it comes to these features between iOS and iPadOS but I am glad they are finally here. I’m hoping the interactive widgets will come to iOS too, they seemed to gloss over this. The larger space for lock screen widgets on the iPad will really help realise the concept and with any luck we will eventually get more on iOS.
Another one of those apps I think a lot of us thought should have been on the iPad from the start. All that data on iOS is really hard and unintuitive to get to in my opinion. The big screen access will make me use this a lot more.
PDF workflow improvements
This one will be a game changer for me. I regularly do site visits for planning office moves or refurbishments working with contractors to specify and plan where our IT infrastructure will go. I’ve never found a good app for the phone iPad or indeed my windows laptop I could do with is with effectively. What they have shown so far looks like it will solve a lot of problems for me.
Nothing much to say here as I don’t use Mac, it I did find it somewhat amusing that Apple are bringing the Windows Vista widget experience to the Mac 😂
Gaming improvements sound good but the proof will be in the pudding if developers build for Apple silicon or not. As an outsider it feels like the move to Apple silicon took it further away from ever likely being a serious gaming competitor. One of the things that in my eyes makes Mac’s feel more expensive the price is higher and even then you can’t play all your games.
The video conferencing stuff looks very swish, it will be interesting to see people using this in meetings in the future although the video effects will like confetti will probably get tiresome pretty quick.
Good to see more improvements here. I’m hoping to pick up some AirPod Pro’s soon so good to see them leveraging their technology to bring yet more quality of life improvents.
New widgets interface
The new widgets when scrolling the crown feels like it will plug the gap well between having an uncluttered watch face but giving access to information and complication like date quickly. Personally I changed to having just the photo watch face and time as part of an overall set of changes I made to my devices to hide constant notifications and information firing at me all the time and replacing them with family photos and happy memories. As we all know the photos face is pretty limited when it comes to complications so this will great balance for me.
It’s disappointing though that the menus haven’t seen any attention. The honeycomb view IMHO still remains borderline unusable and the app list whilst easier is still slow to use. Perhaps the new widgets when scrolling will end up placing the apps you actually want at easier reach and negate some of this. One way or the other they need to tackle this for WatchOS 11.
Now we’re deep into the life of the Apple Watch as a fitness device we’re starting to see some great improvements across the board. The new cycling view is of most interest to me but I will need to get over my fear of putting my phone on the handlebars in case it breaks or falls off.
The mental health logging sounds interesting. My mood is often all over the place and don’t stop and think about why all that often and certainly don’t look back at it. Men are renowned for not talking about their feelings so having some log if and when you do try and seek help will be invaluable.
It was odd the screen distance feature was included here but a good idea although slightly amusing they announce this just before asking people to strap screens to their faces😂
After having read and heard discussions of Apples forthcoming entry into the AR/VR space I am glad we’ve finally got to see what all the fuss is about. They’ve shown off some really impressive technology and concepts and not got bogged down in meta verse bullshit like Mr Zuckerberg. I did think however the digital persona will likely end up being a little bit uncanny valley to start with.
Let’s be honest this is going to be out of the reach of most of us for some time but it really is interesting to see apples vision of the headset. It’s clear some real thought into usability has gone into this. The working from home angle is a really interesting one but I don’t see any companies forking out for something like this for remote workers.
If over the next few years they can get the price closer to £1000 it might become compelling for home use but for now this will remain in the realm of the rich with money to burn or companies showing off.
Hopefully next year we might see some demos popping up in Apple Stores.
It’s clear a lot of the keynote was rushed to fit in as much time as possible for the headset so I am looking forward to see what extra features and tidbits come out over the next couple of weeks as developers get to grips with the betas. Here’s hoping my current set of devices get most of the new features!
I’m disappointed that we won’t be seeing seeing any significant improvements to Siri so we’ve got another year of it never understanding what you say beyond basic commands. At 12 years old now I’d have like to see some major improvements to its “intelligence”.
A visual refresh might be nice at some point. The iOS 7 style is now 10 years old now. That’s not to say I know what I would want next I certainly don’t hate the visuals but some improvement to the very rigid Home Screen / springboard would be good.
What did you think of the keynote? Let me know in the comments or send me a toot on mastodon. my needs