Takeaways from the WWDC 2020 Keynote

Monday, June 22, 2020

I am an Apple enthusiast, and I just watched the WWDC 2020 keynote. Here’s what I thought (in no specific order):

iOS 14

  • Reaching for the top row apps on my iPhone 7 Plus is not easy. I can rarely, if ever, use my phone with a single hand anymore. So, I appreciate the new home screen layout. It definitely appears useful at first glance.
  • I can see myself adding Dark Sky (wait, will it still be updated?!) and Fantastical widgets, but I don’t think I’ll add much else. We’ll see.
  • Pinned conversations, inline replies, mentions… Love it all. Also, mask Memoji 😷!
  • As someone that obsessively downloads (and keeps) apps from cafes, stores, and parking apps I only need about once every year, and refuses to delete them for the one time time I might need them again, I love the idea of App Clips. I can (hopefully) get rid of all those unused apps.
  • I am nitpicky about my home screen layout, so I’m conflicted about the new dynamic App Library. I can imagine it being useful, but it might also play against my muscle memory.
  • No more full-screen popovers for phone calls or Siri! YES!
  • Rarely use iPhone to watch video, so couldn’t care less about picture-in-picture.
  • Lot of appreciation for the new privacy features. I have desired approximate location for so many apps that I don’t trust, but still have to provide location information to.
  • Camera and microphone usage indicators are godsend. I have often wondered how many apps exploit those permissions because they have them.
  • Overall not a lot is changing, which is a good thing.

Apple Maps

  • Biking directions with elevation! I have wished for this to have existed for months as I struggled with mapping my bike rides. This alone will make me update to iOS 14 on day 1.

iPadOS 14

  • Neat improvements to handwriting recognition and scribble.

AirPods

  • Seamless switching: Why did it take so long?!
  • Spatial Audio: Tempting me to buy a set of AirPods Pro.

watchOS 7

  • Hand washing countdowns are cute and I love that they exist ☺️.
  • Sleep tracking appears cool, but I also don’t like wearing my Apple Watch while I’m asleep.

Safari

  • Amazing new privacy controls. I use Safari all day, everyday. It is already very fast, secure and neatly integrated. The privacy improvements take what is great and make it even better.
  • I’m going to obsess for a while over the Privacy Reports of some of my most visited websites.
  • The new hover-on-tab feature that displays a tiny thumbnail is also really nice. It is one of the things I miss the most from my days of Firefox.

macOS Big Sur (11.0!)

  • I like the new design aesthetic in the apps, but hate the new icons. The iOS-ified icons feel out of place. Maybe they’ll grown on me over time.
  • Control Center is neat, and so is the new notification pane.
  • Messages and Apple Maps are Catalyst ports, but get feature parity with iOS. Cool!
  • Overall: A slate of nice updates for a mature desktop OS. Lots of polish, I hope.

App Store

  • Simple, easy to understand privacy policies for every app before you download it? Yes, please!

Mac’s Transition to Apple SoC

  • This might actually go through in a seamless way than I had thought.
  • A12Z running Final Cut Pro and 3 streams of 4K, and driving the 6K Pro Display XDR? Damn, that’s powerful.
  • Emulation also appears to be fast.
  • Not a fan of iOS and iPadOS apps running on macOS. That sounds like a recipe for lazy developers to not make good, native macOS apps, while allowing Apple to boast ‘millions of apps on day 1’.
  • I can’t wait to learn more about the upcoming Mac line-up. Such an exciting time!

Miscellaneous

  • The production quality of this year’s presentation was exemplary.
  • It was uncanny (and weird) to look at close-ups of Tim Cook and Craig Federighi as they talked to the camera. It was too close and too in-my-face.
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