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June 10, 2021
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Thoughts on WWDC 2021

A few thoughts on WWDC 2021.

  • FaceTime updates – They look great. But Zoom has such a lead on all platforms I only see FT making a dent in casual voice conversations.
  • Photo Galleries in Messages – The primary way I share photos these days is via Messages (and, sometimes WhatsApp). This is a welcomed feature.
  • The Shared With You features – These features are in Photos, Music, TV, etc. and seem like a great way to find all of these things. I hope every single app can take advantage of this. Imagine Twitter or Youtube with this?
  • Notifications updates – These look good and useful.
  • Focus – I will use this a lot. I already love DND.
  • Live Text Selection – I know this is only for M1 Macs but I think I’ll use this a lot on iOS.
  • Wallet updates – The more stuff they put in Wallet the better, I think. I would gladly give up my traditional wallet. But I think it will be a very long time, if ever, that this happens.
  • Weather app updates – I’m a huge Dark Sky user. I’m glad to see those features leak into Weather finally.
  • Apple Maps updates – I used Apple Maps a week or so ago and was pleasantly surprised with how well it did. It said things like “go through this light, take a right at the next one”. To me that was new and cool. I look forward to Apple Maps getting so good I no longer need Google Maps. I just need to figure out how to export hundreds of saved locations.
  • iPadOS updates – I use my iPad every single day at home. Glad to see App Library and Widgets finally be more like iOS. The Multitasking updates look very good.
  • Safari updates – I don’t see any pinned tabs in their demo. So I have that question. But, otherwise I think this update looks great. I use Safari as my daily browser and I plan to continue to. I think browsers need to be pushed forward and I’m glad Apple is trying something new.
  • Quick Notes – I don’t know why these aren’t on iPhone, but I really like how these work.
  • System-wide translation – This is definitely welcome.
  • iCloud+ – I was planning on switching to HEY from Gmail. But I think I’ll go with Apple instead. And I’ll use Apple’s VPN.
  • Siri being on-device – About time! I could not understand why starting a timer required a round-trip to a server.
  • Universal Control – I don’t know if I’ll ever use this but it looks great.
  • Shortcuts on macOS – I use a few Shortcuts on iOS but I don’t really like it there. I use a lot of Automator scripts I’ve written – mostly just shell or AppleScripts that I use Automator to create Services with – and I plan on converting them all to Shortcuts.
  • Web Extensions – I’d like to make one for Unmark.
  • Xcode Cloud – I think this looks great regardless of cost. I cannot imagine that Apple will make the prices for this to be anything but affordable for each person’s needs.
  • Object Capture – This made a great demo. And it seems like it works really well.

Overall, I believe this was a solid WWDC. So much so, that I think I’ll hop on the beta train when we get to the second or third public beta release.

    @cdevroe A lot of good stuff, and hopefully, all those features will just be there without much of a learning curve. I struggle to remember all the things iOS can do.

    @cdevroe Your observation are similar to mine. I think it’s a good update for users, not gimmicky. And many goodies for developers, too. TestFlight for Mac and Xcode Cloud will help many developers, looking forward to them myself.

    @jacob I agree. I saw some say they thought it was a lackluster WWDC. I don’t feel that way. Great showing from Apple especially with the pandemic.

    @AlanGMarz I try to watch a lot of videos to learn that is possible. So much stuff is only discoverable if you see someone else do it.

    @cdevroe compare mine.
    Our main diffs:
    Privacy: you seem confident Private Relay is a VPN. Does this mean VPN use 24/7 is about to go mainstream?
    On-device: you seem confident said data won’t ever be passed between devices on iCloud.
    XCode Cloud: you seem super bullish on it. Do you reckon it will mean avoiding having to install on Mac?

    Couple other thoughts:
    Doesn’t Quick Notes already exist on iPad?
    Maps places: Apple deleted a bunch of my saved place. Hope that features gets an improvement, and allows import of Google Maps (my places).

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