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.