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My take on Apple WWDC21
Muse #137 - there are lots to look forward to
I respect Apple as an innovation-driven company. Though I am usually behind the curve in buying Apple products conservatively (I am a fast follower at best being in the early majority or late majority for most purchases) - my basket of Apple products include my iPhone XR, Apple Watch SE, 2015 Macbook Pro, second-generation iPad Pro 12.9 inch with Apple Pencil and a 2018 Mac Mini. Not really a cutting-edge product collection, but gets the job done and more.
The Apple Developer conference is a yearly mecca for Apple developers. Though I am not a hands-on developer now and haven’t been for a couple of decades, I spent 2 and half hours today watching WWDC 2021 live on Apple TV and there are a lot of things that I look forward to in September. Today’s post is to expand on my goofy techie geeky side. Here is a gist of a few items from that list -
iOS 15 - the general theme was social integration between the various apps. The best feature I liked is the ability to extract and paste text out from photographs - there is a lot of value and usability in this feature if this works well (Google has something similar already in their Android/Chrome ecosystem). The other feature is the opening of Facetime to outside the Apple ecosystem on the web. With the ability to share screen content and videos, this will be a threat to Zoom in that it will be free conferencing software for up to 32 users for Apple product users - iPhones, iPad, and Macs. This might make me consider giving up my Zoom account, but I do have events larger than 32 participants - and will also have to check the ability to record these sessions and publish them on YouTube. There were privacy improvements in Safari, but I am a hard-core Chrome user still giving up my data gladly to Google. I will have to evaluate Safari again, especially its ability to handle tabs across devices with refresh happening simultaneously. There were improvements to Apple Maps, but I am still a hard-core Google Maps user.
iPadOS 15 - the core functionality updates from iOS come over to iPad too. iPad finally gets the widgets and app library that came to the iPhone in iOS 14 - in a way catching up, but these are useful features that I am enjoying on the iPhone so it is time these came to the iPad. I am also looking to the multi-tasking improvements being made to the iPad that might make it more usable than now.
macOS 11? Monterey - all the features in apps on iOS flow to macOS. Like changes to Messaging and Facetime conferencing that I talked about above. The coolest feature on the Mac would be extending the Sidecar application that allowed the iPad to used a secondary screen. Now the Mac keyboard, mouse, and touchpad can be used to control the iPad when it is working as a Sidecar screen. It was very cool and also included drag and drop, cut-and-paste between the devices, and this will be helpful for me than using iCloud or Airdrop that I use to transfer or exchange information between devices.
watchOS 15 - aligns with the changes on the iOS as well as improvements to the meditation and breathing apps, plus the ability to track more information in the Health app. Something that makes a Quantified Self practitioner very happy to collect and review reporting over additional data. Apple Watch 8 is supposed to add features like continuous blood sugar monitoring and we have to wait and see what comes by. Or Blood pressure monitoring?
Swift application development improvements - the last thing that I found interesting enough to want to get back to programming is the features added to the Swift programming language. I am truly influenced enough to go back to coding and try my hands to develop an app. (Guess that I will add these to the list of experiments for the year)
iOS 15 brings new ways to stay connected and powerful features that help users focus, explore, and do more with on-device intelligence - https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2021/06/ios-15-brings-powerful-new-features-to-stay-connected-focus-explore-and-more/
Apple previews new iPad productivity features with iPadOS 15 - https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2021/06/apple-previews-new-ipad-productivity-features-with-ipados-15/
macOS Monterey introduces powerful features to get more done - https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2021/06/macos-monterey-introduces-powerful-features-to-get-more-done/
watchOS 8 brings new access, connectivity, and mindfulness features to Apple Watch - https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2021/06/watchos-8-brings-new-access-connectivity-and-mindfulness-features-to-apple-watch/
Apple advances personal health by introducing secure sharing and new insights - https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2021/06/apple-advances-personal-health-by-introducing-secure-sharing-and-new-insights/
Apple advances its privacy leadership with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and watchOS 8 - https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2021/06/apple-advances-its-privacy-leadership-with-ios-15-ipados-15-macos-monterey-and-watchos-8/
Apple introduces new developer tools and technologies to create even better apps - https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2021/06/apple-introduces-new-developer-tools-and-technologies-to-create-even-better-apps/