Thoughts on Apple's WWDC 2018 announcements?

Apple made several software-related announcements today. Here are all the things from the keynote.

Does anyone have thoughts about how this affects the developer community, or have any other takeaways from today's announcements?

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I could definitely feel some "oh shit, we have to really make sure people know we haven't forgotten about Mac". Not that they announced anything overly new or exciting necessarily, but I definitely feel like they were addressing some concerns in their tone.

They never mentioned the Touch Bar at all though... it’s a wonder if they’ll back off of the idea of blended software and hardware or double down. With all their hardware issues around keyboards as of late, I’m holding off until I see if they either remove it or fix it.

This is a pretty interesting point. Do you think it's also because they've worked on a lot of core features and now they have time for the crowd-pleasing features? Or am I being too optimistic? πŸ™ƒ

DarkMode + AppleNews (maybe) are all I'm going to use.

Yeah, I'm shocked XCode didn't already have dark mode. As a non-regular user I just assumed this would exist if I wanted it.

If their UI was like other people's it would allow you to set a global dark theme and apps would all appear how you want. Apple aren't in the business of making things customisable, it kind of goes against the HIG.

Xcode already had darkmode, but only for the editor, not the entire IDE. It looked like this

I'd use Apple News too, if it weren't US only. :/

The global dark mode's cool though, my eyes will be grateful. :D

Dropping OpenGL support is really just crazy.

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Quite a few things actually

  • mini Safari on watchOS. Excited the Web is in more places, terrified my sites have more places to potentially break XD
  • Xcode got a dark theme. If that really is a new feature, bless the souls who used it before.
  • Facetime with 32 people. I wonder how they chose that number :D no really though. 32 people?!

Another thing that sticks out is iOS apps on macOS. This is reminiscent of ChromeOS getting support Android app support. Both of these were met with huge applause. But yet when Mircosoft did this on Windows, Xbox, UWP, etc, loads of people got out their pitchforks.

I mean from what I heard and have seen. There was nothing really amazing about it. They added a few features to the watch and phone and added a dark theme to mac. But I mean that was really about it. On top of that people are really laughing at the fact that mac is depreciating OpenGL for their in-house metal library. So I feel like that is going to also turn a lot of people away. But overall it was really underwhelming.

No shocking new things, it was all expected. Good steps forward from Apple. Best thing is the dark mode, that's never a bad thing to have in your system.

As @ben says, they seriously addressed some issues regarding privacy. The upcoming feature of notifications via a popup for trackers on a webpage is brilliant.

Something I wouldn't see Google do, that would be a really weird step. However, I hope to see them at least offering you as an user a level of control the same way Apple introduces the popup notification.

Just looking at the summaries it feels a little underwhelming. There's lots of nice small new shiny features but nothing groundbreaking. Dark mode is really nice but then I immediately thought, why haven't we had that for years? The new Mac store looks good too but then is that really going to change much? All I use the Mac store for us to find something I've discovered elsewhere, install it and then close it. Perhaps the better design will help with app discovery.

Overall, yeah I'll probably upgrade once it's bedded in and any major bugs had been found and fixed. That, or I'll keep seeing beautiful dark mode screenshots everywhere and start shouting "I want it!"

I thought there were some really thoughtful moments during the announcement and some moments which were kind of silly. Some features were things I had always wished for in iOS since my first iPhone the 3GS.

Thoughtful

  • Do not disturb, that they're giving more granular controls over when your phone is "active". I wrote about this topic for a paper once, that it'd be nice to have the phone automatically go into DND mode based on some preset schedule. This would be useful in meetings or class, so you're not that one person who's phone goes off in the middle of a silent moment.

  • I really can't wait for more of the continuity integration between iOS and macOS. I often use airdrop or messages to send things back and forth. Continuity seems like a more seamless workflow.

  • I really can't wait to see the usage screen and being able to self regulate my usage. I've already turned off my notifications for nearly all apps. But I still have a habit of picking up the phone often. Not sure if the numbers will deter but I'm hoping that the awareness this information will bring will better help convince me to start making healthier choices.

  • As a parent, although I'm about 🀞🏼many years off before I put a phone in my kids' hands. I thought some of the controls given for parental controls was really neat. Although the controls are on a per device basis (meaning everyone should get an iOS device) I always thought it'd be cool to see different profile support on iOS devices like we have on macOS.

  • I can't remember the exact term used but there was a diagram where it was initially an equal sided bell curve and then transitioned to a left skewed bell curve. This was to explain that with the new update to iOS, that max performance is hit initially and then tapered down to manage battery life. I love that Apple is always in a tango with this. And I think it's a thoughtful problem that they are always trying to solve. That performance is important but it is just as important to reduce battery drain when performing crazy tasks.

Interesting

  • Safari's ability to block third party fonts and render a screen with just the system fonts. I thought this was a really interesting point. I've recently moved from using Google Fonts to just using system fonts on my personal site. One because I wanted to remove another source of dependency and two, because I just wanted to get as vanilla of a reading experience as possible. At one point I was looking into creating "Reader View" type plugin, then I realized already that my site is pretty legible and minimizes distractions so I didn't pursue it.

I often will load an article back up on Safari just to use the "Reader View" for reading long copy. Just interesting to see this was an upcoming feature.

  • "Progressive" background images. I thought it was neat that in Mojave you can have your system shift from light mode to dark mode, but the background could also change. Not sure if this would be something a user could create themselves based on some guidelines but I can see a preset of images provided by Apple.

  • I'm not that familiar with the process for selling an app on the iOS app store or the Mac app store, but I thought it was interesting to see a newly designed app store in Mojave with cues from iOS's store. I think there are some great apps out there for the Mac and look forward to seeing more attention given in this platform. I'm also curious to see what sort of categories there will be, since at least on the Mac, there are some apps that are strictly menu bar apps.

I also thought it was interesting to see Panic's response to adding their apps back to the Mac app store. Especially the scenario of how they foresee their customers owning the software.

  • I'm interested to see how businesses will create a business model around AR. Again, watching the Lego demo, I thought wow this is pretty genius. Think about all the different sets they'd have to pay and unlock to use in the AR world? It's also a marketing plus for parents cause they can just be like finally! Your kids can still play with Legos and your feet won't ever have to step on them.

  • One thought provoking point of the video was when they talked about iOS 12 being a release with a lot of performance refinements. Seeing that their baseline were devices several generations old. I think this is cool and made me think about when is enough...enough when it comes to features? I love new features but at some point so many thoughtful features will be overlooked. I'm on iOS 11 and I'm still discovering new features. Which makes me wonder how many more features are buried underneath this OS that I could find useful but instead are blind sided by the new glitzier stuff.

I also noticed that there really is a market that isn't about the latest and greatest. I've been in Germany for the past few months and I often see iPhones that are a few generations old and I admit I was shocked at first. But then again I've also seen plenty of users with non-smart flip phones and even a person walking around with a CD player. So I'm sure users like these are definitely looking forward to seeing their phones get more of a performance boost.

Silly

  • Listing favicons in Mojave's Safari as a feature.

  • The augmented reality demos with Lego on the iPad reminded me of Steve Jobs' video about vertical touch screens and ergonomics. My arms felt tired just seeing the two demoers holding their iPads in front of them while doing all sorts of gestures with the other.

I'm really stoked for voice memos. Not sure if I'll use it honestly, but I love that they're putting it in natively.

Also the new AR measuring tool is cool. Didn't know that was a thing.

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