Overall Event Impression
- Over the weekend and today, my Twitter feed has been filled with people going to the event at Apple Park. They get to tour the new Developer Center and visit the Ring Building itself. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel some serious FOMO.
- Craig really took it up a notch with his showmanship during the presentation. They’re definitely really playing up and leaning into our obsession with him. And I’m here for it.
- The new Lock Screen personalization is a really refreshing change as the old one hasn’t really changed much since the original iPhone aside from notifications.
- Face ID on iPhone now also works in landscape. Hopefully this means it will be easier to unlock the phone without having to adjust our heads too much, if at all.
- I think the CarPlay sneak peek blew everybody away. This is a clear major sign from Apple that they have been working on a car. This may be the first thing that they revealed to the public that was developed as part of that project. I wish Tesla would support this.
- I always track my workouts with my Apple Watch and all these new workout views look incredibly useful: heart rate zones, detailed workout summary, customizable workouts, and running-specific metrics like stride length and ground contact time.
- The medication tracking is going to be really useful as I take allergy meds every year when spring comes around. With this I won’t have to use a reminders app to remind myself anymore. The drug interactions warning is also a very nice touch.
- I love to see those new sleep tracking features. It’s been a long road but now the watch is finally a full-featured sleep tracker.
- Sadly still no custom watch faces. At this point I feel like that’s never going to happen.
- This is the second Mac laptop that’s designed specifically for the Apple silicon era. Like the MacBook Pro, it also comes with MagSafe. But unlike the MacBook Pro, the MagSafe connector and cord color match that of the MacBook Air itself.
- Speaking of colors, I am disappointed that it only comes in four bland colors. With this being the world’s best-selling laptop, they really should have followed the iMac approach and gone with more colorful choices.
- For their cheapest Mac laptop (aside from the M1 MacBook Air), it even comes with the Liquid Retina display. This makes me feel worse about my brand-new Studio Display that only has a basic LCD display but is much more expensive.
- Continuity Camera using the iPhone is neat. But it does feel clunky and inelegant. It’s almost as if they admitted that the built-in cameras suck. Especially with the Studio Display camera being awful, this is almost like an apology feature. The real solution is to just fix the camera hardware on the display. I’d rather have a good built-in camera than using this. Though the desk view thing is damn impressive but I personally don’t see a use for it.
- RIP the old Mac System Preferences design. I’ll miss the classic layout but a refreshed design was for sure needed. And now it’s also more consistent with iOS and iPadOS.
- No new Music app. This app is so bad and I hope they address this next year.
- Full external display support is long overdue and we finally have it!
- The display zoom adjustment to get more space is something I didn’t know I need. But I am writing this on my 11-inch iPad Pro using split screen with the “More Space” option and this feature certainly makes everything feels less cramp.
- A big surprise for me is Scribble in Thai. This is not mentioned anywhere on the feature list page, but it was featured on a slide. I'm going to have to check this out.
Notice that the list for each of those OSes above are only features that are specific to each of them. That is something I want to highlight with this year’s announcements: almost all of the headlining features are now available on all three of Apple’s major OSes. These are the fruits of Apple’s labor in the past several years of building APIs and frameworks to allow for easier cross-platform development like Mac Catalyst and SwiftUI. This creates an OS ecosystem that contains more feature parity and I must say that I do like the direction this is going.
Here are my thoughts on these headlining features that are available on all platforms.
- Not only did I get what I asked for with marking messages as unread, Messages also comes with the ability to edit and unsend messages! Though you can only do it for up to 15 minutes after sending the message. An interesting rule but I suppose I can understand why.
- I don’t think this was mentioned in the keynote, but Focus mode setup now includes the ability to choose whether to allow notifications or silence them! I am super excited to use this.
- The Home app finally got the redesign it so sorely needed, and it looks pretty slick.
- The iCloud Shared Photo Library is such a long time coming and it is so much better than what I had imagined. It took them quite a long time to add this feature but now I can clearly see that they put a lot of thought into this and wanted to do this right. It’s not just a simple sharing of your entire photo library and there are many ways to control how you share them, like starting from a specific date, only including photos of certain people, doing it right in the Camera app, or when members are nearby.
- Stage Manager seems nice but I’m not sure if it will be useful for me on the Mac since I like the freedom of putting my windows wherever I want. Though it might come in handy now that I am using just a single Studio Display where before I used to have two smaller monitors. However, this on the iPadOS makes much more sense and I’m looking forward to using it.
- Passkeys look promising. There’s no doubt this is better than passwords. And with the recent announcement that they’re working on this standard with Microsoft and Google, I am hopeful for the future without passwords. But for now, during this transition period, I wonder what kind of support and troubleshooting headaches this will cause for apps and websites that choose to add this.
Some Interesting Tidbits from the Feature List Pages
Added support for Turkish, Thai, Vietnamese, Polish, Indonesian, and Dutch in Safari web page translation.
Siri processes more types of requests offline without an internet connection, including Home Control (HomeKit), Intercom, and Voicemail.
Apps need your permission before accessing the pasteboard to paste content from another app.
The Hidden and Recently Deleted albums are locked by default and can be unlocked using your iPhone authentication method: Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode.
Photos identifies duplicate photos in Albums > Utilities so you can quickly clean up your library.
Save a list as a template to reuse it for routines, packing lists, and more. Create a link to publish and share a template with others, or download templates that others have shared.
The Translate app and system‑wide translation add support for Turkish, Thai, Vietnamese, Polish, Indonesian, and Dutch.
Fitness+ subscribers who use AirPlay to see their workouts can now get real-time personal metrics from their Apple Watch on compatible displays.
Wish List Performance
My wish list this year did not do so well. I only got the marking messages as unread and Focus mode block list.
- For the full resolution photos in Shared Albums, I tested on beta 1 and they’re still resized to 2049px.
- Same with the Home Control tiles in Control Center. They still ridiculously shuffle around when I interact with them.
- Studio Display camera fix is unknown. I don’t run the beta on my Mac and haven’t seen any reports on whether there’s an update to the display.
- Sadly no Mac Pro sneak peek but we got the M2, so that pretty much confirms that the Mac Pro will come with a variant of the M2 instead of the M1.
- Screen Time for tvOS is not only missing, tvOS itself wasn’t mentioned at all during the keynote which is discouraging for the platform.
- Still no interactive widgets. Maybe next year.
So I only got two (maybe three) out of the eight on my list. But as you can see, I am quite excited with a lot of these features announced today. Let the beta season begin and happy WWDC!