It was a massive day for Apple and its developers, and an excellent start for WWDC ‘20. New operating systems for all of its platforms and a transition from Intel chips to Apple silicon for the Mac.
When Apple does significant updates to its operating systems, I look for a couple of things to determine their usefulness: What problem are they solving and how easy are they to use. Several things caught my eye during the keynote that satisfied both of those criteria for me. Many of the features may seem small, but anything that helps use my devices more efficiently is a welcome change.
I love the idea of App Clips. I’ve been in situations where I wanted to do something and didn’t have the app on my device. Now, it’s not that much of a problem to login to the App Store, download the app and then pay for the service, but with App Clips, I’ll be done by the time you log in to the store. It just pops up when it’s needed, and you’re done.
App Library Is going to give me a way to hide all of the app pages on my iPhone that I never look at and still be able to find all of the apps I need. I use search quite a bit on iOS because I have no idea where the apps are on my device, so it’ll be interesting for me to see if I continue to use search or use App Library.
There are going to be some companies that will hate the enhanced privacy features in iOS (Facebook), but anything that Apple does with privacy is okay with me. As a user, I rely on Apple to help keep me safe or at least let me know what I’m getting into when I download an app.
Both iOS and iPadOS feature improved widgets, which I happen to use quite a bit. Having them update automatically and be available on the Home Screen is a significant improvement.
I’ve had a lot of trouble sleeping for many years, so having the Apple Watch track sleep for my is going to be incredible. I’m looking forward to the insights it may give me about a longstanding problem.
I was hoping for more with Apple TV. I mentioned on Twitter last week that this is one area where I hoped Apple would make some significant changes. I’m actively working with Apple TV and trying to cut the cord, so it’s of particular interest right now. No new Apple TV Channels or mention of new ways to organize media in the interface.
The big thing for me with macOS is the consistency in design. I like that Apple is making it easier for users to move from one device to another and have the design and overall characteristics of the device to be familiar. I’ve been using macOS for a lot of years now, and I love it, but it’s also comforting to be able to use anything made by Apple and feel like it belongs in the ecosystem.
Of course, the big announcement of the day is Apple’s transition to using its chips in the Mac. The biggest question for me surrounding the transition has been what it will mean for developers. If the software isn’t there, the transition will be more difficult for users. Apple has made the transition seem more straightforward than the last Intel transition, but we will have to wait to hear from developers to see precisely how seamless that will be.
One thing we do know—these new Macs will be extremely powerful.