I’ve been thinking about what Apple showed us at this year’s WWDC 2016, and I can’t help but be satisfied with what they presented. iOS and macOS seems to have finally been accepted as mature operating systems, and I haven’t seem much criticism, nor any ‘Apple is doomed’ stories.
While I expected more, perhaps this will come with new hardware or in Autumn, when the final version is presented, luckily with a few last-minute ‘tentpole’ features. The speed enhancements and user interface changes all seem to be a step in the right direction (a huge one!) — I’m glad the Watch team acknowledged what didn’t work as intended and are trying to make it better. Should watchOS 3’s UI be a success, I’ll continue waiting for more smart complications and features — I want it to give me (display) what I need, before I know I need it. Automagically.
For the record: I still wear my Apple Watch every day, even at night to monitor my sleep.
Quite frankly, I did not have many expectations, apart from the usual suspects: I want all the US features to work in Europe, and Poland in particular. We have Siri, but she can’t search for anything. We still don’t have Movies in the Cloud. I really wish Apple would get our country up to speed, so that we could get the full Apple TV experience. Dark mode is cool though.
This was the one OS I was waiting for, and I got more than I expected.
- Universal Clipboard with
~/Documentfolders sync — this is awesome. I currently use BitTorrent Sync Pro to keep my
~/Desktopfolder the same across Macs and will most probably switch to Apple’s implementation as soon as possible.
- Siri — I truly hope she is as fully functional (or as much as one can reasonably expect her to be) in Europe as in USA.
- Tidbits: the ability to rearrange third party icons in the menu bar and window snapping had me smiling.
I’m curious if macOS will get all of iOS 10’s iMessage features, but I assume that it will. I would also love to see all the extensions that Apple demoed for Messages, Maps and Contacts — there was no mention of this (or I simply missed it).
iOS has obviously matured and since it’s Apple’s MVP, it was no surprise that it received so many new features. My thoughts on them, in no particular order:
- I love the new Messages features1 — I’m pretty sure I’ll be using some of the more delicate ones (tapbacks, bubble effects) on a daily basis, while the others (fullscreen effects) will be reserved for special occasions. Here’s the thing though: you don’t have to use them.
- The lockscreen changes, combined with the new rich notifications, which allow for almost the full app experience without actually opening an app, seem to be too good to be true. I’m very excited to see how they work in person, and how they evolve with time — the current implementation in iOS 9 is a bit frustrating, especially when not all developers (not Apple’s fault of course) add basic functionality to them. I’m glad that 3D Touch is evolving too — I use it everyday and it’s a natural extension of a typical set of standard gestures and taps in mobile operating systems.
- The new lockscreen left/right swipe gestures, to get at the camera and widgets, will hopefully improve the user experience greatly. I’m a bit surprised it took Apple this long to implement the Raise to Wake feature, but with the Touch ID system working as fast as it does, this is an elegant solution to many people’s frustrations.
- QuickType. One keyboard, multiple languages. I have waited many years for this, and now it’s finally here. If I had to choose one feature that iOS 10 could shop with, it would be support for multiple languages on one keyboard, so as not to switch between them constantly and mid-sentence.
- Notes: collaboration with multiple people on a note. Fantastic news.
There was one area of the iOS 10 WWDC segment that I found lacking: nothing really new for the iPad. I was hoping on a much improved and extended UI makeover, but I guess this will have to wait. Then again, a lot can change before iOS 10 hits GM status.
If I had to name one thing that impresses me to no end regarding Apple’s policies on various aspects of its operating systems, I’d have to choose their regard for user privacy. For example, while introducing deep learning into Photos and other areas of iOS, they did it intelligently. Technically they’re actually making our data less private with this move, but practically it shouldn’t matter. Apple is currently the only tech company that proactively addresses this subject, and I respect them for it.
- For the record: I’m 37 years old. ↩