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.
Apple published second betas of all of its operating systems — OS X 10.11.5, iOS 9.3.2, watchOS 2.2.1, and tvOS 9.2.1. There are no new outward facing features that I’ve found so far, apart from one change in iOS.
I updated my MacBook Pro to OS X 10.11.4 last night. After confirming that everything was fine, I closed the lid and forgot about it. This morning, while writing an article, I found I couldn’t select text using the ⇧ + ⌥ + Left/Right Arrow keys. Dammit!
I personally don’t use Launchpad, which is designed to make it easier to manage your apps iOS-style. Instead, I prefer to use Spotlight or the Dock to launch whatever I may need at the moment, but I know that some people swear by it. The default grid is a 7×5 array of icons, with the options of putting them in folders. This can be changed.
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It’s taken me 120 days to put my iPad Air 2 up for sale, which I used maybe two or three times since I acquired my iPad Pro — the former will find its way to a new family soon, while the latter should remain with me for quite some time.
I’ve been much more enthusiastic in the new OS X betas than the iOS ones, to be honest. I’m really glad Apple is working on both systems, not only focusing on new features, but also stabilising both platforms. The third beta for OS X El Capitan 10.11.4 was released yesterday and unfortunately has no new goodies that I know of.
Apple released the second beta of OS X El Capitan 10.11.4 to developers on Monday (25/01/2016) — two weeks after the first one.
Apart from the iOS 9.2.1 update yesterday, Apple also released OS X 10.11.3. Similarly, the update does not contain any new features that I know of.
Apple introduced an iOS feature to OS X some years back changing the behaviour of the keyboard. Traditionally, if a key was held down, the letter would start repeating itself on screeeeeeeeeen. This was changed to a popup which displayed various non-standard characters. I was never a fan of this, even though it does indeed simplify finding accented letters. This cannot be changed through System Preferences, but a quick visit to the Terminal can sort things out.
Apple also released OS X 10.11.2 today, with a few new features for owners of newer Macs — the new Deep and Wide Colour features should be of specific interest to the creative community.
When OS X 10.11 El Capitan’s was first released, I was curious as to what Ambient light compensation was, so I started searching what others had written. David Pogue mentioned that it allows for “the screen brightness to adjust with the room brightness,” which is probably incorrect, as that is controlled by the Automatically adjust brightness check box. A few minutes later I found Paul Robinson’s reply on Quora.
I had the opportunity to beta test the wonderful PCalc by James Thomson for these past few weeks and I’ve really come to love it, especially on the iPhone. You can read my short review about the iOS version here.
The two other new features that got me hooked are support for Handoff and PCalc’s widget. Handoff — one of iOS 8’s new features — means that I can start my calculations on my iPhone and should I choose to pick up my iPad, a little icon will appear on the lockscreen, allowing me to continue where I left off. I’ve actually had a few situations where this worked out perfectly. The only downside is that Handoff support in iOS 8 is still a little bit finicky — sometimes it just refuses to work.
I’ve also been using the OS X version and unfortunately, Handoff only worked correctly between iPad and iPhone – I just couldn’t coax anything useful out of it on OS X on either of my computers. James rolled out the update in the Mac App Store a few days ago and I just updated it a few minutes ago. At first it didn’t work at all with my iPhone 6 and iPad mini 2… and then I had the idea of turning on Bluetooth on both devices, to test it again (this did not work earlier during the betas). The PCalc icon appeared in the lower left hand corner of my lockscreen immediately. And it worked the other way too!