WWDC 2018 thoughts

Written by Michael Lee on June 5, 2018

The keynote presentation for WWDC 2018 definitely had some exciting things to look forward to if you’re part of the Apple ecosystem. After watching the keynote I thought I’d share some initial thoughts that I had.

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 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 :crossed_fingers: 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.

  • The announcement of a new file format developed in collaboration with Pixar called, USDZ or Universal scene description zip. Definitely thought the demo of this new file format was fascinating as it allows for really immersive 3D content. It’s amazing to see that the use of 3D is going beyond just the entertainment industry in fascinating ways.

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.

These are some of the things that piqued my interests while watching the keynote presentation. I’d love to know if there was anything in particular that got you excited about the upcoming updates to Apple’s operating systems. Let me know via Twitter.

Also while watching the keynote video, I noticed that there was a lot of acronyms used, so I compiled all the acronyms used during the WWDC 2018 keynote and spelled them out into a single list for those who want to know what they mean.

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