15 votes

Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2020 Livestream & Discussion (starts 10AM June 22 PT / 5PM June 23 UTC)

32 comments

  1. [20]
    feigneddork
    Link
    Normally I'm pretty skeptical of Apple's announcements and WWDC events because it always felt like a bunch of hype for nothing. Coming from years of Windows/Android usage, Apple's announcements...

    Normally I'm pretty skeptical of Apple's announcements and WWDC events because it always felt like a bunch of hype for nothing. Coming from years of Windows/Android usage, Apple's announcements don't really wow me as much.

    However, I wish I actually tuned in from the start for this one. There were just a ton of features that they've got planned which I'm super excited to get:

    iOS

    • Calls no longer taking up full screen
    • Able to change default browser and mail
    • Better privacy features such as indication when camera/microphone is being used.
    • Being able to give approx location data.
    • Being upfront about data collection practices - it is self reported, so it is something that can be abused. However with Apple's scrunity during app review process (a process I've been through mutliple times), I'm confident that in time they will build practices to assess and enforce accurate details.
    • iPadOS allows turning handwriting into text
    • App Clips - no need to download a full app to gain access to special benefits of the app.

    Android users will roll their eyes at some of these changes, but as someone who has been using iOS for quite some time, the OS is actually really great except for some of these minor niggles. It's wasn't enough to make me want to move back to Android. Now these features will be in iOS, I don't think I'll seriously miss Android.

    macOS

    • macOS turns 11!
    • New UI which looks like it supports touch interfaces - a sign of the future, perhaps?
    • Updated Safari I use Firefox, but if Safari steps up its game (especially with extensions), I'm more than happy to switch over.
    • Updated Messages. I thought Messages was getting stale, but they went ahead and basically ported the iOS version over. Nice!
    • Better notifications. I would prefer if I could just turn off the pane and get notifications that come and go. One day...

    Hardware

    • Airpods will seamlessly switch across devices. I have a pair of Airpods Pro and I was instantly disappointed it couldn't do this from the get go. I feel a bit more better about this integration. However, I wish the noise cancelling was better.
    • Airpods Pro getting spacial audio. Wasn't expecting that. I love the idea of this!

    And the big one, which deserves it's own heading tbh

    Transition to custom Apple Ax silicon

    • Faster speeds and better battery life??? AAAAAAAAAAAA GIMME GIMME GIMME
    • Support for existing iOS apps out of the box.
    • Native support for Virtualisation - better support for Linux apps!?!?! AAAAAAAAAAAA

    I honestly love this update. I don't think I've ever been so excited for the technical future as I am now. I'm under no illusion that it will be gradual, but finally some honest-to-god innovation, and by a company with a track record of doing this very well. Who knows, my next desktop PC might be an Mac with an Apple chip inside!

    12 votes
    1. [13]
      JXM
      Link Parent
      The fact that this is a big enough feature to warrant talking about at their WWDC keynote is wild. How did it take them 14 versions of iOS to do this? It's been a complaint since the very first...

      Calls no longer taking up full screen

      The fact that this is a big enough feature to warrant talking about at their WWDC keynote is wild. How did it take them 14 versions of iOS to do this? It's been a complaint since the very first version of iPhoneOS and seems trivially easy to fix.

      4 votes
      1. [8]
        emdash
        Link Parent
        There's a long road between "trivially easy to fix" and "acceptable for Apple's story and design standards". Apple is a measure 99 times, cut once company; often for things that do seem trivial...

        There's a long road between "trivially easy to fix" and "acceptable for Apple's story and design standards". Apple is a measure 99 times, cut once company; often for things that do seem trivial and unimportant. The story this year for iOS was clear: even more cards. Widgets on the home screen, Siri in a component, calls in a component.

        This may sound shocking, considering the number of design mistakes across a lot of their hardware and software, but there's also large factions internally that do want to get things right, even if it takes them a while.

        4 votes
        1. [7]
          JXM
          Link Parent
          While I agree with what you're saying, they did the easiest possible thing: made it a notification like any other. I get that they have to prototype 20 different interaction models to see which is...

          While I agree with what you're saying, they did the easiest possible thing: made it a notification like any other.

          I get that they have to prototype 20 different interaction models to see which is right and that there are hundreds of levels of testing every feature must go through, but this one seems like the most basic of possible features. For some features, that is absolutely the right approach.

          As for fitting into their story: who cares? Most users certainly don't. They could have shipped it as a point release in 12.2.4 and people would have been happy. There doesn't need to be a story around every feature beyond, "We know this is an annoyance that you have to deal with a dozen times a day. We made it better! We didn't even make you wait until the next major version of iOS!"

          It really shouldn't have taken them 13 years, no matter how many times they had to measure.

          2 votes
          1. [4]
            Weldawadyathink
            Link Parent
            On Android, everything is a notification, especially apps that want to run in the background. I think this is really frustrating. I eventually used auto notification to clean up my notifications,...

            On Android, everything is a notification, especially apps that want to run in the background. I think this is really frustrating. I eventually used auto notification to clean up my notifications, but that is still a mess of regex. On my iPhone, nothing is a notification except actual notifications. It seems that android developers (google, not app devs) want to add features, but can’t figure out how to make it work well, so they just add something to the notification tray. It’s a garbage bin for hacky ui elements. It is refreshing to have my notification tray be only notifications.

            7 votes
            1. [3]
              JXM
              Link Parent
              But it makes perfect sense here to show an incoming phone call as a notification. It pops up, you can either answer or swipe it away. Then it turns into a normal missed call notification or an...

              But it makes perfect sense here to show an incoming phone call as a notification. It pops up, you can either answer or swipe it away. Then it turns into a normal missed call notification or an ongoing call indicator.

              An incoming call is an interaction that’s perfectly designed for a pop up notification.

              3 votes
              1. [2]
                Weldawadyathink
                Link Parent
                I will admit that it makes pretty good sense for a phone call. I think apple’s implementation will ultimately be better, but I don't think a notification would have been bad. Still, an incoming...

                I will admit that it makes pretty good sense for a phone call. I think apple’s implementation will ultimately be better, but I don't think a notification would have been bad. Still, an incoming call is an action you must decide on now, and other notifications are something you can view and act upon when you have time.

                My main criticism was with every other extraneous notification in android. Android Auto has a notification. Google Maps Navigation has a notification. Android system has all sorts of extraneous notifications, from switching keyboard inputs (why?) to apps running in the background (but at least they can in android). Every single music player is going to show their own notification. When you pause and try to resume, the player notification will randomly disappear. The now playing widget in ios never moves, hides, or changes. Apps accessing your location gives you a notification. While it is undoubtedly a really awesome feature, the very fact that notification channels had to be developed on android points to how messy the notification tray is.

                1. JXM
                  Link Parent
                  From what we've seen, their implementation is just a notification. You can interact with it just like you can Messages notifications. This has been a standard type of iOS notification since...iOS...

                  I think apple’s implementation will ultimately be better, but I don't think a notification would have been bad.

                  From what we've seen, their implementation is just a notification. You can interact with it just like you can Messages notifications.

                  Still, an incoming call is an action you must decide on now, and other notifications are something you can view and act upon when you have time.

                  This has been a standard type of iOS notification since...iOS 4? There's the standard one that will go away after a few seconds and the persistent one that will stay until you act on it.

                  As for Android notifications, my understanding is that Google forces apps that want to be constantly active or active in the background to use a notification. I get that it's annoying, but it also makes sense in a certain way - it lets users know that an app is trying to constantly run in the background. iOS doesn't have that problem since apps can't just constantly run in the background like they can on Android (although Doze has changed this somewhat).

          2. [2]
            emdash
            Link Parent
            ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I'm just telling you, that's how Apple operates. Check every single one of their keynotes, especially post-Jobs era. There's a story to tell. Apple's education event. The March iPad...

            As for fitting into their story: who cares? Most users certainly don't. They could have shipped it as a point release in 12.2.4 and people would have been happy. There doesn't need to be a story around every feature beyond, "We know this is an annoyance that you have to deal with a dozen times a day. We made it better! We didn't even make you wait until the next major version of iOS!"

            ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I'm just telling you, that's how Apple operates. Check every single one of their keynotes, especially post-Jobs era. There's a story to tell. Apple's education event. The March iPad event. They have common themes that guide the product announcements they're making, which in turn, are guided by a set of changes based around some principles that have been decided about where they want to take a particular platform next.

            You don't have to agree with it, but that's how it works in Cupertino.

            2 votes
            1. JXM
              Link Parent
              Like I said, I get it and I understand why they do it that way. But as a user, I don’t care - I just want the updates that make my device more usable.

              Like I said, I get it and I understand why they do it that way. But as a user, I don’t care - I just want the updates that make my device more usable.

              1 vote
      2. [4]
        feigneddork
        Link Parent
        From what I've seen, the jailbreak community has fixed these issues years ago too. If I had to guess, Apple had bigger fish to fry? Either way, I'm happy that it's there now. And from what I can...

        From what I've seen, the jailbreak community has fixed these issues years ago too. If I had to guess, Apple had bigger fish to fry?

        Either way, I'm happy that it's there now. And from what I can tell, it will show up across iPhone and iPad. Maybe the new macOS too, especially given their new UI framework seems to be made to integrate iOS components into macOS.

        2 votes
        1. [3]
          hhh
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          yup. a lot of features were basically lifted from the jailbreak scene. off the top of my head: -the keyboard swipe text thing (swipeselect) -smaller volume hud (ultrasound) -call bar as a...

          From what I've seen, the jailbreak community has fixed these issues years ago too.

          yup. a lot of features were basically lifted from the jailbreak scene. off the top of my head:
          -the keyboard swipe text thing (swipeselect)
          -smaller volume hud (ultrasound)
          -call bar as a notification (callbarxs)
          -seeing wifi/bluetooth networks in the control center (weather vane)
          -file manager (filza)
          -picture in picture (milkyway2)
          -screen recording (CCrecord)
          -the "swipe back" gesture (Swipeback)
          -Predictive word bar on keyboard (PredictiveKeyboard)
          and those are just some major features. even dark mode came earlier but that was probably already planned by Apple. Apple has a long history of sherlocking 3rd party features.

          6 votes
          1. [2]
            onyxleopard
            Link Parent
            And most of the time they do a better job than the 3rd party solution. The macOS team sometimes add things that nobody asked for, though, like Launchpad, which AFAICT was a total dead end and...

            Apple has a long history of sherlocking 3rd party features.

            And most of the time they do a better job than the 3rd party solution.

            The macOS team sometimes add things that nobody asked for, though, like Launchpad, which AFAICT was a total dead end and probably shouldn’t have been released in the first place considering the weird half-baked UX and frustrations of trying to drag app icons into folders.

            1 vote
            1. [2]
              Comment deleted by author
              Link Parent
              1. onyxleopard
                Link Parent
                Apple is actually peculiar in that I find a very robust inverse correlation in the size of a company and the quality of the software it produces. Apple is an outlier in that regard.

                Apple is actually peculiar in that I find a very robust inverse correlation in the size of a company and the quality of the software it produces. Apple is an outlier in that regard.

                3 votes
    2. [6]
      feigneddork
      Link Parent
      Some people have pointed out that the WWDC had only one black person presenting. I missed out on a good chunk of it and had to catch up via blogs, but that is immensely disappointing. I've always...

      Some people have pointed out that the WWDC had only one black person presenting. I missed out on a good chunk of it and had to catch up via blogs, but that is immensely disappointing.

      I've always known that Apple has had a diversity problem in terms of WWDC, but if it is true then Apple really need to really step up.

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        JXM
        Link Parent
        While true, there were a decent number of female presenters and non-white presenters.

        While true, there were a decent number of female presenters and non-white presenters.

        11 votes
        1. [3]
          ras
          Link Parent
          And a wheelchair user.

          And a wheelchair user.

          6 votes
          1. [2]
            feigneddork
            Link Parent
            That is at the very least great to see that level of diversity at the very least.

            That is at the very least great to see that level of diversity at the very least.

            1. PendingKetchup
              Link Parent
              Sounds like someone went through ticking boxes, though, instead of actually improving things en masse.

              Sounds like someone went through ticking boxes, though, instead of actually improving things en masse.

  2. emdash
    (edited )
    Link
    What to expect: probably a bizarre pre-recorded series of segments featuring Apple VPs introducing macOS 10.16, iPad/iOS 14, watchOS 7. What not to expect: Phil Schiller apologising for Hey's...

    What to expect: probably a bizarre pre-recorded series of segments featuring Apple VPs introducing macOS 10.16, iPad/iOS 14, watchOS 7. What not to expect: Phil Schiller apologising for Hey's experience on the App Store.

    I'll update this thread with links to news and discussion as the keynote goes on and the reactions roll in. I don't want to clog up ~tech too much!

    Pre-keynote

    Post-keynote

    No links yet!

    5 votes
  3. JXM
    (edited )
    Link
    This feels like simultaneously a big year and a year of small, long overdue changes. There were tons of changes to the most basic of iOS elements (like the home screen) and foundational changes to...

    This feels like simultaneously a big year and a year of small, long overdue changes. There were tons of changes to the most basic of iOS elements (like the home screen) and foundational changes to MacOS (both in terms of the chipsets and the visual style of MacOS) but overall, it really felt like Apple was just sort of cleaning up after years of adding cruft to the operating systems.

    That said, I think these new changes are great and will hopefully inject some juice into iOS/iPadOS and jumpstart some new and revolutionary experiences.

    There was never a chance in hell they'd do it, but I am really sad that they didn't address any of the issues that developers have had with the App Store over the years. I'm not talking about Hey.com specifically - that just seems to be the latest flashpoint in nearly a decade of spats with developers.

    They could have taken the developer conference to say, "Hey, we know you have issues with the App Store, here's what we're doing for you, the people who make people actually want to buy our products, to improve the situation."

    Or even said, "We know there are issues with the App Store, we've changed things around to make it easier if you don't want to give us a 30% cut."

    There's a tiny chance that they'll address it at the State of the Union later today but I doubt it.

    Edit: Well, I’ll be damned. They did address it. A press release dump, but still better than just not addressing it at all!

    5 votes
  4. [6]
    nothis
    Link
    I'm sweating. It seems like they're full steam ahead on merging the Mac into their tablet/iOS line (and not the other way round). I thought Apple always denied this, for interface reasons and to...

    I'm sweating. It seems like they're full steam ahead on merging the Mac into their tablet/iOS line (and not the other way round). I thought Apple always denied this, for interface reasons and to keep a pro-developer stance on their Mac platforms, but a proprietary chip for Macs and those weird macOS UI changes (which look like a step towards accommodating touch input on a mouse-focused platform?) weird me out. Their Big Sur preview is basically all apps, an app for this, an app for that... it's a desktop OS, official apps are nice but it's mostly supposed to be a clean canvas for your own stuff and they're advertising it like a new iOS release.

    The truth is, there's no competition in the UX space and unless I want to let Windows or Linux dominate my work life in the coming decade (no, thank you), I'll have to go through the trouble of dealing with all this shit. Why can't they keep Macs simple? What alternatives are there?

    4 votes
    1. [5]
      onyxleopard
      Link Parent
      I don’t really understand the anxiety before you use it yourself. Apple is in a weird position with WWDC keynotes in that the audience is very wide. If they focus on technical details too much,...

      I don’t really understand the anxiety before you use it yourself.

      Apple is in a weird position with WWDC keynotes in that the audience is very wide. If they focus on technical details too much, they will lose the outside edges of the audience. You can really think of the keynote as a preview of the consumer-facing features with a bit of pointers thrown in for the keen-eyed, more technical audience. For actual macOS devs, there is a whole week of sessions to attend to learn about framework updates, Rosetta 2, Universal Binaries 2, etc.

      Did you live through the PowerPC to x86 transition? Were you anxious then? Are you in the developer program? Are you going to download the beta and try it?

      2 votes
      1. [4]
        nothis
        Link Parent
        It doesn't take a lot of imagination. I also went through the Power PC to x86 transition but back then this was the Mac moving towards the common standard and not the opposite direction and it...

        I don’t really understand the anxiety before you use it yourself.

        It doesn't take a lot of imagination. I also went through the Power PC to x86 transition but back then this was the Mac moving towards the common standard and not the opposite direction and it felt great.

        2 votes
        1. [3]
          onyxleopard
          Link Parent
          Can you give examples of softwares that will not be recompiled for ARM by the time Apple stops supporting Intel-based Macs? Because if that’s what your anxiety is about, I don’t think it’s...

          Can you give examples of softwares that will not be recompiled for ARM by the time Apple stops supporting Intel-based Macs?

          Because if that’s what your anxiety is about, I don’t think it’s warranted. Outside of servers, ARM is becoming the standard architecture for personal computing.

          1. [2]
            nothis
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I mean, if I take "everything will be recompiled" at face value, of course there will be no problem. But that's like saying "there will be no problems because all problems will be solved". I just...

            I mean, if I take "everything will be recompiled" at face value, of course there will be no problem. But that's like saying "there will be no problems because all problems will be solved". I just don't believe the world runs that smoothly.

            People say, "how can you already say there will be problems when it's not yet released", well, to me the default is problems, a smooth, hassle-free transition is absolutely the more unlikely scenario. As a side note, I'm not a big fan of emulation as a solution since it means that a good portion of the performance is eaten up by the emulation process which is just inelegant (and somewhat ironic for a change touted as a move towards greater efficiency).

            A lot of existing tech and other operating systems are still primarily on x86 and it's been a good desktop standard for literally decades, with Apple having moved towards it for that reason in 2006 or so. I'm also looking at the larger picture. My real concern is, again, that this points towards Apple making iOS their primary operating system, which could lead to a more locked-in system and UI compromises moving away from mouse input towards touch/gesture input. Larger button, less information on screen, etc. They already got rid of the F-keys and replaced them with a touch bar. Stuff like that. I could see them having planned just selling iPads with a keyboard attachment as a possible end game for this decade and that just makes me uncomfortable.

            1 vote
            1. onyxleopard
              Link Parent
              Having lived through the PPC to x86 transition and the use of the Rosetta translation layer, I’m taking Apple at their word that the transition shouldn’t really be that much of a hassle for...

              Having lived through the PPC to x86 transition and the use of the Rosetta translation layer, I’m taking Apple at their word that the transition shouldn’t really be that much of a hassle for end-users. For those who compile their own software or develop their own software for macOS and other platforms, I can imagine some headaches. But as a user, I’m personally not very anxious.

              A lot of existing tech and other operating systems are still primarily on x86 and it's been a good desktop standard for literally decades, with Apple having moved towards it for that reason in 2006 or so.

              I think you’re confusing CPU instruction sets for something else. Apple moved from PowerPC to Intel at the time because building a PowerPC G5 chip that would be viable for laptops was thermodynamically not feasible. The whole spiel in the keynote about power consumption and performance per watt is the exact same motivation today for the current architecture transition. Apple wants their Mac laptops (by far the more popular form factor for personal computers) to be more power efficient than Intel chips are capable of. Apple has already succeeded in designing and getting TSMC to manufacture their own SoCs that, per watt, are already outperforming CPUs from other designers. What’s going to be interesting to see is how far Apple can push their chip designs to compete at the high performance end. I have an inkling that by the time Mac platform fully transitions to A-series chips, Macs will be clearly the best bang for your computing dollar on the market.

              My real concern is, again, that this points towards Apple making iOS their primary operating system, which could lead to a more locked-in system and UI compromises moving away from mouse input towards touch/gesture input.

              iOS is already their primary operating system, so if you’re afraid of that, I don’t know what to tell you. We’re already there. Which instruction set the OS runs on has nothing to do with which OS is primary or secondary or tertiary—that has to do with what sells best. The switch to ARM is essentially a way for Apple to reap more rewards from their own chip designs rather than having to be reliant on third parties like Intel. This is a trend we’ve seen from Apple in everything lately. Apple does not want to be reliant on third parties wherever possible, and they are large enough and cash-rich enough now that they can afford to reap the rewards of the investments they’ve made in themselves.

              I could see them having planned just selling iPads with a keyboard attachment as a possible end game for this decade and that just makes me uncomfortable.

              I guess I just don’t understand your perspective. I don’t think there is any “endgame” for Apple other than making good personal computers and well-integrated software with those computers. If Apple actually planned to deprecate macOS, they wouldn’t be doing all this work to transition it to their SoCs. All signs point to macOS being here for a while yet. The increment from 10.15 to 11.0 is actually a really wonderful thing to see, IMO.

              They already got rid of the F-keys and replaced them with a touch bar.

              Apple still sells full size, external keyboards. You can even use them with iPads today! You can buy nearly any USB or Bluetooth keyboard and it will work with your Mac (or even your iPad now in iOS 13+). I use a 2017 MacBook Pro for work and it has a touch bar, and honestly I don’t even notice it’s there. I think the only thing I’ve ever used it for semi regularly is changing the audio volume. When I’m at my desk at home, I just use my full-size Apple Bluetooth keyboard instead. And this all has absolutely nothing to do with switching to ARM.

              1 vote
  5. [4]
    emdash
    Link
    Big yikes from me on the macOS design. Thanks, I hate it?

    Big yikes from me on the macOS design. Thanks, I hate it?

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      JXM
      Link Parent
      At first I liked it, but the more I look at it, the more I dislike it. I was excited last year because it really seemed like they were investing in making iPadOS as powerful as MacOS, but this...

      At first I liked it, but the more I look at it, the more I dislike it.

      I was excited last year because it really seemed like they were investing in making iPadOS as powerful as MacOS, but this year seems to have flipped that around. Big Sur looks like they're dumbing down Mac app UIs to make them behave the same as iOS/iPadOS apps.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        emdash
        Link Parent
        Yup, I dislike it too. I don't think it's "dumbing down" though. That's not the right angle. Dumbing down is an elimination of features, of excessive simplification of some element. This is...

        Yup, I dislike it too. I don't think it's "dumbing down" though. That's not the right angle. Dumbing down is an elimination of features, of excessive simplification of some element. This is clearly positioning macOS to be touch ready. Much larger status bar with an insane amount of whitespace between icons, larger hittable area for icons and buttons. iPadOS-like dock.

        The complaint developers were making was "Catalyst apps don't look Mac-like". Instead of improving the UI of Catalyst apps, Apple said "Okay, got it. We'll make macOS look like catalyst apps".

        You can't force a mouse-first operating system into being a touch-first one, and dumb-ported iPad applications that have absurd spacing between elements and a non-macOS UI are going to kill any remaining semblance of UI consistency on the platform. Especially the rounded rectangle icons. There's nothing I hate more. OG macOS with their correct perspective shift and tilt were beautiful. That's all been but eliminated now.

        5 votes
        1. JXM
          Link Parent
          I should have been more specific, I meant the dumbing down of the UI, not functionality of the apps. I want iPadOS apps to get more complex UIs, not MacOS to get less complex ones. This, funnily...

          I should have been more specific, I meant the dumbing down of the UI, not functionality of the apps. I want iPadOS apps to get more complex UIs, not MacOS to get less complex ones.

          This, funnily enough, proves your point that they’re moving toward Making MacOS touch-friendly even more.

          Also, I completely agree about the rounded rectangle icons. On the Mac, distinctive icon shapes make it way easier to tell apps apart.

          3 votes