Wow. Just when I thought Apple was boring a month ago, they dropped bombs on me during the WWDC 2016 keynote! They really made a lot of solid updates to their current slate of platforms and opened up new possibilities that developers can take full advantage. I’m going to put my thoughts on all the WWDC 2016 announcements here. I’m also going to put up feature posts for both iOS 10 and macOS Sierra within this week.
I have yet to watch the full keynote in detail, but I’ve watched and read enough to know the big announcements. Here are the things announced in WWDC 2016 that made the most impact for me.
iOS has sometimes fallen into the trap of the incremental update. There were updates like iOS 7 where it felt like a fresh coat of paint to most people. iOS 8 started the fundamentals to where we are now through Extensions, a fundamental change to iOS that let’s third-party developers provide their custom share sheets, custom actions, keyboards, etc. It really changed the way iOS works on some aspects, but others felt that this change was lacking. Even iOS 9 brought just the ad-blocking extension.
Now with iOS 10, they opened up the platform even more. I was really really excited about the new possibilities that this brings. They didn’t just open up small parts of the OS, they opened up four core services: Siri, iMessage, Maps, and Phone.
On top of that, they did a redesign of the lock screen, notifications and widgets (Android-like), added machine learning chops to Photos, redesigned Apple Music and News apps, added a new Home app for controlling your HomeKit-enabled devices, and improved the keyboard capabilities.
These are just some of the features that iOS 10 offers for users of the following iOS devices this fall:
I am so looking forward to what else iOS 10 brings when the official release comes out in the fall. Look out for my detailed iOS 10 thoughts very soon!
I was really impressed of the performance and simplicity that OS X has ever since I got this 2013 MacBook Air. It is a stark comparison to Windows which has damaged its own reputation because of the radical change that Windows 8 brought and took until last year to repair with Windows 10. In order to keep the momentum, more improvements are coming in the form of macOS Sierra.
Apple is now ditching the OS X naming for macOS. I think the naming convention fits since they pretty much name their platforms this way: iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and now macOS. Although the name itself isn’t really that new, it’s nice to see a uniform convention.
Sierra also has great features such as Universal Clipboard, Optimized Storage, and Picture-in-Picture! Universal Clipboard is a way to copy something from a Mac and paste it on another Mac or iOS device. This is an amazing feature for me since I want to get links from my phone and put it on a blog post. Picture-in-Picture is a feature they got from iOS 9. It allows for viewing videos in a floating pop-up while doing something else.
More details on what I think of Sierra very soon as well.
watchOS 3 and tvOS
Unlike the first two, watchOS and tvOS are just incremental improvements. Both these platforms have big improvements to the user experience. These new features will hopefully boost tvOS and watchOS forward.
I got two takeaways from watchOS 3: speed and UI changes. I watched how fast the app loads with the new version and it finally works! The use of the side button as a “Dock” for apps is nice. It just undermines the problem that Apple got the first try on the Watch wrong. A course correction here is good. I just hope it isn’t too late.
Apple also updated the fledgling tvOS with some new features. The tvOS App Store currently has 6000 apps. In order to get more developers to create more tvOS apps, the newest update can help with that. Apple is going to release a new Apple TV remote app. It will replicate the functionalities of the Siri Remote. Also, there will be Single Sign-on. You login once and you no longer need to login again.
WWDC 2016 Final Thoughts
I was already thinking that Apple would stagnate and bore me to death in 2016. It’s a good thing I was SO WRONG. Thank you, Apple. Thank you for bringing on your A-game. I’m having a lot of high hopes for all the hardware updates you’ll be making in the fall.