Let’s look in to June’s WWDC a little further
The title to this blog, was a little tongue in cheek, but equally with a hint of truth to it as well. I woke up today, to catch up with my favourite creators on YouTube, only to find them playing catch up with stories I have been bringing you either here, or on my channel. Ranging from Apple trying to take even further control of the supply chain by using more of their components, iPhone camera leaks and, of course, WWDC. A few weeks ago, we were led to believe that the conference would be held on 6th June, and yesterday, that was indeed confirmed. I speculated then, the event will be more based on software, but today, let’s take a more granular look at the June conference.
Call to Code
As much as some have today said, the invite is somewhat boring, with my designer hat on, I disagree. Understated, may be, but dull or misleading, absolutely not. Actually, quite the contrary is true, as the delicate swift logo harks back to their powerful programming language for all their various OS. As I predicted in a recent blog, the event will be online, with the minor caveat, that there will be some capacity on the day for a few, developers, and students to attend in person. Details of how to attend will be released shortly on their website, and Apple also intend to showcase creativity from talented students as well. The conference has generally been about bringing together the best developers in an effort to brainstorm the future software and apps.
What software then
Almost certainly, will be seeing the first sights of all the new OS – iOS 16, iPadOS 16, tvOS 16, watchOS 9, and macOS 13. Mac has only just had an update to 12.3.
Although fairly minor, the biggest star of that recent update was Universal Control. To see it in action is brilliant, but more pertinently, this took virtually an entire year to reach us. Although, technically, still in beta, it is working just fine. It may go on to be a full release in macOS 13, but I mention this just as a cautionary reminder. If you see any jaw-dropping new upgrades at this WWDC, you may need to be patient. What would you be keen to see included on future releases on macOS?
Widgets are once again the rumour. Larger widgets for some of the more popular apps such as Music are to become more interactive. Rather than a simple icon, imagine that some useful user features such as pause, play, and skip could become part of the icon. And, it looks like the iPhone 6S has reached the end of the line too. To upgrade to iOS 16, you’ll need to be running iPhone 7 or later. Still, the length of time Apple support their hardware is unparalleled in the tech space.
Still, the weakest of the OS is that of iPad. Rumours have started to surface that multitasking may be a focus for the future on iPad. Reports are that Apple are looking into a more windowed environment, similar to the ‘Quick Notes’ function already on iPad, thereby making it more of a desktop workstation. To achieve this workflow, you’d probably need your iPad connected to a Magic Keyboard, though. Pro apps are still ominous by their absence, and that requires addressing. With iPad now running the M1 chip, the power is there, so it requires Apple to spend some time and effort on making their Pro apps such as Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro iPad compatible.
I am not bad with words, but even I can’t summon up anything meaningful to write about tvOS. I have recently started watching a lot more Apple Originals on Apple TV+, and use the app on my smart TV. The UI is OK, the only thing I notice is how long it takes to load. Other than that, Apple TV is doing all I want of it. Just a bit quicker – that’s all.
At this point, Apple Watch is established and ingrained in society enough, to warrant it being a stand-alone item. I would imagine the time is coming that Apple Watch will soon not be reliant on owning an iPhone. In some regard, that is holding it back, as I am sure there are Android users that like the idea of the health functionality on Apple Watch, but don’t want to switch fully to Apple.
Although mainly a software conference, it is not unprecedented, that hardware could be shown to us. As I wrote recently, new hardware, could well need new software and apps. So, when you have the developers eyes of the world on you, what better platform could you have for unveiling new products? I don’t expect any hardware to be released at WWDC, rather announced, with releases coming late this year or early next. I think Mac Pro and our first glimpse of their AR/VR headset could be prime targets. Regarding the headset, we know it will have its own, dedicated App Store, so the longer developers have to get ahead of the game, the better. With Mac Studio now out in the wild, Mac Pro is the last Intel-based Mac required to complete the two-year transition to Apple Silicon. Medium to higher end users already have Mac Studio, so Mac Pro can be aimed squarely at what that top 5% want, need & demand – the best and fastest that Apple have to offer. Modularity is still the key here. May be PCIE slots can be included for consumers to add more memory, or possibly a simple trip back to authorised Apple dealers to upgrade/change chips. Somehow, though, the Pro will need to be expandable.
If you are part of Apple’s Developer programme, then most of what is announced at WWDC will be available to you right away. For the rest of us, the first of the updates will probably start rolling out toward the end of July. The main keynote speech will be at 1pm PST as ever, and hopefully, by then, I will be watching it via my new MacBook Pro 16-inch on the Studio Display! See, I don’t need much to make me happy!
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Originally published at https://www.talkingtechandaudio.com/blog on April 6, 2022.