The World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC19) is happening now in California for the entirety of this week, and Apple spent Monday announcing what’s new in its world. There has been some excitement, and also some online derision (what else do you expect from Twitter?). Let’s talk about some of what was revealed:
It’s the most mundane, but honestly, this is the best of what they announced. The iPhone will have a new feature that allows you to login to apps and services with Apple ID or faux emails instead of using services like Facebook or Google, who are notorious data miners. Apple, on the other hand, has committed to not tracking that information.
The next iPhone software update will also come with an option to limit how long apps can track you.
As we’ve mentioned in our previous blog, Apple is starting a new subscription “Netflix-like” service. At the conference, they featured one of the new series that is starting this fall, “For All Mankind.” You can watch the preview here. https://youtu.be/HZS9M52Bd_w
They will also be adding multi-user support, allowing Apple TV to customize its recommendations for each individual watcher. There’s also a cool feature that will provide live scrolling lyrics for songs (making Apple TV perfect for karaoke!)
And, in terms of crowd reactions, one of the biggest announcements was the addition of third party controller support for games on Apple TV. Moving forward, Apple TV will support both the Xbox One gamepad and the PlayStation DualShock 4.
Siri is getting some artificial intelligence upgrades so she can speak more like a human and do more complicated tasks, like reading messages out loud. Essentially, these are just upgrades to catch up to competitors.
Maps is getting a big upgrade to essentially be what Google Maps was a few years ago. So…yay? Matching what your competitors are doing isn’t exactly exciting, but I guess it qualifies as news!
The Smart Watch will now have access to the App Store and will have several new apps that work independently of the iPhone.
As you may have heard, iTunes is going bye-bye. It will be broken up into three apps: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV. It will still be available on Macs using older versions of the operating system and on Windows machines.
Dark mode is now available on the new iPhone. I really have no idea why this is appealing, but apparently, it is. It just seems trendy, honestly. Some say it is easier on the eyes, but if you are looking at a screen with a lot of text, you will actually suffer more eyestrain.
The one very cool announcement about the iPad is that you can now use it in conjunction with your Mac Book – for certain tablet-compatible programs – as a second screen, to spread out your work.
The already-famous and much-mocked cheese grater design!
If you want to know what Twitter is saying about WWDC19, it’s mostly deriding this announcement.
I talked to a motion graphics and video editor for perspective on the Mac Pro announcements, and he was less than enthused. The base model, which will be about $8000 CAD, is overpriced for what you get. You can build or buy a comparable PC model for a third of the price. The “tricked out” model is more comparable to other similar workstations but is only really applicable to people doing advanced 3D animation, like Pixar.
And then comes the monitor.
Although it is expensive ($5000USD), for the level of quality, it is not out of the ordinary. It’s only really useful for people doing serious graphics work, but for what it is, it’s not laughably overpriced like most Apple products. However, it doesn’t come with a stand. Which is…you kind of need a stand. But not to fear – Apple will sell you that too, for just a measly additional $1000USD! Twitter is having fun with that one!
Watching these conferences is always a mix of entertaining and frustrating. Every announcement is treated like a moon landing. But truth be told, the most exciting part of the WWDC19 even was also the dullest – Apple is staking out a claim as the privacy company. After all of the hype and hoopla, that is the most exciting decision they can make. Which is a pretty sad indictment of the industry, honestly.