I’m not a software developer but I always eagerly await Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference. I love seeing what Apple has been working on for the past year and what I can expect, software-wise, from the devices that play increasingly important roles in my professional and personal life. In no particular order, here’s what stood out to me this year as particularly interesting:
Apple TV adding support for PlayStation 4 controllers was completely unexpected but a really awesome move. Apple TV has always seemed extremely overpowered for what most people use it for and without a bundled controller no video game producer was going to create anything that required one to play. I’m hoping this pushes some more high quality games to the system. It looks like this support is being extended to iOS/iPadOS, too, which just turned my already incredibly capable iPad Pro into an extremely capable gaming system.
The separation of iOS and iPadOS into two separate systems is a great sign. It made sense for them to start in the same place as they tried to figure out what the iPad was even good for. That made sense in 2011. Not so much in 2019. It always seemed a little silly that so much of the iPad UX was just a big iPhone. It was holding the platform back in so many ways and now that they’ve been unshackled from each other I’m interested to see how they better evolve to fit their unique use cases. When I travel I’m iPad only and I’m very, very close to going iPad-only in my everyday work, too. If iPadOS means a more capable iPad then sign me up.
While iOS/iPadOS represents a splitting of one OS into two, I’m equally interested in the Project Catalyst stuff that is aiming to bring iPadOS and macOS closer (I realize that’s a huge over simplification). It’s not hard to see that the Mac is a somewhat neglected platform as compared to the attention iPhones and iPads get nowadays. If it’s easier for developers to bring their iPad apps to the Mac I’m very interested in seeing what comes out of that. There are plenty of great iPad apps I use everyday that I’d love to see on a Mac.
The privacy angle that Apple has amplified over the past few years and really leaned into recently is becoming more and more attractive to me. I’m already naturally drawn to a tech stack where the same company builds the hardware and software even though I’m often tempted away by more polished, customizable, or niche apps. But this privacy stuff is giving me another arrow in my quiver when convincing myself that it’s worth going all-in on Apple whenever possible (e.g. I’m writing this article in Pages, which I don’t think I’ve ever done before).
I’m glad Apple learned its lesson from the “trash can” Mac Pro and basically created the equivalent of some kind of industrial equipment for knowledge workers. I will never buy this machine but I’m glad it exists.
Dark mode is good. I already use it in every app that offers it so having a system-wide option is welcomed.
The latest episodes of Upgrade and Accidental Tech Podcast have some good recaps and commentary on the keynote. I highly recommend checking them out — especially ATP just to hear Siracusa talk about the long awaited Mac Pro (seriously, he’s still using a 10 year old Mac Pro and has been waiting for an update ever since the trashcan Mac Pro of 2013).
Something about the Goodnight Developers video made me want to start developing apps. That’s a bad idea, right? I’ve dipped my toe ever so slightly into the software development world a few times in the past (like, ever so barely) and I think I might just like the idea of being a developer and not the actual work that goes along with it. I don’t know. It’s on the Someday/Maybe list.
What stood out to you? What are you most looking forward to?