Articles on Mac360 come in two varieties. Reviews and opinion. The latter category gets the most page views but only for a few days. Reviews have a much longer shelf life over a longer period of time.
This article won’t be worth much in a few hours because it’s about Apple/s WWDC 2018 keynote presentation which will highlight new Apple software for Mac, iPhone, Watch, and Apple TV. Maybe, just maybe, Apple will have a surprise or two. That’s the expectation. Surprise.
Same Old Same
A few times each year Apple introduces new products and in the few weeks leading up to an announcement we certified Apple watchers gaze intro crystal balls to see the tea leaves that tell the future. Most of the time we’re wrong. Sometimes we’re right.
So, let’s compare my expectations for WWDC 2018 with the reality of Apple’s real world, non-tarot card imminent future.
Here’s the big list:
iOS 12 for iPhone and iPad. More health, ARKit options, NFC, more Animojis. That’s a wrap. Oh, one more thing. Fewer fancy features replaced by stability and security.
macOS 10.14 Santa Monica (my favorite California city). Better Siri integration, goodbye 32-bit applications, a new framework for developers to do iOS and macOS apps at the same time, long awaited APFS support for Macs with Fusion Drives, and a new Mac App Store (to be more like the App Store for iOS).
watchOS 5 – I really, truly, madly want to see Watch Series 4 LTE but that may come later in the year. For now, watchOS will have more health features, and need third-party Watch-face support.
tvOS 12 – Even my gut tells me not to fret over Apple TV and tvOS. It’s the company’s official hobby. Apple TV’s marketshare is the worst among streaming TV devices and Apple does not have a skinny bundle of television networks to match Google’s YouTube TV which works very well.
Here’s the small list:
Hardware – Nope. This is WWDC as in developer’s conference so software is king. Yet, Apple is a hardware company, so as much as we would like to see a few new Macs with Face ID, a new iPad Pro with Face ID, and maybe a $200 HomePod, don’t hold your breath. It’s long overdue, but I don’t expect to see iPhone SE 2 until new iPhones are announced in late summer.
Software – That’s WWDC. Duh. Yet, it’s time for some real world focus on Siri, the least intelligent of the not very intelligent personal assistants; think Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana. None of them are very useful and have to become integrated into our digital lives, so Siri needs a makeover and this would be a good time.
So, in total, no new hardware, or at least, not much that is noteworthy. New software everywhere, but with improvements at every level. And, a smarter Siri.
UDPATE – The WWDC 2018 Keynote is a wrap. What’s my score?
The above overview might be my best ever, but I was off base on a few notable items. For example, I missed 3rd party watchfaces for watchOS. I selected macOS Santa Monica and Apple delivered macOS Mojave. I did not expect so many women from Apple to grace the keynote stage, mostly headlined by CEO Tim Cook and veep Craig Federighi, with a special appearance by Kevin Lynch. Watch is more about notifications and exercise.
The new framework to merge iOS and macOS development components made an appearance, as did an all new Mac App Store app (with upcoming apps from Adobe, Microsoft, Panic, and Bare Bones; among others). Think iOS App Store on the Mac, but with more screen real estate.
ARKit was a big deal. Again. Siri gets more smarts and smartly integrated. Think Automator for iOS, thanks to Shortcuts. Animojis must be a big hit with someone, and now there will be Memoji so you can become your own highly customized Animoji. FaceTime goes Group FaceTime with up to 32 participants. iBooks becomes AppleBooks. Third party apps come to CarPlay. Plus, News, Socks, Voice Memos come to the Mac.
Apple added to the privacy and security meme with new controls in Safari, protected elements including microphone, camera, location access, and more. Oddly enough, much of the keynote presentation was about Apple software, and much less about developer tools, and absolutely nothing about hardware, other than how external GPUs can make a Mac’s graphics better.
The Mac gets some dynamic Desktop wallpaper, the Finder gets Desktop file icon stacks, a new Gallery view, and a bunch of nifty Quick Actions and file metadata. Regarding iPhone addiction, Apple added a bunch of new controls and reports to help us curb or manage app usage.
Absolutely zip nada about hardware; Mac, iPhone or iPad, Watch, or Apple TV, other than to tout macOS Mojave, iOS notifications and Siri integration, Watch as an exercise and integrated notification system, and how well Spectrum and other cable TV companies like Apple TV 4K with HDR.
The Lego ARKit demonstration was cute but I struggle to see how that will improve my life.
Other than trying to keep track of all that Apple presented in the keynote, the number of women giving some show’n tell on stage, and all the expectations being fulfilled, the one overriding feeling was that everything Apple has become enormously complicated.