[DAY 19] A Personal Summary of WWDC 2020

Loved it. I assume my phone wouldn’t function well on iOS 14, but I still think watching WWDC 2020 helps me get more information about what Apple is up to. Their UI design is stunning. Also, I think they are a bit lagged behind in machine learning, just in my opinion.

Below are some of my highlights:

# Apple staff’s favorite word: seamlessly. I agree, Apple products have much faster interfaces compared to other tech products’, but using one word 10+ times among all of its staff? They also use words that just don’t really make any sense, like “incredible” or “amazing”. Those are really vague and don’t answer the question of what makes iOS 14 unique or specifically how it has improved. I do understand, though, that this isn’t about word choice. It’s not a literature conference, and maybe skewing towards “tech is dry, don’t judge” might be what I should do. So please move on if you find me offensive.

# Widgets: what other tech companies have done, just slightly better. I used Samsung when I was in secondary school, and my weekly activity was reorganize all the widgets to make the new week more exciting. That’s something Apple couldn’t do until just now, and I was a bit disappointed.

# Handwriting recognition. I recently did some research on this, so I was excited to see what Apple Team could do in this regards. The section on writing with Apple Pen, not only in Notes and apps for handwriting, but also in search engines and with copy-paste features, was SO COOL. I don’t use iPad, but I think if I write notes and have the device just turn that into typed words, that would be so handy. No more sitting and retyping my disorganized notes!

# Not just one less thing in the pocket: feel like my life depends on a phone. Car Keys (for BMW and Ford) can now be stored on your phone, given you already have the car and they key. This, combined with Apple Pay, I don’t know what I need anymore when I go outside, except the latest version of iPhone. I still remember just a few years ago, I would leave the house with but clothes, and my mom would harass me for not having money in case of an emergency.

# Privacy, really? If your car key is on your phone, and you can drive only when your phone is on the car, how much information Apple can retrieve from the simple action of going to work and going home? Throughout the event, everyone talked about privacy a lot, but if we all depend on the devices of one company too much, is our information still ours only?

# Their visual is really nice… and the rounded corners. I notice that not just Apple, Facebook and Instagram turn all rounded now, I did a little search and skim through this headline saying that rounded-corner are more appealing to the eyes. I didn’t dig in, but I think it’s a good topic to learn more about.

# Messenger is the new Photo Gallery, with chat notifications pop up now and then (depending on how popular you are). Now you can pin your most favorite people, and that will take you no time to find their messages – which is much more convenient than having to search for them, isn’t it?

# Thread and mention? Why does this sound so familiar? Oh yes because Slack has had it all along. No comment. I think it’s cool, but I hardly use iMessage for work (because except if I work for Apple, there’s always that one person who uses Android) and my family use Viber. I hope Viber and Messenger have threads. That’d be so much more enjoyable. About the mention feature, I think Apple is too late in the game.

# Map is really cool. I should use it more. I have always used Google Map because they are more convenient for looking up directions while Apple Maps used to be lack of everything. I think this is a great way for companies to track people (Big Brother is watching!), but I also love how they have electrical station information and cycling routes.

# Safari is now finally can do what I have already been doing on Google Chrome. Translating option will pop up on the search engine if Siri detects the language on the website is not your primary language. The tabs will show icons of the page, and you’ll immediately know which tab to choose without having to read a couple of words. When they were introducing this, I looked at my tabs and thought, “wait, aren’t they doing this already?” Then I realized I’m on Google Chrome. Apart from that, it is really useful that you can hover your cursor over the tab and it will show a part of that tab. I usually open a bazillion tabs with the same icon and then waste time to check each to see which one I need. Also, you can now “close all tabs to the right” or left. I think that’ll save me some seconds.

# I bet translation would be highly accurate. This is to assume that they have fed their machines enough audio of the eleven languages available now. And offline! How handy for my life!

# Siri no longer TAKE UP THE WHOLE SCREEN when I ask it to do something for me. So does in-calls. That is just exactly what I dream for. I hope I won’t be ruder than ever for ignoring a call and continue on with my surfing time.

That was a lot of the new updates you can expect from iOS 14. I don’t think a lot of these are ground-breaking ideas, but I do think that these are things we (might) need that we don’t even realize. I think that’s the talent of people in the tech world: they bring to you the stuff before you know you will need it. I’d rate handwriting recognition and widgets to be the most important features, because they mark where Apple is right now and to which direction it is heading. Maps will be a data feeding machine, and Car Keys feature might take long to truly show its usefulness, but when it does it will be powerful.

Published by Thi Le


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