I’ve been watching Apple WWDC keynotes for a few years now, and they’re often quite interesting with bits and pieces that make a difference to me and how I use my devices. This year seemed different – perhaps because I made strides towards learning Swift and being a developer myself, but perhaps also because they announced such a lot of things. I was hooked, and afterwards my brain was buzzing.
So here are some semi-immediate thoughts after the event.
Long live the iPad
There was a short while where people, including me, were not quite sure where the iPad fit into the grand scheme of things. An incredible device, it looked like it was destined to be just a bigger iPhone, and perhaps only be useful for gaming and consuming.
Apple then doubled down on the functionality, and now it seems they have a clear path. With current generation MacBooks frustrating almost everyone that owns one, and the announcement yesterday that new Mac Pros would be for properly hardcore creators only (that price tag!), there’s a gap in the market that the iPad is looking to fill.
The news that there will be a dedicated iPadOS to develop for, as well as new functionality that increases the usability of Finder, as well as plugging in USBs and other devices direct to the tablet, there’s a natural path to follow here that the iPad replaces your regular desktop computer.
And I’m good with that. For a long time, I’ve been looking to switch to a mobile-only experience. There are just a few things left that I need the desktop machine for but finally I’m starting to see that the iPad can and will take centre stage both desk and mobile based.
Swift is even swifter
It’s a little disconcerting to have only spent six months or so learning Swift and for it to already be completely out of date. I was kind of expecting to be left behind a little, as it’s a fast developing language in the early stages. And recently I’ve not been focusing on that part of my education so much as other things have taken stage.
But for there to be a whole new approach to coding, SwiftUI, and a handful of new tools to help along the way, well, it feels like I’ll be starting from scratch all over again.
Still, alongside that, it’s great news that Watch apps can be standalone from the phone now as that opens up a whole new range of possibilities.
And the rest
There was plenty else to take away from the announcement too. I liked the multi-user experience being added, the improvements to CarPlay, the mind-blowing third party sign in replacement, and of course lots of activity improvements.
The hearing health section was very interesting - the watch detecting and warning you if you are in a loud environment which could damage your hearing. And it’s about time there was some decent in-built menstrual cycle tracking, so thanks for catching up there Apple.
I haven’t had a chance to follow any more news from the rest of the day, and we’re only at the beginning of what could be a long week for developers attending the conference. I can’t wait to see what else they uncover, and I definitely can’t wait to start trying out some of it for myself when it all starts rolling out.