This podcast episode was recorded as an accompanying audio version of the Dandy Newsletter that was published on June 23, 2020.
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Oh my stinkin’ goodness. It’s WWDC time! The Worldwide Developers Conference was upon us and it... was... amazing! This is the time of year when we get to find out what amazing new things Apple’s been cooking up for us. New iOS, new iPadOS, new macOS, new watchOS! Oh, also new tvOS usually. That’s not always the most exciting thing.
This year was a doozy for all the platforms. We’re getting widgets on iOS and iPadOS now. Whoo! This should fundamentally change how we interact with our most treasured devices. The updates to macOS are also kind of jaw-dropping. Seriously, this is the biggest change in nearly two decades. I am so ready for it.
There’s also a brand spankin’ new blog post waiting for you. It’s called, Why You Should Pursue Not Only “Less,” but “Better.”
In our pursuit to have less things in our lives, we need to make sure that we’re not just getting rid of things willy-nilly. We also need to ensure that the things we do bring into our world are also of good quality. Luckily, we can have both fewer and better things. No need to sacrifice one for the other. Read this post today to learn how.
We’re wrapping things up with what I’m watching, reading, and listening to this week. It’s a great assortment of media that’s worth your time.
Links to stuff that was mentioned:
The full text
The Dandy Newsletter — 06/23/20
Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the year. For those who aren’t interested in what Apple’s doing (maybe you’re a devout Windows or Android user) or if you’re just someone who doesn’t follow this sort of news as closely as I do, Monday, June 22 was the beginning of the week-long Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC.
Unlike previous years, this will be the first completely virtual WWDC in Apple’s history, for obvious reasons. As they always do, the conference kicks off with its main keynote presentation in which they debut the new, upcoming versions of all their operating systems: this year being iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and macOS Big Sur. Now, I’m not a developer, so my interest in this annual event, and especially its opening keynote, is purely from the perspective of a consumer. Most of WWDC is lost on me.
That doesn’t keep me from tuning in every year and getting ridiculously excited about what I’ll get to do with my Apple products in the near future. This is like my Super Bowl. My night before Christmas. My heading down to the beach after a long winter because it’s finally summer and I can get sunburns and sand in absolutely everything and I’m happy to do that for some inexplicable reason. This year was no exception. I’d like to talk about what I’m most looking forward to.
You know it’s an unusual year when iOS, the operating system for Apple’s most successful product ever, isn’t the star of the show. Sure, there’s a lot of cool stuff that’ll be happening with iOS 14, but it’s not nearly as revolutionary as some of the other stuff that was announced. Does that mean iOS is going to be boring this year? Heck no!
The marquee feature of of iOS 14 is the reimagined Home Screen. Take a look at this beauty!
Widgets have been a thing in iOS for a while, but now they’re coming to our familiar (and frankly, a little long in the tooth) Home Screens. This means we can now put larger icons, with actual rich information, on the screen we look at the most. Imagine having a weather widget on your Home Screen that gives you local weather information at a glance or a music widget that displays the song you’re listening to. You won’t have to open an app to get quick information anymore. It’s all just right there.
This is a feature I’ve wanted for a long time and I’m glad to see Apple doing something fresh with an interface that has been nearly unchanged since 2007. Sure, folders were a great and much-needed addition back in 2010, but this is something completely new. It’ll give us all a chance to make our most important device that much more personal and unique.
I’ve also got to give a shout out to the redesigned and much less intrusive phone call and Siri interfaces. In the past, getting a call or invoking Siri would mean that your entire screen would be taken over and rendered useless for anything else. Now though, we’re getting something that feels like a breath of the freshest air.
I can hardly contain my excitement about this change. I’m very much not a fan of having my entire screen taken over whenever someone calls me. For a device that prides itself on being able to do so much at the same time (especially in the case of the iPad), that behavior was always burdensome. I’d like to be able to ignore a call while also being able to continue doing other things on my phone. Sure, I could send the call to voicemail, but that’s not always practical. Now, I don’t have to worry about it anymore. It’s amazing.
Also worth noting: a standalone translation app with the ability to translate complete websites in Safari. This is really neat.
iPad will receive all the same features as iPhone, but with a few extra bits of coolness. There’s going to be sidebars everywhere now. Is this bringing iPad closer in function to a Mac? Yep. Is that a problem? Not at all. In fact, I love how much cleaner and more capable everything is.
Apple Pencil will receive some additional love with iPadOS 14. Scribble is coming to iPad, meaning that you can write into any text field. You can make some handwritten notes in the Notes app, as you always could, but now you can write into, say, the search field in Maps and have your writing transformed into type. Not only can you Scribble everywhere, what you write can be selected, copied, and pasted anywhere. It’s a great advancement for Apple Pencil users.
You want extremely customizable watch faces? You got it. You want sleep tracking? Come and get it. You want hand washing detection and a custom timer to keep you scrubbing for at least twenty seconds? Why the heck not?
Over the years, my Apple Watch has become less of a “shiny new thing” and more of, well, just a watch. I’m not complaining about that. As far as watches go, this one is pretty nice and costs a heck of a lot less than some of the other more premium watches that exist. The ability for developers to offer multiple complications on a single watch face has put a new shine on this thing strapped to my wrist. I think it’s the closest we’ve ever come to custom watch faces. I’m excited to see what developers will come up with here and what this could mean for future versions of watchOS.
The other banner Apple Watch feature that got my ears perked up was sleep tracking. I’ve relied on other apps to do my sleep tracking for years now, but I’ve always felt that a first-party offering from Apple would be the ideal solution for my tracking needs. This feature comes in typical Apple fashion: thoughtful, unobtrusive, and simple to use. All I’ve got to do is wear my watch while I sleep? Piece of cake.
macOS Big Sur
The Mac was the big star of this year’s WWDC, and for good reason. Now that the percentage of Apple’s business that relies on iPhone sales has begun to show signs of decreasing, we’ve been seeing a better balance between Apple’s devices. Unfortunately, they’re all going to be playing second fiddle to their Services, i.e. apps, Apple Music, Apple TV+, and iCloud to name a few, as that percentage continues to rocket upward. Regardless, as someone who’s used Apple’s devices since 2003, it’s still lovely to see more focus being put back on macOS. Undoubtedly, much of that is due to the upcoming transition away from using Intel-based processors in their computers and toward using their own, custom-designed ARM processors (much like the powerful ones they’re using in their iPad Pro).
However, with any historic change like this one, additional thought needs to be put into making sure their computers will work better than they ever have before. You can’t debut something so groundbreaking and then have it fizzle on arrival. Not only would that be detrimental to the revenue Apple can earn, it would be personally embarrassing for a company that prides itself on creating a quality computer with stellar performance.
Macs with ARM chips are going to take a couple years to fill their product line, but in the meantime we’ve been given a new and fantastic operating system. Big Sur brings with it a new appearance that I’m 100% in for. The look of the Mac operating system is becoming more iPad-like and I’m fine with that. It’s clear that Apple is working toward a unification of their platforms. It’s a long-term move with their consumers in mind. Instead of having to shift gears every time you go from one device to another, you’ll be able to pick up where you left off without a second thought. I love working on my iPad Pro, so this evolution is perfect for me.
Along with this appearance change comes a pretty radical update to Safari. Not only is it getting a new look, it’s also allowing the use of significantly more extensions. I love Safari for its speed and security, but I also love the ability to customize my experience on a browser like Chrome. This is the best of both worlds. It’s the sort of thing that makes me pleased to use this browser over one that overtaxes my processor and has glaring security flaws, like Chrome can do.
This was an excellent year for all of Apple’s operating systems.
While the developer community is the primary focus of WWDC every year, enthusiasts like me also get a lot out of these new features. These are the sorts of things that make me excited to be an Apple customer. I feel like I’m not just being taken care of as a consumer, but I’m also listened to as someone who uses their products every single day of my life.
I’m dying to try out all this new stuff this coming Fall (and if history is any indication, it’ll more specifically be September). Until then, I’ll continue drooling over these updates.
What good is fewer things if they're all junk?
There’s a new blog post waiting for you. Hip-hip-hooray! 🎉
It’s called: Why You Should Pursue Not Only “Less,” but “Better.”
I’m a huge fan of minimalism and its associated aesthetic. I love knowing that my world isn’t filled with junk I don’t need. I’ve made sure to only have what I need for the tasks I face each day. Not being bogged down with extraneous stuff is a freeing feeling.
However, just because there’s a goal to have less stuff doesn’t mean that a person should have worse stuff. Bringing better things into your life, while also reducing clutter, is a great way to feel better and accomplish more.
Embracing “better,” and not “less,” is a tough challenge to face. Click through the link above to meet that challenge with me and create a life with better things in it. That freeing feeling I mentioned a moment ago? You can have that, too. Give it a read today!
If you ever want to throw some suggestions my way, then send me a reply to this email. They’re always wonderful to receive.
Seriously friend, I'd love to hear from you.
Until next time cats, stay informed, stay safe, and stand up for what’s right. Black lives matter.
CURRENT PODCAST: Equal Emphasis by Accidental Tech Podcast
WATCHING: Season two of Westworld
LISTENING: A Larum by Johnny Flynn
READING: Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
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