WWDC 2020 Random Thoughts

June 22, 2020 • 02:51 PM

Lights, camera, action.

This asynchronous event footage could have been dry and could have been another WWDC keynote sans the audience. But thankfully it wasn’t. The camera movement, the lighting, the transitioning and virtual interactions between speakers all played out well. It made the video fun (fun enough) to watch and follow along.

Craig Federighi’s eye brows also helped a lot on the fun-ness. No crack jokes this year, though.

I wonder where Phil Schiller is. And Eddy Cue.

Pee breaks

Apple’s kind enough to include a “pee break” session where it talked about privacy. Don’t get me wrong — privacy is an utterly important issue, but the session tells me nothing on what’s new for me to experience; rather, it says you get that automatically.

This pee break was quite literal for me. And it was a good pause from the non-stop information influx of any WWDC keynote. Except that in previous years, the information was spaced out by applause, cheering, people actually walking on and off stage, speakers saying thank you, and much slower pace of a live speech.

Mind-blowing AirPods

The promise to simulate surround sound on a set of AirPods Pro is crazy. Just think of how they have to work in tandem with your iPhone / iPad. They have to figure out your head position relative to the screen, and at the same time, irrespective of any external movement (when you are on a train, on a bus, for example).

This is where Apple’s system integration shines: they must have had plans years ahead, and they don’t have to wait for open standards to catch up.

Also, how many sensors did they manage to cram into the housing of an AirPod?

Apple Park

What a beautiful campus they’ve got. Any room got to get transformed to a studio for production level video content. Not to mention those drone shots flying over the campus.

Only thing that left me wondering is — do they really have a secret room underneath the fountains? Or is the transitioning just for the show, paying a subtle homage to Steve Job’s mentioning of a secret lab back when the Mac transitioned to Intel?

Home Screen widgets

Widgets on the Home Screen is, in my opinion, by far the biggest opportunity for developers. Microsoft’s vision on the Windows and the now dead Windows Phone never came to be, but we get to see how it pans out for Apple.

App Library

App Library is the answer to how you want to have your pages of apps organized. It look very promising. I don’t think I’ve gone a day without using pull-down search (or the Siri suggestion there) to open an app. Most of the time Siri reads my mind and present the app I want; some other times I’d just have to tap a few letters to find the app I look for.

It’s 2020. Why bother organizing your phone anyway?

Press ARM!

No surprise on this part — it’s been rumoured for quite a while, and the writings are on the wall for Apple and Intel.

Throughout the session, Apple has been looking for ways to say “Intel sucks” without actually saying it.

The takeaway is — if you are not a person who cares about specs when buying a MacBook, you shouldn’t care about whether it’s ARM or Intel. It should work regardless, but we’ll see. I’d personally get a new MacBook Pro with A-series chip in a heartbeat, because I work with Apple’s Xcode, and a library of third-party apps that are high standard and get updated quite regularly.

Not sure if the bonus of the A-series chip will be a lighter and thinner laptop, much longer battery life, or both.

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