2020 has been a year of ups and downs, no doubt about it. WWDC has been a silver lining for us among all the chaos this year has had to offer. We’ve been waiting for WWDC to come for months and we are too excited that its finally come. Here are a couple of things we are most excited about this years’ announcements at ‘dub ‘dub.
- 1. Apple’s very own silicon
- 2. MacOS Big Sur
- 3. IOS14
- 4. iPadOS
CEO Tim Cook really meant it when he said “ it’s a historical day for the Mac” as he revealed Apple’s plans to start using their own processors in future Macs. The reason why this switch has been so long-awaited is because of power efficiency and nativity within the realm of Macintosh computers.
Apple‘s processors will bring performance to future Macs like never before, without impairing power consumption (which is really important for portable Mac users). It will also allow us to run MacOS, iOS, and iPadOS side by side, which makes it smooth and easy for developers to optimise applications for whatever OS we want to develop for.
Here’s what our CTO has to say about it:
“I think the move to apple silicon is a very important and a desperately needed step for the Mac. My hopes are that apps will run faster and the Macs less hot with use. This should lead to some very significant lifetime increases for the already very well-built and robust macs. I was very excited to see that old software build for intel architecture will still run on the new macs. This is awesome and I can't wait to try it out.”- Colin Wirz (CTO)
There's a lot to say about the Big Sur update. Firstly, MacOS Big Sur’s intuitive new iPadOS-resembling interface seems interesting.
The new icons, the dock, widgets, and the new but familiar suite of sounds will now, according to Apple’s design department, allow Apple products to work more seamlessly in combination with the Mac.
We are interested in terms of what to expect of performance and adaptation for this update and until we have tried it out ourselves we will remain skeptical, but nonetheless excited for the look and feel of MacOS Big Sur!
With the 2020 MacOS, Big Sur update comes a variety of obvious updates on the most used applications, along with some awesome unexpected ones, which is what will be listed below.
Mac Catalyst updates
Mac Catalyst gives us the ability to create Mac applications based on other existing applications.
With MacOS Big Sur, updates on Catalyst are as follow:
- New API’s (Application Programming interfaces) for keyboards and menus
- Updated controls to make your applications more functional
Updates to Safari
With Firefox still remaining our browser of choice, we applaud Apple for their continued improvements on security.
This is what we thought the most significant improvements on Safari for 2020:
- You can now see a security report situated next to the search bar where you can see the number of trackers and who they are in the same place.
- Safari now supports web extensions originally created for other browsers. The new API makes it easier for developers to make their web extensions available for Safari users, which is great news for us developers and users who prefer Safari over other major search engines.
IOS 14 is going be something to get used to, alright… There are things we love about it and others we are neutral about.
Widgets on the home screen are not something we are unfamiliar with these days, so this won’t be a huge change for us, but what we are impressed with is IOS 14 has in store for Applications.
The App Library will allow us to keep much better track of the apps downloaded on our iPhones.
The apps we don’t need are often forgotten about and shifted to the last page of your home screen, which results in us nearly never using them anymore.
Hopefully, the fresh new App Library will get us to use those apps we once thought useful or even inspire us to get excited about new applications as we once were when Apple first coined the phrase “there’s an app for that”.
IOS14’s App Clips will be small parts of an application on the Appstore that you can get access to without having to download the entire native App.
App Clips will be created through Xcode with the full abilities of the Native SDK. They will have to be less than 10MB large, to ensure that they open quickly.
And what a brilliant idea that is! App Clips takes the iPhone’s ease of use to the next level. Oh, the many times we have seen Apps for parking meters or rental scooters that would make life so much easier, but we didn’t download them since it takes too long or you don’t have a great internet connection…
App Clips will fix this frustration and I am so sure that this means a ton more customers and users for companies with Apps like I described above.
Since the release of iPadOS last year, none of us have looked back. It was an obvious next step for the iPad to switch over to its own software instead of running on an optimised version of IOS. We were happy about the switch back then as we are happy about the crucial updates for iPadOS this year.
Improved use of screen area (Siri, calls, widgets)
In a nutshell, Siri does not take up the whole screen if you ask her something anymore, the same goes for incoming calls.
Siri and calls will only show you information on a small part of the screen, still letting you work on the application that is open in the background.
Widgets, just like in IOS14, will allow you to take more control over your own home screen with the apps of your choice displayed in the fashion you desire most.
Scribble (making handwriting just as useful as text)
How cool would it be to select your own handwriting, just like you do with text?!
Being able to copy and paste your own handwriting has been a long-awaited update since the Apple Pencil first hit the shelves.
Scribble will also allow you to write into search fields and other apps like Reminders, so you basically never have to put your apple pencil down and pull up the keyboard to type. We think that Scribble will bring about the typical seamless apple-esque experience we all crave when working with Apple technology.
You can now search the internet and the data on your iPad with Universal Search.
It is reminiscent of the Mac’s Spotlight Search (accessed through cmd + space bar), where you can search for anything on your Mac without having to leave the program or app you’re working in.
With one gesture, you can pull down the Universal Search bar and it will allow you to look for anything. If you own an Apple Pencil, you can make use of Scribble and write in what you’d like to search by hand.
Small but crucial improvements in Calendar
We have had a love-hate relationship with Apple’s native Calendar App. The reason for the hate is that we found it tedious to create new events and the overall usability.
Apple addressed the usability issue through making one single toolbar at the top of the App, where you can access everything the app has to offer really quickly and most importantly, really easily.
When creating a new event, you can select a date from a small calendar pop-up instead of having to scroll and scroll and scroolllll until you find the date and time you want.
Small but significant updates like better usability of Siri and security updates in Safari along with huge and useful updates like App Clips and updates to Mac Catalyst are among the greatest updates our developers saw during 2020’s WWDC week.
We can’t wait to see these updates at work and we’ll let you know right here or on social media what we think once we get our first hands-on experience with Apple’s 2020 software updates.
PS: If you are interested in watching the full WWDC event, check it out here.