I recently shared a blog post in which I said that I wouldn’t make a wish list for this year’s WWDC conference. I lied. Here is my wish list for this year’s WWDC (“Dub dub”) conference (I should come back to last’s year wishes to see how well I fared). It’s nothing compared to this one from Jason Snell, but hey, it’s my wish list nonetheless! Let’s dive in without further due, starting with the most important to the least important.
For god’s sake, please, Apple, try again with the Notifications Center and liberate the widgets by bringing back the dashboard. That’s all I’m asking. I don’t expect anything that comes close to a new home run like Universal Control. This kind of feature happens once in a decade, in my opinion. Oh, one last thing: fix those weird-looking dialog boxes! If Apple could do something to bring back developers to the Mac, that would be great too.
I would argue that the iPad (and the iPhone) are condemned to keep the “game console” model. Apple is going to keep tight control on them. It doesn’t mean they won’t open it up a little bit more, but not by much. On the “end-user” front, maybe Apple could liberate the hardware a bit more: bring better and more complete support for external monitors, something more than the current mirror mode. How about extending the iPad screen? Add Interactive widgets too. Please don’t bring resizable windows like macOS, but add more freedom of application placement while multitasking. I don’t want windows chrome on the iPad; I want to see more content, not more user interface. Targetting the M1 iPad Pro for these renewed multitasking features would be surprising.
Make the keyboard autocorrect work again. Fix the Notifications Center; even with beefed-up focus modes introduced last year, Apple isn’t quite there yet. It still requires too much management, in my opinion. Interactive widgets would be handy, certainly on the home screen, but on the lock screen? I wouldn’t be surprised to see them coming to pre-iPhone 14 models, but the best experience of them is being reserved for the iPhone 14 Pro with an always-on display.
What about introducing something like “today, I’m relaxing” or “Today, I’m sick,” so the watch stops nagging me to stand up? Please don’t bring a watch face store, Apple, don’t do it. We don’t need it. Bring less useful features instead that I would like.
I’m not excited about the TV experience “Made in California” anymore. I’m not a big video content consumer. Better HomeKit integration could be useful. Besides that? Nothing that I can think of. I don’t care about the hardware unless Apple dares to return by making a great Wi-Fi router.
Speaking of hardware, I don’t expect much from Apple in this respect. I don’t expect a MacBook Air redesign. Apple usually uses the WWDC conference to release more pro-like hardware, like the Mac Pro, not the MacBook Air. The HomePod was introduced during a WWDC keynote because it was a new direction for Siri. I guess we will see soon enough. I may sound bored. I am.
There is one thing that I’ll be watching closely: anything that Apple will announce that could signal a more open platform and ecosystem. I suspect we could see some preemptive moves like the tap-to-pay feature recently introduced. Governments pressure Apple all around the world. However, if Apple makes a move, will it be seen as a sign that they think they’re at fault?
Oh, and this paragraph from Mr. Snell should probably resonate with numerous developers; after all, it’s a developer’s conference.
“A way forward for app development. In 2018, Apple introduced Mac Catalyst as the future of Mac-iPad app development. Then in 2019, it introduced SwiftUI, the future of all Apple platform app development. But developers I talk to say that SwiftUI is still quite limited and is in desperate need of improvement. It’s great that Apple is building new ways of building apps across its platforms, but it needs to show its commitment with major improvements to what’s there.”
Let’s meet again here after WWDC.