I'm still digesting all the new things announced two days after Apple's WWDC. I was pleasantly surprised at how robust their section on software is this year, considering they had to dedicate time to VisionPro.
To me, the best part about the days following the WWDC is that people discover more and more tiny new features every day. I love checking Mastodon, Twitter, and the iOSBeta subreddit to learn about things. Also really enjoy Brandon Butch videos in where he covers every little change on the new betas almost daily!
My favorite type of updates is the ones for the whole operating system and not as much for specific apps. My biggest letdown was that Control Center was not updated like it was rumored. Also that the Home kit app was left untouched bare a few tweaks; Apple still has much to improve with its Home app.
Here is the list of my favorite new features or improvements so far. I will keep it up to date as I discover more and more:
My top favorites
- Interactive Widgets: This was one of my most anticipated items from my wishlist! I'm looking forward to apps like Tesla and Things to support this so I can set the ac and check to-dos as done from the home screen or today's view without even going to the app. I can't wait to see 3rd party apps update their widgets for this. This also opened the door for Apple to finally introduce Homekit widgets!
- Messages Swipe to reply + Sticker Tapback: Every other messaging app had followed the same swipe-to-reply interaction pattern for years, so it was very frustrating to long press on iOS. Also, now we are to react to messages with any emoji or sticker. Initially, I was just asking to tapback with any emoji. Still, as always, Apple surpassed expectations by completely merging emojis and stickers. Looking forward to reacting to text with our dog Max's stickers.
- Safari Profiles: Safari will now support different profiles similar to Google Chrome; each profile will retain its own settings, extensions, tab groups, and more. I use Safari for work and personal, so I look forward to separating my tab groups, bookmarks, and pinned tabs. I have a mix of personal and work, and it is getting messy. I hope we can link profiles with Focus modes.
- Safari Web Desktop Apps: Safari for Mac will also allow you to create a framed desktop app from any website! I immediately thought about google calendar and Google Meet, two apps I use daily for work that I need to always keep on a pinned tab. I've tried multiple 3rd party apps that supposedly create an app from web apps, but they are always buggy. I'm super excited Apple will do this natively!
- Adjustable framing for Center Stage camera: One of the most frustrating things about the Studio Display's webcam is center stage. In meetings, any subtle movements trigger the camera to go crazy, which is super distracting for others. But if you were to turn off center stage, you get this huge wide-angle view with no option to control. You can finally control settings like pan and zoom on the Studio display camera. I refused to buy an extra webcam because the quality of the Studio Display one was just enough for Zoom meetings.
- Standby mode: What excites me about this feature is not the feature itself but the possibilities. When you look at the UI and interactions of standby mode, especially Siri's interactions, it is clear that this will be the framework for the rumored Homepod with screen and the rumored iPad magnetic stand. I desperately want those two products, and this feature gives me hope.
- iPad Lockscreen customization and widgets: Finally!
Other favorite but minor tidbits
iOS + iPadOS
- Quicker Photo Crop
- Automatically Cleanup Verification Code Messages
- Create stickers on the Photos app
- Mood tracking integrates and correlates with other health data inputs
- App sections show up in the spotlight
- Quick muting on AirPods
- Collaborative Apple Music Playlists
- Messages Checkin
- Show password shortcut action
- Safari Reading List widget
- Bigger Airplay icon on Control Center
- Ping Apple Watch from Control Center
- Done button when on Emoji search mode: This was super annoying!
- Quicker photo processing for camera app
- Option to make Haptic Touch Faster
Audio and Home
- Just say, Siri
- Home app activity history
- Find Siri remote with iPhone
- Separate dialogue from background noise and put it on the center channel.
- Third-Party VPN support
- Sleep timer on Apple TV
- Widgets on the Mac desktop + use widgets from iPhone
- Presenter overlay for Video Calls
- Screen Sharing picker on macOS + more responsive
- Both Apple Studio Display and Continuity Camera now offer controls to pan and zoom the image, letting you present exactly the face you want to show to the world.
- Widget stack
- New home app redesign
These are my highlights after just two days after the keynote. I will keep adding to the list as I discover new tidbits. This list will also serve as a checklist for when I end up installing the betas myself. I often install a new beta, feel like nothing is new, and forget where to look at it. I'm thrilled with this year's round of updates, and I'm sure it's only getting started.
Bonus: My WWDC watching setup
I like to enjoy these presentations away from the desk. I like to watch it chilling from my sofa. I just need to make sure to block time in my work calendar. I watch it with the iPad mini to view Mastodon and Twitter in split-view to keep up with the reactions. Sometimes I throw in some popcorn haha.
Also, check out other similar lists that inspired me to write my own: