June 8, 2023

WWDC23: Thursday’s Tidbits

Here we go again! Things seem to be winding down, which is good because my brain feels a bit washed up from all the information I’ve been filling it with. But there were still neat things to learn from the latest spelunking and developer sessions.

For anyone considering buying a single #VisionPro for the household; A device can only have a single iCloud account. It does not have multi user support like the AppleTV.

And I really hope we’ll be able to purchase these stands 😍😍

#wwdc #wwdc23 

Third-party Shortcuts actions can now provide progress to estimate how long it takes to run! 🤯 #WWDC #WWDC23

One of my favorite new #WWDC23 iOS 17 features:

“Apple Music is bringing SharePlay to the car so that everyone can easily choose what’s playing.”

No Apple Music sub required to join in! 🙌🏻

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2023/06/app

#Apple #AppleMusic #CarPlay

iOS 17 includes a small but much-needed change to the process of scanning QR codes via the Camera app. With this year’s update, the button that pops up when you scan a QR code now appears at the bottom of the Camera app, right above the shutter button, and it doesn’t move.

When I say that passkeys are and will be interoperable, I’m extremely serious about it.

This year:
- Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers on macOS can save and use iCloud Keychain’s passkeys (they need to adopt this)
- Third-party password managers can participate in the ecosystem on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS
- The passkeys from those third-party managers will also be usable by all web browsers

Here’s a thread with more information: https:///110509

Please spread the word!

The Design Dynamic Live Activities” session is one of the most beautifully composed presentations I’ve ever seen. The animations and examples shown towards the end are incredibly impressive and inspiring. I’m super excited to get started working on improving my Live Activities after watching this.

Also, it included a truly 🤯 moment, when they discuss how to visually center a glyph by blurring it and then using that blurred blob to find the visual center. Genius!

https://developer.apple.com/videos/pla

An illustration of a white blurred blob inside of a blue outline, the shape is off center within this outline and needs to be adjusted to better lie with the shape.

ALERT: CloudKit works in third-party apps on iOS 17 with iCloud Drive turned off, just as it has for Apple’s own apps. This is a big deal for sync on corporate devices that often have iCloud Drive disabled.

Just discovered the new Mini Crosswords solved notification card in Apple News. 🎉🧩 This is such a cool addition to #iOS17

The new Mini Crossword notification when you successfully solve a puzzle in Apple News.

Not sure if it’s immediately visible but the Music app’s tab bar has a progressive blur.

Really wish all apps had that. Looks pretty cool.

The Apple Vision Pro has an additional strap that goes over your head (because of weight). It wasn’t discussed, those in the hands on demos had it, but no pictures were allowed. The Good Morning America video didn’t show it either. But one brief scene in the keynote had it.

WWDC

June 7, 2023

WWDC23: Wednesday’s Tidbits

Another day, another set of treasures uncovered.

Downloads that will take more than 1 minute now show a time remaining indicator in the App Store on iOS 17.

Good!

The new Now Playing screen in watchOS 10 looks great ✨ #WWDC #WWDC23

Now Playing screen.

Interesting new alert when launching Keychain Access in macOS Sonoma

Screenshot of a macOS alert window:

Title: Manage Your Passwords in System Settings
Message: Go to Passwords in System Settings to manage your passwords and passkeys, set up verification codes, and view security recommendations to keep your accounts safe.

Default button: Open Passwords

Secondary button: Open Keychain Access

🎉🚨Wait, hold on!🚨🎉

When you have a timer running in watchOS 10 there is now a quick jump indicator that appears at the top of the clock face! (same for Alarms and Stopwatches)

No more need to have a timer complication just for when a timer is running. I love it!

An Apple Watch screenshot showing a small orange circle at the top of the watch face with a timer logo, tapping this opens the timer app.

Installing the Windows version of Diablo 4 on my MacBook Pro. This feels…weird, but will report back how it works!

Notable that this required me to install dev tools and run an hour-long series of terminal commands to get running, but if this can just work” down the road…could be the biggest advance in Mac gaming in forever.

Screenshot of the Battle.net launcher installing Diablo 4. The macOS dock is on the left.

I do think Apple is going to be in a tough spot with game devs for visionOS. Sessions make it clear that hand tracking just won’t be accurate enough for anything fast-paced, and everything has to be re-hosted using Apple APIs to do even basic things with the system compositor. I expect there will be a rising chorus of we need hand controllers’ at the very least. If Apple doesn’t have hand controllers of some kind by version 2.0, it could negatively impact the platform for years to come #WWDC23

I thought hot corners were acting up in macOS Sonoma, but it turns out that the default behavior when clicking the desktop wallpaper now is to reveal the desktop and hide all app windows. Fortunately, you can turn that off in System Settings 😅

Screenshot of macOS System Settings with the “Desktop & Dock” option selected. Under the “Desktop” section there’s a setting named “Click wallpaper to show desktop items” with the dropdown showing “Always” and “Only in Stage Manager”.

The fundamentals of windowing on visionOS; I was wondering if you could move/angle windows vertically, and the answer is yes 😄

#WWDC23

Safari Reading List widgets 🙌🏼

Good news: you can use either an iPhone OR an iPad for the Apple TVs new Continuity Camera feature.

Apple WWDC sessions shows engineer at Apple TV and prompt “Use iPhone or iPad as a Camera”

Regarding Vision Pro refresh rate & visionOS compositor: this rate is usually 90 frames a second, but can be higher”. I am intrigued!

#WWDC23

Another random Apple Vision Pro thought:

If Apple can get 3D video capture into the iPhone 15 Pro, it would be an amazing synergy move towards selling both products.

But your new phone in September, start capturing 3D videos immediately, and have a library of amazing memories to see in a whole new way on day one with the Vision Pro.

Not absokutely perfect timing, but it’s a good story to tell those who want a Vision Pro.

yep ok Stage Manager in iPadOS 17 is very very good

I tested out a few of the new reaction features in FaceTime on iPadOS 17. I’m sure posting this will not be a bad idea.

Very cool special effect for artwork in the Podcasts app in iOS 17 👀

This is what it looks like for @connected

Here’s the new Chapters experience in the queue as well, along with an excellent background effect that’s particularly vibrant thanks to the Connected artwork

Turning the Level option on will pop up a broken horizontal line on the screen when your iPhone senses you’re lining up for a straight-on shot and you tilt your device slightly out of horizontal. The line appears white while your phone is out of level and then turns yellow once you achieve a level orientation to indicate success.

@vmachiel @chockenberry it has a Files app, whose icon can be seen in some of the sessions. This is iPadOS for your face, not a Mac

Vision Pro Spatial Personas

Spatial Persona on Vision ProIn its Platforms State of the Union video for developers this week, Apple announced that it is working on Spatial Personas” that will allow Vision Pro users to break out of the familiar FaceTime tile and feel more present, like they are gathered in the same physical space.” Spatial Personas will have a transparent background and be able to display more movement and body language for a more lifelike experience.
You can select specific passwords to share after the group is created, and then people in the group can upload their own. Each participant can edit and add passwords, with changes synced across the entire group. There are options to create multiple groups, so you can have a group with a spouse and children and then a separate group with just a spouse, or a group of roommates and friends.

Whoa, this new Tap to Airplay experience is great…

I just opened Music while in my bedroom and the option appeared to play to my HomePod mini — just because I was in the room!

This is the ultra wideband technology I talked about 2 years ago, put into practice:

I missed that the watchOS honeycomb layout is now just vertically scrollable instead of in all directions. That seems so much better for finding apps compared to the wild-west of the old honeycomb and the low density of the list layout. #wwdc

WWDC

June 7, 2023

Grading My WWDC Keynote Predictions (And Introducing My Ongoing List of Apple Wishes)

Everyone makes predictions on what Apple will introduce at its events, but who goes back to grade how they did? Me! That’s who. The WWDC23 Keynote has come and gone, bringing with it an absolute deluge of new features, improvements, entire OSes, and products. But before we get to my score on all that, a brief programming note:

I’ve been spelunking the internet the past few days for exciting bits and bobs, and rounding them up together into daily summaries. Along the way, I’ve been trying to determine how many of my pre-WWDC wishes had been granted. However, my requests are very specific and I won’t be able to test or confirm many of them until I get my hands on the new software — which I won’t do until the public betas come out next month.1

With that in mind, I won’t be doing a full scoring of my wish list items today. But it did give me a new idea. Rather than publish a new wish list before every Apple event or WWDC, I figure it would be cool to have a year-round list that lives on my new Lists’ page. As fixes come in from new releases, I’ll check them off and group the completed items appropriately on a timeline. I’ll even go back and put in my wishes from previous years! So I encourage you to go check out the new List of Apple Wishes’ here on HeyDingus.

Perhaps I’ll do a check-in post every so often on new wishes made and granted. And with that, let’s see how I did with my keynote predictions!

The Results

👍 A preview of the AR headset is shown off, and attendees get to try them on. We got this in spades! Apple even built a new building to house the try-on area. The Vision Pro got the most presentation time at the packed keynote, and it was a jaw-dropping 45 minutes.

🤷‍♂️ iPad apps on the headset that take advantage of Stage Manager and the Apple Pencil hover support introduced last year. This is was a sort-of correct guess. Yes, iPad apps will run on visionOS without change from the developers (although they can make bespoke visionOS versions), but there was no mention of the windowing system using Stage Manager specifically. Nor did Apple mention that the Apple Pencil hovering features will play a role in visionOS. I tend to think that those technologies do play a role in visionOS but since Apple didn’t call it out, we have no way to know for sure.

👍 While many AI-like features are announced, none are labeled as powered by AI; they’ll be powered by Machine Learning (ML)”, instead. I nailed this one. No mention of AI. It was on-device machine learning” and transformer models” all the way. I also scored the bonus point with Apple refusing to mention the metaverse” either.

👎 The headset is called the Reality Pro and its operating system is called realityOS. We all got gotten on this one. I don’t think anyone had Vision Pro” or visionOS” on their Bingo board. And from all the WWDC developer sessions that mention xrOS”, I don’t think many people at Apple knew for sure before the unveil either. I tentatively like the name, though, and know it’ll grow on me over time.

👎 The headset pricing is announced and starts at $2499 or less. Oh boy. $3499 is the starting price. It’s both eye-wateringly high, and more than the rumored price. I’d been hoping we were going to get an iPad pricing moment, but it was the opposite. I’ve started saving my pennies.

🤷‍♂️ All the OSes feature a refreshed design language with more texture and shadows that nods toward the 3D environment for the realityOS UI. The various OSes certainly didn’t get the design overhaul that I had expected, but I can see more shadows and skeuomorphism (for lack of a better term) in this year’s releases than last year’s. I’d give myself a quarter-point at most on this one.

👎 New AirPods Max are announced that pair with the headset for an even more immersive setting. My risky pick was too risky, after all. I don’t think AirPods Max got a single mention, nor was shown on screen at all, let alone an introduction. That could be telling. Perhaps they need a bigger redesign to fit around the Vision Pro headset. I still think Vision Pro + AirPods Max would make for a pair made in heaven. Maybe we’ll see their launch next year alongside the Vision Pro hardware release.

Final Score:

👍: 2/7 👎: 3/7 🤷‍♂️: 2/7

I’ll need to work on my crystal ball gazing skills for the next keynote.


  1. Even though, yes, I know that anyone can now install the developer betas for free. I’m not that courageous this year.↩︎

WWDC

June 7, 2023

A Couple of Podcast Recommendations

I happened to listen to two1 excellent podcast episodes this morning, one right after the other, and wanted to share them with the world. Podcasts have a notoriously difficult time getting discovered because they are tricky to share on the web, but I’m trying to do my part.

Really Specific Stories with Marco Arment

If you’re a technology podcast listener, you’ve heard of Marco Arment. Not only is he a prolific podcaster himself — he hosts Accidental Tech Podcast, Under the Radar, Top Four, Neutral (retired), and Build and Analyze (retired) — but he also develops the very popular Overcast app. I’ve referenced Overcast and Marco here many times. This RSS interview of Marco by Martin Feld is one of the best I’ve heard and covers Marco’s history at Tumblr, developing Instapaper, developing Overcast, and crafting the podcasts he hosts. Yes, he really has had a hand in all those internet nerd favorites.

Further listening: The Launched episode with Marco

The Vergecasts rebroadcast of Into It: The Conversation We’re NOT Having About AI

I’d never heard an Into It podcast episode before, so I was glad that The Vergecast dropped this one into their feed. It’s a conversation between Into Its host Sam Sanders and The Verges Editor-in-Chief, and The Vergecast host, Nilay Patel. The Verge is doing special coverage on Google all year, and this chat covers how AI, chatbots, and shifting culture will disrupt Google’s place as a god of the web and how that will change how we all experience the internet.

It was smart, funny, and has me both nervous and hopeful for the future of the web. Not bad for a tight 40 minutes.


  1. That was perhaps too many times to say to͞o”.↩︎

Podcasts

June 7, 2023

Macs at WWDC Mean the Entire M2 Laptop Lineup Is Part of the Back to School Promo for Students

Over at 9to5Mac, Zac Hall has some happy news for students:

Customers can shop for a new Mac or iPad education pricing and redeem a gift card valued at up to $150. Macs that qualify include the newly announced 15-inch MacBook Air.

I know that if I had been a student when the first Apple silicon laptops were introduced, I would have felt a little betrayed that they were released just after the Back to School promotion ended (Internet Archive) and after I’d spent a good chunk of my limited savings on a computer that was so immediately outclassed. That’s one reason I’m glad to see the MacBook Air refreshed at WWDC the last couple of years, so they can be available for students. They’re often young people who are getting their first personal laptop and will use it for years to come. I like to think they’re getting the best computer, at the best price, to start.

I wonder if that thinking has worked it’s way into the Mac team’s planning timeline, or if it’s just a happy coincidence. Either way, I hope this trend continues.

Linked

June 6, 2023

Letters with V, June 2023 [#1]

For the Letters project this month, I’ll be corresponding with V. You’ll be able to follow along with our conversation both here and on his site at vmac.ch.

Jarrod’s and V’s avatars separated by the letter emoji and their website domains below their images.
(Image inspiration: Jose Munoz)

V’s First Letter

Hey Jarrod,

June has arrived, and with it, the letters project for me started. Thanks that I can join in this experiment. I was unsure if this already counts as the first week, but I thought it better to be safe than sorry :-).

It is an exciting month of the year for me. With my birthday coming up, and this June also marks a new part of my life — I’m switching my job, and right now, I’m on a short break between employment. I’m not yet completely free of my old job as I still support them this and next week as we have the big summer release. And I would not have felt good to leave my teammates to finish the job for me. So as I’m writing these words, I still have some days at my old employer in front of me. But it already feels different somehow.

It feels strange writing this letter — especially knowing it will be published. How did you handle that so far when writing your responses? I try not to overthink it right now, but I feel that my writing has some reserve, which is an interesting observation. And don’t get me wrong, I’m ok with it being published. I think I have the concept that a letter is personal and not something you write to a bigger audience — not sure if this makes much sense.

The Ticket to Ride ride game you wrote about in your last response to Jose sounds fun. I think I need to check it out at some point. I’m not playing board games regularly, but when the right people are there, and I’m in the mood, I like them. But most of the time when I can youse the game, I would go for a card game, something like UNO or Speed. The shorter a single round, the better.

I’m surprised at how well the writing works right now. In the morning, I could not create much due to a headache. And unfortunately, it was with me the whole day, which was not fun. But at the moment, it receded a bit — giving me the focus I need to write. Something I love to do. One of the reasons I have a blog and why I started journaling and writing morning pages. How much you get out of your head when you write regularly is fantastic. And how fast it becomes a habit. I would love to write more long-form blog posts, but that is something that cannot be forced. I’ve had the experience that the post will get written when the time is right for them.

I hope this was not too rambly and unstructured. I hold myself back from editing this letter too much — but the text will go through Grammarly to fix the worst of my spelling errors ;-) Spelling is not a strong suit of mine.

Looking forward to your response, Cheers V

My Reply

Hey V,

Pleased to meet you! I’m so glad that you jumped aboard this project, and thank you for your prompt first letter — it’s much appreciated.

Congratulations on your new job! Making a big transition like that has always brought out the jitters in me, so I hope that you’re more excited than nervous. What kind of position are you leaving, and what are you stepping into? I’m always curious about how folks’ day-to-day compares and contrasts with mine. Oh, and happy early birthday!

Publishing what would typically be a private message out to the public internet is somewhat nerve-wracking. I’m glad that I’m not the only one who feels that way. I’m, likewise, trying not to censor myself, but I know that it’s impossible to ignore completely. I guess one thing that should bring us both solace is that my site, at least, has a relatively small audience. But the internet is a permanent sort of place, and you never know if or when that audience size could change. Luckily, I don’t think either of us are assholes, and shouldn’t have much to fear of people reading these letters over our shoulders. 😜

Honestly, the more of these I write, the more embolden I feel to express myself more freely and to push the edges of what I’d normally write about. That is, after all, the goal of this project!

Your preference for shorter, single-round games is how I approach video games. Probably around entering high school is when I stopped having the necessary time or attention that I wanted to spend on story-based video games. My wife loves them, and says they’re akin to reading a good book or watching a good show, but more because you get to be part of the story. But for me, if I’m ever playing a video game that is not part of some friend get-together, then I want it to be as easy-in, easy-out as possible. I’ve been working on Alto’s Adventure for several years now, and it’s perfect in that way because I don’t have to put a lot of time into it and even if I don’t play for months, it’s easy to jump back in for a few rounds.

I’m somewhat jealous of your morning-prone writing flow. I never leave myself enough time in the mornings before my commitments to do much besides jump out of bed, dress, and grab some food. A calmer morning routine that includes quiet reading and writing time is something that I aspire to. I’m right there with you about the magic when a blog post flows out of you. Sometimes the words feel ready-made in my mind and almost tumble their way out. This post felt that way. It’s a great feeling, and I hope you feel it often!

This week has been pretty busy brain-space-wise for me. I had a lot to catch up on in the way of articles, podcasts, and videos before WWDC. Spoiler: I didn’t get caught up. And now the deluge of announcements, reviews, and tidbits has begun. I’m loving it, but it’s a bit overwhelming to keep up with. It sounds like you felt a bit of that yourself leading up to WWDC. Did you have a favorite announcement? What’s something they announced that you think you’ll use every day?

I was astounded by Vision Pro. But it’s all the little quality-of-life updates to iOS and watchOS that I think will have the biggest impact for me, at least for now.

Anyway, I hope you’re having a good week, that your headache has resolved to a distant memory, and that your big birthday and job transition month continues smoothly. Can’t wait to hear back!

Take care,

Jarrod

P.S. I’m also a Grammarly user. But I’ll follow your lead and not do a fine-grained edit to keep things casual. 😉


If you’d like to be part of this Letters project, please reach out! I might still have spots open.

Letters

June 6, 2023

WWDC23: The Day After - Some Skepticism and Questions

Yesterday was full of excitement, even over here near the East Coast. I didn’t get to bed until nearly 2 AM and had bleary eyes and a head full of imaginations of a spatial computing-filled future. It felt like a momentous day — I loved digging in and feeling part of it.

BBut after a night’s sleep, I feel like I can think more holistically about the day’s announcements — particularly about our step into the era of spatial computing. I’m still bullish1 about Vision Pro and it cementing its role in our everyday computing in the not-too-distant future. But, there are bits about how Apple presented visionOS that give me some pause upon a second review.

We didn’t see a lot of in-depth work being done in visionOS. Sure, there was a version of Microsoft Word shown and we know that the Mac’s interface can be streamed into Vision Pro, but I don’t feel like we saw much of anyone creating anything within the apps. It was mostly moving around windows, consuming content, or scrolling through views. I know that it’ll be useful for much more than that, but I would have liked to see Apple show off a start-to-finish workflow demo. Or at least typing into the interface!

Previous new device categories have come been centered around their brand-new user interface paradigm — mouse for Mac, Click Wheel for iPod, Multi-touch for iPhone, and Digital Crown for Apple Watch — and Vision Pro uses the most advanced, yet natural interface yet in our hands and eyes. So I would have liked to see a real” demonstration of someone using the device, and explaining in real-time the interaction options, such as how they manipulate items, pull up menus, and switch apps. The transition to pre-recorded videos for these product introductions has been a positive change, but it does leave room for a healthy amount of skepticism without the live demos of yore.

And I’ll reiterate how I think that Apple narrowly missed the mark they were aiming for in presenting Vision Pro as a device that doesn’t cut you off from the world. As I said yesterday:

However, it was a bit off-putting when Apple showed a parent wearing the Vision Pro to their child’s birthday party to capture spatial video. That scenario was a step too far, even if the technology is jaw-dropping.

I realized today just how many of the scenarios that Apple showed using Vision Pro were someone all by themselves in an expansive home or office. Sure, it’s a personal computing device, but I hope it’s not a lonely computing device. It’s a fine line, and while I think Apple is keenly aware of it, I’m a bit surprised we didn’t see an example of people using Vision Pro together.

I’ll say it again, I do think that visionOS is the future of computing. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not realistic about the challenges both we and Apple face along the road to get there.

Other Lingering Questions

Will we ever see a macOS mode on the Vision Pro? With a paired keyboard and mouse, or virtual ones, the user input problem is already solved.

Did we lose the Dock in watchOS with Control Center taking over the side button? What about watch faces that used scrolling (solar, pride, etc.), did those lose out too with the widget stack?

Will Safari on visionOS be capable of streaming from Xbox Game Pass? Could it be saved as a web app like Safari on macOS 14? And if not, how will the experience be to play through that expanded macOS desktop on Vision Pro?

Can we keep an empty desktop space full of widgets to recreate Dashboard in macOS 14?

I wonder how Vision Pro will be serviced. Probably like the Apple Watch or iPad, which have to be shipped out for nearly any repair.

2-hour battery life won’t get you through even a full movie these days. Will the battery pack be hot-swappable if you have two?

Does the Mac Pro provide good value at $3000 more than the Mac Studio for the same M2 Ultra chip specs? For that three grand, you get a massive (and, admittedly, beautiful) case, more I/O ports, the PCI slots for expansion cards, and…? Without an extendable graphics or memory story, I think the starting price — an increase from the outgoing Intel model — misses the mark.

Update: More questions on Wednesday, June 07

Does the Vision Pro come with any sort of cellular capability? Seeing as they didn’t mention it, I doubt it. But that limits where and when it can be used if you don’t want to further constrain battery life by tethering to a phone. Apple-designed cellular modems can’t come fast enough; at that point, they’ll have no excuse not to build cellular internet access into all their mobile devices.

What happens when you take the Vision Pro outside? Can it keep up with a wide open environment in bright sunlight?

What’s the multi-user story on visionOS? Most households won’t be able to afford one of them, let alone one per person!

Can you have multiple groups of shared passwords? I share almost everything with my wife, but only a subset of streaming service and other passwords with my parents using 1Password. We’re not all part of the same iCloud Family Sharing group, so I wonder if that’ll be possible.


  1. I always second-guess myself on bullish” vs. “bearish”. Bullish = optimistic, for those who also need a translation.↩︎

WWDC

June 6, 2023

WWDC23: Tuesday’s Tidbits

The first developer sessions have been released and ever more new software bits that didn’t make the keynote or marketing pages are emerging. Like yesterday, I’ve rounded up the ones that piqued my interest and will continue to append new discoveries throughout the rest of the day.

Now that’s how you do pronouns. Best implementation I’ve seen so far.

I’m glad to see Apple opening up the macOS developer betas to those without paid developer accounts.

Before you could always sneak in with the command line enroll, now you can download the image from your browser

Get em here.

You’ve heard that Security Code AutoFill is coming to email, but the SMS version gets two huge buffs in iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma:

  1. Filled codes are automatically deleted! (Controlled by a preference. You’ll be prompted to enable on first AutoFill. Yes, there’s a Recently Deleted” safety net.)

  1. Text Message Forwarding is now automatically enabled between devices with Messages in iCloud turned on! No manual setup. If you’ve never used AutoFill in Safari on macOS, you’re in for a treat!

A screenshot of Security Code AutoFill on macOS.

The iOS 17 preference to clean up verification codes automatically after inserting with AutoFill.

More thoughts on Apple: I wonder how the feud with Epic will affect the Vision Pro, given that Epic makes one of the biggest 3D engines and has a lot of VR expertise and would almost certainly have gotten some airtime a few years ago.

Stage Manager in iPadOS 17:

  • Much more freedom for window placement, finally windows can overlap
    - Much more fluid window resizing
    - Shift-clicking to add a window to the stage now works from the dock and strip!

🥰

Regarding the Podcasts app:

Plus, you can now double tap the Search tab to immediately bring the search bar into focus and begin typing.

God I hope this is because a system-level feature for any app implementing a Search tab! But there’s more:

Apple also announced that this fall, users will be able to connect eligible subscriptions to top apps on the App Store with Apple Podcasts to access new shows. This includes news apps, such as Bloomberg and The Washington Post; health and fitness apps, such as Calm; along with kids and family apps, like Lingokids. Apple Podcasts will automatically recognize these App Store subscriptions and add the corresponding channel or show to a listener’s Library.

Now that’s system integration. I doubt third-party podcast apps will get that synergy with other apps’ subscriptions. And a final Podcasts nicety:

Apple also announced that this fall, users will be able to connect eligible subscriptions to top apps on the App Store with Apple Podcasts to access new shows. This includes news apps, such as Bloomberg and The Washington Post; health and fitness apps, such as Calm; along with kids and family apps, like Lingokids. Apple Podcasts will automatically recognize these App Store subscriptions and add the corresponding channel or show to a listener’s Library.

I much prefer this episodic content in my podcast app rather than News or Music. Hopefully — and I suspect they will — these podcasts will be accessible via a standard RSS feed.

some huge improvements to App Intents framework in iOS 17!

App Shortcuts via Siri will be a lot more forgiving to natural language variation

  • Flexible Matching (aka Semantic Similarity Index”), so Siri will accept phrases similar to an AppShortcut’s provided trigger phrases

– synonyms API (!) for AppEntity and AppEnum values — so you could build in explicit NLU coverage for things like Chi Town” or the windy City” for the value Chicago for example

https://developer.apple.com/wwdc23/10102
If you have an Apple Watch paired to your iPhone, Apple has added an optional button in Control Center that enables you to ping your watch if you have misplaced it. (H/T Aaron.)
You can now also toggle certain system settings directly from within ‌[Spotlight’s] Siri‌ Suggestions results. You can, for example, enable a Focus, turn on Airplane Mode, or disable your iPhone 14 Pros Always On Display.

In Safari, Apple has added a new Listen to Page” option to the aA menu in the address bar. Tap it, and ‌Siri‌ will read the contents of the currently loaded webpage out loud.

safari listen to page
When ‌Siri‌ is reading it to you, the same option changes to Pause Listening,” and if you choose to pause, it switches to Resume Listening” so you can pick up where you left off.

I was just looking for this sort of option the other day when hoping to hear my draft of an article read aloud to me.

Apple’s upcoming iOS 17 update will add daily crossword puzzles to the Apple News app, but only for News Plus subscribers, the company said on its iOS 17 preview website. The addition of crosswords could make News Plus a more enticing subscription offering — right now, the main benefits to News Plus are access to digital versions of publications and audio versions of some articles.

Hmmm…I might actually start using a feature of that News+ subscription I’m paying for through Apple One.

Shortcuts is getting a redesign:

Image Credits: Apple

In addition, the redesign makes it easier to identify the actions associated with an app and simplifies the process of creating automation.

And is that an addition of the Scan Document’ action that I’ve been searching for? ☝️👀 And it looks like launching shortcuts via voice will be more flexible:

Plus, Apple made some subtle changes to Siri to make it easier to use spoken commands to trigger App Shortcuts. Where before, users would have to speak the exact phrase designated as the Shortcut’s trigger phrase, now they can speak more naturally. Even if the exact wording isn’t used, Siri will be able to understand the phrase as the Shortcut’s trigger, thanks to on-device machine learning that will allow similar phrases to also work. (A new tool, App Shortcuts Preview, will allow developers to test phrases that they think users might try with Siri to launch their app.) This feature won’t yet work on Apple Watch, though.

Apple added #DX12 support to macOS and Apple Silicon via its Game Porting Toolkit. It’s basically a 20k patch to Wine that will make it easy to play AAA Windows games on macOS without using a VM. https://github.com/apple/homebrew-appl

Unlike iPad, there is very little reason to prevent AppKit apps running on visionOS 👀 Use a mouse and keyboard, job done. I do want to see somebody try to use the ornaments API to build a pull-down menu bar at the top of a visionOS app (if I don’t get there first)

i’m a bit bummed that Apple basically completely ignored the Home app in the software updates this year, because it’s still a hot mess

https://www.theverge.com/2023/6/6/23749556

Most, if not all, WWDC videos refer to visionOS as xrOS. That means the name was changed super late, doesn’t it? #WWDC #WWDC23

The crown will allow you to assign a shortcut to the #accessibility option of your your choice. Tripple tap it on the #VisionPro device to launch.

Reality Kit has a new accessible component, which allows the assigning of accessibility properties. There are custom labels, values, and traits as well as custom rotors, custom actions, and custom content. Activate and ajustable system actions can also be assigned.

#WWDC WWDC23

PencilKit in visionOS is looking 🥵

#WWDC23

Direct manipulation of UI in visionOS is going to be a fascinating playground for novel ideas. And see how apps scale down as you bring them close. I’m glad that remote gestures aren’t the only way to interact with apps

#WWDC23

WWDC

June 6, 2023

WWDC23: My Initial Keynote Reflection and the Features I’m Most Jazzed About

Wow, what a day. First of all, hats off to all the teams at Apple who poured themselves into creating and presenting all these software and hardware goodies to and for the world. Y’all knocked it out of the Park today.

As expected, the keynote blazed by with so many platforms and products to cover. Barely 30 minutes had passed and we’d already covered new Mac hardware and the flagship iOS.

Apple had way more to say about Mac hardware than I anticipated today. I thought we’d hear about the Mac Pro, and maybe the 15-inch MacBook Air, but I wasn’t thinking we’d get a Mac Studio update to boot. The Mac Pro kept its case design, which I was glad about, but did not have a third-party graphics story. Is there more to come? PCI expansion is certainly welcome and helps differentiate it from the Mac Studio, but it feels like part of the story has been left untold. I’m sure the M2 Ultra is an absolute beast, but the lack of expandable graphics and the cap at 128 GB of unified memory are two notable limitations when compared to the outgoing Intel-based Mac Pro.

Whoever said that this would be a quiet year for Apple’s other operating systems while they focused on the AR headset software must not have known how big a splash the deluge of quality-of-life features could make! Honestly, if we did this sort of cadence introducing big features one year and then filling in a bunch of gaps the next, I’d be a happy camper. Nearly every feature they mentioned for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS, got an Oh, cool!” reaction from me. The enhancements to communication apps — some of our most used, for sure — plus Notes, AirDrop, Check In, interactive widgets, password sharing, and so much more are all things I’m going to use the hell out of. That doesn’t always happen with the stuff they show off.

watchOS got a big refresh, but perhaps not the complete overhaul that I’d been led to believe was coming. I don’t think that’s a bad thing since I wasn’t necessarily unhappy with watchOS. I might have been more upset if they really simplified the UI to be too widget-focused. As it is, I’m really excited about the scroll-down smart stack of widgets that live alongside every watch face. The new features for cycling workouts and hiking look like they were custom-made just for me.

We didn’t see much of Tim today, except for the brief intro and then to kick off the Vision Pro segment. That’s okay, too, because I’m always glad to see them spread the stage time out to more of the team members who crafted what they’re introducing. Except for Craig, who continues to hold down the fort on all the major OS unveilings. That’s a hard-working guy!

Despite all those good things, Vision Pro and visionOS, predictably, stole the show. I think we all just saw the start of something very special. I truly believe that visionOS is going to be the talk of the next decade (alongside generative AI).

Speaking of which, I think I would have preferred realityOS” and Reality Pro”, but I can get used to Vision. It’s not a bad brand name.

I’d been hoping for a kick-ass media consumption device that could also be a great VR gaming rig, and expand my computing workspace when I wanted. It seems that’s exactly what Apple delivered — save for the VR-specific gaming, but I choose to believe that there’s more to come on that front and Apple just didn’t want to show off the Vision Pro as too isolating. I also noted that we didn’t see much in the way of people typing in visionOS, or doing more than resizing or swiping around in apps. It’d have been nice to see a more in-depth workflow demo.

Seems like most initial reactions to the EyeSight outward screen are that it’s too Uncanny Valley, but I have to disagree. I was very much again the rumor of an external screen based on the rumors, but after seeing the real thing”, I’d concede that Apple was absolutely right to pursue that technology. I’m so impressed at how it makes it look like you’re looking into the goggles at their real face and completely solves the problem of knowing when the wearer is or isn’t aware of their surroundings. However, it was a bit off-putting when Apple showed a parent wearing the Vision Pro to their child’s birthday party to capture spatial video. That scenario was a step too far, even if the technology is jaw-dropping.

All in all, I’m seriously impressed and I’ll be saving my pennies — nay, dollars — every day with the goal of purchasing one next year sometime.

My Favorite Pint-Sized Features

  • Live voicemail transcription
  • FaceTime voicemails
  • Last cell service location
  • Catch up in Messages
  • Bumping for AirDrop and NameDrop
  • Improved AutoCorrect
  • Interactive widgets that can be dragged to the macOS Desktop
  • Video conferencing effects
  • Password/passkey sharing with friends and family
  • App-powered AirPlay through Siri
  • FaceTime on Apple TV (I scoffed at first, but quickly came around to it)
  • Smart stack of widgets on watchOS
  • Cycling features and iPhone integration during workouts
  • Offline and topographical maps
  • Collaborative Music playlist and SharePlay in CarPlay
  • Sharing Find My devices
  • Stickers in the Emoji drawer
  • In-line sentence predictions (I’ve grown to like this on Windows)
  • More flexible Stage Manager
  • Grocery List sorting in Reminders
  • Column view in Reminders
  • Screen Sharing picker on macOS
  • Adjustable framing for Center Stage camera
  • Elevation alerts while hiking
  • Custom Fitness+ workout plans
  • Enhanced Dialogue in tvOS
  • Pet recognition in Photos
  • Everything in visionOS 😉
WWDC

June 5, 2023

WWDC23: Monday’s Tidbits and Community Reactions

One of my favorite things after any Apple event is scouring the product pages, accompanying videos, and social media timelines for all the little things that didn’t make the keynote. Here’s my roundup of stuff I’ve found so far. I’ll append more that I find today to the bottom, and will consider posting more throughout the week!


#macOS 14, #iOS and #iPadOS 17: Music. Invite friends to join your playlist and everyone can add, reorder, and remove songs. In Now Playing, you can use emoji to react to the song choices.”

#Apple #AppleEvent #WWDC #WWDC23 #WWDC2023

Auto filling verification codes from messages app is one of my favourite iOS features and now it’ll work with mail. Fantastico! 👏

#iOS17 #WWDC23

Screenshot of new iOS 17 feature: Autofill verification codes received in
Mail - One-time verification codes you receive in Mail are filled in automatically, so you can log in without leaving Safari.

Hopefully, it works with Mail closed! I use Spark, but keep accounts enabled in Mail for just such OS integrations.

That’s right — iOS 17 finally adds the option to cross-fade songs. That means when one track ends, rather than abruptly stopping and starting the next song in your playlist, there is a gradual fade transition instead, with the current track getting quieter as the next track gets louder.

Might have to try this out, but I’ve never been a crossfade person before…

Other new tvOS 17 features include […] an option to immediately switch to your profile when you use the ‌Apple TV‌ with your ‌iPhone‌ remote […]

Now that you mention it, it’s a little funny that this wasn’t already the case.

In the Find My app, you can select an AirTag and choose the Share This AirTag” option to invite a contact of yours. The invited person will be able to see the location of the AirTag just as you can, which is useful if you’re lending an item with an AirTag attached to it to a friend or family member because it eliminates those annoying tracking alerts.

Thank goodness!

That means someone who has access to your unlocked phone and opens your Safari browser won’t be able to get to your private browsing history without secondary authentication. ‌Face ID‌ or a passcode can be used to access the Safari private tabs.

Private browsing also completely blocks known trackers from loading on pages and removes tracking added to URLs as you browse, improving privacy. Websites are prevented from tracking or identifying your device with these new additions, plus Apple also offers improved extension control.

Smart!

The ‌iOS 17‌ update includes a new option to delete verification codes in Messages (and Mail) after they’ve been inserted into an app or website through the Autofill feature.

“Clean Up Automatically” can be toggled on for verification codes in the Passwords app under Password Options.

I expect this will be less necessary with passkeys as the future of authentication, but it’s a welcome addition in the interim.

With its machine learning technology, iPad OS 17 can identify fields in a PDF so that you can fill them out quickly — that’s big for people who don’t have easy access to Adobe Acrobat. This also functions with photos of documents that you scan onto your iPad.

I hadn’t even thought about scanned documents!

I swear, the Apple TV remote is designed, specifically, to slip between cushions and fall into the black hole of a couch. The remote is tiny, thin, and so smooth. But I have great news. Today, during Apple’s 2023 World Wide Developer’s Conference, a quick mention brought hope to my life: Siri will soon be able to locate your lost Apple TV remote.
With just Bluetooth? Not the precision finding integration that we wanted, but pretty close! And coming to all of the 2nd gen Siri Remotes. 
Apple Maps will gain new topographic maps with trailheads, contour lines, hill shading, elevation gains, and more, starting in the U.S. You’ll also be able to search to discover nearby trails and Trailhead categories so you can review additional information such as trail name, difficulty level length, elevation gain, and more before heading out to hike.

Check out the screenshots. I’m partial to the topographical map view with an estimated walk time radius that makes so much sense that I can’t believe I haven’t seen that kind of UI before in other mapping solutions.

Your phone will monitor your progress and if something seems off, it’ll ask you if things are OK — if not, you can send an alert.

To be clear, Check In doesn’t share your location in real time — you can do that separately if you want, but that’s up to you. However, if you don’t arrive at home on time, and don’t disable it, your friends will be able to see your current location, the route you took getting home and your phone’s battery and signal levels. All this is encrypted, by the way!

When you return, everyone you’ve included on your Check In thread will get a notification that you’re back. Of course, it’s still possible to miss this on their end, but it minimizes the chance you go straight to bed without letting someone know you made it. And if anything goes awry, they’ll know right away.

My parents will love this.

Your phone will monitor your progress and if something seems off, it’ll ask you if things are OK — if not, you can send an alert.

To be clear, Check In doesn’t share your location in real time — you can do that separately if you want, but that’s up to you. However, if you don’t arrive at home on time, and don’t disable it, your friends will be able to see your current location, the route you took getting home and your phone’s battery and signal levels. All this is encrypted, by the way!

When you return, everyone you’ve included on your Check In thread will get a notification that you’re back. Of course, it’s still possible to miss this on their end, but it minimizes the chance you go straight to bed without letting someone know you made it. And if anything goes awry, they’ll know right away.

Child Safety features for all! Good to have them available.

There isn’t much detail about how it will work, though it appears to be fairly straightforward from the looks of it. In iOS 17, photos of food will be identified, and you’ll then be able to search for similar dishes. For instance, in the photo illustrating this on the page, photos of bowls of quinoa lead to suggested recipes for other quinoa meals, and specifically breakfast foods, as shown in the photo. If this works as described, it could be a handy way to get inspiration about what to cook, without having to search across the web, though it likely won’t be able to guide you to the specific recipe for the dish pictured.

AKA the empty the fridge” feature.

During WWDC, Apple also announced other updates to SharePlay. Instead of connecting through FaceTime, users can bring devices together to instantly start a shared activity using SharePlay. For example, if you’re going on a run with a friend and want to jog to the beat of the same tunes, you can link up your music.

I wonder if this will work through the Apple Watch sans iPhone. I never run with my phone anymore.

“Animated SF Symbols” 👀 #wwdc23

Yes, you heard that right! iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma add support for sharing passwords and passkeys in groups with friends and family.

  • share passkeys, passwords, verification codes, and notes
    - edits and updates seamlessly sync between group members
    - end-to-end encrypted
    - share with family, friends, and other close contacts
    - the password manager that’s built in to iPhone, iPad, and Mac is free to use and easy to switch to :)

Sounds like everything I need to make my switch. Can’t wait to go back to system integrations.

Can’t quite tell if the new Apple Watch cycling mode can figure out your assist level on an ebike. Hopefully.

At the moment I get WAY too much credit for fitness if just riding to the shops with the assist mode turned up.

iSight/EyeSight joins Macs/Max, iBook/iBooks, etc. in the pantheon of Apple name-siblings.

If you see a controller, they blew it.

This is exactly how I wanted this UI to look/work. I’ve been putting iPads and phones taped onto my closet door next to my desk and it’s a perfect setup. Mac in the center, iPhones and iPads to the sides.

“I wish I could see through the gaps between them” THEY DID IT. They gave me a bunch of floating iPhone apps.

🍎🥽💦

Is the real-time subsystem another…leaving…from Project Titan?

Glad to see some tech make its way out of that project. Wasn’t Mike Rockwell part of Titan, too?

Apollo getting a lot of screen time. Maybe Apple will pick up those api charges.

No VR games with controllers? Does Vision Pro really not support the one product market fit we’ve seen for VR?!

Also Apple does not seem to be promoting any actual VR or AR games — just flatscreen games that you can play on a big screen inside the headset. Which makes sense given that there are no hardware controllers, but might also mean you still need something like a Quest if you want Beat Saber or whatever.

All in all, I would say this was a keynote for the ages. A lot of really cool stuff. I’m just still smarting at the price of that thing, but everything else about it seemed pretty cool.

#wwdc

I quite enjoyed the grab bag of features’ nature of all of Apple’s existing OSes this WWDC. If ever you were going to take a Snow Leopard’ year, it’s while everybody is distracted with visionOS. Fixing big problems with iOS, like the keyboard, is a win from me

the announcement today that will have the greatest impact in my family’s day to day life:

Now this is interesting; why would we need to be using TestFlight to test with visionOS unless Vision Pro developer hardware is coming very soon?

If any of this were true, why wouldn’t they announce it in either of the keynotes? 🫨 #WWDC23

Of note: When the App Store becomes available, compatible apps will be available automatically with no action needed, giving people more options in visionOS.”

This is the best feature Apple has ever made.

Multiple timers, In #iOS / #iPadOS. 👏

Screenshot showing new multiple timers feature in iOS and iPadOS BETA

#iOS and #iPadOS 17: Notes. Quickly add links from one note to another. It’s a powerful way to connect research notes, reference a recipe, or even create wikis for your team.”

#Apple #AppleEvent #WWDC #WWDC23 #WWDC2023

I’m not a heavy inter-note linker, but I’d be very glad to have easy access to a URL back to a specific note that I can paste elsewhere.

WorkoutKit makes it easy to create, preview, and schedule planned workouts for the Workout app on Apple Watch. Learn how to build custom intervals, create alerts, and use the built-in preview UI to send your own workout routines to Apple Watch.

Wait a sec, are apps going to be able to send their custom workouts into the Workouts app?

WWDC