WWDC 2021: Grading My Wish List
A few days ago I posted my wishes for today’s keynote announcements. Now it’s time to compare what we actually got and what I’d still like to see!
- 🤷♂️ Better Shortcuts support. I haven’t seen anything big yet.
- 👍 Speak workout status over headphones. Horray!
- 👎 Widgets. No changes to the app switcher, complications, or expansion of widgets to watchOS.
- 👎 A better solution for status icons on the watch face. No change that I can find.
- 👍 Shortcuts app. Yes, in a big way, with the promise of a multi-year development with Shortcuts at the center of Mac automation.
- 👎 Fix Notification Center. While notifications themselves got new features, interacting with them and their home in Notification Center looks to be unchanged.
- 👎 Widgets on the desktop. Again, no change that I can see. They still live with notifications in Notification Center.
- 🤷♂️ Fix the FileVault system. This remains to be seen. I never expected it to be a consumer-facing announcement, so I’ll keep my ears to the ground.
- 👎 Better Family Sharing for Photos. Nope. They got close with other Family Sharing features and even automatic saving of shared photos in Messages, but no Family Library or the like.
- 👎 A full-on Authentication app. Very close! It looks like Apple’s made improvements here, including auto-filling one-time codes, but it’s still tucked away within the Passwords setting section.
- 👎 Multi-stop planning in maps. We got some significant improvements in Maps, and, boy, do they look pretty. But no multi-stop routes as far as I can tell.
- 👎 Support for dynamic wallpapers. A no-show for another year.
- 👍 A refinement, if not overhaul, of multitasking. I’d say this is exactly what we got. The iPad got new multitasking keyboard shortcuts, gestures, and flexibility, but it’s all built upon the previous foundation rather than reimagined.
- 👍 App Library and Widgets on the Home Screen. These were the lowest of hanging fruit, and Apple picked them.
- 👎 Useful external monitor support. Looks like we’ll be waiting for this until Apple’s consumer monitor makes an appearance. 🤞
- 👎 System extensions that can be always-on. This was a long shot, and I haven’t found any hint of it.
- 👎 An Apple web search engine. Nope. iCloud Private Relay is a welcome addition to online privacy, but a search engine it is not.
- 👎 Overhaul the Music app across all the platforms. Disappointingly, only watchOS’s Music app got redesigned.
- 👎 In-App Purchase improvements for developers. If it were to be announced this week, I would have pegged it to be at the State of the Union. If any changes are coming, it’ll probably be a press release at another time.
Across 19 picks, I got four right (21% 👍), 13 wrong (68% 👎), and two that remain to be seen (11% 🤷♂️). Not a great score as far as wishes coming true, but I’m still happy with today’s announcements. And I guess this gives me a head start on next year’s wish list. 😉