WWDC 2020 Day One

Lots to process after the first day of the online-only WWDC 2020. I’ve tried to jot down my initial thoughts:

Love everything about the newest macOS, Big Sur, so much. You can make an AppKit, Catalyst, SwiftUI, or just vanilla iOS app. It’s a great time to be an Apple developer.

Apple’s transition to their own chips on the Mac show a lot of promise especially after their demos today with well-known, demanding apps. We knew the ones on the iPad were pretty good, but still. I plan on getting one of those new Macs as soon as the time is right. (For now I’m still undecided if I am even going to apply for the DTK since my own apps do nothing crazy and, in the end, it’s technically a $500 rental.)

The widgets in iOS 14 look interesting, especially since they seem to be SwiftUI-only. App Clips also look interesting. I still need to properly check them out but I’m already very interested as a user and developer.

I absolutely loved the new features for handwritten text and the Apple Pencil in iPadOS 14. I already use my iPad to take handwritten notes, and this will only improve it for such use cases.

There were several things on my wishlist that just won’t materialize, but the one that continues to confuse me about its absence are true custom watch faces. Sure, you can customize them a lot, but what’s the point of having a wrist watch with a high-quality screen if you cannot make it 100% your own? Just imagine allowing developers to make crazy, cool faces like a binary watch. Is Apple worried about performance, battery life, or something else at the hands of developers?

Also minor shout outs to these “smaller” new things: you can now choose your default web browser and email client in iOS; developers will be able to issue refunds to App Store customers; spatial audio with AirPods Pro; and of course, more privacy and security improvements.

Oh! And Big Sur is officially macOS 11. Ain’t that just crazy?

Francisco Cantu @f